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updated: 2/28/2013 7:59 PM

Lovers of Latin unite at Jr. Classical League convention

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Jennifer Jordt

The Illinois Junior Classical League is holding its 50th annual convention at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, Illinois on Feb. 28 through Saturday, March 2, 2013.

The Illinois Junior Classical League is a state wide organization of junior and senior high school students sponsored by its parent organization, the American Classical League. The National Junior Classical League is the largest Classical organization in the world today in addition to being the nation's largest academic organization for students. The purpose of the JCL is to encourage an interest in and an appreciation of the language, literature, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome and to impart an understanding of the debt of our own culture to that of Classical antiquity.

The IJCL student officers President Danny Washelesky, First Vice President Hannah Gallee, Second Vice President Samantha Hoffmann, Parliamentarian Tynan Bowyer, Secretary Stephanie Wong, and Historian Hannah Novak have been meeting monthly to carefully plan this convention and other JCL events over the past year.

Local Chapters are attending this year's state convention from 21 different schools from across the state for a total of 431 students, teachers, and chaperons. Events at the convention include academic tests, Certamen (a Jeopardy-like competition), costume contests, art contests, Latin Oratory, English Oratory, Dramatic Interpretation, etc. Additionally, workshops ("colloquia" in Latin) will be held on a variety of topics such as a student's archaeological experience digging at Vindolanda; Animal Noises (what they say in Latin); Ancient foods, cooking techniques, and recipes; Classics in College; etc. There are also several general assemblies where student delegates show their spirit for the classics by cheering with their schools and officers impart important information about the organization; there is a Toga Banquet, a dance, and plenty of opportunities for students to socialize with other like-minded lovers of the classics.