The weather has been mostly mild and pleasant this year in the Northern Plains, and what there is to report on the Latin and Greek front is mostly mild and pleasant as well. While cooperative Classics ventures involving all four states in this region are yet to materialize (and perhaps never will), energetic efforts are being made within the borders of each state to promote the study of Latin, Greek, and the ancient and medieval worlds.

At least one high-school Latin program in the region has been lost: Eden Prairie High School, in a suburb of Minneapolis, has decided to drop Latin (introduced in 1997) in favor of Asian languages. Filling Latin teaching positions, particularly in the public schools, remains a problem in this region, but Wisconsin did certify two Latin teachers in 2001, and two more will be certified in 2002. Two new students at the University of

Wisconsin have expressed interest in Latin secondary education. Dan Erickson at the

University of North Dakota hopes to have his Latin licensure program conditionally approved by May.

In South Dakota Latin is still being taught at Pierre High School, where Jay Mickelson holds an annual Roman banquet, and at Washington High School in Sioux Falls. Good enrollments in Latin are being maintained at the University of South Dakota. Claudia, a weaver of the time of Constantine, continues to journey to schools in southeastern South Dakota, courtesy of her friend, State Vice-President Judith Sebesta.

As State Vice-President Vicky Pagan puts it, "CPL funds have been pouring into the Dairy State this year"! CPL supported Fr. Reginald Foster's discussions with the Wisconsin Latin Teachers Association (WLTA) in Madison on Aug. 7, 2001. The $300 grant paid for his honorarium and travel from Milwaukee and "supplied ample refreshments on a really hot day." A $200 grant (from last year's CPL budget) offset travel costs for Prof. Barbara McManus, who demonstrated the V-Roma project at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers in Appleton last November. A $400 grant helped pay for Prof. Michele Ronnick's visit to Madison during Black History Month (February, 2002); she spoke about the achievements of Afro-American Classicists. Last but not least, yet another $400 grant from CPL will cover the cost of renting the Orpheum Theater in Madison on April 25, 2002, for a performance by Legio XIIII, with an expected audience of 200 high-school Latin students. Thank you, CPL!

In January Wisconsin's Junior Classical League (WJCL) sponsored its largest convention ever, with a record 299 delegates in attendance. JCL continues to thrive in North Dakota too, with three chapters and 89 members, many of whom attended the NJCL convention in New Orleans last summer. State Vice-President David Volk single-handedly keeps that whole show running.

Father Foster came to Minnesota on Aug. 4 and kept the large audience gathered at Macalester College mesmerized from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the day concluded with a reception and a Latin Mass. The Classical Association of Minnesota (CAM) met for its annual meeting on October 27, once again at the headquarters of the Minnesota Humanities Commission (MHC) in St. Paul. The 2001 CAM meeting coincided with an MHC-sponsored institute for K-12 humanities teachers, "Art in the Ancient Mediterranean," led by Caroline Nicholson. The CAM program featured an illustrated talk by Prof. Natalie Kampen (Barnard College) on "Seeing Aphrodite: Gendered Audiences for the Aphrodite of Knidos" and a panel discussion on "Religion and Classical Literature" (with Philip Sellew from the University of Minnesota and Larry

Alderink from Concordia College-Moorhead). Dennis Rayl, State Vice-President, received CAM's annual Latin Teaching Award. Congratulations, Dennis!

CAM sponsors an annual certamen (being held this year on March 16) in the southeastern corner of the state and awards a Barnes & Noble gift certificate to any Minnesota Latin student who scores a 39 or 40 on the National Latin Exam (NLE). Dennis Rayl started a tradition last year of sending a congratulatory letter to every Minnesota winner of a gold medal in the NLE competition, encouraging that student to consider taking more Latin (and Greek) in college and perhaps even making a career out of Latin teaching. The new CAM president, Anne Groton, has plans to redesign the annual meeting so that it includes, besides a lecture by a distinguished guest speaker, one or two student papers (with prizes offered for those selected), workshops for K-12 Latin teachers, and time for reports from all the schools and colleges represented at the meeting. CAM is also toying with a clever idea hatched by Christopher Nappa (University of Minnesota) to send out a 1- or 2-page newsletter periodically to all K-12 Latin students in the state; it would contain puzzles, games, and contests, short articles contributed by teachers and students, and news of upcoming Classics events in the state.

The award for the most exciting new Latin undertaking in the Northern Plains goes this year to Classicists Nita Krevans and Oliver Nicholson of the University of Minnesota, who have become actively involved in the university's College in the Schools (CiS) program: high-school teachers offer university-level courses on site in their own high schools, and their pupils receive both school and university credit. Ellen Sassenberg at Rochester Mayo High School (whose Latin program was saved with the help of a CPL letter-writing campaign a year ago) has served as a guinea pig for the Latin version of the CiS program this year. She taught Latin 3113 (Caesar-Catullus-Cicero) last fall under the guidance of Nita and Oliver, who both went the extra mile by giving guest lectures at the high school and organizing a one-day workshop for the benefit of Ellen and other

K-12 Latin teachers in Minnesota. So far, the reviews have all been glowing.

 This material was posted on the web by CPL Chair, Tom Sienkewicz, at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

Return to CPL Webpage
Return to CAMWS Homepage