CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In 2020, the world faced a new normal. The world shut down, and Austin Peay State University was no different. Students began taking classes online, university sports were canceled, and school organizations were shut down.
Even the Classics program, which started in 1998, fell to the clutches of coronavirus. For the past two years, the program has been a shell of its former self, but now things are taking a return to what they used to be. People are ready to have fun again. This past Thursday, for example, APSU’s Classics Day finally made its glorious post-Covid debut.
For those who don’t know, Classics Day is a particularly important day for Classics Majors at Austin Peay; especially for fans of Latin nerdery. The event, held in the Morgan University Center ballroom, hosts around 130 high school students and staff hailing from Clarksville High School, Northeast High School, and Rossview High School in Clarksville; Hume-Fogg High School and MLK High School in Nashville, and Redeemer Classical Academy in Murfreesboro.
Acting as primetime recruitment for the soon-to-be college students, Classics Day features a wide variety of classical activities including art projects, trivia games, lectures, and skits where they can learn about the ancient world and its cultures.
This year proved no different, and everyone who was present can attest to the positive energy that buzzed throughout the ballroom on Thursday.
Dr. Stephen Kershner, who represented the Ancient Mediterranean Club was particularly excited to see the event returning to Austin Peay. According to Kershner, “It means a lot for a variety of reasons. We’re alive. We’re here. We’re doing what we love to do.”
The same goes for the undergraduate students who help with Classics Day. Kershner noted that it lets them, “have fun with what they study, interact with it, and give them the opportunity to see if they want to teach someday.”
But this event wasn’t made for the adults who chaperoned. It was made for high school students like Elena Zimmerman. The junior from Rossview High School competed in the Junior Classical League (JCL) this past year and is an enthusiastic fan of theater. On Classics Day, Zimmerman said her favorite parts were the mythology skits, as well as “the people [she] got to meet and all of the leadership opportunities.”
Thankfully, Classics Day is just one of many events hosted by the Classics program and its Ancient Mediterranean Club. Latin nerds will have plenty of opportunities to both learn and have fun doing so throughout the remainder of the school year.
As far as future events go, there will be a movie night next Wednesday, a field trip to the Nashville Parthenon in the Spring, and more get-togethers for undergraduates to market themselves further.