Thursday, April 10, 2008

If I quit posting it's because I got fired . . .

Why-oh-why did I agree to teach Greek Mythology to 9th graders???? And what was I thinking when I decided it would be a good idea for them to give group presentations on the Olympian gods? And where was my brain when I suggested they might look on the internet for pictures for visual aids?

Highlights from today:
  • during a presentation about Athena, two girls giggled as they told a myth about Hephaestus spilling his seed on Athena's thigh
  • during a presentation about Hades, the boy who put together a PowerPoint presentation complained loudly because the only pictures of Hades he could find online had visible twigs and berries
  • during a discussion about The Odyssey, in response to my wondering whether Odysseus might have been a willing prisoner of Calypso, a male students says, "Heck yeah he was willing--he was gettin' lucky in Kentucky!"
  • which of course directly relates to the two girls who could not stop giggling after telling the class that Athena's gift of olive trees was appreciated by the Greeks because olive oil makes a great lubricant
  • and to top it all off, at the end of our discussion of The Odyssey, a student said, "Man, this sounds just like The Bible." I said, "Good connection--The Bible is the Christian version of a book of myths." Immediately I had a dozen angry and offended students shouting at me, just as the bell rang. So I yelled after them, "Oh don't be so thin-skinned. All religions have a set of myths they hold to be true." I'm pretty sure that didn't help anything. It could have been an excellent discussion, really, if we had some time to really talk about what it all means. I will try to have that discussion tomorrow, of course, but my take on the comparison of The Odyssey and The Bible is from a Bible-as-literature sort of a view. There is a difference between looking at The Bible as literature and looking at it as scripture. As an English teacher, I'm making literary connections, not religious ones. Oh well, I'm sure they will all go home tonight and cry to their parents about how Mrs. Cheney said The Bible isn't true. I think I feel my first phone call from an angry parent coming on.

8 comments:

Cowboy Curtis said...

If I would have known how fun mythology is in Jr High, I would have paid more attention. The only time I learned about spilling seed was during the Old Testament in 9th grade Seminary class, and my teacher didn't teach there much longer after that. You always have funny stories to tell...

Tiffany said...

Sorry, I can't stop laughing long enough to think up a comment.

I'll be looking for this news story on KSL in the coming day....

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