Garrison Forest School Seniors Host Museum Chat About Rare Curse

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Two Garrison Forest School seniors present research at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum about a chilling inscription on a 1st Century funerary tablet.

"Because you have robbed me, you shall not be allowed to see the light of day again." Garrison Forest School (GFS) seniors Anna Gorman and Amanda Witherspoon will lead a discussion about these words, inscribed on the tombstone of the burglar who killed Grattius. The research presentation, which takes place on Saturday, February 1st, kicks off a series of monthly museum chats at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.

Anna and Amanda studied the funerary tablets and the tragic death of Grattius in-depth as Classics Interdisciplinary Research Scholars in the Garrison Forest School Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) partnership with Johns Hopkins University (JHU). Started in 2005, the partnership is one of the hallmark experiential learning programs of the GFS James Center and links students with faculty mentors in the JHU Schools of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Public Health. Since September 2013, Anna and Amanda have worked with Elisabeth Campbell, JHU Classics Department mentor and graduate student, in a hands-on study of ancient Roman funerary tablets from the museum’s collection. Chat visitors will have the opportunity to view the museum’s ancient artifacts, including the discussion’s funerary tablet and inscription.

This is the second WISE project for Anna. As a junior in Fall 2012, she spent two afternoons a week in the Grecht Lab at JHU’s Whiting School of Engineering studying the effect of protein fibronectin on breast cancer tumor development and metastasis. She shadowed a thoracic surgeon at Greater Baltimore Medical Center last summer and traveled to Haiti during winter break 2012 with her family to help build an orphanage. Anna is Cum Laude, a National Merit Scholars Program Commended Student and is a member of the Da Vinci club, math club, and tea club. She hopes to eventually pursue a career in medicine.

In addition to her work as a WISE student, Amanda Witherspoon is a staunch advocate for diabetes awareness. As a sophomore, Amanda—who has diabetes—made headlines when she lobbied Baltimore City’s Office of Promotion and the Arts to participate in World Diabetes Day. Impressed with her presentation, the city lit two of Baltimore’s iconic monuments, the Washington Monument and the Bromo-Seltzer Tower, in blue lights. A member of the GFS tennis team, Amanda has a deep interest in Classics and is a Cum Laude National Latin Exam award winner.

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