Midlo Latin Club thrives under COVID-19 restrictions

Midlothian Latin Club Meetings

Photo by: Nicole Quiram
Attendees at Midlothian Latin Club’s Street Certamen give virtual Roman Numeral high fives to each other.

With COVID-19 restrictions, school clubs have had to change their approach in regards to how they conduct meetings, often having to hold them using an online platform. Midlo’s Latin Club, under the leadership of Ms. Amy Petersen, Ms. Lillianna Izo and its student officers, has learned to embrace these restrictions by planning unique meetings. Senior Taylor Bennett, one of the club’s co-Presidents, stated the restrictions were “a setback when organizing activities, but I am overall incredibly impressed with the competence and resilience of the club and its officers.” Despite the challenges of this year, the Latin Club has been able to congregate students virtually, allowing them an opportunity for socialization and fun.

The club started off in September with officer elections and planning so that the club could prepare engaging activities for its members. Sponsor Ms. Amy Petersen noted that she was “impressed with how quickly and enthusiastically the Latin Club officers transitioned to hosting events virtually” given the “long list of creative ideas from which [the leaders] chose a monthly activity.” In October, the club hosted a Latin Pictionary event where students drew either a historic Latin individual, place or object on a virtual whiteboard. Students from different Latin levels took part, placing their guesses in the chat to earn their own chance to draw. The club then shifted focus in November to prepare for and attend a virtual Virginia Junior Classical League Convention. Members competed against other Classics students in Virginia by taking tests, submitting crafts and recording media to submit, such as them telling a story in Latin. Students were also able to attend Discamus sessions to learn about different Classics related topics. The club returned to its normal monthly meetings back in December with a Roman Holiday Mad Libs themed event. A perk of holding meetings online, Latin students from across the county received an invitation to participate. Here, junior Madison Pugh, the Club’s virtual event chair, carried out her officer duties by writing “5-6 Mad Libs and them sent them to Ms. Petersen to check” before everyone arrived to make the process as smooth as possible.

To celebrate the New Year, the club hosted an “Ars Gratia Artis” themed meeting, which translates to “Art for the Sake of Art.” The club used this opportunity to divide an image of the Roman god Ianus into sections, then assigned them to each student. Club members, including ones from other Chesterfield County Schools, drew their section of the image and held it up to the screen, allowing for a collective screenshot to be taken at the end to show off their impressive work. Junior Niral Saravanan, one of the club’s co-First Vice Presidents, stated that this was her favorite meeting since “it was cool to see all of our art pieces come together in one collaborative work.” In February, the club hosted Street Certamen, inviting other schools to join in as well. The Sponsors posed Latin-related questions to the attendees, who were then split up into several teams. Students received points from answering the questions correctly or by contributing a funny comment. This meeting was full of laughs, as the Sponsors went with the flow, making up the rules as they went along.

Recently, Latin students had the opportunity to take the National Latin Exam online. To help prepare students for this test, the club hosted a Kahoot study session during a Midlo Morning in March. With the exam completed, the club hopes to host an outdoor scavenger hunt at Mid-Lothian Mines Park to celebrate National Classics Week in the month of April. Ms. Petersen also wishes to continue the virtual meetings to some degree in the future as they are a good way to “involve students at other schools” without the extra coordination of transportation. Despite the hardships accompanying the 2020-2021 school year, it is safe to say that Latin Club has made the most of the unprecedented situation.