~ A guest post by Myrmidon ~
As Hour 25’s first complete year of activities draws to a close, let’s reflect on the words of our friend, Greg Nagy. He says that we H25ers are “continuators” of a tradition that he, Lenny Muellner, Doug Frame and others started in the 1970s. Greg fondly recalls how “we gathered on Thursday evenings…and over drinks, we talked about what we were reading and what were thinking”.
Even though Hour 25 began in 2013, it wasn’t until January of this year that we continuators really launched it. And if we think about those early days, who would have imagined that by the year’s end this community would have traveled so far?
Through the efforts of about 15 participants, we held 51 events, like CHS Open Houses, Book Club meetings, and word study groups. We also took part in events like the Antigone project, weekly quizzes, Friday Cafés, and community socials. As well, we hosted 18 scholars, experts in Homeric and ancient Greek texts.
We produced about 400-hours of videos, attracting more than 3,000 views.
We set up 164 blog posts, and 458 topics that netted more than 4,450 replies. For example, Bill’s thoughtful quizzes attracted participation from as many as 28 members each week.
Throughout the year, our website mavens made the Hour 25 site more user-friendly and eye-pleasing.
Another achievement was independently setting our own study programs as we went along. This is in tune with Professor Nagy’s observation about the innovative nature of the HeroesX project. If you recall, he told an interviewer that participants were “building the ship as we sail it”. Recently, Claudia Filos reinforced that idea when she stressed that we are all “real partners in the project”, and that our collaboration shows “we are really doing something transformative in terms of online education”.
Claudia also points to another core element of H25. In building our ship, we’ve discovered that we’ve also built a community of new friends. I think Claudia speaks for us all when she says, “most of all, I cherish the friendships that I have gained”.
Yes, those friendships have been a wonderful benefit for the joy they bring, as well as motivating us to continue working together to expand our learning. Sarah Scott reflected on this during her remarks about the communal play reading:
“The performance brought the dramas to life and we had such fun doing it. In fact there’s always laughter at our gatherings.”
Janet Ozsolak, another hardworking H25er, agrees. She describes the past year as “spectacular”, and among her highlights was “the joy of reading Homeric poetry together and getting teary eyes”.
Tears. Laughter. Friendship. Learning. All unmistakable proof that we’ve built and sailed in ways we might never have imagined in January. Now, another year of Hour 25 is set to begin, and may the wind “boom in our sails” as we continue our voyage of discovery and friendship.
PS—As Greg, Lenny and company used to gather over drinks, who are we to flout tradition? Let’s move to the Friday Café where we can imbibe and keep the conversation going. See you there.
Myrmidon is an Iliad addict, a big fan of Hour25, and is currently working as the barista at Friday Cafe.
Picture credit: Marble sarcophagus with the Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons, Haiduc (photo), public domain, Wikimedia Commons