The debate over Roman poet Ovid's use of the word "fugitive" in Metamorphoses was getting heated, but in the end the students - two murderers, a kidnapper and six other convicted felons - agreed to disagree.
Homer, Euripides and Virgil are all doing weekly stints at a New York women's prison this spring. Their classic works are being read by inmates enrolled in a Columbia University course organised by the non-profit Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, which aims to boost employment for convicts upon release and reduce reoffending.
Elliott said she is eager to flex her new, analytical muscles when she leaves Taconic's locked gates and barbed wire.
"Being able to disagree with somebody and it not be conflict is serious and real," Elliott said. "It teaches you humility."