LAKE MICHIGAN REGION
Here in the Great Lakes region the year 1999-2000 has been marked by a variety of activities at both the college and high school levels, and marred by no overwhelming problems. The current officers are: regional VP Michele Valerie Ronnick (Wayne State), Illinois VP Vicki Wine (Black Hawk College), Indiana VP, Martha J. Payne (Ball State), and Michigan VP Mark F. Williams (Calvin College). Vicki Wine and Mark Williams are beginning their terms and we are glad to have them. The regional VP attended the NCLG meeting at the ACL meeting in Amherst, Massachusetts, 1999 as Vice-Chair of the NCLG. She was unable to attend the NCLG meeting at the 1999 APA meeting in Dallas due to conflicting appointments. The region continues to enjoy the benefits of CPL funding. Several new CPL projects are in the works for members in Indiana and in Michigan.
Vicki Wine, CAMWS Vice President for Illinois, reports that the Illinois Classical Conference continues to support a robust scope of activities. The 7th annual Latin pedagogy workshop was held for four days in July at National-Louis University in Evanston. The annual conference met in October, hosted by the University of Illinois at Champaign, with a varied and engaging program. Latin contest, JCL, Classics Day, Certamen League, and scholarship awards continue to be popular and growing events. A Senior Classical League has been established with six students. Thirteen students received a trophy for having reached the State Latin finals for the fourth year in a row. The Chicago Public Schools Latin Olympics hosted at the University of Illinois at Chicago are scheduled again for March. One concern being addressed is the incorporation of newer and younger members into the committee work.
The ICC newsletter, the AUGUR, reports on meetings, activities, job openings, and other opportunities and news. Two major issues concerning IJCL were brought to the membership of ICC. Tom Sienkewicz, through his presence on two State Board of Education committees on foreign language goals and standards, keeps the ICC membership informed of serious issues for high school Latin teachers.
Frances Newman, the current ICC president and Latin Teacher at University High School, Urbana, was nominated by an outstanding student as her most influential teacher (reported in Fall '99 CAMWS newsletter). Lou and Marie Bolchazy were honored with an ovatio at CAMWS '99. Three Illinois students were recognized with 1999 CAMWS School Awards for their performance on the Latin Translation Examination.
Black Hawk College, a community college in Moline, has received state approval for implementation of Latin 101 and 102, beginning in Fall 2000. This will be the first time Latin has been offered at the school for 40 or 50 years. A part-time teacher in the English department with a background in Latin was interviewed and asked to teach the course. Threats to high school Latin programs continue but have met with strong resistance. Letters written by ICC members and concerned public saved the Latin program at York High School from being cut. An administrative plan by Monmouth High School to begin to phase out the Latin courses, met with strong resistance by the community and parents and Latin I was saved, at least for the present school year. Under the aegis of the high school Latin club, the community organized a very successful Classics Bee taken by all 5th-8th graders in the city and prospects for the continuation of Latin in Monmouth are more hopeful. A rumor that Galesburg High School will no longer offer Latin when the current teacher retires this year because of the difficulty of finding a replacement teacher has also inspired letters voicing concern.
The Chicago Classical Club continues its offering of fellowship at lunch and speakers three times a year. Loyola University also continues to offer an assortment of speakers. Augustana College is offering its web-based contest again this year. Monmouth College continues a strong presence with Classical offerings including the annual Bernice L. Fox Classics Writing Contest for high school students, fifteenth annual Fox Lecture, the initiation of an AIA charter with a dinner in March, and a persona presentation by B. F. Barcio in March. The last event was held in tandem with a CPL-sponsored appearances at Monmouth High School and a feeder junior high school. The Monmouth College Latin students attended the Eta Sigma Phi convention in April in Georgia, gave a bi-lingual performance of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at JCL in February, and are selling "Habesne latinam?" T-shirts. Both Augustana and Monmouth College advertised Classics scholarship opportunities in the ICC newsletter.
Martha J. Payne, Vice-President for Indiana, reports that the Indiana Classical Conference met in the fall together with the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers' Association in November. No Spring meeting is scheduled this year. The ICC has been approved to promote the study of the Classics at the fall conference of the Indiana School Boards Association and members are brainstorming about ideas of things to distribute/display.
In cooperation with Pompeiiana, Inc., the ICC Resource Center VII sponsored a successful Latin Day for 600 secondary school Latin students and their teachers at Butler University on Tuesday, October 19, 1999. The program, entitled "Latin Fun with Song, Historical Soap Opera and Jeopardy!", included two presenters from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Prof. Robert Griffin led a "Cantemus Latine" session and Prof. Paul Maier spoke on "The First Century Caesars: A Roman Soap Opera." A ten-school Jeopardy Contest was emceed by Bill Gilmartin and his Latin students from Ben Davis H.S. in Indianapolis.
Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis had a participant in the University of Dallas Summer Program in Rome. The school has also started a translation course entitled Great Epics. It is an interdisciplinary look at the Odyssey, Aeneid, Inferno and Paradise Lost.
Judy Grebe of Mount Vernon Senior High School, received a CPL grant to partially offset costs of a Latin persona performance in the context of a recruitment program for eight grade students.
The Muncie Central High School Latin program is building stronger contacts with the Classics program at Ball State. Dr. Chris Shea gave a lecture on the VRoma project to Latin students. In addition, the Latin Club will hold a Roman Banquet along with the Ball State chapter of the Classics' honorary society Eta Sigma Phi. Some 81 students will take the National Latin Exam, and many are planning to take the National Mythology Exam.
Two Indiana High School Latin Programs are in jeopardy. Administrators at the Reitz High School are planning to drop the first year Latin class. This Latin program was only recently reinstated. At Boonville there have been no applicants to replace a retiring teacher. Unless a Latin teacher can be found, Latin may be dropped and replaced with French.
Classics Programs in Indiana Colleges and Universities are thriving. Purdue University is preparing to add a Latin major and minor to its new interdisciplinary Classics major and minor. If all goes well a Latin major will be in place by Fall, 2000. In addition there are plans for nine new undergraduate reading courses in Latin authors and genres.
Wabash College reports five graduating majors this year. There are over 30 students in Latin 1, and Latin 2 now is doing well. A worrisome trend is developing at Wabash. The college had the smallest number in memory taking the Latin placement exam in the Fall. The instructors do not know how to interpret this yet. Latin is supposed to be on the increase in high schools, but this low turn out seems opposed to that trend. Twelve students took Greek in the Fall and eleven are continuing. Wabash sponsored several visiting lectures this year, including Jerome Pollitt on the Parthenon, Hal Haskell on the Trojan War and Archaeology, Tim Gregory on Iconoclasm and settlement patterns, and Jim Franklin on a Roman art and archaeology class.
Indiana/Purdue University at Indianapolis will be offering a 2-week intensive 3 credit course on Myth and History in Roman Art. Designed for teachers and advanced students, this course examines recent research in the field of Roman iconography, focusing on the presentation of historical and mythological subjects in Roman art and their meaning in the broader context of ancient Roman culture.
Indiana University is sponsoring a free colloquium entitled "Social Mutability: Situational Roles in Roman Imperial Culture" The speakers include: Susanna Braund, Royal Holloway University of London; William Fitzgerald, University of California, Berkeley and San Diego; Eve D'Ambra, Vassar College; Victoria Pagan, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Andrew Riggsby, University of Texas at Austin; James Franklin, Indiana University; and Eleanor Winsor Leach, Indiana University. Information about Indiana University's Interdepartmental graduate program in Mythology Studies and Minor in Mythology Studies can be obtained on the web at (http://www.indiana.edu/iub/~myth). Enrollments in Classics, Latin and Greek at IU at healthy (Fall, 1999: 1,215; Spring, 2000: 1,254). Professors Kevin Glowacki and Nancy Klein will offer a summer program in Athens through the College Year in Athens. The course will be an intensive on-site survey of the art and archaeology of Athens from prehistoric through Roman times and will carry three IU credits in 300-level Classics course, The Ancient City of Athens.
Finally, Indiana Classicists are eager to welcome to the Hoosier state James Reubel a classicist from Iowa, who has been appointed the new Dean of the Honors College at Ball State University.
Mark F. Williams, Vice President for Michigan, reports that his state is happy to learn about fellow Michigander Eunice Kraft's generous bequest to CAMWS. High school Latin programs remained strong in Michigan in 1999; the only problem looming on the horizon is the probability of several key retirements over the next few years. The evidence of Latin's popularity consists mainly of pleas from teachers in firmly established programs for part-time teachers to take over extra sections of lower-level courses. On the college level, established programs either maintained or added to their numbers of majors. The best news of the year was the establishment of a new department of classics at Grand Valley State University (Allendale), which is now home to three full-time colleagues. The University of Michigan has now added a staff position with a mandate to increase student interest in the classics at the undergraduate level. Student interest at Hillsdale College seems to be booming, with over 40 declared majors in Latin and/or Greek on a campus of around 1200 students.
The Michigan Classical Conference, the prime meeting ground for collegiate and secondary teachers of the classics, held two successful meetings in 1999 (including a joint meeting with the Michigan Foreign Languages Association in October). The organization has also seen a slight membership increase; attendees at the fall meeting also showed great interest in the reduced membership rates for CAMWS (hint, hint). As noted above, CAMWS members in Michigan must be careful to anticipate retirements and other threats to existing programs. In addition to these "defensive" measures, creative ways must be sought to channel parental enthusiasm for Latin, which is high in some school districts, into enrollments in the schools. A particular challenge in western Michigan is the rise of charter schools and the growing popularity of home schooling; rather than writing off these forms of education, which are sometimes hotbeds of parental enthusiasm for Latin (indeed, one charter school bills itself as a "classical academy" offering Latin instruction as early as the fourth grade), Michigan classicists should find ways of working creatively with them to foster knowledge of and excitement for the classics on the part of their students. The completion of Pennell Ross' survey (see below) will aid tremendously in this effort.
Several events were held in Michigan throughout the year to promote Latin and Classical studies. The fall meeting of the Michigan JCL was hosted by Latin teacher Nick Young at University of Detroit Jesuit High in November. It was well attended and professors from various schools spoke. The Detroit Institute of Art and its affiliated subgroups, The Antiquaries and the Detroit Classical Association, continue to sponsor a series of AIA lectures. The day of Latin games and contests, the Ludi XVI sponsored by the Detroit Classical Association will be held on April 8 in Detroit. Similar activities, the Ludi Occidentales VI, in western Michigan will be hosted by Professors Robert Griffin and Rand Johnson at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Ten area high schools are planning to participate. Speakers of national and international status presented a number of talks throughout the state at various campuses including the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Wayne State, Michigan State and Calvin College.
Several Michigan classicists have enjoyed the benefits of grants from the CPL: Michaela Sampson received a grant to help offset the costs of taking her inner-city Latin students to the state JCL meeting, Michele Valerie Ronnick received a grant for the production of classically themed calendars, and Deborah Pennell Ross also received funding for a much-needed survey of secondary school programs in Latin state-wide.