By Lyla Cerulli
A few weeks ago, I and many of my fellow Lupercal leaders were able to get to know one another through the Leadership Retreat held on zoom. What was supposed to be a weekend getaway to one of our founding member’s house in Vermont was truncated into sitting in front of our computers, entering a limbo between cyber space and the real world.
The retreat program included a balance of screen time and unstructured free time where members would be able to choose from a VINCO board of Lupercal- related activities such as listening to podcast episodes featuring our very own leaders, admiring and creating bullet journal spreads, or doing a quick yoga session in Latin. I have to say that my favorite activity was our Phone-a-Phoenix (named after Sor Juana Inez De La Cruz’s title for herself “The Phoenix of Mexico). I was blessed to be able to talk to Emma Vanderpool for a full 50 minutes de quolibet. Every time we tried to say goodbye, another topic came up, and I left comforted by the fact we would end up on the same Zoom call a few hours later.
The three day extravaganza was split up into verb tense themes - the past, present, and future. On Friday we made life graphs about our relationship with Laitn. On Saturday we looked at what Lupercal has become. And on Sunday we created a five year plan looking towards our future. The entire retreat ended with an hour long “affirmation circle”— something I proudly stole from my school’s retreats, where we’d say our favorite things about each other. The affirmations ranged from tidbits we learned about each other on the retreat to stories of how they met. We all went to bed with full hearts that night.
I leave you with some other leaders’ words about the retreat:
“The retreat was a transformative experience — both personally and as a community. This moment of self-reflection in a time of turbulence gave me a new sense of direction as a teacher and as a Latinist.”
Lyla Cerulli (she/her) is a Latin teacher and Lupercal co-leader in New York City. She likes bread too.