Torch:U.S. LXV Winter 2014-2015 - Page 4

4

JCL Without Barriers

I’m always amazed at the fact that tens of thousands of students from across the nation prove their passion for the classics each year, through community service, competition, and statewide conventions, culminating in the annual national rendezvous of classics nerds. No matter how many times I experience it, there’s nothing quite like looking out across the crowds of students screaming and chanting the names of their schools and states dressed in togas.

That awe-inspiring sight reflects this year’s theme - ubi concordia ibi victoria - “where there is unity, there is victory”. The National Junior Classical League is a testament to the astounding ability of students passionate about classical language, history, and culture to form a community unparalleled in its dedication and spirit.

This year I’ve been working on developing resources to help those who want to jump into NJCL site design and management but don’t quite know how to start. My goal is to make it as easy as possible for people who want to participate in the technical side of the NJCL to do so. Working off of feedback I’ve received from a great number of NJCL webmasters and secretaries I hope that there will be little to no barrier for all JCLers as well as the state officers.

I can’t wait to see what the ingenious minds of the NJCL come up with and create this year!

Gratias maximas,

Jon Nozik

2015 - 2016 NJCL Communications Coordinator

Love for JCL Grows

Whenever I say that I am from Las Vegas, the most common responses are looks of concern from parents or misplaced awe from teens. Even though I often take pride in not conforming to the stereotypes for which my hometown is known, I must admit that I do enjoy some of the conveniences, like how most stores close after 11 p.m. and how Vegas holds half of the Nevada chapters (that is, two out of four).

Like my state and my height, my beginnings with the classics started small. At my school, all fourth graders read the D'aulaires' Book of Greek Myths in which I found my fascination with the stories of the Olympian gods that started my love for the classics. Finally in sixth grade, I officially began my first Latin class. Despite my relatively early start in the classics (even though my entire middle school curriculum did not go beyond Ecce Romani I), my love for JCL did not really start until high school when I had the honor of having Ms. Jankowski as my teacher freshman and sophomore year. As you might already know, it would be difficult to not catch the same JCL fever that Ms. J has after being in her class everyday. My classmates and I just could not help but admire her "coo-coo" zeal for this organization.

Even still, my enthusiasm for JCL further grew during the summer of freshman year when I attended my first nationals at UNLV as part of the host state. I quickly fell in love with the environment there. Not only were people blatantly showing off their nerdiness and their pride for it, but it was also all centered around a language that I had come to appreciate and admire, one that of course is not dead. Since then, I have tried my best to be as involved in JCL as possible; I have attended as many conventions as possible, held local office as TMS historian, and been elected to state office as parliamentarian twice (though I resigned my second term once elected to national office).

Overall, JCL has come to hold an important part in my life both because of my admiration for the language and ancient civilizations, and because of the bonds I have created with my peers. For this reason, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to serve on the board. Thank you for everyone who helped throughout the process; I very much look forward to this year!

Amanda Hansen

2015 - 2016 NJCL Parliamentarian

Preserve the JCL

For years, my hometown has built up an atrocious reputation. The majority of our wildlife is classified as invasive species, remnants of the steel industry emit pungent odors everywhere you go, and the clouds seem to cast an eternal gloom over the city. Locals like to joke that the old railway station, the Terminal Tower, is in fact named for the number of deaths that occurred during its construction. If my sarcastic, self-deprecating sense of humor hasn’t given it away already, I am from the mighty metropolis of Cleveland, Ohio. We aren't like any city in California, Wisconsin Virginia, Nevada, Massachusetts, or Louisiana. There’s no such thing as “Cleveland Hospitality”, unless of course you are referring to the world renowned Cleveland Clinic. We have a saying here in the Mistake by the Lake: “In Cleveland, you’ve gotta be tough.” Clevelanders have instilled in their psyche a great sense of resiliency. Just take the Cuyahoga River for example. Our river is so hardy that it caught fire not once, but twice! If smoke on the water isn’t phenomenal enough for you, “how ‘bout them Cavs”?

My point is that my upbringing influenced me to study the classics. Much like Clevelanders, the language of the Roman Empire is tough. Classical culture, language, and history have been on the minds of the brightest scholars for centuries. Although many a nay-sayer will argue that Latin is dead, members of the Junior Classical League know the opposite to be true. My first OJCL convention grabbed me by the shoulders, whipped me around 360 degrees, and shook me into a rhythm I have not been able to break since.

It's my goal as NJCL Historian to make sure that our traditions and memories are preserved. After all, we only have the ability to learn Latin, Greek, and classical culture because so many relics have withstood the test of time. In order to accomplish this task, I currently curate the NJCL Historian Flickr account for scrapbook submissions. At any point, JCLers can look at the Flickr page for picture updates from chapters around the country. My fellow officers and I will also be producing a series of commercials about the Junior Classical League so that we may cultivate a new generation of classy classicists.

The Junior Classical League is my Cleveland. It is my group of diligent and resilient individuals. I am honored to serve as a member of the Executive Board this year, and I have faith in our future successes. If you have any questions for me, or want any historian-related advice, feel free to email me at historian@njcl.org.

Perpetuo et semper,

Hannah Barrett

2015-2016 NJCL Historian

Listen and Read

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved to read and write. The stories encaptured my young mind. Combining this love with my love for the JCL has led me to this point. When I was a freshman, I never expected to come this far.

Our JCL is so large; there are so many stories to tell. We may never be able to hear them all, but the Torch: U.S. aims to bring everyone together.

Communication between the National Officers and the JCL is extremely important this year, so please enjoy the first podcast of the year.

I can't wait to see what we are able to create this year! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at editor@njcl.org. Please read on and enjoy!

Gratias maximas,

Woojin Lee

2015-2016 NJCL Editor

Winter 2015-2016 · Torch: U.S. · VOICES