On October 31st, Menlo’s Junior Classical League partnered with the Stanford Classics department to host Ludi Octobres on the Stanford Campus for all of the JCL chapters of Northern California. Menlo hosted some long-time veterans of Ludi, such as Miramonte, Harker, La Entrada, Bentley, Head Royce, and some newcomers to Ludi as well, including Basis Independent School, John Adams Academy, Plato’s Academy, and University Prep from as far away as Redding. In total, there were 614 delegates, 42 sponsors, 66 chaperones plus Stanford faculty, students, and staff and Menlo parents on the Stanford Campus for a grand total of 773 people! This event gave delegates and sponsors alike from all over northern California the opportunity to come together and participate in sports contests, academic competitions, crafty activities, workshops led by Stanford graduates, and many other events, all coordinated around the theme of the day, Mota Monstrorum (Monster Mash), in keeping with the spirit of Halloween. Some highlights of the day included a new addition to the traditional Ludi offerings, the Monster Murder Mystery, created and hosted by Menlo students Jeff Frankel Popell and Dani Wang and Menlo teacher Jude Morris. Wang commented on her experience developing the Monster Murder Mystery, “I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Monster Mystery team. It was really interesting to be able to piece together different aspects of mythology and ancient mindsets in order to create our plot.” Everyone seemed to love that event, and comments like “ingenious idea” and “super fun” and “a keeper” were among the reactions of the participants and chaperones.
Other highlights of the day included four presentations by Stanford graduate
students and faculty on topics related to Halloween, the Project Runway competition led by the Grace Costello and the ever-snarly Nate Safran, Harry Potter trivia under Alyssa Chao and Elise Thompson, Monster Bingo created by Mary McCarty (retired St. Ignatius Latin teacher), and Mythological Spelling Bee by Gaius Stern of Berkeley). Other student leaders included Rachel Howard (Greeting Cards
and Breakfast); Tatum Tai (Lunch); Dylan Pace (Facilities); Michele Woo (Digital Scavenger Hunt); Izzy Koningstein (Workshops); Alex Edidin and Andrew Cardozo (Snackbar); Emily Demmon (Snapchat); John Guiragossian, Mackenzie Moorehead, Charlie Pinkus (Sports); and Riya Mirchandaney (JCL’s community service projects, pumpkin and cookie decorating donated to Lytton Gardens Assisted Living later that day). At the closing assembly in Memorial Church we announced the winners of the costume contest and then four Stanford undergrads spoke about the benefits of studying classics at the collegiate level.
JCL is very grateful for the help of so many Menlo parents who gave their time and resources to make the day go well, but especially to parent coordinator, Cathy Edidin, who worked tirelessly with Magis to make sure the event ran smoothly, Alice Wilson (Hospitality), and Janice Sample (Photography). Thanks too to Sara Hadsell ’95 for handling the Adult Assignments. Some of the student leaders included Grace Costello (CJCL Northern Representative and head of Ludi Octobres), Ashkay Srivistan (Registration) with Cameron Kay, Sunia Sadeghi, Sara Varadharajulu, and Savion Sample; Ellie Young, (Awards); Alyssa Chao (Testing); Kelly Buck and Aaron Lee (Certamen); and Jason Moon (Treasurer). These students prioritized this event for months, putting in many hours of preparation after school and on weekends. Overall, Ludi Octobres was a huge success and a great accomplishment for Menlo JCL. Menlo JCL hopes to continue this relationship with Stanford’s Classics department in the coming years, with the potential to host a state and even perhaps a national convention at Stanford sometime in the future.