By ANUSH SWAMINATHAN, sophomore
Salvete discipuli — hello students! For those of you surprised, Latin is still alive and kicking — proof of which was found on May 12. A highly anticipated event by Ms. Rose’s Latin students, the annual Latin State Convention is a gathering place for students and enthusiasts alike. The timeless phrase veni, vidi, vici comes to mind, as JP Stevens went, saw, and conquered.
The morning began with speeches by the Consul and other officials of the New Jersey Junior Classical League, preceded by a demonstration of each school’s spirit through cheers, chants, and dances. The JP Stevens students came prepared with a flagstaff and their very own chants, showcasing the enormous amount of school spirit the students contained, earning them third place overall in the spirit competition.
Once the commencement speeches ended and the first “General Assembly” adjourned, the next four hours were filled with academic and athletic events which stimulated the nerves of all the participants. The academic competitions took place in the morning with exams subjects, ranging from Roman Mythology to grammar. JP Stevens students received two second place awards and a third place mention in Roman History 9th and below, Roman History 10th to 12th grade, and Roman Life 10th to 12th grade, respectively. Talent and perseverance added up to a winning combination, which proved to be the case for the school team. The will of the JP Stevens students is clearly shown in the declaration by sophomore Simran Chahal, “Though daunting at first, the written contests were a great way for us to assess the amount of knowledge we had, from subjects as simple as vocabulary to broader topics such as Roman history and Roman life. The convention gave us a chance to compete with Latin students from many other schools and to see how we individually ranked.”
The athletic events saw the students change personality from studious to daredevilish, as teams faced off in volleyball, tug-of-war, and chariot racing. In volleyball, two JP Stevens teams competed, one of which ultimately reigned supreme and won the bracket to become volleyball champions of the Convention. The JP Stevens students, however, were more excited at the prospect of having more fun throughout the rest of the day. As sophomore Whitney Wantong stated, “Not only did I learn from the Latin convention, but I also had a ton of fun being with my friends and participating in events such as the chariot-racing, volleyball, and the spirit competition.”
The artistic events held at the Convention consisted of impromptu art, in which JP Stevens students emerged with multiple second place finishes and, even more importantly, a demonstration of their creative capabilities. On the political front, several JP students ran for the prestigious offices of pro-consul and historian, among others. Each candidate delivered intelligent, passionate speeches (or, in the case of junior Josh Anes, a rap), but the caucus voted to elect other officials for their respective positions. Finally, the day was topped off with a chariot race, and despite a poor start, the JP Stevens team finished strong with a second place finish.
This Convention was truly an enjoyable experience that tested the mental and physical abilities of all those involved, ensuring that all participants returned home satisfied. As sophomore Vijay Ishwar exclaimed, “The Latin convention was an overall success and we won many competitions. I can’t wait for next year!” Despite the multiple awards that the JP students garnered, their motto was, and will always be “laurifer erant valde, tamen iter itineris erant vel maioribus” — the victories were great, but the journey was even greater!