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Mythology Symposium: All About Hermes, Messenger of the Gods

Kristen Kanipe, M.A.
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(266)
This one-time course is all about Hermes, the Greek trickster god who was both messenger and psychopomp. We'll use art, literature, and storytelling tradition to explore some of the many stories surrounding this famous mythological figure.

Class experience

US Grade 3 - 6
I fell in love with classics as an undergraduate. During high school, I had taken a few Latin courses, and I had a genuine interest in the language (as a child, I had even attempted to teach myself Latin from a book, which didn't go so well, but clearly I had an attraction to Latin from an early age!), but it wasn't something I imagined myself pursuing in any serious way in higher education. In the first semester of my freshman year at college, however, due to a mix up with my schedule, I ended up in a Roman history course, and it transformed my world. I was entranced by both the subject matter and the teacher, and when the second semester came around, I made sure to sign up for as many classics courses as I could take. By sophomore year, I was learning ancient Greek and declaring my major in classics. I received my BA in Latin Language and Literature (with an undeclared minor in ancient Greek language and literature) from Oberlin College. 

During my senior year of college, I made the decision to apply to graduate school. By that time, I had decided that I wanted to share my excitement for the classical world by becoming a teacher, and given my passion for classics, I preferred to deepen my knowledge of the subject rather than to attend a master's of education program. I received a merit-based classics fellowship from the University of Virginia, from which I received my MA in Classics. I wrote my master's thesis on the treatment of women in three exempla of Ovid's Ars Amatoria.

My classics education exposed me not only to ancient languages and literature, but to the very world of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and learning more about Greek and Roman mythology, in which I have had a strong interest since I was a child, was an integral part of the experience. Any program of study in classics demands a strong knowledge of many aspects of the ancient world outside of its languages, and any serious reading of classical literature cannot be conducted without a solid understanding of mythology and religion. I love classics, and I believe my love for it shines through in every class I teach and in every interaction I have with a student.

I have been a Latin language tutor for my entire adult life, I have taught Latin language and literature courses on the college level, and as a teacher at a private school in Virginia, I taught Latin language courses (intro Latin all the way through AP Latin) for middle schoolers and upper schoolers; because the school gave teachers control over course curriculum, I structured my classes so that mythology, ancient history, and classical civilization played an integral role.
As we're seeking to recreate a symposium, drinks and snacks are encouraged! Between the meal and the after-dinner snacks, traditional food served at a symposium would include bread, cheese, olives (and olive oil!), dried fruit, nuts, grapes, and honey. If a student wishes to participate in the food/drink element of the course, they should have one, several, or all of these items on hand at the start of the hour. For drinks, water or juice works just fine.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I believe it is important to show learners how Greek and Roman myths were developed throughout the ages, and I particularly like to emphasize the depictions of mythological stories and figures in art, architecture, and sculpture. Please note that some artwork may involve some modest nudity. This is never gratuitous, and it always reflects the artistic style of the day. I make an effort to keep such images to a minimum, but it is a fact that ancient and Renaissance art often made the stylistic choice to depict its subjects as partially clothed or nude. Any such images would of course be restricted to paintings, sculpture, or pottery, and are images that are housed in museums around the world. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Meet the teacher

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(266)
**PLEASE NOTE** If you are interested in a class, but do not see a section listed, please do not hesitate to send me a schedule request. I often have a very flexible schedule, and I am happy to accommodate requests when I can; if I cannot... 
Group Class


per class
Meets once
55 min

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(1)
Completed by 10 learners
Live video meetings
Ages 8-13
1-9 learners per class

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