Youngest Daughter has decided to join the "Junior Classical League" at school. In reality it is the Latin Club. We got a notice that she should show up on Tuesday at 6:45 PM for 'initiation – Roman attire required.' Good thing I have plenty of spare old sheets. By a miracle, we also had safety pins in the house. The parents were not invited to the initiation ceremony.
The Junior Classical League is very popular in our school district. I could not understand the allure – stand around dressed in a bed sheet and say "E Pluribus Unum" and "Ipso Fatso"? So the day before the ceremony I asked my daughter, "What is going to happen at this initiation ceremony?" She said excitedly, "Well, for one thing, there is going to be a slave auction!" I choked on my tea as I protested. She pulled out the latest Info Sheet, which she had not yet showed to me.
(An aside – we are always pestering our children to give us the coveted Info Sheet, which tells us when to be available to provide transportation, and what our child is required to bring. But it is like pulling teeth to get them to surrender these documents in a timely manner. I am still waiting for the Info Sheet from my son on the latest band he got into, which in the past has required driving an hour each way to rehearsal every Saturday in November. I thirst for a carpool arrangement for this.)
Sure enough, the JCL Info Sheet said, "You could win $20 toward a personal slave at Saturnalia." But I think the real attraction is that the old members ("old" here means the 15- to 18-year-olds) were instructed to bring 'fancy desserts – no chips or Oreos'. The Info Sheet further promised "cake! And a super exciting surprise for you at the end!"
I am afraid to ask what happens at the Saturnalia event. Middle school students + Roman debauchery doesn’t sound like a healthy mix. But perhaps we won't get the info sheet in time.
When she came back from the initiation ceremony, she had a little bag around her neck. She said it has rocks in it, which symbolize her membership in JCL, or something like that. Personally, I think a bag with garlic cloves in it would be more useful. She said they ran out of cake before she got there, but she had pie instead. Also, they had a skit contest, which she won, and shared her prize of candy with her friends.
So, readers, have you ever been to a Saturnalia? More importantly, do you have trouble getting the Info Sheet?