Latin: The Undead Language

By February 24, 2014 Uncategorized No Comments

The Latin language is far from dead. It’s not even a zombie. It survives in English, Romance languages like French and Spanish, and in its purist form in the halls and classrooms of Westminster.

At Westminster we have a unique opportunity not only to carry on the tradition of studying and preserving the Latin language, but also to bring new life to the language. For many years Westminster has competed in the Alabama Junior Classical League (AJCL) Latin Convention and has traditionally done very well in the competitive tests.

Even so, in past years the Westminster team has been informal and comprised of students chosen only days before the competition. We needed structure and practice. Mrs. Beck, the new middle school Latin teacher, has brought both.

The Westminster Junior Classical League is a formal club with officers and regularly scheduled meetings. Meetings are held on the first Monday of every month and are led by the four club officers. Each position is in charge of specific aspects of the club’s government and operation. Heath Padgett as the Historian is head of the Res Gestae committee. The Res Gestae (“Things Done”), for all intents and purposes, is a scrapbook tracking all of the events, meetings, and activities of the club to be presented at the Latin Convention (LatCon) to be judged for artistic merit. The Communications Coordinator, John Lusk, is over the club’s advertising and t-shirt design. For LatCon every school creates its own school t-shirt based on the theme of that year’s LatCon (2014 theme: “Ab Urbe Condita”, “From the Founding of the City”) and presents them to be judged at the convention. The Vice President Rebecca Thompson has perhaps the most important job of all four officials. It is her job to plan the events and parties for the club. I hold the final position as president. Despite the important sounding title, my job is only as a mediator between the sponsors (Mrs. Beck and Mr. Knowles) and the officers. I also lead the meetings.

The club is only in its first year, and there are always bugs to work out, but the Westminster Junior Classical League has serious potential. With a little luck and some hard work, that potential can be actualized, establishing a tradition of excellence in the study of Latin for generations to come.

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