Marist Latin Clubs Live On!


Photographer: Caroline York

JCL and Latin Club meetings can take place on Google Meet this year.

By Caroline York, Features Editor

Carpe diem! While COVID-19 is putting a damper on 2020 by forcing the cancelation of many in-person events, Marist’s Junior Classical League club and Latin Honor Society have kept an optimistic spirit as they embark on a year filled with new and exciting events.

These two organizations are usually involved in many events on- and off-campus. If you have seen students scurrying around in togas or singing Latin hymns, you’ve encountered Latin students. If you’ve snacked on a Mt. Vesuvius cake after the eruption, thank the Latin clubs. While many clubs have put events and meetings on hold, Marist’s Latin clubs are arguably doing more than any other year. After a trial virtual banquet last spring to finish the year proved successful, the clubs have gone full force this year with new and inventive virtual events. 

Online platforms like Google Meet have revolutionized the club, said Junior Classical League officer Maddie Paul ‘22. “It used to be so hard to get all members and officers together for a meeting,” Paul said. “Now it is so easy with Google Meet in the evenings.”

Ian Chung ‘22, a Latin Honor Society officer, echoed Paul’s enthusiasm for the new online format. “We are having more meetings, participation, and events now than ever! It’s great that we are all able to get together, even if it’s not in-person,” she said. According to Marietta deCastro ‘22, the club is conducting at least one meeting a week and has started participating in and hosting events, too.

The Georgia Junior Classical League hosts an annual Fall Forum, which is usually an in-person day event that features Latin students from all over Georgia participating in academic competitions and informational lectures. This year, Fall Forum transitioned online, and Marist was a dominant force. Several students competed and placed in academic competitions, such as the Sight Latin Reading, which was conducted via Zoom. The event’s highlight was Marist hosting a Jeopardy game. 

With much preparation from sponsor and Latin teacher Tom Marier and club members, Marist’s Junior Classical lead a Zoom Jeopardy game with Latin students from across the state of Georgia. Andrew Albright ‘24 helped prepare and participate in the Jeopardy game. He says he “learned a lot about mythology for the Medusa Mythology Exam in an exciting format.”

Within the Marist community, the Latin clubs are eagerly doing more events. While the annual Mt. Vesuvius eruption was canceled, club members were quick to plan a competition. Latin students created homemade volcanoes at home, and sent in videos of the “eruptions,” with the volcanoes being judged and awarded prizes. 

The clubs are already looking forward to what’s next. The annual Readathon will be online, and Marist community members are invited to sign up for time slots to help the clubs reach the goal of reading a classic book straight for a day. The event is meant to raise money for the annual Mythopaloosa event, which will also be an event transitioned to an online format as it teaches mythology to Atlanta students.

While events may not be the same as in normal years, many members are quick to like them. Charlotte Paine ‘23 says that “[she] competed in [Fall Forum] while in the car.” Anthony Ovadje ‘21 similarly says he is able to do Latin events while eating dinner.

Marist Latin club members are proving that their language is more relevant than ever. Rather than a “dead” language, Latin is one of the most vibrant activities on campus, and its adaptability shows its versatility.