In November 9, 2015, I declaimed from memory before the Founder and Director of the Highlands Latin School, Mrs. Cheryl Lowe, all 70 stanzas (589 lines) of the poem Horatius at the Bridge by Thomas Babington Lord Macaulay.
It was a great inspiration I acquired from my big brother, Shiloh Francis, who, at 8, flawlessly recited the same poem in June 22, 2015 in Kentucky.
My brother, Shiloh Francis, and Mrs. Cheryl Lowe are with me on this photo. That girl on a Roman dress with silver laurel leaves on her head is me!
What organization/entity recognized the achievement?
“At Highlands Latin School, our 6th graders study Horatius at the Bridge in the winter term and are challenged to memorize the whole poem (70 stanzas). Students who accomplish this remarkable feat receive the coveted ‘Winston Churchill Award’ at the Closing School Ceremony.” — Cheryl Lowe, Founder of Highlands Latin School
Mrs. Cheryl Lowe who was a very perspicacious and kind teacher, offered this opportunity for all Homeschoolers as well. It is such a beautiful thing that she welcomed me despite my young age, as she acclaimed, “This girl just turned 7 and… she broke the record!”
How did homeschooling help you achieve your goal?
Homeschooling is a pleasure. I had enough time to listen and recite with my brother, Shiloh, who really encouraged me to follow what he did so that both of us would have the Certificate of Achievement, the medal and, of course, my favorite “gleaming” lapel pin of Horatius from the Classical Latin School Association.
I didn’t even try to put on his medal when he was giving it to me. That is his and I am so proud of him… but I want to get my own!
Most often I saw him read and study “The Famous Men of Rome” when he was still in 3rd Grade, and heard him recite Christian Latin words and grammar, and sang with him some songs from Lingua Angelica after I get done with my lessons in 1st Grade. That buoyed me up to do more as I started my 2nd Grade lessons this year.
He would say, “Learn Horatius by heart one stanza a day and be brave!,” but I never did that. There were days I memorize more than 5-7 stanzas per day during my free time. And I did it.
What are your interests?
Aside from doing my Seton lessons and attending Masses on Sundays and on holy days of obligation, I enjoy listening to Classical Music such as Sir Johann Pachelbel’s Canon en Ré Majeur, which is on top of my brother’s favorites, while studying or drawing/painting, and even while playing hoola-hoops at our backyard.
I love putting make-up on my dolls and my Dad as well, creating amusing short stories about me, my family and my friends, eating scrumptious foods, and dancing with young Zumbaettes on X-box.
What are you inspired to do with your life?
My brother, Shiloh Francis, who wants to become an entomologist first and then proceed to priesthood, boosts my dream to be a religious nun someday after becoming a chemist. I know that these will only happen if God will allow us. So I am praying for these dreams to come true.
What are your favorite subjects and why?
One of my favorite subjects is Religion. It makes me feel very close to the Holy Family: St. Joseph, Mama Mary and Brother Jesus.
My next favorite subject is World History because it allows me to learn more about the life of great Saints who continue to teach us to be courageous and faithful even in difficult times. My other favorite subjects are Science and Mathematics because they instruct me with practical things I can do in my daily life and on how to care for nature starting from my very own self.
All the subjects I have now in 2nd Grade teach me how to appreciate God for everything and every gift He gives us every day.