JCL: Games, Fashion, and Fun

Mercy’s Junior Classical League (JCL) recently attended the Michigan JCL spring convention where they were joined by students from University of Detroit Jesuit, Brother Rice, and home-schooled students for a day of Roman style games, fashion shows and food.

During the convention, two speakers talked to students about the Latin culture. Collegiate professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan Dr. Ruth Scodel spoke to students about the Roman history and culture. Associate professor at the University of Windsor Dr. Max Nelson teaches numerous classes including Roman Civilization, Society, and Latin. At the convention, he spoke to students about ancient Roman theatre and movies.

Listening to speakers was just one of the many activities students were able to enjoy at the convention. Students had the opportunity to participate in the “olympika” games—an event similar to the Olympic Games held in ancient Rome. Students were divided into teams, which they worked with throughout the games. The olympika games consisted of four different games modeled after the ancient Roman games. The first game was the arachnid crawl, similar to the crab-walk, in which one person from each team raced to see who could crawl the fastest in crab-walk style.

Next, the myth-tale relay involved four players from different schools acting like a mythological creature. In the discus throw, students threw Frisbees to see who could reach the target closest. Another competition, the mummy-wrap, involved a student wrapping their partner in tissue paper, trying to finish faster than their opponents.

“I love Latin,” said Junior Jensen Pecora, “and at the convention, [we get] to eat great food, play games, and learn things about the Latin culture.”

Students also participated in a fashion show, where they picked a mythological story and dressed similar to the characters in it. Students were judged based on creativity and authenticity.

“It was really fun,” said junior Alexis Verderbar.“It was an all-day event and time well spent.”

There are two chapters of the Junior Classical league (JCL), state and local. Pecora was recently elected president of the Michigan chapter of the JCL, and currently serves on the quinaria board at Mercy High School which is modeled after the ancient Roman government, where five people were elected leaders, but each held the same amount of power.