Greetings to you all from the Epsilon Xi
chapter at Gustavus Adolphus College in
Saint Peter, Minnesota! Another year of
working and playing to promote the study
of Classical Culture and Language has
come and gone. Here is what we have been
The 1992 Nobel laureate in poetry
Derek Walcott visited the college as an
artist-in-residence for two weeks in September.
To familiarize people with some of
his work before his arrival, several of our
members performed a public reading of selections
from Walcott’s epic poem Omeros.
A loose retelling of Homer’s Iliad and
Odyssey, the poem is set on the island of St.
Lucia, and deals with issues of colonialism
and nostalgia for the past in the wake of
In October, members gathered for our
annual showing of the greatest of classicallythemed
films, the 1981 Clash of the Titans.
November found us making the
15-minute trek to Minnesota State University
in Mankato to view their production
of Mary Zimmerman’s dramatic adaptation
of the Odyssey. The production left
all of us very impressed. It went on to
win several awards at the regional Kennedy
Center American College Theatre
Festival in Ames, Iowa, and was chosen
to be performed at the Kennedy Center in
Washington, D.C. this April.
Many members earned kleos and fama
in our annual December game of broomball,
though the match ultimately ended in
a tie between the Greeks and Romans.
At the end of January term, we used our
budget to fund a banquet prepared by the
members of the “Ancient Roman Foods
and Cooking” course taught by Professor
Icy Boreas is especially brutal to Gustavus
in February. His chilling gusts clouded
our judgment, and before we knew it, we
were meeting to watch the 2010 remake of
Clash of the Titans. Though we all agreed
that Sam Worthington’s hair was decidedly
less silly than Harry Hamlin’s, we lamented
the absence of Bubo the owl.
In March, we met for pizza and inducted
13 new members into the chapter!
In April, we visited the Minneapolis
Institute of Arts to view the museum’s collection
of Classical Greek and Roman art.
Afterwards, we went out for Greek food.
Finally, tradition dictates that we round
out the academic year with an Eta Sigma
Phi-organized kickball match between the
Classics and Philosophy departments on
the last day of classes in May. It has been
many years since the Classicists were last
victorious. Although we watched the birds
closely for a sign from the gods, and the
portents were favorable — Eheu! — we were
defeated 15–14. Our closest defeat yet, but
still a defeat. Wait till next year!