Weekly Journal 01
Tuesday, August 23rd 11:10 am-12:30 pm
We started class by discussing the Five Great Stories. These five great stories consisted of, Career, Love/Social Relationships, Spiritual/Intellectual/Enlightenment, Leadership and Partnership. We then broke down each story and began to share our life stories and which Great Story our personal lives fell under. My life, as I shared in class, has and continues to be a career based Great Story. I’ve wanted to be an engineer my whole entire life and everything I’ve done in my life has geared me towards becoming one. From going to a high school where I obtained two licenses to fix aircrafts, to actually majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Howard University. Surprisingly, when other classmates shared their stories their stories were more Social Relationship and Spiritual based. One classmate was brave enough to share his story about how the death of a close friend of his lead to an enlightenment and to him appreciating the social relationships he currently has on a whole new level.
Soon after, we were introduced and had a brief discussion about Homer’s Iliad and the idea of homophrosyne. Homophrosyne comes from the word homo, which means similar, common, or same, and the word phrosyne, meaning belief, or a way of thinking. So all together homophrosyne means, a thinking and knowledge that is shared between two or more people. We were told that in Homer’s Iliad, the story takes place during the Trojan War. This story however is centered around the Menis (wrath) of Achilles and severing human ties.
Wednesday, August 24th 7:10 pm-11:00 pm
I started to read Book 1 of Homer’s Iliad, and I already have some thoughts on Agamemnon. Even though he’s petty, ruthless and undeniably arrogant, he is a go getter. Agamemnon definitely gets what he wants and if you have a problem with his wishes, its like moving mountains. Achilles on the other hand seems to be extremely noble and just wants justice. What seems to be most important to Achilles, is the fact that Agamemnon took his prize (Briseis) and refuses to return her. He speaks about how upset he is about the fact that he is always fighting and going into war and Agamemnon never does, but Agamemnon’s spoils are always greater than his own. So the one time Achilles obtains an amazing prize, Agamemnon just decides that he should have it instead. In Agmemnon’s case, I believe that due to his personality and his self oriented thought process, he just wanted the better prize. He even said that if they find a better prize that Briseis, he’d return her. Once I read that, I realized the type of person he really is.
If I was to ask both characters “what kind of person are you?”, I think for one Achilles would say he is a proud warrior. To me, Achilles seems like a poster boy. Somewhat of a Captain America if that makes sense. He’s humble, he’s apparently unstoppable in battle, he’s very rules and regulation oriented, and all he wants is what he’s earned, nothing more nothing less. By him saying he’s a proud warrior he’s just understands his role, which I believe he does. If I were to ask Agmemnon, he’d say that he’s perfection. That would be the only appropriate answer a person like Agmemnon would give. He is the type of person who requires that everything around him should work in his favor. He literally thinks the universe, other than the Gods of course, revolves around him. He takes what he wants, when he wants it.
We were asked to contact someone and have a one hour conversation with them. The question we had to ask them was “how do you decide how much a human being is worth?” I decided to have this conversation with my mother. I had called her, asked her the question and we proceeded to have the conversation. She started off by saying how you can’t really decide how much a human being is worth because she was going off of the fact that you can’t buy a human soul, you can’t purchase raw emotions, or raw human feels. But then she started to think about it in terms of the impact on society that, that human has had. So then I asked “what about babies, or toddlers that haven’t done anything yet?” she then said that there worth is more or less in their potential, but theres no real way to measure that. So we continued to discuss the whole “impact on society” discussion. She had said the more positive the impact the higher the worth and vice versa.
Thursday, August 25th 11:10 am-12:30 pm
Today, in class we reviewed why the Trojan war was started. We discussed Paris, the son of Priam and the prince of Troy who is pretty much the catalyst to the Trojan war. In the The Judgement of Paris Peleus and Thetis, were getting married and invited all of the gods except for Eris, the goddess of discord. In return, Eris had manifested this golden apple and on it, it read, “To the Fairest” and sent it to the wedding. The three goddesses that claimed it were Athena, Aphrodite and Hera. In order to decide they made Paris choose. They all offered him something in return to persuade him. In the end he chose Aphrodite who then gives him the most beautiful woman in the ancient world, Helen, the wife of Menelaus. This led us into a discussion about who’s offer would we take. Would we take Athena’s gift of strategizing (which we equated to being a CEO)?. Would you accept Hera’s gift of leadership (which we considered as being the President)? Or would you accept Aphrodite’s gift of love or in other words, your perspective Helen? Personally I chose being a CEO because with that you can definitely find yourself a Helen.
We then reviewed some of book 1 in class. We discussed how the speaker of the poem begins the poem, asking to be spoken through to tell the tale of the divine wrath that Achilles performs. We spoke about how Agamemnon violated Achilles by taking Briseis and how later down the line Hector will kill Patroclus ultimately leading to this mass destruction.
Monday, August 29th 1:25 pm-4:30 pm
We were asked to visit the National Gallery, identify three works of art that speak to the power of love and to take a photo of ourself in front of these works. So I took a casual afternoon Lyft ride to the National Gallery. Once I got there, I couldn’t really tell where I was because, I fell asleep in the Lyft, but then I wondered into the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. At first I didn’t see anything that caught my eye enough or sparked the idea of the power of love in my mind. Then, I saw this sculpture. It is called King and Queen. The
nature of love in this work addresses is strength of unity. The work represents the literal power of love. The power that is obtain by a king and a queen. Through this you see that love conquers all. A true testament to what power royalty has. I then found myself in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. There I found two pieces of art. One a bit more direct that the other but they both peaked my interest. The first sculpture that caught my eye was Robert Indiana’s AMOR. The nature of love that this
addresses is how loud and blatant love can be, it can also be looked at how much of a distraction it can be. The sculpture is a bright and bold red and it is in a bold powerful font and there is no mistake that it’s love. However, as a bright red piece of art in a garden, it will catch your eye if you’re within it’s vicinity. According to this sculpture love conquers all but it can viewed as love conquers rationality. Touching back on the idea that it could mean how much of a distraction love is, you can relate that to the effects of love on those who are distracted by it. Irrational decision are made daily due to love. The last piece of work I saw was Mark Di Suvero’s Aurora. What I see when I
look at this sculpture is not just random bars but an arrangement of support. The nature that this work addresses is how chaotic but supporting love can be. Love can solve a lot of issues but it can also be the epicenter of the issue as well. In this piece of work the bars are supported by one another in order for this to stand. The foundation must be strong, considering it’s holding all of this up. Even though it is chaotic, it is standing. Love here conquers everything, including chaos. To me love has the power over rationality and logic. Love blinds a lot of people my age to me. I feel like its appropriate for certain relationships but love in the sense of a partner is far too much of a task for those who haven’t even settled in life yet.