This week I spent my ten hours outside of the class preparing for the midterm. This was truly the easiest 10 hours that I had spent outside of the class. Because I am not one to fail, I did not go out last weekend because I wanted to focus on preparing for the Greek Literature midterm; although I did study with a bottle next to me to keep me sane. Thursday afternoon, I went to the panel discussion at the National Gallery. I admit, this was not the most interesting thing for me to attend, but I would not say it was a waste of time either. It was interesting to see the slides and here the information about them. For example, the first slide that was shown, showed a picture of a man who was compared to Jesus. Apparently, they looked similar. I don’t think they do, but my opinion wasn’t important at the time lol. I did find out information that made the class a little more interesting. I did not know that Homer was blind. I’m sure this gave him a lot of creativity since he could not see the world around him, therefore his plays could not be influenced too much by it. The end of the panel was questions and answers, but because I was exhausted from the week, I did not stay for this part.
Friday night I spent my time re-reading Rhesus. I studied in my friend’s living room while we were drinking. It made the studying a lot more fun and interactive. It also made me a lot more interested in what I was reading. I must say that I enjoyed reading Rhesus Friday night and I’m pretty sure I had a better time doing that, rather than if I had went out. Plus any night with food, liquor, and entertainment is good enough for me. I studied for about 4 hours that night. It probably would have gone a little faster if I wasn’t socializing while I studied. When I studied I read the play and after about each paragraph, I paraphrased what was happening in the play in my own words on a separate sheet of paper. Later, if I needed to study, I would go back and look and the notes that I took. It made me understand the story a lot clearer as if I was reading a summary online about the play. I am going to continue to do this, because I think it is the only way I will stay engaged in the story. When I read the play cover to cover without taking a moment to actually think about what I just read, I miss a lot of important info because I’m really reading just to get the reading done, versus reading to actually understand the content.
Saturday morning I was supposed to wake up and read Iphigenia at Aulis, but that did not happen. Instead, I decided to go grocery shopping, and to the liquor store again. When I got back, I realized it was about 4:00pm and I needed to actually start studying. Again, I sat at the table in the kitchen with my friend; we drank, read, and discussed. We studied from about 4:00pm to 10:00pm. We wrote down character names, summarized the story again, and thought about the themes associated with Iphigenia at Aulis. I think out of all the plays that I have read in this class, Iphigenia at Aulis is my favorite. Although it is technically a tragedy because Iphigenia is ultimately sacrificed, I found a lot of comedy while reading the play. What humored me the most was the irony. However, I generally find humor differently than others. First off, I believe that Menelaus is messed up for asking his brother to sacrifice his daughter (by the way, which is his niece), to save his adulterous wife from a man who she probably doesn’t even want to be saved from. This makes absolutely no sense to me lol. He has absolutely no loyalty to his family. I look at Menelaus as selfish for this. I also found it hilarious that Agamemnon was actually willing to sacrifice his own daughter at first as well, just so he can lead the army. If you ask me, these are two selfish brothers who probably came from a selfish family. Although Agamemnon ended up changing his mind about the sacrifice because he FINALLY came to his senses, Menelaus stopped this from happening (selfish again). And then when Menelaus FINALLY came to his senses, it was too late. Clytemnestra, Iphigenia, and Orestes arrived at Aulis. I can tell that Euripides really enjoyed irony and was probably a very funny person and maybe a bit of an asshole too. By the end of the night, I felt like I knew the characters personally. I wish that we could have read Iphigenia before we read the Illiad and the Odyssey because chronologically it makes sense.
Sunday I went to the scavenger hunt at the National Gallery for the extra credit opportunity. I went with two of my friends which made it a lot more fun than if I was by myself. We got to the gallery around 11:00am and went upstairs to the exhibit. We were astonished by the sculptures. They were beautiful and truly amazing. Our first thoughts were we wanted to plan a trip to Greece just to see its beauty. I’ve been to Italy and it was amazing. I feel that Greece will either give me the same amazement, if not better. We were paired with two other Howard students. This was cool because we felt comfortable and felt that we could probably relate even though we did not know each other. We were slightly bummed because we thought we would be able to meet people from different schools, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. We had a total of 5 people in our group, but the scavenger hunt packet was 4 pages. We divided the work by page. Three of us each worked on a page, and the other two students shared the last page. We took pictures of the page we were working on, since there was only one packet to share. Then we split up. Some of the questions I had to find were “Find the statue with the cracked butt” and “Find a sculpture with a man holding a notebook”. When I found an answer, my strategy was to take a picture of the statue on snapchat, typed the number of the question it was for, and then saved the picture to my phone. That way, when we met up later, I just pulled up my pictures and transported them from my phone to the paper. We spent about an hour looking for the answers. We found a lot of them, but not all. We were just having fun and going with the flow. We left the exhibit around 12:30 and we all agreed that it was a fun experience regardless of the extra credit.I was supposed to finish studying that night, but I went to a fish fry at my friend’s house and it was hard to study and be social at the same time. So I decided to take a night off of studying and have fun. Especially considering that I had not went out all weekend.
Monday I was the most stressed I think I have ever been this semester. The reason why I was stressed is because I felt unprepared for the midterm, and I also had a phone interview the next day that I had to prepare for. I felt as though there was not enough time in the day. I got out of class at 5 and went straight home to study. I prepared for my interview until about 8:00pm and spent the rest of the night preparing for the Greek Literature exam. I tried to read The Odyssey and The Illiad but it became difficult because the version that we read did not have designated speaking parts. It was difficult to follow because I did not know who was speaking. So instead, I decided to read the online summaries. They definitely helped me understand the story, but as far as knowing quotations for the midterm, I knew that it was going to be challenging. I also re-read the notes that I took of Iphigenia at Aulis and Rhesus.
The day of the exam I felt that I had studied as much as I could. When I received the prompts, I immediately recognized the first quote from Iphigenia at Aulis. I wrote about a page and a quarter. I was surprised about how much I knew about the play. However, after I answered the first answer, the last three questions seemed unrecognizable. For a moment, I felt that I was going to fail the exam, but after spending about ten minutes of thinking, I recognized the second quote from Book 4 of The Odyssey and it was spoken by Menelaus. I did have as long of an answer for this quote because I knew more about the story of Iphigenia at Aulis than I did of The Odyssey. However, my answer was still three-quarters of a page and I believe it had all the information that it needed to receive a high score. Unfortunately, I did not get to answer a third question. I knew that the last to quotes came from Rhesus and The Illiad, but as far as who said them, when they said it, and what was meant by it, I had no clue. I walked out of the test feeling as though I received a B. Hopefully I am right.