Latin students win awards at regional JCL convention

Chronicle Staff

By Keane Muraoka-Robertson

Twenty-four members of the Junior Classical League won prizes at the Southern California Regional Amici Madness Convention on Nov. 20. Latin students took part in various academic and athletic competitions.

The Junior Classical League club is run by Latin teachers Derek Wilairat and Moss Pike. SCRAM is a regional convention held every fall hosted for the Junior Classical League. Harvard-Westlake has been participating in this event for over five years, Wilairat said. In order to participate in SCRAM, students had to take a minimum of two tests.

“I took the academic tests, but it’s really casual.,” Theo Davis ’13 said. “You don’t have to do well. You don’t have to study. You just have to take them. It all sounds really hard but it’s not.”

In addition to tests, there are also competitions which “are mainly for fun.”

“There are academic competitions, so we have tests on various things related to Latin class like Roman history, mythology, and Latin grammar,” Wilairat said. “We also have Certamen, which is a trivia team trivia competition, which is a very popular event. There are also oratory competitions, speaking competitions and athletic competitions as well, like track events, basketball events and dodge ball.”

Middle school and upper school students met at the Upper School early in the morning to take a bus to University High School in Irvine, where the convention was held.

“I watched this thing called “Roman Rant,” where basically you get up and just rant about anything for about two minutes and it’s really funny,” Davis said.

Among the awards won by Harvard-Westlake students were second place in dramatic interpretation, first place in the Roman Rant, second place in Latin grammar, second place in Certamen and third place in advanced high school history.

“The convention opened my eyes to a new level of Latin nerddom,” Matt Lee ’11, president of the JCL club, said. “When I came back I had to resist speaking in perfect dactylic pentameter. It inspired me to be a modern day Virgil. Sometime when I walk around campus I feel like Aeneas leading Trojans to Italy to create their new home in Rome”

Wilairat said the event was a success.

“It rained so we made the best of it, and it was still fun,” Wilairat said.