Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Keeping the Spirit

The Virginia delegation heading to the National Junior Classical League's annual convention in Fargo, North Dakota, in a few short weeks is carrying with it, in their minds' eye, a large, shiny number "8". Virginia, as a large delegation, has won the spirit competition at this week-long event for seven years in a row. They have out-cheered, out-shouted, out-danced, and out-costumed all the other delegations in their division. Their rivals, as I understand, are Florida and Texas.

Leading the cheers at the NJCL Convention in 2009.

To win this award for the eighth year has become an unquestionable expectation, a self-imposed requirement, if you will. Planning for this event began back in February, and the details have been revisited, on occasion, every month since. The frenzy of preparation began this week at the inaugural "Spirit Castra" held at our Riverbend High School here in Fredericksburg. For four days out of their summer slumber, a few Latin students from around the state, some coming more than an hour away, have gathered to draw, paint, cut, glue, shout, jump, and cheer... all in the name of Virginia, but more impressively, in the name of Latin and the classics!

The Virginia delegation shows their spirit in 2009.

These students who choose to attend the annual Latin convention, and those who plot and plan to cheer on the name of Latin, are unabashed lovers of the Latin and the ancient world, and our students here in Virginia want to shout it out louder than all others!

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