Classical Myths with Mr. Wheeler

Licensed under Creative Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons

Nikoli Weir, Reporter

Waterford High School offers a variety of classes for students to take, from algebra to digital art. One of the most interesting classes offered at the school is Classical Myths, taught by Mr. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler  has an in-depth knowledge of the ancient world and its mythology. Fluent in both Latin and Ancient Greek, he takes directly from the source material and presents it in a way that is both fascinating and easy to understand. Students who take this class will come out of it with a working knowledge of classical myths and with an understanding of the historical context in which these myths originated, developed, and spread.

Something that Mr. Wheeler heavily emphasizes in his class are what he calls “cultural truth values.” Basically, a cultural truth value is something that, though it may not be based in something that is literally true, still holds immense importance for a particular culture. An example of a cultural truth value would be something like the story of George Washington and the cherry true. According to this story, Washington, when he was a child, cut down one of his father’s cherry trees. When asked about it, he was incapable of lying, and told his father the truth. Though this story isn’t true, it reflects an American cultural truth value, something that is important to American culture. This is, of course, honesty and integrity; even if someone do wrong, they should own up about it and not try to hide it. For Mr. Wheeler, myths are exactly this; though they aren’t literally true, they reflect something extremely important to the culture they originate from.

In Mr. Wheeler’s own words, “Classical Mythology is a course with some of the greatest stories ever told. The course mostly focuses on the origin, nature, and function of myth in the literature and art of Greece and Rome and the re-interpretation of classical myth in modern art forms and how it connects to us in the 21st century.” If this interests you at all, then this is the right class for you!