by Charlie Himmelrich, Rome '14
This trip was magnifico! On the first day we all flew out to Saint Stephen’s School in Rome where I met friends whom I would become very close with over the next few weeks. We first embarked on our voyage through the world of ancient history on July 17th when we visited the Circus Maximus- which was located right outside of our apartment! We learned about how the Romans used to race chariots around the track; this was kind of like the Nascar of ancient Rome. Each emperor had different opinions on the races as well, while some emperors paid the games their complete attention, others let their minds wander or even perform other tasks like legal duties or political decisions.
As the trip went on we all went to the Colosseum, an extremely large arena where gladiators used to fight each other, animals, or both! I was extremely upset when I learned that animals such as tigers and giraffes were imported from Africa only to be slain because those animals do not attack unless provoked. After letting some steam off, we learned about the hierarchy of the seats- which I found especially interesting. The first level of seating was reserved for those of high status (mostly senators and those with political power). The second level held the common man, and the third level nosebleed seats primarily held the slaves, women, and children.
The Latin within the program has been incredible. We have a teacher named Collomia who has a background that consists of teaching at Columbia University, beekeeping in Alaska, and various other activities I have never even heard of! Even though I had come into the program with less Latin experience than my peers, she made accommodations to help me participate in class and be helpful to my friends and the class.
I cannot describe my gratitude for the Calder Classics program. Their program included the thorough understanding of both the history and language of ancient Rome. This trip was truly a magnifico experience. I will never forget the things I have learned, the friendships I have built, or the memories I have made.