Torch:U.S. Volume LXIV Winter 2014-2015 - Page 3



VOICES · Torch:U.S. · Winter, 2014-2015

We are the JCL

We are the Junior Classical League. An organization of nearly 46,000 members who tirelessly devote their energies to the classics. A 78-year-old tradition of brotherhood, friendly competition, and dedication. A world I can easily call my second home. Serving as your 2014-2015 NJCL President is a dream come true. I have the opportunity to lead the most vibrant, enthusiastic group of people ever and plan my last convention as a JCLer in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas; talk about being on cloud nine!

Although millennia have passed since the historic pinnacles of Greco-Roman antiquity, the fiery torch of classical civilization shines brighter than ever with our congregation today. We JCLers are eager to learn about the minutiae of this ancient era, and we continually use such information to help guide our very own lives. One example of this guidance is found in the Aeneid by Vergil, a text which has amazed me with its brilliant poetic flourishes and many relevant messages. I ultimately chose one of these messages as the 2014-2015 NJCL theme: “tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.” (Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.) Using this quote, I encourage you to use obstacles and misfortunes as tools to help you approach this year more fiercely and readily than ever. Be bold in your involvement with the JCL; do not allow any fears or memories of the past inhibit you. Conquer that academic test you’ve always wanted to improve upon, involve yourself in publicity and service projects you’ve never tried before, meet as many fresh faces as you can at conventions. Do not let anything hold you back.

Meanwhile, our board has been working tirelessly to ensure a successful upcoming year and convention. We are in the works of new and exciting parameters for publicity and service contests, technologies for convention, and, of course, more efficient communication across the NJCL, just to name a few. Please, if you have any questions or suggestions or would just like to chat, do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you for allowing the flame of the torch of classical civilization to burn within your hearts, and I cannot wait to see how you will continue to kindle this fire throughout the year.

E corde,

Ruiqi He

2014-2015 NJCL President

Faith in Latin

Greetings from the heart of the Silicon Valley, where organic food is a staple, hybrids outnumber gas-fueled cars, and everyone operates on Apple products (except me). In this high functioning environment, you will find my school, Harker, the area’s so-called “’IT’ School for the Next Einsteins.” We pride ourselves on our remarkable SAT scores, numerous Intel & Siemens accolades, and our glorious eco-friendly science and technology building. Walk down a bit farther into the forgotten, dusty corridors of Main Hall, and you will find me, probably redrawing the JCL whiteboard in the Latin room.

It’s hard to have faith in the vitality of Latin when you’re living in the tech capital of the world. Nevertheless, I’ve always had the Junior Classical League for reassurance. With your formidable spirit, passion, and dedication, I have never doubted the state of the classics in modernity. So, my goal for you this year is simple: keep the Latin alive! Try some new projects out: hold an assembly and discuss how antiquity has manifested itself in our laws and society; speak at your public library about some masterpieces of ancient literature; even put up some Roman or Greek inspired artwork in a hospital hallway. Publicity is all about creativity!

For my own part, I want to encourage all fifty states to join the NJCL. Through mentoring programs and the extensive efforts of state first vice presidents, this dream has the potential to become reality. With your efforts on both the local and state levels, we can increase the visibility and impact of the Junior Classical League. Feel free to contact me for ideas or assistance at Lingua Latina vivenda est!

E imo corde,

Maya Nandakumar

2014-2015 NJCL 1st Vice President

A Painting of Purple and Gold

Picture a painting in a museum. You look at it from afar, and the painting looks somewhat cohesive – it tells a story. But once you come closer and closer to the canvas, you notice the brushstrokes of it. You see the individual swirls, the splashes of color, the fine details not seen before. My life is like a canvas – it’s made up of millions of dashes of paint, some large and dramatic splatters of black and blue, and some bright dashes of orange and yellow. Yet there if there are two definitive colors you see in my still-incomplete painting of my life, they are purple and gold. Those two colors weave in and connect the various disparate brushstrokes of my life, making my canvas something memorable. Truly, the Junior Classical League has changed my life, morphing every part of me into something more complete. I am honored to serve you all as your 2014-2015 NJCL Second Vice President. I hope to work with you all in the next year to move the JCL forward, giving back to the organization that has defined my life in so many wonderful ways.

This year’s convention theme is "tu ne cede malis, sed contra audientor ito," a phrase uttered by the Sybil of Cumae to Aeneas before he proceeds into the Underworld. The quote, powerful even in its original Latin, speaks of the human will to proceed more boldly against injustices, righting any wrongs in the process. I urge each and every one of you in the upcoming year to fight these injustices in your community – volunteer at your local food bank, rake leaves to raise money for a charity, and enter your club’s unique and wonderful projects to the Club of the Month Contest. This year, the Club of the Month Contest will be more accessible for those of you who wish to engage in spirit-based activities – make parties Roman themed for your clubs, and engage in your communities with unique activities that spread the light of the JCL to those places that have not seen this torch before. I hope to see