ELMWOOD HOSTS: ONTARIO STUDENT CLASSICS CONFERENCE 2024

by Sloane B., Grade 10 student
 

salvete!  

The Ontario Student Classics Conference (OSCC) is a Latin-themed, Classically-inspired student conference which has been held in Ontario since the late 1960’s. The Elmwood Classics team (which has been consistently attending for several decades) attended the conference from the 7th of May to the 11th as this year’s hosts; meaning they were responsible for organizing events, emceeing performances and presentations, and preparing the venues for all of the participants (from a dozen schools this year!) Elmwood's team also spent time attending lectures and participating in the many activities that were available. Our Elmwoodians arrived a day and a half early to Brock University, in order to set up the spaces and finish working on final touches, while also preparing the welcome materials for the other schools. 

The first day of the Conference arrived and Elmwood was in charge of emceeing the opening ceremony, explaining the rules of the conference, and presenting some clips from last year’s activities. Then, they split off to attend the various events; ranging from Trivia Relay races, to Jewelry making, to testing their knowledge of ancient Roman life and mythology. This year, there were a number of Creative workshops, including the Vitruvius Lego Challenge, where groups of students recreated Herodotus’ Seven Wonders of the Ancient World using 1000 pieces of lego!  There were also 2 workshops with a professional actor, where students learned about stage fighting, and how to bring Classical characters to life. In addition, for the first time, students had the opportunity to create faux millefiore jewellery, panels from a mosaic floor, a strigil, and to learn about constructing ancient costumes.

That evening, Elmwood once again stepped into their role as hosts, introducing the skits and fashion shows of the other schools - but that wasn’t all!  They also performed their own comedic skit and presented a beautiful display of the costumes they worked so hard on all year. It is definitely a challenge to introduce all of the performances while also performing yourself, but Elmwood Classics relishes challenges!

The next day was packed with lectures, workshops and creative activities, as well as an unexpected fire alarm which attendees were able to pivot around in order to still ensure a successful day. This day, students were able to attend presentations (live and via Zoom) from various universities across Ontario, and beyond!  One of the most exciting opportunities was a presentation from Dr. Darius Arya, an archaeologist from the American Academy in Rome, who took us on a tour of the Theatre of Marcellus live via Zoom, showing attendees significant features to help in understanding the Roman world and showcasing the benefit of his amazing background and research!  Students also took in wonderful presentations from professors at the University of Toronto, McMaster, Brock, Carleton, Waterloo, as well as hosting a visiting professor from Cambridge University and Classics for All in Britain, who was learning about the Ontario Student Classics Conference!

As hosts, Elmwood Classics was in charge of setting up the final banquet and social event, including decorations and snacks. The final gatherings were amazing! The closing ceremony consisted of a formal, elaborate banquet complete with a head table, lovely decor, and a video overview of our conference (this was the first time a host school was able to do that at the end of the events!) In addition, they were able to do a draw for replica artefacts from the ancient Roman Baths at Aquae Sulis! Participants got to meet so many amazing people and share the wonders of studying the ancient world with fellow Classicists. 

On the final day, Elmwoodians packed the bus with all of their materials (which somehow seemed greater than when they arrived) and set off on the six hour journey back to Ottawa. This was truly a magical experience and we are very grateful to Ms. Ellison and everyone who helped organize this event. 

Some quotes from this year’s participants:

"My favorite moment was the online lecture where we got to see an ancient site through a zoom call. It was really cool to see a less “staged” version of places I am very interested in going to one day."

 

"My highlight was definitely the party! I met so many interesting people and made so many new friends with whom I actually conversed!"