Weekly Journal Update 10/18

Sunday, October 14th, 5–7pm

While reading this section on Athena it was interesting to learn about her allegiance to men. The source of my previous knowledge of Athena didn’t really go into depth on her birth and how it separated her from women. So, to learn about her defending and helping men to the degree that she does was interesting if not a little disappointing.

  1. Can someone plan to have good ideas? How do you do that? What is the process for coming up with a good strategy (e.g., in war)?

I think a good strategy is both a skill and a talent. Some people are simply born with the talent of intelligence and higher level problem solving, while others can learn it through schooling and practical applications. I think that someone can have a solid plan. I think the process for coming up with a good strategy in things like war comes from practice and observation. A proper war strategy can be put together from knowing your opponents. One must figure out not only their opponents next move but the move they intend to make after that. An intimate relationship with your opponents brain can help when making an effective war strategy. Another thing that can help someone come up with a good strategy is knowing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as having a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish so that you can effectively figure out how you want to achieve that goal.

2. When you process the world, what are the most common opposites you think about, e.g., life/death, good/evil, male/female? To what extent are these helpful categories?

When it comes to the most common opposites I think of light/dark, life/death, good/evil, hot/cold. I think that these categories are often understood on a very broad basis of good vs bad. I think one of the most basic opposite that exists in this world is light versus dark which, thanks to Star Wars, is commonly thought of as good versus evil or bad. I think a lot of our understanding about the universe and how we operate within in is based on the understanding between good and bad. As children we grow up and learn which behaviors are good and which are bad and as we get older the behaviors get much more complex, but they still have the same core meaning.

Tuesday, October 16th, 3–4pm

In class today we discussed the idea that Olivia Pope could be seen as a modern Athena figure. It was interesting to me that someone else in class would bring up Athena because in my mind I was thinking about Meredith Grey when the topic was posed. I have just finished my millionth re watch of the first 7 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (season 8 and beyond is garbage and can rot in hell) and my mind went to the situation of the first clinical trial Meredith and Derek did together. The clinical trial was testing whether a virus introduced to tumors in complicated areas of the brain could effectively kill the tumor and save the patient from an early death. Throughout the clinical trial Derek takes the life of 12 people due to the incorrect chemical cocktail in the tumor-eating virus. The deaths take a toll on him and he wants to quit the trial before operating on the final subject who is waiting in the hospital. Meredith believes that if they did the operation one more time then that last patient would receive the correct dosage and they would essentially find a way to cure this form of tumor. Derek has to coerce Derek into operating on the final patient, she is the who makes sure it gets done. Meredith Grey definitely doesn’t strike me as an Athena figure when I look at her other behavior traits but they way that she acts as Derek’s backbone throughout the series. She guides him to the decision of operating when he has doubts throughout the seasons and this aspect of her storylines reminds me of Athena. It is interesting that both me and another person in the class would think of Shonda Rhimes characters when thinking of modern Athena figures, and it’s funny how the characteristic that reminds us of the goddess is their act of propping up the respective males in each of their series. It’s funny how similar these characters are considering how wildly different the two series are.

Another Character who reminds me of Athena is Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones. Cersei is a cunning planner who is attempting to win the battle for the throne through cunning intelligence not but brute force with an army like her many components. This is similar to Athena’s reputation on the battle field. Cersei does not forget her female ways in order to take on and defeat her opponents, rather she uses her beauty and status as a woman to lure the men around her into a false sense of security.

One thing I think about the ways of modern Athena figures and how their similarities compare to the original goddess is how women these days use their femininity in order to trick the males around them. Where Athena saw her womanhood as a weakness, many heroines in modern stories see it as a strength. Wonder Woman, Aelin Galathynius, etc. all embrace their feminine side and use it as a tool in their arsenal.

Wednesday, October 17th, 4–6pm

  1. To what extent do the most powerful women you can think of today resemble Athena?

I think the biggest difference between modern women in power and Athena is their correlation and alliance with men. With the current surge in feminism it is seen as a great dishonor for women to align themselves with men and take their side over other women. I think some characteristics of Athena that are still prevalent in modern powerful women include their apparent function of propping up the men surrounding them and their wisdom and knowledge in battle.

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