photo by Gracie Griffin
Dripping Springs High School has introduced many new classes this year from German to Gothic Literature, opening up multitudes of opportunities for students to expand their education and gain knowledge in a field they might not be able to at other schools.
One of these new classes is the Mythology/Greece and Rome in Film class devised and taught by Latin teacher Ms. Kara Kothmann.
“After only being able to hit so much during a Latin class, just because there’s so much else that we needed to cover language-wise that our mythology unit always ended up squeezed in towards the end of the year, that it might be a good idea to start a class,” Ms. Kothmann said.
The Mythology/Greece and Rome in Film classes are divided into two single semester courses that contain elements of crossover, but students are not required to take one in order to take the other.
“Mythology, you could make it a year course, but with also wanting to teach film, I thought it would be a good idea to do them each in a semester so that if you chose, you could be in myth in the fall and then film in the spring and it would work out nicely with scheduling,” Ms. Kothmann said.
Ms. Kothmann explained the process of approval to gain permission for a new class.
“When Mr. Burns put out that he wanted electives, I had to go through and write a little blurb that would go in the catalogue should it be approved,” Ms. Kothmann said.” So I wrote the blurb, saying essentially what the class would cover, a general outline of what we would study in a semester, and then I sent those to Mr. Burns and the counseling office, and it got approved and put in the course catalogue. After that, it was a matter of if there’s interest.”
Mythology, which was first semester this year, covered stories from Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse mythology; Greece and Rome in Film, which is second semester, focuses more on how elements of Greek and Roman history are portrayed in modern cinema, where discrepancies from fact lie and how those stories have changed modern culture.
“[Classics] is everywhere. It’s in the novels that you read, it’s in the movies that you see. In mythology we did the Hero’s Journey; any superhero or sci-fi movie, Star Wars for instance, all of those are based off the Hero’s Journey, which is thousands and thousands of years old. It’s the beginning of story-telling, essentially.”
This is why Kothmann developed the class originally; she wanted to be able to go more in depth into the origins of ancient cultural belief systems and societies, a study more of the how and why, rather than the who and what.
“We don’t have anything like this. You learn about the history in some of your history classes a lot of the time, but you may not get to actually watch the movies, or maybe you’ve seen them on your own and you have questions about why they did something a certain way,” Ms. Kothmann said.
Basing the class off of one she took in college, Kothmann has been working with classics for several years now and hopes to continue teaching Mythology and Greece and Rome in Film, along with Latin, for years to come.
“I really enjoy going back and looking at something that I haven’t covered since college, or maybe even earlier than that, and being able to share it with students and see how much they enjoy it,” Ms. Kothamnn said. “I will teach [this class] for as long as people want to take it.”
Written by Olivia Fletcher, Staff Writer