It’s President’s Day! A time to honor our leaders. A time to challenge our future leaders with the study of past leaders. Tomorrow, students begin presentations to share a myth from Greek or Roman mythologies and a mythology other than Greek or Roman.
What caused this desire to research? The freshmen have finished learning about Odysseus. During class discussions, they felt Odysseus’ leadership skills were a 7 on a scale of 1-10 and 10 being the best. He would have scored higher, they said, but it was his fault all his men died. After all, it was Odysseus who didn’t listen to his men and made them stay to meet the Cyclops. Sure, the story shows us how brains defeats brawn. Sure, we realize that with brains, we can accomplish great feats. However, the story also shows us that we should not taunt the other person when we win. Odysseus’ taunts cause the big bully, Polyphemus to pray to his father, Poseidon. And, the prayer for the destruction of all of Odysseus’ crew is answered. So, according to the students, it is all Odysseus’ fault. So, the kids wanted to see how other cultures defined leadership skills. Ok, they didn’t come out and say they wanted to this. I had to read their minds.
Besides learning about leadership, one of the objectives is for students to learn about all of the allusions or references to mythologies in our world. I enjoy seeing a student learn that the word martial comes from Mars, the Roman god of war. Of course, marital is also derived from the god of war. Coincidence?
This year’s big epiphany was when Tyler was researching Norse mythology. I was expecting him to realize the names for several days of the week come from the Vikings. However, his big “Eureka!” moment came when he saw the god Thor: “I thought Thor was a character in a movie!”
At this point, I will take any discovery. Do you have any “Aha!” moments you have witnessed and would like to share?