CLMOOC Make Cycle #5: 5 Sisters

Below is my origin story for the constellation Pente Aldephia, or 5 Sisters.  The “sources,” including the Oklahoma Classical Compendium, are either invented or re-imagined to create a kind of alternative Greek mythology.

Find the rest of the CLMOOC constellations, curated by Kevin Hodgson, at Thinglink.

(A very busy week means I will postpone my Find Five Friday – I think I will combine this week’s with next week’s to create a “Tag Ten Thursday” or something along those lines.)

Pente Adelphia (from the Oklahoma Classical Compendium)

The Pente Adelphia, or 5 Sisters, were companions of Athena.  They were the daughters of Iris, who conceived them when Zeus, disguised as a rain shower, seduced her.  (Tibullus, De Rerum Deorum) When Hera learned of her husband’s latest infidelity, she sent Artemis to kill the children with her bow and arrows. However, Athena defended the 5 sisters – with help from Proteus, who disguised himself as Iris to distract Artemis while the actual Iris hid her daughters. (Homeric Hymn 34; Ovid, Metamorphoses)

When they came of age, the 5 Sisters became Athena’s attendants, and were known for assisting the heroes whom Athena favored.  For example, the sisters Thymis & Eurygyneia fought alongside Odysseus and Telemachus against the suitors in Odyssey XXII.  A 3rd daughter, Aikaterina, helped Telemachus navigate during his journey in Odyssey I-IV.

Fragments attributed to Sappho and Sulpicia praise the 5 Sisters for their beauty and their loyalty.




CLMOOC Week 4 Reflection & Sing-the-Praises-of-Six Sunday

This week has been another week of reflection for me, as my work duties kept me from participating as much as I would have liked in the week’s activities.

The phrase ‘Hack your writing’ made me think of my life as a writer, and how I feel dissatisfied.  I’ve realized this summer that I spend most of my writing time creating texts for others – lesson plans, emails, letters of recommendation – and not enough time creating for the sake of creating, as well as writing memoir, journaling to understand my experiences and needs, and reflecting on my professional life.  This is not to say that I dislike writing emails and letters of recommendation, but rather to say that I want to strike a balance between writing for others and writing for myself.

This week was the first week of the LA Writing Project Young Writers Camp; my co-teacher Amanda Benevides and I teach the high school group.  Amanda led an activity on Thursday that involved writing descriptively about a favorite place, and I wrote alongside the kids while Amanda gave directions.  I wrote about my grandparents’ house, and I realized as I wrote that my brain was a bit tired.  It’s a bit difficult to explain how I came to this conclusion, but as I wrote, I found myself longing to sit quietly in my grandparents’ backyard – which tells me that I have not been attending to my need for quiet and reflection.

I’m still thinking over how to act on this insight, but I think I need to carve out more time to write in my notebook, and more time to sit quietly in my backyard.

Other highlights from this week,  included:





CLMOOC Week 3 Reflection & Find Five Friday, Sunday edition

This week, my making was more of the reflecting variety, as I considered the thoughts and stories of others along with my own experiences and narratives.

Terry Elliot’s discussion of James Carse’s idea of infinite & finite games provided plenty of food for thought, specifically about how play & games can be analogous to writing.  Attending to process is important in writing, and I realize now that it’s important in games, too.  I agree with Terry that a balance between finite & infinite games is desirable, and this reminds me of the imbalance between qualitative & quantitative research in education.  I tend to lean toward the qualitative not because I think qualitative thinking is more important, but because it is undervalued in our culture; I want to create a balance.  Similarly, Terry suggested that since our culture emphasizes finite games, we can tip the scales a bit by encouraging infinite games.  In the Thursday Twitter chat, Dave Quinn quoted Douglass Rushkoff’s idea that the goal of modern games to keep the game going, which echoes James Carse.

Jennifer Denslow shared the Great Auditorium Scavenger Hunt, which is similar to an “scavenger hunt for sources” activity I’ve done with my beginning journalism students.  Why should scavenger hunting be limited to my journalism class, though?  I’m wondering how I can incorporate this idea with my English classes – sending the kids searching across campus to find information that relates to an activity we’re doing.

Earlier in the summer, Kevin Hodgson suggested that I “go with the flow” when it comes to blogging, and this piece of advice combines well with Julie Johnson’s post on renewal.  It is quite easy to succumb to the desire to “x all the things,” but that isn’t always the best way.  Which is why I’m going to end this blog here, without revising it any further, and go outside.

Do Only Some of the Things


CLMOOC Make Cycle #3: Games

This week’s CLMOOC Make Cycle is centered on games, and I’ve been thinking about the game my friend Micah and I played as kids.   Actually, it was a less a game than a framework for all the games we played.

That is to say, Micah and I played games within the context of an imaginary world – or rather, two imaginary worlds, since we each had our own.  Each world was based on the real world, circa 1987 (it may have started in 1985 or 1986; I’m not sure), with one key difference:  Micah and I were both adults instead of kids.  (I was a character in Micah’s imaginary world; he was a character in mine).  Our games – mainly involving sports and war – took place in one of these imaginary worlds, and the worlds diverged from the real world as a result.  (I know that sports and war are horribly stereotypical for boys – in our defense, San Diego was a military town, and Micah’s dad was in the Navy.  I still know the basic map of the Mediterranean, incidentally, from playing the Avalon Hill board game Sixth Fleet – but I’m getting ahead of myself here.)

Although we were precocious children, we didn’t quite have a name for what we were doing, so we called it our “thing.”  Micah’s world was “your thing,” and mine was “my thing.”

Here’s an example of how “my thing” would work.  When no one else was home, I played a solo version of baseball that involved trying to pitch a tennis ball between a concrete curb and the fence of the parking lot where I lived.  The play was based on the ricochet of the ball, with rules that we developed over time.  (I say “we” because we sometimes played a two-person version, with a pitcher and a fielder.)

I used this game during the baseball season to run the National League in “my thing.”  Let’s say I was manager of the Padres that year, or a player on the team.  I’d start the day by checking the sports page to see who San Diego was playing.  Padres at Reds, 4:30 pm?  Ok.  I’d play that game in the parking lot, and the result would go into my “standings.”  Next day, I’d check the results of the other games – Dodgers over Braves, Mets over Cubs, and so forth – and I’d update my standings to reflect both the result for “my team” and the actual results from the other games.

If we had time, we’d play multiple games, and incorporate those into the standings.  If I were sick and my mom foolishly insisted that I stay inside and skip the day’s game, then I’d use the actual results as a back-up.  Micah kept his own standings, too.

Once, when Micah and I were on the same team, we won the World Series.  We ran upstairs and asked my mom if we could pour water on ourselves, to simulate the champagne celebrations we had seen on TV.  Our imaginations could turn water into (sparkling) wine , but my mom, again succumbing to the adult tendency not to understand anything about how things are supposed to go, said no.