Latin linguists bring title to Madeira – good publicity for Latin

Perhaps we need inter-school competitions as well as the CICERO competition, so that schools that do well can spread the word in their local papers. Notice that ther teacher in this winning school talked Latin from lesson one.
Cincinnati Community Press and Recorder

Latin linguists bring title to Madeira

BY ERIC BRADLEY | EBRADLEY@COMMUNITYPRESS.COM

MADEIRA – Latin is alive and well at Madeira High School, and now they have the trophy to prove it.

Fifty-five members of the Latin Club traveled to Columbus in early March to compete in – and win – the 58th annual Ohio Junior Classical League State Convention.

It was the team's first victory in 17 trips to the state competition, which this year attracted about 700 students.

When the second-place winner was announced, the Madeira students knew they had finally done it and erupted into spontaneous cheers.

“I've never heard a sound that loud,” said student Tori Neuman.

Teams at the state convention are tested on a battery of Latin knowledge, including language skills and history.

Students are also rated on theme-based creative endeavors such as an audio/visual display and a skit.

This year's theme was “Humanius est deridere vitam quam deplorare” – a Latin aphorism by Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger meaning, “It is better to laugh at life than to cry about it.”

Though Latin is a “dead” language and not often used except in academia and in religion, that hasn't swayed these students from passionately pursuing their studies.

David Kunkel pointed out that many of the words we use and much of Western civilization are based on Latin Roman civilization.

“I think it's interesting to see the culture and seeing how things our society is based on were started back then,” he said.

Students credit the passion and joy their teacher Kay Fluharty has for the language as among the reasons they are successful and continue their studies.

Many of her students have been with her for five years.

Said Karen Bullock, “From day one in eighth grade, she comes in and starts speaking Latin.”

“We thought, 'What are you talking about?'”

Fluharty says she is serious about Latin, but gives the credit to the students who, after all, spend untold hours working at non-required competitions.

“I'm so proud of them,” Fluharty said.

“Are you kidding?”

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