Our first unit this semester was focused on archetypes. We spent our first month identifying and analyzing archetypes, gender roles, social structure, and values in short stories and fairy tales. We spend time discussing and reacquainting ourselves with age-old tales like "Jack in the Beanstalk," "Briar Rose," "Snow White," and "Rapunzel." One of our focuses was the archetypal hero and the qualities that ever hero possesses the quest they must go through. Our project for this unit was an original story using archetypes and an archetypal analysis essay to go along with it. This particular project deftly combined creativity with analysis. I felt that the story was quite promising, the ideas were sound despite being cliche, an inevitability when using archetypal stories. The voice I hope was fairly engaging. I tried to choose colorful words and paint a picture of each scene, but I started strong and lost steam as I went. My biggest problem was with conventions. I neglected to separate my paragraphs into workable parts and had a third of my points deducted for that reason. My archetypal analysis I was much less satisfied with in the ideas and voice categories, but I did not have the paragraph problem and consequently recieved a substantially higher grade. I felt that my thesis was unfocused and consequently my ideas wandered from item to item, without a definite direction to the essay. We culminated the unit by watching a play called Into the Woods. It was an intriguing and rather unconventional medley of fairy tales that took their stories to a new level. It told the stories of many unlikely heroes that were forced to take a journey "into the woods" for some reason or another and come out a changed characters. We wrote an essay analyzing the play and the archetypes in it.
Our next unit of study was on Greek myths. We began by doing projects, each pair researching and presenting a different myth. However, the bulk of our time was spend reading The Odyssey by Homer. We used many different methods of going through the book, most of the time not even reading the sections. More often than not, we would split the class into groups and present a specific book. That way, we minimalized the amount of reading and still received all the necessary information. I must admit, I would have much preferred reading the entire story on our own or together as a class. One of our evaluation methods was in addition to the usual summary and analysis, write a song and choreograph a dance to go along with it that told the story of the assigned book. It was an interesting experience and surprisingly fun. Our final project was an essay with topic of our own choice relating to the Odyssey. I personally am rather disappointed with my essay. It definitely is not one of my better works. The analysis is extremely shallow and very plot dependant. I regret that I did not spend more time working on this essay.