After reading the first five books of the Odyssey, with their partners, and performing the first part of this epic poem with their classmates, students delved deeply into an interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. Their study began by annotating excerpts from this PBS interview about the Power of Myth and then soon formulated questions to bring to the Socratic seminar. The seminar began with the question, "Is following your bliss the hero's journey?" Over the course of the next hour, students explored this question as well as defining a hero; made connections to other works of literature, fictional characters, and historical figures; commented that the journey may not be so joyful; remarked about our work on resilience a month ago, non-recognition of kind deeds done, and death.
Although some students made connections to mythical stories featuring larger-than-life heroes; others felt that this journey is for all of us; and one student saw acts of heroism in standing up for someone else or a performing an act of kindness.
Parts of the seminar were recorded. Let me know if you need a password to view them.
In upcoming weeks, we will define the stages of the hero's journey and apply them to the Odyssey and a TED Radio Hour show.