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Carpe Diem; Students compete in Latin Forum

Photo+by+Tegan+Fannin
Photo by Tegan Fannin

Photo by Tegan Fannin

Photo by Tegan Fannin

Chloe Aikman, Staff Writer

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Latin students from over 13 schools found themselves on campus Feb. 3 to compete in the annual Region VII Forum – an event that hosts a diverse range of contests including dramatic interpretations, orations, sculpture, genre-specific tests, intricately crafted mosaics and cartography.

The doors opened at 8 a.m., followed by a brief introductory speech, before middle and high-schoolers alike were guided to appropriate rooms for the testing session of the program to begin. Students had the opportunity to take tests on Greek literature, history of the Roman Empire, history of the Republic, derivatives, grammar and a myriad of other subjects.

“It’s always good to have fun, friendly competition,” eighth-grader Tyler Girsch and student of the Academy of the Holy Names said. “It gives it a kind of a purpose and a meaning. It’s not just taking a test, it’s more like ‘I want to be up on that screen,’ or ‘I want to hear my name called.'”

In addition to the academic assessments, athletic competitions were also taking place on the football field during the afternoon Olympika event, one such activity being the “Friscus” throw – an alternative interpretation of the discus involving a Frisbee.

In the cafeteria, submissions for the creative portion of the offered contests were also being judged. Entries included Roman shields, drawings, board games, pottery, architectural models and constellations sewn on embroidery hoops.

“I really enjoy the atmosphere that is at all Latin Forum events,” sophomore Emily Kemp of Robinson High School said. “I enjoy making a project and learning about different aspects of the culture of the ancient Romans.”

At the same time, rounds of “Certamen” were starting to begin. Four-player teams from opposing schools competed in this jeopardy-style game to demonstrate prowess in multiple areas of Latin studies.

“I’m a competitive person,” Plant freshman Colton Wileinsky said. “I [initially] took [Latin] because I want to become a veterinarian, so this was really useful for the medical area. Forum is sort of like an add-on; it’s fun.”

Many students attend Regionals for the experience and as a way for preparing for the State Forum, an event revered by most of its participants. Latin teacher John Henson is already narrowing his selection down to the 25 students he will be bringing to represent Plant, the maximum amount one can bring to this level of the competition.

“There’s a singing competition, there’s a talent show – I feel like it’s cool that we get to do this, versus any other language,” junior Peyton Purdy and past State Forum competitor said. “I think everyone should try it.”

Beyond Henson’s goals to bring home a top-ten finishing placement at the state level, he also believes in the value of this type of event for his students.

“I personally hope that they get to see beyond the class; the subject itself at times is a little bit on the tedious side – that’s the nature of it,” Henson said. “I hope that they develop an affection for the language, the culture, and maybe even the other people they attend with.”

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Carpe Diem; Students compete in Latin Forum