Weekly Journal Udpate 1

Tuesday, August 23, 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 A.M.

Today was the first day of class. I was excited because I had took Greek Literature before, but my experience wasn’t that good. All my friends gave Dr. Sandridge good reviews, so I can to class with a good head on, excited to learn. He had sent out a article titled, “How to Balance Life’s Five Great Stories, or Why You Shouldn’t Work for the NSA”. I read the article the previous night and found it very interesting, therfore I can to class ready to discuss. He started of class by asking what we thought about the article and what were he five different categories people collectively summarize their life stories . In my response to his question, I stated that the five great stories consisted of: a career story, friendship/romance story, the long-term partnership, the leadership story, the intellectual/spiritual story. I explained in my response, that I felt like in my life the most important to my life, in this moment is the stories about my career and my intellectual/spiritual story. I am a senior at Howard University, so I am trying to become this doctor I picture myself being the future. How I got to this point and where I’m goin in life as far as my career is a great story that has so many twist and turns. Dr. Sandridge explained to the class that people intertwine together throughout their life. He also, explained that these five great stories play a major role when studying and comprehending Humanities in your lifestyle.

Dr. Sandridge then proceeded the class with going over the syllabus and making sure we understood what he wanted us to take out of this class. He expressed that he wanted us to really think outside the box in this course and to really give effort to not only get an A in this course, but to apply it to your life as well and to learn to express yourself.

Ending class, he expressed he wanted us to read the first book of Homer’s Iliad.

Tuesday, August 23, 5:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

I was outside the courtyard of my dorm reading book one of Homer’s Iliad. Homer starts by introducing a muse that is telling the poet to help him tell this story of the rage of Achillies, the greatest Greek hero to fight in the Trojan War. I remember Dr. Snadridge saying before class let out, that this book is about the severing of numerous relationships. There is going to be a lot of “menis”, which means wrath playing a central part in this book. The book then proceeds to go to Chyrses taking his ship to Agamemnon and asking for his daughter, Chryseis back. He came with many gifts to ransom to him in return for his daughter. Agamemnon refuses and sends him on his way. I honestly from this point, like Agamemnon because as a King I feel he is very greedy and acts on impulse. It just seems like he wants it all and he can’t just take whatever he wants. Chris’s, then goes to pray to Apollo for help. Apollo send a plague to the Greek camp, resulting in casualties of Agamemnon’s soldiers. Achillies called an assembly of the Achaean arm to ask what is going on. The seer, Calchas, tells him that this was the cause of Agamemnon not giving back Chryseis to her father. Agamemnon hears of this and becomes filled with rage. He states that he will only give her back if Achillies gives him Briseis (Achillies’s prize) as a replacement. Achilles becomes filled with wrath and feels humiliated. The goddess Athena then comes down to restrain his anger, as well as the wise advisor Nestor. That night, Agamemnon puts Chryseis on a ship back to her father and sends heralds to have Briseis escorted from Achilles’ tent. Achilles prays to his mother, the sea-nymph Thetis, to ask Zeus, king of the gods, to punish the Achaeans. He relates to her the tale of his quarrel with Agamemnon, and she promises to take the matter up with Zeus — who owes her a favor — as soon as he returns from a thirteen-day period of feasting with the Aethiopians. Meanwhile, the Achaean commander Odysseus is navigating the ship that Chryseis has boarded. Chryses becomes filled with joy and the Achaeans plague is subsided, but the real suffering hasn’t even started yet. Achilles ask his mother, Thetis, to help talk to Zues to punish the Achaeans. After waiting for Zues to return, Thetis was able to talk to him and ask for his helping hand. Zues was reluctant at first because, Hera, his wife, favored the Greeks. Zues proceeded with Thetis request anyway. Reading all of this was so interesting to me because it is like readin a soap opera. I like drama TV shows, so I like the conflicts already arisint in this first book.

While reading book one, I remembered that Dr. Sandridge provided us with three reading question for us to respond to and be read to discuss in class. I decided to write down my responses now:

  1. To me, I feel like the most important thing to Achilleus is his “Kleos” meaning his glory and his image of being known as a great hero achieving “arrests”, which means to be the best. The passage that justified my observations is located in book one, lines 148–171. This is when he is confronting Agamemnon about his decision about not giving Chryseis back to her father. He is basically saying that he worked hard to earn Briseis and his prize doesn’t equal Agamemnon’s. As for Agamemnon, he values having it all, meaning having enough isn’t enough. I noticed this when he first responded back to Achilleus the first time in lines 173–187. He is basically telling Achilleus that its okay he can leave because he can find another warrier better than him, and threatens to take his Briseis. He already has Chryseis and now he threatens to take Achilleus’s prize, too. This is what he was going to accomplish all on his own, just to get under Achilleus’s skin.
  2. If I asked either one of them ( Achilles and Agamemnon) the question, “What kind of person are you?” they would both state they are the best or as Dr. Sandridge would tell us, “aristos”. They both are known as greats whether it’s reigning as a King or a well-known warrior. Achilles would probably say, I am the greatest warrior to walk this earth. Agamemnon would most likely respond like, “What kind of question is that?, I am the son of Atreus and I am the best in everything I do. I will proudly go to any heights to have everything.”
  3. I had my hour conversation with my mom on the phone. Our discussion basically circled around the basis on that one can’t really put a worth on any human. This was the way the conversation stayed for awhile until I brought up you could possibly gauge a persons’ worth by what they value in life if they were stripped of everything. How much of an impact that person would make to the world in general. I mean I guess you would have to make a scale on what we would value as infuential. We kind of got stuck on this for awhile.

Thursday, August 25, 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

In class today Dr. Sandridge discussed book one with the class. He asked us if we had any questions about the book so far, or needed any clarity on characters or anything. A couple of my class mates had questions about the wrath of Achilles and how Agamemnon is viewed in this book so far.

Dr. Sandrige then proceeded to ask us about the discussion questions, which I answered the previous night. Most of the classes responses correlated with my thoughts on these discussion questions. This is when he gives clarity to main characters like Achilles and a little bit of his background. We also discussed how would we describe Achilles wrath. We came to the consensus that we could categorize it as: “divine wrath”, indiscriminant and triggered by deep violation. The class dicussion goes deep into thought about the beginning song Homer presents to the audience. The muse is asking the poet to help him tell this story. He also gives us clarity to Brieseis and why she is such a prize to Achilles.

Dr. Sandridge ends class by telling us to go the National Gallery of Art and take pictures of pieces of work that resemble love. He also states to read books 2–4 for the weekend.

Saturday, August 27th, 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 P. M.

Today I was excited because not only do I love art, but the National Gallery of Art is my favorite museum. This is part of the reason I spent so much time in here. I just get lost in all of its greatness. While walking around I took numerous pictures that, I thought, represented love.

I felt like these pieces ressembles a mother’s love for her child, especially with the work by Auguste Rodin and Veronese. A mother’s love is the most powerful.

I feel like all these works speak to the power of love through nurturing and trust. In the piece by Edward McCartan expresses love in a way that embodies trust and ebrace because the animal expresses trust to her by the way he is looking up to her. The woman has no food or an incentive that would have made the animal com to her, so therefore there is trust. With the nurturing aspect, one can notice this with the mother and child pieces I expressed above. A mother’s love as stated above conquers all because when a child is in the arms of their mother, their whole world feels safe, in essence, protection, trust, emotions and embrace.

Tuesday, August 30th, 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

Today in class Dr. Sandridge started off, as usual, asking the class if we had any question about books 2–4 we had to read over the weekend. Many of my classmates had questions about book two about the catalogue of ships. Dr. Sandridge explained that this was like the point in a movie, like the Avengers”, where all the characters are just brought out. I also had a question about the different names thrown around in the books so far. For example, the Greeks are also called the Danaans, Achaeans, or Argives. This helped me to understand who was who in the books up until now.

He then proceeded the class discussion to move towards the term “love”. He asked us what we thought love is. Words that were thrown around included: protect, trust, folly, emotions, self sacrifice, absorption, adoration, nurturing, forethought, planning, embrace, beauty. all these words came from different stories from my classmates about their own adventure to the museum. Dr. Sandridge threw in the word subjective as the discussion went on. He made the reference to the movie Back to the Future.

The discussion moved to a couple passages about love Dr. Sandridge wanted us to look at. The first one was in book three (146–160). This passage circled around the fact that Homer is challenging you to create your own perception of beauty. That the most beautiful thing is whatever you love. Since Helen is deemed as the fairest of them all, she is held to a certain stature. He told us the Greek word for love is “eros”. The other passage is in book four (148) basaily showing Agamemnon’s love for Menelaus when he thought he was dead, but he wasn’t. He thought his kleos would be shamed. He is imagining what life would be like without Menelaus.

He ends class by telling us to read book five and be ready to discuss the questions next class.

Wednesday, August 31, 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

Reading book five put me in so much awe. The gods get involved in everything and the Trojans begin to get the upper hand in the battle. A hero is someone who goes though with action for the greater good. They sacrifice themselves for someone else or to make something better by any means neccessay. Heros can be anyone look like anyone or be anything in fact. There isn’t a particular way one can describe a hero, in my eyes. My hero is my grandmother and yes, I have written a poem about her because she needed to know she was greatly appreciated. A hero has power and with great power comes great responsibility. In terms of a “hero” in this book I would say that Diomedes taking the super strentgh and other powers given to him by Athena and injurying various gods and goddesses when Athena told him he could only wound Aphrodite, isn’t heroic. Again he had power, but wasn’t responsible with it at all.

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