As a freshman entering high school in San Anselmo, California, I faced a requirement of one year of Latin, you know, the dead language, the language I’d only ever heard in Mass. Rather daunting, but not nearly as scary as the teacher, Sister Edwin. ( I never could get past that name…) I can remember the first verb I learned was love: amo, amas, amat…and then all the vocab that unlocked secrets of the English language. I fulfilled my requirement, finding it enjoyable, but then moved on to French. To this day, it still helps me out at crossword puzzles and scrabble…But there are five kids from Montclair High I wouldn’t want to compete against in any word game: Kristen Goodsell, Marielle Higgins, Evy Cruz, Ryan Rossner and Quinn Schiller are the five Latin scholars, led by prof JoAnne Manse, who recently brought home first prize from an annual statewide competition in Princeton. From the BOE website:
Manse, who is the chair of the World Language Department at MHS, has good reason to be proud. Her students are all classmates in the highest Latin class the district offers, AP Latin V, and have been hard at work mastering the language since middle school.
On competition day, Manse‚Äôs scholars wore bright red t-shirts emblazoned with their motto, Alea iacta est, which literally translated means ‚Äúthe die is cast‚Äù ‚Äî or in Manse‚Äôs words, ‚Äú‚ÄòThe fates are in my favor‚Äô: attitude is all.‚Äù The college-bowl style contest consists of three rounds of 20 questions each, with each student given just 30 seconds to answer ‚Äî in Latin. Since Latin is not a spoken language, the format alone is challenging for many young scholars.
Congratulations to the MHS team winners…wish I could remember how to say that in Latin.