Some may need time machines or hallucinations to envision Roman life in the ancient times. The 15 members of the Junior Classical Club, however, can easily discuss and appreciate the fine points of ancient Roman culture without help from either of these.
Club President senior Lindsay Trant created the club in her sophomore year with former Latin teacher Dayna Baglow in order to better connect with the few other students in the school who take Latin. This year’s Latin teacher Krista Greksouk is taking Baglow’s place as club adviser. The club usually meets at lunch on Thursdays in room 304.
“The club is for anyone who’s interest in Latin or ancient Greeks and Roman classics,” Greksouk said. “That’s what classics is — ancient Roman culture.”
According to Lindsay, the Junior Classical Club began two years ago, although back then it was called the Gladiator Club.
“We started out as the Latin Club but had to change because [it got] confused with Latin Student Union,” Lindsay said. “We changed it to Gladiator Club because it was kind of fun, with a little bit of Roman history in there.”
At the moment, the club is focusing on preparing for next year’s Junior Classical League, a Latin competition that takes place nationwide. Events include “cretamen” — Latin jeopardy with multiple choice questions ranging from Roman history to Latin grammar and translations — and games like Ultimate Frisbee and basketball.
According to Greksouk, the club participated in the event held at Castilleja last October but will not try again this year. The school was the only public school that attended, and though it did not win in cretamen, it placed first in the Ultimate Frisbee game.
The Junior Classical Club did not compete in the February scrimmages this year. Nevertheless, the members can still watch other schools take part in the games.
“We just didn’t get together in time to make it,” Greksouk said.
During meetings not devoted to answering Latin trivia questions, members watch movies such as “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Troy.”
The club is also considering offering the National Latin Exam, a worldwide test administered to students who take Latin and want to step up to the challenge.
According to Greksouk, the examination is “prestigious” and can serve as a hefty bonus on college applications if passed.
Though all current club members are Latin students, students do not need to actually take the class to join.
“People [who do not take Latin] are welcome,” sophomore Ariel Tachibana said. “It’d just not be as interesting for them.”
According to Ariel, it definitely helps to know a bit of the language to play cretamen and join in the games. After all, the club was created with Latin in mind.
“People call [Latin] a dead language,” Vice President senior Erik Johnson said. “But we’re the ones keeping it alive.”