By Kristian Jackson
I have always loved dressing up since I was a little girl, whether I was stealing my mom and dad’s clothes to play dress up, or dragging my mom through Party City to pick out the perfect costume for Halloween. As I got older, I found myself making more complex Halloween costumes and piecing together my own unique costumes. When I was around 10 years old, I discovered Comic Con and pop culture conventions, and fell down the rabbit hole of “cosplay”. I would always try to catch the San Diego Comic Con specials the G4 and SyFy Networks would host. My favorite TV shows growing up became Heroes of Cosplay, Face Off, Project Runway, I loved seeing people create clothes and characters! I also would start to watch Cosplay Music Video and watch Vlogs from different conventions, dreaming of one day going to San Diego Comic Con (I still have this dream to this day actually).
Finally when I turned 12 I made my very first cosplay, which was a vampire queen! I remember having a dark bluish purple dress made of a velvety material with black ribbons and accents to it. I had my own special fangs that fit to my teeth which I thought were the coolest thing ever I was also super into Twilight at this age also so that made me even more excited. I also had fake blood going down my face and did my own makeup to make myself look super pale with dark smoky eyes. My mom even bought me white and blue hair spray and we put white and blue streaks through my hair. I was so happy and from there I was hooked. My next costume I made was the Marvel Comics Character X-23, whose name is Laura Kinney. In short, she is a younger female clone of the hero Wolverine from the X-Men comics. She has claws like Wolverine but only has 2 instead of 3. I remember sitting down and going through hours of cosplay videos on YouTube on how to make the claws and ended up following one tutorial I found with my dad’s help. I was not allowed to operate power tools, probably until age 17 I think, but I just know my dad always assumed (and still does most likely) that I was going to cut my hand off or something like that. We got some craft wood and wires to make the claws similar to how the prop claws were made in the X-Men movies, and my dad let me paint them. He also helped me make my belt buckle and necklace that I painted, and my mom helped me make my gloves, choker, and took me thrifting for the rest of my costume.
It was at this point in my life that I wanted to pursue actually building a cosplay from head to toe like all of the people at conventions do, however I was always nervous being I did not know how to sew and did not understand things they used to make props. However, I joined Latin Club at Paxon this year and the wise Perkinator, Ms. Perkins, introduced me to the costume contests that were held in the creatives categories at forums. I then had the final spark in me to learn how to sew and under her many years of experience she helped me learn more skills. I still have my first fibula she showed me how to make out of wire and still peruse through the many costume and clothing books she recommended to me. I sewed my first costume, which was Calypso and my dad helped me build the raft, which for the costume was the raft she gives Odysseus to get off the island.
It was from this point I knew that I wanted to keep doing costumes. I would win 1st place at my Regional forum but only take 6th place at Florida state forum, being I did not follow rules for our note books (which was all on me). But the following year for Iphigenia I cracked down on my costumes big time! I would make a boat from the myth where she meets Orestes in Tauris and flees with him with the statue sacred to Artemis. The next year I made a chariot and did Hades and my final year I made another chariot for Tulia the Younger. The running joke I remember Ms. Perkins telling me is that in her costume stories she likes to tell her students that I would go down as “The Queen of Rolling Vessels” since all of my props were movable because I put them on wheels and pushed them through the convention halls.
It was always fun to try and take my props to state. I still remember my first chariot almost did not go being we could not get it through the back of the bus, but our bus driver gave us the idea to come through the side doors, turn the chariot on its side and carry it to the back, which was a job but it fit in the bus and I got it to state. My senior year was so emotional for me because that was the year I won 1st Place at States for my costume! I wanted to go to Nationals so bad, but I could not afford to go and I had no clue how I was going to get a chariot across the country.
In order at States I took 6th, 2nd, 3rd, then 1st Place, and I am so honored to have a teacher like Ms. Perkins to help teach me and keep me so excited about costumes. We would always dig through stories to find the weird and obscure myths so I could make unique costumes. She really was my biggest motivator to get more into costuming and for me to pursue cosplay as much as I do.
During this time also I was creating cosplays as well. I am going to include pictures of some of my bigger builds, but they include: Ravenger (DC Comics character with scale armor made of plastic spoons), Jasper (Steven Universe, my first go with body paint), My Original Grim Reaper, Sir Integra (an anime character from Hellsing, my first tailored suit and leather work), Ashi (Samurai Jack, my first head to toe build I sewed completely), Piranha Plant (Super Mario Bro, my first foam work and foam prop), Sindel (Mortal Kombat, my biggest cosplay to date, until I finish my next project, with my biggest weapon prop and first time working with LED lights). I am very proud of all of my costumes and I encourage anyone to cosplay. It is so fun to dress up like your favorite characters and to embody them. Even if its just for Halloween, give it a go! You do not have to know how to sew. You can go thrift shopping and piece and upcycle it together, or order clothes online. However you do it, just have fun with it!
As a side note, if you are interested in seeing any of my costumes and want to keep up with my work, I am on Instagram! My page is @Queen_of_Kings_Cosplays and you can see my projects I work on and the archive of all of my costumes!
By Mary Marshall
I had an advantage growing up in the world of JCL. My mother was a Warren Central Latin teacher, meaning I grew up surrounded by Latin and the Classics. Some of the first stories I ever heard about my childhood involve me running around calling for my vacca, which I was searching for among my farm animal toys. Many of the books I asked for in middle school were related to mythology. My fourth grade classmates were upset when they learned the Latin teacher was my mother, and therefore I had a few years head start over them. They also claimed I had an advantage because she would be easier on me, but as the Indiana JCL can tell you, being her daughter meant greater expectations and working harder. That is one of the things I'm most thankful for when it comes to the JCL; the engrained expectation of working hard and doing your very best in all parts of life. It was a blessing to be raised by my JCL family, who have heavily shaped who I've become.
Growing up, I was expected to attend the annual summer picnic before the bus trip to National Convention. I would always assist at the picnic any way I could, including being Tony Martin’s "table" by holding all the food for grilling - both before and after it was cooked. While my mother was a club leader and later an Indiana co-chair of JCL, it was often a joke that I was born specifically for JCL and was an IJCL legacy. I knew many of the leaders before high school, and before I walked into my very first State Convention at Indiana University in 2010. I was lucky to grow up among many of the NJCL Greats; Sharon Gibson, Tony Martin, Jeremy Walker, and Dennis Barlow. They have shaped who I am, especially through my high school and college careers. They were my mentors, and I knew I wanted to give back to their causes the way they gave to me. With their assistance, I held multiple offices at the state level throughout both of my academic careers, and continue to give back to the JCL - no matter how far away I may live. I love going back, not only to see the friends who have become family along the way, but also my cherished mentors.
While in college, I took numerous classes with classical themes. One such class was my honors college course, covering Dante’s Inferno. The class was taught by one of my mother’s former Latin teachers. It was fascinating. She frequently went off topic to teach us more about the Ancient Romans and their connections to current everyday life. She would go into intense detail about mythology and Roman history, thoroughly engaging all of us in the lesson. She never focused on just one small topic. While I didn’t pursue the classics or Latin as a career base, my degree of Criminology and Criminal Justice utilizes many basic ideas from Ancient Rome when it comes to crime and punishment. Latin also assisted in my classes that focused on law and the procedures therein. I also spent time teaching my classmates how to remember law terminology and the term's connections to Latin.
While the Classics were a larger part of my upbringing than it may now seem, I am beyond blessed to have met the people and have been a part of an ancient culture that has shaped nearly all facets of life. The Classics and community this club created has given me so much has been amazing, and I only hope I can return the favor. I love making the trips back home to Indiana to help the SCL with different JCL events, and assist Indiana’s co-chairs in any way possible. The Indiana JCL shaped my leadership skills, decision making, my level of independence, and trained me to think on my feet.
JCL and Latin will always have a very special place in my heart. I don’t necessarily use it everyday in my life, but I use it from time to time (especially in trivia competitions). I also have a plethora of pictures of amazing memories and friends, several Latin and Mythology books, and keepsakes from all sorts of conventions and events. I will always make time for this bright and beautiful part of my past, and hope to shape my future and the future of others with what I have learned from Latin and JCL. I am a proud JCL legacy, and am thankful for all the opportunities I was born into that allowed me to become the strong, service-driven woman I am today.
By Drew Alvarez
It honestly started off as a joke with some LSCL friends. “Man, I would be a great state chair.” Later that night it turned into a question.
“Man, could I be state chair?”
The thought had crossed my mind a few times in the past, but never stayed for long, but this time it was different for some reason. I had been kind of feeling like my time being super involved with LSCL was coming to an end as I was approaching two years removed from college, but I still wanted to be able to help out with LJCL wherever I could. I did the math in February and came to the realization that I have spent a solid half of my life involved with LJCL and that this upcoming state convention would be number 11. Can’t even count it on two hands anymore! And since I plan on attending grad school out-of-state soon and this is a two year commitment, it was really now or never.
State Chair seemed like the obvious next step for me. My degrees in Classics and Arts Administration (the business side of non-profits) fit perfectly for the job description and having previously served as both LJCL and LSCL president, I already have a good idea of the inner workings and behind the scene action of JCL. I think there’s a good chance I’m the first to complete the hat trick of LJCL president, LSCL president, and LJCL State Chair which is something I will brag about for years to come. I cannot wait to learn the ropes and continue to do my best to help out wherever I can for the next two years.
Another reason it felt like the perfect time, would be that my term coincides perfectly with the planning and hosting of the 2022 Nationals at University of Louisiana, Lafayette! As sad as I am for NJCL to be virtual again this summer, I am super excited that the next time we all meet in-person will be in Louisiana! I literally cannot wait to share some delicious cajun cuisine with all of my lovely NSCL friends while listening to some lively jazz music! What better place to party than Louisiana? As we say here in LA: Laissez les bons temps rouler! Or I guess in Latin that would be closer to, “sit bona tempora volvunt!” Can’t wait to show you what we have planned!
By Kristina Mihajlovic
I’m here to tell you about how my Classics education led me to my non-Classics career, linguistics. I decided to take Latin in high school, which was one of the best decisions I ever made because, like so many of you, it led to so many other wonderful experiences, opportunities, and relationships in my life (and I know it will continue to do so). Throughout high school, I was heavily involved in my local and state JCL chapters, and went to state and national conventions for all four years, under the excellent mentorship of my teachers, Jeremy Walker, Ryan Collier, and Sara Robertson. I was so in love with my experience with JCL that I made a decision to become a Latin teacher so that I could continue to share the Classics and the JCL with students of my own for the rest of my career, just as my amazing teachers had done for me.
When senior year came around, I applied to only one university: Indiana University (go Hoosiers!). IU Bloomington ticked off all my boxes: it was large and public and offered almost anything I could ever want to study, which at the time included Latin, Classics, languages, and history. I started college as a Latin major, but in my first semester, I also took a course titled “Language and Culture” because I knew that I liked languages (because I loved learning all about Latin, and my parents also spoke another language), and I also liked culture. I later learned that this course was an introduction to linguistic anthropology, or the study of human civilizations by use of linguistic - or language - methods. While I enjoyed the whole course, I was absolutely obsessed with all the linguistics. I knew I had to learn more about linguistics - the scientific study of language - and how it could be used to study humans and our world.
Within a year, I had declared my Linguistics minor, and within two years, my Linguistics major. I completed undergraduate research in a lab, and got funded to present both my research projects in Salt Lake City and Berlin (shoutout to the McNair Scholars Program!). At the same time, my Latin major became a Latin minor, and then a Classics minor, since I hadn’t taken enough Latin language courses to satisfy a Latin minor. I graduated college with a Bachelor’s in Linguistics, with minors in Classical Cultures and Literature, History, and Slavic Languages and Literatures. After graduation, I immediately moved to Tucson, Arizona to pursue a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Arizona.
I definitely use my Classics education everyday in my field of study. Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which means that we conduct peer-reviewed research by investigating critical questions all about language and its various components, e.g. about sounds (phonetics and phonology), words (morphology), phrases and sentences (syntax), and meaning and context (semantics and pragmatics), to name a few fields of study (there are certainly more!).
When I was learning Latin in high school, what I thought was an obsession with Latin was so much more than that: it was a love of languages and piecing together the puzzles of how language works. Without a doubt, I learned a lot about English language, grammar, and comprehension in my Latin classes, and those invaluable lessons translated into key skills when it comes to linguistics. For example, I can explain the minutiae of grammatical jargon to my colleagues, like what is meant by the Latinate “voice”, “mood”, and “declension” (and all of you could too!). Additionally, I have honed in my critical attention to detail when working with language data, a skill I still use to catch typos, point out logical inconsistencies, and strengthen and clarify arguments to this day.
Even though I am not a Latin teacher, I have been so happy with every leg of my academic journey because every step led me to exactly where I am now. My Classics education continues to serve me well, and I recommend anyone who has the opportunity to read up about Latin, or enroll their children in a school with JCL. I have always been a “it’s about the journey, not the destination” kind of person. If I didn’t take Latin, not only would I have never participated in JCL or met any of you (*shudders*), but I also don’t think I would have discovered my love of languages, linguistics, or teaching. I probably never would have started a PhD program, moved to Arizona, met my partner, started salsa/bachata dancing, or done any of the things that make me me. I don’t usually entertain the “What ifs?”, but I definitely think about the “Thank goodness I did _”. Well, thank goodness I decided to take Latin and participate in JCL when I was 14, because I never would be where I am today without it.
By Ian Anderson
The concept seems a bit odd now – parodying magazines – do they even still make those any more? But in the days before Facebook, Twitter, and even Amazon, magazines were kind of a big deal. Below are a former Editor’s recollections of a bygone Ear, from a bygone era.
1 – The Convention Ear
Speaking of magazines, a personal favorite of mine (a byproduct of seeing it on the shelves daily while working at a grocery store) was The Weekly World News. When I was elected Editor, I knew in the back of my mind that the first issue of the Ear would have to be a play off that bizarre combination of crudely Photoshopped images, outlandish headlines, and absolutely ridiculous yet straight-faced credulous storytelling. Needless to say, my WA/BC SCL comrades and I had many a fun night before convention coming up with the “news” for this issue.
Fun Fact: On the second day of convention, I was approached out of the blue by some eager JCLers who had assumed that this would be the Ear theme for the week, and they had gone to the trouble of writing up a funny story about a bee attack for the next issue. I felt bad breaking the news that this might not fit in with the next day’s theme…
2 – Convention Reports
This was probably the issue that was the most fun to create. I think the “Certamen Machine Buyer’s Guide” is probably my favorite bit of content from the entire week. Although “Fun Dip, Is It Safe” is up there too.
Fun Fact: The Personals were not originally intended to be rated. But at 2 a.m., it just felt right (although some SCLers who shall remain nameless took issue with certain ratings of certain personals).
3 – E A R
I knew this one was going to need some “gravitas” as it would hold the officer candidate profiles. In this instance, gravitas meant a tight crop of Augustus of Prima Porta’s fancy breast plate (in just-barely-enough resolution). Speaking of the candidate profiles, little did I know that my future wife would be one of the many, MANY, profiles that were part of this lengthy edition. She’s the cutie from Louisiana running for Parliamentarian!
Fun Fact: The Got Latin? ad at the back of the issue got us into a bit of trouble with the printers for using up too much ink. I remember Steve Gentle coming to me early the next morning and passing along the message from the print shop: “Yeah, don’t do that again!”
4 – Rolling Ear
I can’t say much about how we got “the interview” - it’s the type of thing that will forever remain a mystery. But, I can say that it took FOREVER to tweak the Rolling Stone header into a believable-looking Rolling Ear moniker (if you look closely, you can see where I ran out of time as there’s no angled 3D stripes coming off the trailing ‘a’ and ‘r’).
Fun Fact: This was the first year the Ear included digital photos taken at convention. Many thanks go out to Steve Gentle and his trusty Apple QuickTake camera with its marvelous 8-photo capacity!! The cover art for this issue would not have been possible without it!
5 – Convention Illustrated
Despite our best attempts to intersperse some Olympika photos (premiering the first of many, many future action-shots of swimmers, basketball players, etc.), this issue is definitely driven by the motherload of “personals” that comprise almost 50% of its content. This was definitely the “peak personal” era of NJCL conventions.
Fun Fact: Remember earlier when I said the print shop got mad at us for using too much ink? Well, the cover for this was also supposed to have a solid background behind Discobolus… but I had to tone it back to a nice 80% grey to be a bit more forgiving to the toner cartridges.
6 – The Convention Ear
This was supposed to be a LIFE magazine parody… although it was probably a stretch even then as the actual magazine was on its last legs by then.
Fun Fact: This was back when an additional Convention Ear was published on the final going-home day of convention. Mercifully, this practice has long since been abandoned, allowing Ear staff some much needed rest and recuperation (and fun times) on the last night of the week.
Extra Bonus Fun Fact: These Convention Ears were all assembled using Quark XPress. If you know what Quark XPress was/is, honestly – you should run for Editor!!
By Stephen Gentle
What I remember most about my week at SDSU as editor in 1992 - beyond the 6.5 hours of *total* sleep I had that week - was that it was the week that Hal Rather died.
You may know Hal Rather's name from the award that bears his name. Hal was from Tennessee, and he was a legendary character in SCL, even though he was barely out of his primary membership. He and his friend Tom Cheever from Massachusetts were hosts for That's Entertainment for a few years, and they were comedy gold. His recurring bit as Bob, the Generic JCL Candidate from Guam, was legendary in the early 90s.
When we arrived on the SDSU campus for Convention in August of 1992, Hal had been fighting cancer for almost a year. My recollection is that he was doing well enough, you know, for fighting cancer. In retrospect, that may just have been my youth believing that no one as young and vibrant as Hal could suddenly be gone.
And then he was.
We were in the Ear Office tossing around some ideas for That's Entertainment skits, when the Ear Office phone (a land line!) rang. It was either Mary or Geri from the JCL desk, asking with a very concerned voice, to talk to Cheever, his best friend. It was one of those moments of disbelief that slows everything around you, and you can't believe it's real.
I remember being numb.
I remember lots of tears.
I remember hugs with the only family that mattered to us at the moment.
I remember someone told Sister Jeanette Plante, who came immediately to the SCL dorm to support us. Sister Jeanette offered the sweetest words of comfort and a very moving prayer...all for "Al".
I remember the sobs becoming stifled guffaws because that's the kind of humor that Hal would have loved - a nun earnestly comforting his friends while getting his name wrong. We all knew Hal was laughing his ass off.
So how does this relate back to the Convention Ear? In two ways - both in Issue 4.
On page 6, there's an article recapping Bob, the Generic JCL Candidate. In a bit of serendipity, Cheever had written the article before Convention, and we were planning to run it on that day anyway.
More importantly, on pages 4-5, you will see a simple tribute to Hal, penned by Cheever, that still hits me in the feels when I read it.
Hello friends and future friends,
Before we stormed Fargo, we took over Minneapolis for Pre-Convention! Between strolling through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, hiking down to the Minnehaha Falls, and rediscovering masterpieces from the golden past at the Minneapolis Art Institute, it was a wonderful time! Some of us also went on our own separate adventures including canoeing on lake Calhoun, exploring the architecture and skyline views from the Stone Arch Bridge, and running the Minneapolis Aquatennial 5K.
We also ate at some fantastic local restaurants! We visited the original Hell's Kitchen (before Gordon Ramsay's show), Hen House, Izzy's Ice Cream, and Pizza Luce. Between skyline views, good vibes, and great food, Pre-Convention was a wonderful time.
I hope everyone has had safe travels to North Dakota, and I look forward to making new memories with everyone!
Salvete, SCLers! I’m here waiting in the airport for my connection to Fargo, so I thought I’d connect you to the latest SCinteL.
This year your NSCL board has created The Friendly Handbook of NSCL (alternatively titled The Iron Fistbook of NSCL). This will offer as a guide for new and established SCL chapters to write a constitution, run events for JCLers, and carry out their duties as officers. This handbook also includes the important addition of the NSCL Code of Conduct. While this Code of Conduct utilizes the same verbiage as the NJCL Code of Conduct which is applicable at convention, the NSCL Code of Conduct is applicable year round in any situation involving two SCLers. This protects SCL 24/7 365!
Another change you might see more directly at convention is signing in for SCL GAs! Woooo! Members who have paid their dues will be able to sign in on a physical sheet of paper. These sheets will be updated each day as new members register and should expedite SCL GA sign in.
Also, to recognize the hard work of our SCLers, instead of Queen of the Day or Allstar of the Day, in honor of the convention theme “bees are not of a solitary nature” (which all SCLers definitely know every year)- we will award Bees of the day! Perhaps you could be a bumblebee, carpenter bee, queen bee, yellow jacket, B rated bee, and more!
Now you’re in the know about SCL. Can’t wait for you all to see these changes in person in Fargo!
Your Big P,
I’ve been busy SCLers! These past few weeks I’ve been putting together the final bits and pieces to the handbook, creating the first Ear, and publishing the last LOL! I also helped judge the Publications, and I have to say they all look spectacular. Even though they aren’t SCL, give the JCL newsletters a look through. It’s so cool to see everything they’re up to throughout the year.
With convention approaching at WARP SPEED, I wanted to promote a few things and discuss a little of what I’ll be up to there. First thing’s first though, if you’re looking to be involved in the Ear — or have a great idea for an article — message me or @me in the NSCL FB group. I’ll respond, and we can work something out!
At convention, you’ll find me either
a) doing my adult duties as a zombie, or
b) working on ears, or
In either case, I’ll be accessible to chat about the Ear. Give it a read through at meals too (pls).
I hope you’re all excited! I know I am — especially since it’ll be my first year as a FULL TIME SCLer! I am a bit nervous though, since again, first year as an SCLer.
Drop me a line though, and let’s connect! I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.
By Ann Nguyen
Every year in early to mid March, LJCLers and LSCLers alike swarm to the hive: Holiday Inn - South on Airline Hwy in Baton Rouge. This year, convention began with the Ides of March and continued through to the 17th.
LSCL had lots of fun moderating Academic Testing and Certamen, judging Graphic Arts, sequestering students for Creative Arts, running and DJ-ing Olympika, and putting on a spectacular That’s Entertainment which featured an appearance from the Ionas Fratres and some Ides of March Madness playoff coverage. We also hosted a lovely SCL/Slasher Ice Cream Mixer, where we added new members to our LSCL colony.
From creating an American Ninja Warrior-level obstacle course to debuting our first single, “Year 753 (B.C.E.),” LJCL Convention was a buzzing success! But we couldn’t have done it without our 18 amazing SCLers coming in from across the state and country. Special thanks to our fabulous guest-CL, Kristina Mihajlovic, for dropping by to say hello and sing the NSCL Song with us.
We can’t wait to all get together again for Nationals!
Congratulations to our newly elected board:
President - Jacob Summerville, Southeastern Louisiana University ‘21
Vice President - Clare Plunket, Louisiana State University ‘21
Secretary - Ann Nguyen, University of Southern California ‘22
Treasurer - Christin Chachula, Louisiana State University ‘23