The Paideia Institute’s High School Essay Contest
For High School Students — Win a Trip to Rome or Greece!
The Paideia Institute is pleased to announce its third annual high school essay contest. We will publish the winning essays in In Medias Res, and the winners will receive a full scholarship to either the Paideia Institute’s Living Latin in Rome High School Program or Paideia’s Living Greek in Greece High School Program.
This year’s topic is:
Select one passage from a Classical author (please provide the Latin or Ancient Greek original AND an English translation of the passage) and explain why you think it is important for people today to read and consider.
If you wish to win the scholarship for the Rome program, please choose a Latin quotation; similarly, if you wish to win the scholarship for the Greece program, please choose an Ancient Greek quotation.
Essays are due on March 1, 2018, and should be between 500 and 1000 words. Please send all essays in .pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should include the student’s name, the name of their high school, their grade level, and the name of their Latin or Greek teacher. To win the scholarship, students need to meet the prerequisites for the intended program, please see the prerequisites here and here.
For an example of a previous winning essay, follow the link here.
UPDATE: This is not a translation contest: students do not need to translate the passage themselves. It is perfectly acceptable to use a published translation, or some other source. We ask for the original text to ensure that the passage in question actually is a Greek or Latin text (there are a lot of bogus quotations out there), and we ask for a translation to ensure that the essay writer knows the basic import of the passage.
One seemingly unstoppable real estate trend this year has been the write-an-essay-win-a-housecontest, in which homeowners who want to sell their properties in a quicker, more meaningful, or potentially more profitable transaction "gifts" the house to the winning essay writer while recouping costs by amassing entry fees (typically $100 to $200.) As it turns out, this is far from a new scheme. In fact, the folks who offered to give away their historic Maine inn last spring
—a headlining-making event that seemed to have spurred a string of similar contests in recent months—actually acquired the property through an essay contest to begin with, way back in 1993. It's just that the Internet and social media in particular make it easier for these endeavors to go viral and, more importantly, draw enough entries (and accompanying fees) to make it all worthwhile.
As detailed in a new story on The New York Times, however, these contests are not entirely as twee and feel-good as they appear on Facebook feeds. So you want to run or enter a win-a-house essay contest? You'd better read this.
1. First, the math—The Maine inn contest managed to draw over 7,000 entries, which translated into more than $906,000—or just about the property's estimated value. But according to the Times, many similar contests haven't been so successful. Without enough entries to recover costs, owners are often forced to terminate the contests and begin refunding entry fees. Oof.
2. It's not all warm-fuzzies—After the winner of the Maine inn was announced this past June, a Facebook group was created to unite people who thought the contest was rigged. "Fifteen complaints were lodged with the Maine attorney general's office, which led to an inquiry by the State Police," the Timesreports. (The State Police ultimately ruled everything lawful.) And a caveat for any potential contest winners: beware of sore losers. The lucky guy who now runs the Maine inn says losing contestants keep leaving one-star reviews of the place on TripAdvisor and paying him "nasty visits and phones calls."
3. In fact it's more like a part-time job—To avoid the kind of controversy seen in the Maine inn contest, a Virginian couple running a competition for their 35-acre horse farm has gone all out to ensure the process is completely legitimate. These measures include: hiring a trustee to accept entries and remove identifying details, establishing a panel of anonymous judges to make a final decision from 25 finalists chosen by the couple, and setting up a Facebook page that details all the rules for potential contestants. The couple reportedly spendsfour hours a day reading essay entries and explaining rules to possible entrants.
4. Beware, unexpected visitors—A Houston-based realtor who tried a win-a-house essay contest had this to say to the Times: "There were always people walking around and driving by slowly. If someone else does it, I would suggest maybe not living in the place."
5. There's a site for all this—Carolyn Berry, who's behind the Virginia horse farm contest, is chronicling win-a-house contests popping up across the country on this Facebook page; inevitably, she also updates when a contest has been canceled due to insufficient entries.
Do check out the full story on the New York Times.
∙ All House of the Day posts [Curbed]
∙ Write a 200-Word Essay, Win a Historic Inn in Maine [Curbed]
∙ Oh Great, Another of Those Write-an-Essay-to-Win-a-House Contests [Curbed]