Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Final Post

What a semester! I wish I had had more time to devote to this class. Out of all the classes that I take that I'm forced to not put as much effort into as I would like, I regret this one the most. IT's hard going to school full time and working full time too. The class was amazing, I learned so much and I learned how to look for what I already know in daily life. Movies and books and situations. It put a little bit of magic back into my daily life and I like it. I'm not sure how else to write things without sounding totally corny but... it was a great class. Minus the spelling.... i hate spelling and it was just mean making us spell some of these names. Boo hiss. It gave me the ability to pause and think about situations that happen everyday. Like the "Whatever" play. Conversations and fights and love all make me smile now because I know the secret behind them and that's just plain cool. :) I think it's fitting that it's snowwy and cold and overcast while I write this last entry. It's sad but with the (rain) will come flowers and green grass of spring/summer. So is with this class. The class is over but the knowledge will continue to grow. Thank you Dr. Sexton!

Group Pressentations II

I made it today! (well, monday) and the presentations were great! The first group was a group of all women (girl power!) and they did a dance and a couple of skits that were a hoot and all the skits were based on true stories (more or less) and each story was also an adaptation of one of the stories we have read in class. I especally liked the poor little pinkish unwanted puppy. Good for the group for their improving when their computer malfunctioned and they had no music for thier dance. Bravo!

Group 4 did a movie about Midas in the form of Donald Trump :) I would have liked to have seen the reactions of people driving by as Jesus was walking down the street and accosting Trump :) The film was really well done, you could tell they put effort into it with the cutting and shifting of scenes. It was way over the top which it what they said they wanted out of it. :) I would have actually liked to have seen Trump with asses ears, but him being bald was equally funny since he has that bad combover thing anyway :)

The group presentations were tough. So were the individual one's. I think it's really hard to come up with topics when the boundaries are limitless. Good job to everyone for both!

Group Pressentations I

So... I had to miss the first day of presentations. And of COURSE, it was the day that my group was going. I am very confident in my group though :) We did a game in which we had catagories and each question had a present day and a past day examle. And a spinner. According to one group member things went well so good for them! :) I did miss group one's pressentation though, and I will search the blag entries to find out what it was they did

Individual Presentations III

I'm realizing now that I combined two days of presentations into one entry... oops... Note taking is not my strong point.

So the third day of presentations consisted of...

Violence... nature or nurture? I liked his presentation because it's something I feel strongly about too. I've been a huge activist when it comes to violence in schools and school shootings like Columbine. Violence has been around since the very begining of time, and we have seen that with the myths and stories we have read in class. Violence is just part of human nature and as much as it sucks, it is. I also used to volunteer at the VOICE center and *THIS IS MY OPINION AND NOT THE OPINION OF THE VOICE CENTER!* I agree that showing people scenes of violence won't turn someone violent unless they already wanted to BE violent.

Echo. The most powerful story in mythology.

The 4 ages and are we really living in the iron age? Was life really better in "the good ol' days?" I believe her arguement was no, that life is beautiful. I think this is a really hard one, because although we have lost a lot of good qualities that used to run society, we have gained many more groups of people that are now concidered part of our society (women, blacks, Jews) that once were not allowed to exist as even humans. But gangs and gun violence and family values have all deteriorated.... I think a lot more thought would have to go into this... maybe I'll have time to write a whole entry on it in a bit...

Being original came up again :) Ironic but truthful

Death was brought up again too.... and death is the mother of all beauty.

Present day as a Greek myth. :)

Females as possessions.... not much has changed here. I always found it funny that when I couple gets engaged, the only "proof" is the ring the woman wears proving she belongs to someone, the guy remains the same.

Vegitarianism and Calisto.... I wish I had taken this class about five years ago. I was a vegitarian for about 12 years and I LOATHED the people that argued with me about it. I lived on the East Coast and back there there was no reason to eat meat. Out here, it really is just part of everyday life. Anwyay, would have been nice to have that arguement to back me up...

Magic and the loss of innocence. Loss of innocence was a re-occuring theme too. I don't like being a grown up anymore :( Life is disallusioning, and the first big blow is the worst thing ever. The truth about santa, or finding out your parents don't like each other. But in this class we gained some of that magic back, because even though we all know that people can't turn into constilations, or asses and that Gods and Goddesses, if they exist certainly don't seem to care enough about us to come down and change things and teach personal lessons. But it opens up that child part of our brain so that these stories seem possible and probable! It takes us back to when we were perfect and causes our shoulder blades to itch :)

Musay? Mussay? and the first love song. I liked this presentation :) very creative

The power of Eyes. The eyes are the wondow to the soul. You can see so much when you look someone in the eyes.


and finally

Metamorphosis in our daily lives. This one was a cute one too. Although my notes are lacking on this one because I was listening too much and note writing. :( Again, the past possesses the pressent. This is what our group pressenation was dealing with too :)

Death is the Mother of Beauty

Wallace Stevens.

I googled this quote and about broke my poor little old computer with all the hits I got back on it. Poor thing, it's just about time for me to try and get a new one. Anyway, death as the mother of beauty. I agree. It took me awhile to try to touch on the meaning of this statement and I know I still don't have it completely grasped but, like I mentioned my last entry. Without death, we would take everything completely for granted. I know that this society does anyway, but I think we all know in the back of our minds that nothing is forever. In my graduating high school class (of 2001--my God I feel old), we lost at least one student every year starting when I was in 6th grade with a friends suicide. There were car accidents, overdoses, house fires, drownings and one of my best girlfriends dies of a stroke my freshman year of high school (on the day she was throwing me a surprise birthday party no less). All of that was terrible to live through, but it's made me appreciate life and re-evaluate what is important to me and what I really should spend my time and energy one. Without knowing death so intimately, I probably would be a different person who focusses more on silly things like fashion and gossip than my own happiness. I think that is what Wallace Stevens meant when he said that Death is the Mother of Beauty.

Individual Presentations

I'm looking back in my note book on the notes I took during the pressentation.... The notes aren't great to be completely honest, but how do you take notes on random pressentations of less than a few minutes? Not to mention on the first day I was ridiculously nervous because I strongly dislike talking in front of people-ESPECIAlLY when I'm trying to read notes because I always lose my place and end up looking silly... but I suppose everyone does that...


Individual presentations. I really enjoyed the pressentation on the idea that no one can be original. It's true! Every book I've read, every movie you've seen, you can almost always piece it to something else that already exsists. Including our very presentations! :)

Life is suffereing. Yes and no... I can't remember what the whole presentation was on, I just have that as a jump off point... :(

Love and lust. I liked this one too. The pure love of a child, the lust of a teenager, the true love (hopefully) of old age mixed with a little exciting lust.

Kagy chorus :) LOL! :) All that is past possesses the present. How funny that in this day and age we still have old men chorus's wandering around and judging people that walk by.

Spirited away. My god! A movie I've actually SEEN!!! :) I was so exciting! I never am able to join in wen people reference movies :) YEY! But of course I didn't jot down the differnt stories she refernced in her presentation.

Death of children. This was such a sad one :( It was definatly thought provoking though. Why do parents (mom's) kill their children? I liked her idea that they do it to keep their innocence and keep them from losing it... but it's still so terrible. This society doens't seem to think of children as people anymore, they seem to think of them more as pets.... but pets you get government assistance for having... look at the octuplets lady... why on earth would you want that many children?? And does she really think she can give ALL of them a happy childhood with being a single parent on food stamps???? Slightly off topic, but not really.

What is tragedy and Why do we have it? Tragedy brings joy. Without tragedy we would not view the joyful moments with as much joy as we do. Without death, we would not see life as precious, we would take things for granted more than we already do. I guess this morphed into the love and death presentation too... oops.

Term Paper

Greco Roman? Quite Possibly…

The one thing that always annoyed me was my confusion between the Greek Gods and the Roman Gods. The same God had two different names and two different stories, but they were the same God? How can that be and more importantly why is that so? I started doing some research and found lots of information, half of it contradicting the other half, but I started seeing that I was grossly wring in my thinking that the two were virtually the same. I also started to realize that this was a much bigger topic than my measly little five page paper, so a condensed version is as follows:
I will start first with a look at the Greek Mythology. The Greeks looked at mythology and the Gods and Goddess’ not as something or someone to attain once one has past on from this world, but more of a way to live while IN this world. They believed that what you did while alive determined your worth as a human and that if you were remembered for your life once you were dead, that that was the immortality one was trying to attain. The Gods and Goddesses of the Greek world were based on human traits, things such as Honor, Love, and Hatred. This was because the Greeks valued the emotional human as more important than the physical. People who were poets, artists, or great thinkers were thought more highly than those who could not “think outside the box.” The Greeks also viewed the idea of the individual as important. They believed that every man was responsible for their own well being and were not expected to follow the crowd.
The Romans on the other hand believed the complete opposite of the Greeks. The Romans focused more on the afterlife, that what you did in this life would determine what happened to you when you died. This is where the big gladiators came from. The Romans believed you are only as good as the group you are part of and that the individual meant very little. Where the Greeks reveled in the poets and artists, the Romans looked at brawn over brains, because being brave and fighting for the masses would secure you a good place in Heaven and the afterlife. In fact, they believed that if you were brave enough in life, you would become a God in death. The Romans took the Greeks mythology and made it into their own, they changed names and stories to focus less on the individual and the ideas of living a better life while alive, and reworked them to be more about vengeance and battles and immortals, very few of the Roman mythologies center on an individual mortal learning something.
The creation of both mythologies is somewhat different as well. When I say creation I do not mean when a certain group decided to believe in their corresponding deities, but more of how the stories came to be in the first place. For the Greeks it began when the civilization of Atlantis formed out of the water by Timaeus and Critias, who are sited in many stories about the beginning of Greek Mythology, obviously including Socrates Critias. As for the Romans, I found two stories that are believed to be equally possible. The first revolves around the war between Greece and Asia, after the war, Aeneas who was a brave and popular soldier ended up going to Rome where he, remembering the Gods from his former culture, proceeded to create the new Roman Mythologies. The second story involves two men from Greece who were the sons of the God Mars and Rhea Silvia, a mortal woman. During a conflict between the two brothers, one brother was killed and the other built a city called Rome, where he became the first king and thus started his own mythological story telling.
An example of the tweaking that was done to the Greek Gods to suit the Romans would be the God Zues, or Jupiter. The Greeks knew him as Zeus, he was the son of Cronus and Rhea. Cronus, who feared he would be dethroned by his children, swallowed them as they were born. When Zeus was born, Rhea wrapped a stone in swaddling clothes which Cronus ate, and then hid the infant in Crete. When Zeus was old enough he came out of hiding and forced his father to disgorge his children who were all eager to take vengeance on their father. Cronus was overthrown and Zeus took his place as the head of the divine hierarchy of the Greek Gods and the father of all immortals and mortals. His wife was the queen of Heaven and they resided on Mount Olympus in Thessaly. As for the Romans, Jupiter was the son of the God Saturn whom he overthrew to become ruler of all. The Romans identified this God, Jupiter, with the Greek God Zeus and therefore assigned the Greek attributes to this new Roman God, who with goddesses Juno and Minerva, were central to the Roman religious state.
Both Zeus and Jupiter were associated with water, Zeus, because Greece was a very dry climate and water brought life, Jupiter because he was the God of the sky and the sky gave rain which in turn gave life. Both Gods threw thunderbolts and rain and both were the gods of truth and virtue and the guardians of law. Both gods were essentially the same person, but each god presented what their followers needed, the Greeks wanted a creative, intellectual god, while the Romans wanted a physical god.
In class we have studied a lot of mythology, both Greek and Roman, and as I stated before it annoyed me that the same person seemed to have two different identities. Now I know that even though they have two different stories, both versions are similar because they both stem from the same place. It is almost like you get two different points of view about the same person, creating, almost, a more accurate view when reading one version over another. The vengeful god has a soft side, and the gentle god will not be pushed around. It makes them, well, almost human.