Torch: U.S. Volume LXIV Spring 2015 - Page 3



VOICES · Torch:U.S. · Spring, 2015

JCL Convention Season

“JCL Convention Season,” as I like to call it, has officially begun, and it fills the air with tingling excitement. There is no doubt that this is my most favorite time of the year—even as temperatures outside stay cool, seeing states’ convention photos sprinkled throughout social media and thinking about National Convention which lies not too far ahead never fail to warm my spirit.

The National Junior Classical League has undergone nearly eight decades of “Convention Season.” Since 1936, we have carried the "torch of classical civilization" through its singular ability to create lifelong friendships and memories. As I discuss the prospects of this season’s state conventions with respective state presidents through a National-State Officer mentorship, I am being constantly reminded of why I fell in love with the classics and the JCL in the first place; the buzz surrounding conventions this year never fails to take me back to a few years ago when I attended my first-ever Regional and State Conventions. Being in an auditorium with hundreds of cheering enthusiasts of Greco-Roman antiquity who had the same level of passion for the classics as I did instantly made me fall in love. Since then, my enthusiasm for the organization which has helped me become a better student, leader, and friend has only grown.

As this year and “Convention Season” roll off to a start, I encourage you to boldly seize all opportunities, JCL-related and beyond, while staying strong through whatever difficulties you may face. While temperatures begin to rise and assignments continue to pile up, it is only by firming our resolve that we can look back on stressful times with pride, knowing that we made it through to the best of our ability. After all, Aeneas did remark, “Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.” Try that test you’ve always wanted to take at convention, embark on a never-before-heard-of service project, approach that awesome JCLer you’ve always wanted to meet at state convention. Do not let anything inhibit your aspirations.

I look forward to continue witnessing and taking part in all the activities and efforts you put forth in the name of the classics, and I cannot wait to see you all this summer at Trinity University.


Ruiqi He

2014-2015 NJCL President

Spring Cleaning

Whether you have carved out a home in the enveloping warmth of Southern California or the permafrost wilderness of Northern Massachusetts, the time has come around for spring cleaning. Here on the NJCL Board, we’ve been doing some revamping of our own with the membership and promotional video contests. With your suggestions taken into account, both of these competitions have been altered to reflect the myriad of projects you undertake for the Junior Classical League. The membership contest now includes a new category, “Best Use of Social Media,” which encourages every state to establish itself on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. With your participation, we can permeate newsfeeds from around the nation with our toga days and gladiatorial combats. Programs throughout the nation are being phased out swiftly, but with your drive and passion, we will be able to offer classics programs the chance to thrive.

The promotional video contest has seen a comparatively dramatic upheaval in its rules. What was formerly a one-category competition now includes five distinct subsections that accommodate nearly any JCL/classics related video. They are (1) promotion of classical studies, (2) promotion of NJCL convention, (3) promotion of state/regional convention, (4) video about a mythological/historical story, and (5) best vine. While the deadlines for both are in mid-June, submissions have already started pouring in. For more information, check out

While it may only be April, National Classics Week is hurtling toward us at a steady pace, and preparations have already begun. This year’s theme is Seven Days, Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. I encourage all First Vice Presidents to send in their proclamation requests soon. The acquisition documents can be found on the website and will facilitate the process tremendously. The official packet, containing information, press releases, promotional posters, service and publicity projects, and everything else, will be released shortly.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm and for contributing to the enduring nature of the classics in your communities and schools. We look forward to seeing you at convention this year!

Ex imo corde,

Maya Nandakumar

2014-2015 NJCL 1st Vice President

Keep the #JCLSpirit Going

Thanks to you, our organization has performed more service activities than ever before, ranging from runs to raise awareness of suicide prevention to reading the works of Sallust and Suentonius to the elderly. The Club of the Month program has never seen this many submissions, and that is because of you. It is because of your hard work and dedication to this organization that we have been able to spread the light of the Junior Classical League. I am honored to work for you and have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far as NJCL Second Vice President.

Let’s keep this dedication to service and spirit going! I have created the NJCL Spirit Themes for the 2015 Convention, and look forward to seeing what crazy props and inspired posters you create. Additionally, I want to see the spirit at your local or state