Chariots of fire: JCL goes to convention


Ben Beckman ’19 and Will Wright ’17 participate in a chariot race at the California Junior Classical League Convention in San Franciso on April 22. Printed with permission of Ben Beckman

Alex Goldstein

Middle and upper school Latin students and Junior Classical League members participated in the California Junior Classical League Convention during the weekend in San Francisco.
At the convention, students competed in activities such as academic testing, athletic competitions, poetic recitations and chariot races.
“The Friday evening we arrived, we took tests that were later scored and, if you scored high enough, you got a ribbon, so I hoped to discover some of my strengths and weaknesses in the classics,” Opal Lambert ’19 said. “We also occasionally attended workshops that taught us new information we don’t usually get a chance to learn about in class.”
Another activity at the convention was Certamen, a quiz bowl to test a student’s knowledge of Latin and the classics.
“At the convention, I played Certamen, which is essentially the highlight of the convention, and participated in other activities like chariot racing,” Taia Cheng ’19 said. “There is a point system for participating in the sports competitions [such as] basketball, bubble soccer and capture the flag; whichever school collected the most points by the end of the convention was awarded.”
In preparation for the convention, students competing in the chariot races had to build and test out their chariots while students playing Certamen met up to study before the convention.
“Some schools take it super seriously,” Latin teacher Brad Holmes said. “I know there are some schools where the quiz bowl teams meet after school like it’s a sport. We don’t do that, we just want to have fun.”
The convention brought schools from all over California together and gave them the chance to hang out and study Latin together, Holmes said.
“I mostly like to hang out with friends who are just as interested in the classics as I am,” Lambert said. “I really like Latin, specifically, and it’s a lot of fun to be with classmates who share that interest.”