Senior Classical Studies student Summer Shapero (Year 13, Taylor) was fortunate to spend her July holidays at the JACT Latin Camp in Harrogate, England. This event, which has been running for over 40 years, welcomes students of all levels, from beginners to those preparing to become Latin teachers, and involves six hours of intensive Latin study each day along with excursions and quizzes.
Summer started taking taking Classical Studies in Year 11 because of her love of History and English, as well as a childhood obsession with Greek mythology. "The ancient world is full of so many complexities but also reflects issues that we are still experiencing today. Classical Studies also helps me with my study of modern history as well as living in modern society, and understanding were ideas come from," says Summer. While she has not been able to take Latin as a subject during her time at school, she has begun studying it with a tutor as a means of enriching her knowledge of the ancient world.
Although the class schedule during Latin Camp was intense, Summer very much enjoyed the lectures given most nights by famous classicists such as Professor Edith Hall and author Ben Kane. Her favourite seminar was presented by Professor Caroline Vout, Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge, who spoke on the ugliness of Greek sculpture and what the museums don't show us: old age, starvation and drunkenness! She also found it inspiring to be around so many people who care so much about Classics, given the community here in New Zealand is much smaller. Summer loved being able to attend lectures and be exposed to ideas outside the school cirriculum from those at the top of their fields, as well as meeting an interesting mix of students who were all dedicated and passionate about Classics.
As well as finishing her A-level studies this year, Summer is also applying for universities in the US and the UK. She plans to major in Classical Studies and learn both Ancient Greek and Latin, hopefully pursuing her studies at grad school. When asked about her long-term goals, Summer replied,"Classics for life!".