Perfect - but for classical geographical slip

Logan Park High School pupil Tuhin Baucus reminds himself of the difference between Pantheon and Parthenon. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Logan Park High School pupil Tuhin Baucus reminds himself of the difference between Pantheon and Parthenon. Photo by Linda Robertson.
For the past few days, Tuhin Baucus has been repeating the same thing, over and over: ''The Pantheon is in Rome, the Parthenon is in Athens''.

It is a small fact the 16-year-old Logan Park High School pupil will never forget after incorrectly answering a question about it and missing out on a 100% score in the 2014 American Latin examination.

''The question was, 'what famous building is on one of the major hills in Rome?'

''I confused the Pantheon in Rome with the Parthenon in Greece.

''I guess I read it wrong. It was a silly concentration error.

''That question will stick in my mind forever - I won't get that wrong again.''

More than 19,000 pupils from 18 countries sat the exam and Tuhin scored 39 out of 40, putting him in the top 1% worldwide.

The New Zealand average was 32 out of 40, and the United States average 31.

For his efforts, Tuhin received a gold medal and a summa cum laude (with greatest praise) certificate.

Tuhin was proud of his achievement, and said he could chuckle about it in hindsight.

''It's exhilarating. I don't really know how to explain how I feel about it.''

He has been studying Latin for the past five years to foster his love of languages.

''It's the language of the ages, the classical world.

''With it, you can learn a raft of languages. Most of the Western languages like Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and English are derived from it.''

It is also useful in facets of science - a field in which he hopes to forge a career.

 

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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