"Some students have a deep-seated desire to learn more than what is taught in the classroom. No Latin teacher can cover vocabulary, grammar, derivatives, Roman history and daily life, mythology, and the influence of Latin in the modern world with any degree of thoroughness during class. Students who find these areas fascinating and are willing to delve deeper into them find Certamen a fulfilling experience.
Some students know that they are Latin nerds and revel in the camaraderie of other Latin nerds. Rather than hiding their knowledge, they compete with each other to show it off, and feel good about themselves in the process.
Winning is always nice, but learning more and developing self-respect are what education is all about.
-- Susan S. Schearer (taken from www.njcl.org)Published Certamen Rounds:
2011 Lupercalia Tournament held at North Gwinnett High School on February 12th, 2011
2010 "Ides of March" Gwinnett County Certamen Tournament held at North Gwinnett High School on March 13th, 2010
2010 Eastside High School Certamen Tournament held at Eastside High School on November 13th, 2010
2009 Gwinnett County Certamen Championship held at North Gwinnett High School on March 14th, 2009.
Spring 2007 Gwinnett County Certamen Championship held at North Gwinnett High School (preliminary worksheet & upper level)
Fall 2007 Gwinnett County Certamen Championship held at North Gwinnett High School
2006 Eastside High School Certamen Tournament held at Eastside High School on January 21st, 2006
Certamen Rules and Guidelines (from njcl.org)
GJCL Certamen Syllabi (as published at the 2009 GJCL Fall Forum)
Extensive Certamen Study Guide (PDF; 56 pages, from Mr. Hugh Himwich)
Essential Collection of History and Culture Topics from VRoma
Self-Quizzes for Certamen Prep (from Homegrown Romans
Notes on Michael Grant's The History of Rome
Virginia's Certamen Database (nearly 200 rounds of certamen)
Official page of for Morford's Mythology (includes self-quizzes, summaries, discussion questions, and activities for every chapter)
Tips for Practicing:
A competitive team includes one expert from each of the following categories: language, daily life and culture, history, and mythology. Each expert should enjoy his/her field - it is supposed to be fun after all!
A team should be consistent all year long and, hopefully, from year-to-year.
At the beginning of the year, ask your players what their goals are and tailor practices and schedules to those goals. If the players want to win a state championship, then that requires dedication, sacrifice, and hard work. If the players' focus in on having fun, then make sure they have fun!
Ideally, practices should be twice a week, and these two practices should be on consecutive days. On the first day, the team members are studying, researching, and running through old questions (from the databases above). The research and studying should be guided by the certamen syllabi, as linked above.
On the second day of practice, the teams should be playing with the buzzers and answering questions based on the content learned the first day.
If a question is missed in practice, sponsors should take care to ask that same question throughout the practice to ensure his/her players know that item.
Players should write down questions they don't know throughout practice, to which they can refer later.
Just before competitions, teams should practice under competition conditions, using old rounds.
Certamen participants should research on their own time as well. History buffs should read and re-read Michael Grant's History of Rome, for instance.