Weekly Journal #7
Thursday, February 25, 2016 9:30–11am: Attended class in Douglas Hall. I was super late to class this day so I ended up having to sit on the side almost to the back of the classroom. That was weird because i usually sit in the very front row. I’m not sure why I do that with this class because I usually sit in the front section but never the actual front row. It’s no big deal though, I was still able to follow along and hear. Today was a sort of review for the Mid-term. It wasn’t really a review-y review. It was more like showing us different methods to go over the material. Sandridge went over like the three levels of awareness or knowledge. They start in the middle with the smallest which is “What You Know”. Then you move outward into an expanded category which is “What You Know You Don’t Know”. Lastly, the outermost level is entitled “What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know”. So the basic point is to try to expand on each area in order to increase the area for what you know and decrease the two that you don’t know. As you work more, you find the answers to questions you don’t know and you’ll work with other people or look up resources online that will enlighten you to some of those things you would have never thought of, thus decreasing “What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know”. In addition, we discussed the different methods to covering the material. You could do it by characters. For each character, tell his/her story, identify related characters, identify the tensions and themes this character is involved in, etc. You could also study stories. Some examples would be Iphigenia’s sacrifice, the Trojan War itself, the story of the deities that lead to this sequence of events, the trip returning from Troy, etc. For each story, you would also note the all the characters, all the tensions and themes, and the sequence of events. Lastly, students can study each book or play. So Books 1,6,9,10, 22, and 24 of Iliad separately. I think this would be the easiest and most inclusive method to ensure depth of understanding.
Thursday, February 25, 2016 3:30–4:30pm: Attended the second Greek art lecture at the National Gallery of Art. This one was a lot better than the first lecture. I think only because I was a little more familiar with the terms and names. This lecture was along the same lines as the first, subject-wise. There is a bronze statue (head remains of a statue) that does not have a specific identification. This one was called the Houston Portrait and named Poet or God. Two possible identities were chosen, Zeus and Homer. Similarities between the two were indistinguishable based on other renderings of the two. One popular rendering is of either of them sitting atop a throne with a scepter in the left hand and in the right, a scroll for Homer and like a lightening bolt for Zeus. In a lot of renderings of Homer, the juxtaposition of him and the god Zeus and their obvious similar features and poses/actions denotes a divine quality within Homer. They suggest the notion of Homer being the god of all wisdom and knowledge; his stories are throughout the world and through all time. Also mentioned are the reasons for Homer’s blind state because in some of his portraits, he is not blind and that also begs the question of if it really is just the god Zeus. Some tales suggest he was blind since birth. One story says it was the blinding shine of Achilles’s armor when Homer looked upon it. Another story suggests Helen blinded him after he wrote his books because of her portrayal in the books. She wanted him to destroy the books and say they weren’t true and he refused so she blinded. This also suggests a divine quality within Helen.
Sunday, February 27, 2016 12:30–2pm: Participated in the Greek art scavenger hunt at the National Gallery of Art. I woke up super late today so I’m glad I was in the second group because I forgot all about the activity when I woke up until I looked at the groupme. Anyway, I had a hard time finding the right exhibit in the museum. I was in a team with Shirin and a few students from other schools. Lucky us, two of the other girls studied Latin! That was a savior because otherwise, I would have had to look up everything in google translate. The activity was pretty cool. There were a lot of participants plus a lot of just regular museum visitors because it is Sunday. It was a tad confusing because a lot of the pieces had the same name like “Portrait of a Man”. It’s good that our scribe decided to write the reference numbers down on the paper instead of just the names. We probably wouldn’t have gotten a lot of points with just that. My group was fun. Some of us would go ahead of the group and scope out the next room so we would have the answers ready for when the Latin speakers came and had to answer the Latin questions or talk to the black-and-white-shirt people. It did take the entire time to complete the activity. I think we went a little over time as well. I was just happy that it wasn’t outside and requiring running around.
Sunday, February 27, 2016 2:30–8pm: Studied for mid-term exam. So I read all the books and plays back to back. I forgot how long the Iliad and Odyssey books were. It took a lot of will power to stick to reading it all. While reading them again, I noted a few links to the plays and books that I hadn’t noticed before. For example, in Iliad Book 1, when Calchas tells them the reason for Apollo attacking them, Agamemnon gets angry and insists that all Calchas ever has to tell is bad news. He always tells him bad news and never prophesies that something good is happening. And it occurred to me that he may have been referring to Chalcas’s earlier prophesy about having to sacrifice Iphigenia while they were stuck in Aulis. So Agamemnon was still mad basically years later when they are camped outside Troy. There were a few other instances like that as well. I didn’t take a lot of notes mostly because I don’t retain the information as well when I’m stopping every so often to write some notes down. I tend to end up just reading for content to put in the notes, trying to figure out what’s note-worthy. I guess the method I used was the studying by book. After each section I completed reading, I stopped and reflected on what I read. The things I noticed that were different from the first time reading it, character similarities and differences across books and plays, etc. I retain a lot by just reading and absorbing the story and plot and everything else just relates to those. Wow it was a lot to read though.
Tuesday, February 29, 2016 9:30–11am: Attended class in Douglas Hall. So the mid-term was today. It was not what I expected at all. I don’t know if that made it easier or more difficult. All I know is my hand was sore and my head was hurting by the time I was done. I think I was well-prepared but I don’t really know what Sandridge is looking for though. It is a little diffcult because it was really jus like regurgitating as much information as was possible about each quote and story. I think it was hard because you don’t really know how much is too much or too little. Like because you’re earning points instead of like losing points for not having stuff, it makes sense to just write as much down as possible about each quote’s story, not just the events surrounding the quote. So is that then worth more because they gave more information even though that may not have been relevant to the quote specifically, or do you get the maximum amount of points by covering what was asked for of each quote? I went a little overboard with my first response, giving a lot of detail and background information on Iphigenia in Aulis. That question took up a lot of time though so the other questions don’t give all the background information, just what related specifically to the quote. I really don’t think I gave an adequate amount of information for each, but I gave as much as possible with the time restraint. Again, I don’t really know the depth of what Sandridge was looking for. I really want an A in this class but I don’t think it’s gonna happen because of my bad quiz scores and probably equally bad journal entries.
Tuesday, February 29, 2016 4–5pm: Read The Trojan Women by Euripides in my room with no distractions. Interesting. This was a great story and an easy read. I have like a satisfied kind of feeling after reading this play. Not because of what happened to the women, but because it gives an ending to the Trojan War part of the story. Homer’s Iliad just ends with the funeral of Hector but we don’t know what happened to the city after he died. We don’t know what happened to the women and Priam and Paris and the other brothers left alive. So The Trojan Women answers that question. I think to get more specific information, I’ll have to read more plays and stories because there has to be one that covers the end of the Trojan War and the story of the Trojan Horse and Achilles’s death. I’ll have to look up what book covers that or maybe we’ll be reading that later in the class. I probably also like it because it was mostly female. It was refreshing after reading 4 pieces that were predominately male. To see the female perspective of the Trojans almost makes me want to switch sides to support them. That’s weird but yea.