The first Certamen** of the year is always a blast, and this year's proved no less, even for me, coming back as a graduate. (I, as is common, often say that an event or experience "makes my day" -- I had my day "made" on several occasions today. I will focus on 3 such encounters in this post.)
When I had read my sonnet and we had found the right Saint Stephen's Saint Agnes' campus, I "socialized with" (i.e. greeted) some fellow graduates before heading to the library to help Magister Chang do some final organizing for the day. Always my partner in crime, Woojin helped me read through Level I questions, making any last-minute changes as necessary, and discussing them with our fellow moderators. I never knew that such a painstaking process occurred just before the competition, in addition to the weeks and weeks that go in planning it ahead of time! As we read through the Level I rounds, Woojin and I got to see a bunch of our erst teachers and coaches, including Mr. Williams, Ms. Graham (felicem diem natalem tardum!), and Mr. Cavedo. Also in attendance were Ms. Smerke and the beautiful Whitney and Hailey! Though witty Whit wouldn't give me my hug, she gave "P is for Priya" an extra one to make up for it.
Reading questions (being on the other side of the table) was really, really fun. There was 1 team for whom I happened to be moderating for all 3 rounds. The first time my day was made was when, after the second round, 1 of the 4 boys (Alex) learned that he would be having me as a moderator again for the third round, and shouted "we love you!" as his team was settling in. I live for these moments.
Rushing to my finals round, I ran into Professor Jim Duffy of Randolph College. Professor Duffy is so supportive and exuberant it is unreal. We met at last year's Flint Hill Certamen, and he has always been so interested in my Latin career, as well as my education in general. It was great telling him a bit about my work and travel this year, as he was enthusiastic as always.
The round itself was very intense, and went into "double overtime" (a.k.a. 2 sets of tie-breakers). Thanks to Ms. Henricks and Mrs. Shearer for their support! After making a fool of myself by leaving the score sheets behind in room 207, I finally got to touch base with Mr. Chang again and let him know what a great day I'd had.
After dropping Christophe at his house, we arrived home, where I attempted to sleep for quite some time. When that didn't work, Papa, Nani, and I sat down to finish Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. What a film. The movie is about not waiting to do that thing you've always wanted to, not settling for that decision that seems most convenient or expedient, not fearing that adventure you've often dreamed of. Pretty standard "carpe diem" stuff, but it's presented really effectively. The subtitles were decent, and I'd recommend it to all my readers.
|You won't get to live twice.|
**Certamen can be mundanely described as a "Latin quiz bowl competition." But I hope you now understand that it means SO MUCH MORE.