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Latin Students Rock the JCL Competition

Stomp, stomp, and clap! Stomp, stomp, and clap! Stomp, stomp, and clap! Stomp, stomp, and clap! The social steps reverberated with the chorus from “We will Rock You” by Queen on a foggy Saturday morning in April. Only this time the lyrics were Romanized: “Veni, vidi, vici!” Stomp, stomp, and clap! “Mirabile!” five students cheered in unison. This was the HDS Latin students’ answer to a spirit competition prompt on the second day of CA JCL’s State Convention.

For those who do not know, the Junior Classical League is a national club for middle and high school students which aims to promote enthusiasm for and knowledge of ancient civilizations. State Conventions are a way for its members to have fellowships, to learn, and to compete academically, athletically, and artistilly while still leaving room to be incredibly silly. Over the course of the two days of the CA JCL State Convention, students participate in a variety of different competitions: such as academic tests, art competitions, essay (English), oratory (Latin), dramatic interpretation (Latin), sight reading (Latin), and certamen (a quiz bowl type competition about Latin grammar, Roman history, daily life, mythology, etc.). Students can also participate in fun activities, such as Roman rap battle, classical Pictionary, Olympica (obstacle courses or video challenges), Minecraft builds, STEM challenges, Rick Rordian Kahoots, bake-offs, Rock the Runway, etc. 

Students also attend various lectures and colloquia to learn more about various topics in the Classics. This year on the first day of the convention, students could learn about Phillis Wheatly, the first Black American poet, who had studied Latin while enslaved as a young girl by the Wheatly family. Phillis Wheatly used her knowledge of Latin poetry to connect her experiences of abduction from West Africa and enslavement to similar themes from Latin poetry. The keynote address was given by Natalie Haynes, the author of One Thousand Ships and Pandora’s Jar (Barnes and Noble’s pick for the Best in Nonfiction Book of the Month for April 2022). For the second colloquia on Saturday, students voted to learn about how witches were portrayed in Latin literature in the first century CE.

CA JCL’s 66th annual State Convention was hosted by St. Francis High School in Sacramento virtually. With the state’s lifting of Covid restrictions, magistra and the students had an in person mini State Convention on our beautiful new campus to compete both separately and together. Despite being a small middle school with only 7 students in attendance, HDS won second place* in Spirit and a number of individual awards, of which there is a list below. 

Highlights from our virtually in-person convention were: watching the general assemblies, keynote address, colloquium, and Pepe the Magician in the cozy new library; Magistra getting her head stuck in her cardboard gladiator armor; baking Rice Krispies Treats and using it to create Cerberus; gladiator fight; mask fashion show; and eating ice cream sundaes in the faculty lounge. 

School Awards:
Spirit  - 2nd place
Tshirt - 1st place

Individual Awards*:

Illustrate Quotation   
- 1st place -  Emery K.G.
- 2nd place - Skylar T.
- 2nd place - Skylar T.
Classical Sketch   
- 3rd place -  Julia D.
Impromptu Art   
- 1st place - Julia D.
- 2nd place - Nandika B.

Pre Convention Contests:

Latin Slogan       
- 1st place - Colton M.
English Slogan   
- 1st place - Colton M.
- 3rd place - Colton M.

*all awards are for the Middle School division
    • JCL Competition 2022

Harbor Day School

3443 Pacific View Drive
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Harbor Day School is a co-educational private independent K-8 school established in 1952.