This weekend I found a loophole in the social hierarchy of high school at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus, Ohio.
It was at this hotel that the 66th annual Ohio Junior Classics League (OJCL) Latin Convention was held for Latin students from all 4 corners of Ohio.
You’re probably thinking that everyone in Mariemont Latin Club is a total nerd for attending such an event, but honestly, you have no idea.
When we arrived at the first General Assembly, I kept asking myself “What am I missing?” Every student outside of Mariemont seemed like they were losing their minds. Dressed in matching costumes, faces painted, yelling their heads off, holding signs that said phrases like “HELL IS REAL,” they really were very intimidating to a school like Mariemont who wouldn’t be caught dead cheering during convention.
It seemed like the more into Latin and being totally ridiculous you were, the more you were accepted into the crowd. Most Mariemont students stuck out like a sore thumb.
For those who don’t even know what I mean by Latin Convention, here’s a little run down of what we do:
A lot of listening. The true purpose of Latin Convention is electing officials to represent and run the OJCL, which is the organization that keeps Latin alive in academics throughout the country. So, there is a ton of speeches, campaigning, and results that we all are required to pay attention to.
A lot of testing. Latin Convention is a competition of points between schools, and one of the best ways to earn points is through tests given everyday. The tests cover a wide range of topics, such as mythology, grammar, Roman history, and reading comprehension. How seriously you take these tests is definitely up to you.
A TON of eating. Seriously. There were very few moments during Latin Convention that I wasn’t eating. You just eat. Food is everywhere.
A lot of acceptance. Convention seems to be the place for a lot of students to spread their wings and fly. It might be obliviously embarrassing that they are wearing ancient dress and screaming spirit at the top of their lungs, but that’s what we’re all here to do. You just gotta accept how painful it might be to watch.
Latin Convention really is fun, depending on how you look at it. Being from Mariemont can definitely make you feel like you’re watching an inside joke you’re not a part of all weekend, but that just allows us to bond further as a club.
If you’re ever considering attending Latin Convention, absolutely do it. You get to meet people you would never meet, see people acting in ways you could never imagine, and expand your understanding of what kids are doing outside of Mariemont.