Latin, Through the Eyes of The Forum

Latin, Through the Eyes of The Forum

Peter Jones, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As Latin has not-so-subtly changed over the past years and decades, students have constantly been witnessing the school’s change within the context of the country that they live in. While it’s easy to forget the connection between Latin and the United States’ climates, along with the differences of the past, there is one way to look backwards in time: The Forum’s search bar.

The Forum, like Latin, has also undergone changes in recent years – most notably in securing a new website and public domain during the spring of 2019. Still, its archives date back to October of 2009, when then-editor Laura Fisher published a harsh commentary on Latin’s food service, chastising the “greasy and fattening burgers” that were served daily. Since then, The Forum has served as Latin’s tool to process milestones and events that range from the new Learning Commons to pivotal moments in American history. 

So, after all, it turns out that Forum archives do provide a little more value than just this controversial 2010 article concerning after-prom. 

On May 1st, 2011, Osama bin Laden, who founded the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, was captured and killed by American operatives. A short two weeks later, News Editor Nick Lehmann typed up his own recounting of the Latin community’s reaction to the long-awaited news, and it provides a great deal of insight into the ways that different members of our school process shocking information. While some students “calmly walked into school” that morning, others “chanted ‘USA! USA! USA!’” Lehmann’s conclusion was poignant, with an excerpt from President Obama’s speech that night.

In 2012, a feature of the high school we often take for granted made its Latin debut – the fourth floor’s science center. Julian Passman penned its introduction, exciting readers with promises of “virtual globes that could replicate planets or even cells, smarter smart boards, and even a time machine.” He also joked that people used the center’s whiteboards solely to write “(insert name) was here.” So, it seems, not a lot has changed in that regard since 2012.

2013 saw one of the most acclaimed articles in Forum history, Rachel Stone’s “The Latin Girl Lunch.” The piece was awarded first place in the Illinois Woman’s Press Association’s Communication Competition. A two-sentence summary simply would not do it justice – go read it yourself. 

As we fast forward (or repetitively press the “next page” button) to 2016, it’s impossible to overlook the presidential election that few people saw coming. Co-Editor-in-Chief Madeline Cohen offered one explanation for Trump’s victory, which was determined by FiveThirtyEight to have a 28.6% chance of taking place. “Lastly,” she said as she concluded the piece, “we’re all floating comfortably within Latin’s bubble.”

Thus follows 2018, the year in which the mysterious, long-awaited Learning Commons was introduced to the student body. Nobody really knew what would come of it, so current Staff Writer and junior Eli Aronson stepped up to the challenge, publishing an interview with Ms. Metzler to clear up the pervasive uncertainties. 

Now, we find ourselves in 2019, and The Forum still acts as the Latin community’s eyes on the dozens of pressing topics that confront us each year. The website’s search bar is a fantastic tool – it both shows us how far Latin has come and perpetuates the legacies of the writers of the past. In the end, students graduate, teachers retire, and the school changes, but The Forum perseveres.