Google Earth Odyssey

Lahari’s Mythology Odyssey

To explore alternative ways to craft and share narratives, students wrote their own odyssey and used Google Earth to map the geographic locations they cited. In addition to writing a clear and engaging autobiographical journey students had to connect their narrative to the mythology they had studied.

As I walked into the English classroom, I felt doomed. I had only signed up for Mythology because of the required four years of English so I walked into the room with no high expectations. My only expectations were a lot of intense reading, writing and lecturing. However, I have been pleasantly surprised throughout the course.

We read a lot of short classical mythological stories which are very interesting—and the mini-reflections we write about them help us think about the stories more deeply and relate to them personally. Not only do we have concise readings, we also have a wide array of activities such as Greek mask making, the Google Earth Odyssey project and watching movies in class!

The lecture series we’ve been watching is mind-blowing as well. If you had asked me “what is a myth?” before I started this class, I would’ve said exaggerated truth. However, if you ask me the same question now I would probably sweat furiously and think very hard. The lectures really make us think about mythology—what a myth actually is, why myths have been written and their significance in various cultures. The ideas of Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and writer, have been the most interesting—he’s made me realize the many perspectives I can use in studying mythology. He described the common steps in a hero or heroine’s journey and the many archetypes used in storytelling—ideas which are still used today.

Film director and writer George Lucas was inspired greatly by Campbell’s work and the film Star Wars, which we watched in class, is based on the various stages of his hero’s journey. I was surprised to learn this because I had watched the movie before, but never compared its similarities to other stories. This class is constantly making me think about, and relate to, many different things. (Lahari Gorantla, Grade 11)