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Diēs LXXXI et LXXXII: Convention is my Christmas.

The 21st and 22nd of November, 2011 were even more glee-full than I had imagined, and that's saying a lot. I won't be able to encapsulate all of the people seen, places gone, or happiness found -- so I'll hit some of the high points. (What am I saying? Latin Convention is just one big high point.)

To back up, the Virginia Junior Classical League Convention is a two-day event which hundreds of students from around the state attend to compete in academic and artistic competitions. But it's always more than that (see my essay "Latin is a lifestyle."). In middle school and all of high school, I was one of those crazy kids running around from event to event, cramming for tests in between taking tests and checking tests I'd already taken.

As a graduate, Convention is pretty different. But not that much. Senior Classical League members (SCLers) are always running, just for different (super-secret) reasons. The group is wonderfully warm and welcoming (to be expected from Latin kids) and it's really fun on the other side of things. (This is for all you kids who just attended your last Convention as a JCLer -- it gets better, believe it or not.)

For example, imagine Kenneson LoudLaugh Chen and Ratna Musella Gill, the infamously loud and crazy JCL duo, actually enforcing discipline during a test session.

Or Woojin and Ratna -- wait, our roles didn't really change: I annoyed my BFF and he got annoyed. I did enjoy helping him with his college homework and SCL campaign, though. Say "salve" to your new Senior Classical League Secretary/Treasurer, Woojin Kim!! (I'm proud.)

I of course can't run through a list of all the people who made Convention what it was, but I was especially lucky to be able to spend some real time with Jannah Babasa, my Certamen soulmate. We were roomies, and also got to run around together fetching coffee for people and (healthy!) lunch for ourselves. She is such an amazing supporter, both as a fan of me (of course) and as a role model for my sister! It was Jannah who was with me when we heard about the crazy awards Priya won this weekend, and she who was freaking out (even more than Priya's own sister) with excitement and pride.

Having had some soulful conversation with my soulmate this weekend, it was WILD to have her on our "Street Certamen" team!! Jannah Babasa, Patrick Sanguineti, and the Gill sisters -- a dream team if there ever was one. We ended up tying for first place with a team of Latin teachers, even though we girls left PSang stranded for the first two questions of the final round (nos paenitet, frater!).

I am so proud (and enamored) of my old VJCL officers board, and really looking forward to seeing the work of the amazing new one elected this weekend!

This is said about each and every Convention, and it's always the truth -- this one really was the best one yet.


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