Learning from Experience Alyssa Todd-Final Project

Odysseus' Journey


Odysseus would have a map to represent that hard work and persistence pays off. The map would remind him of the 10-year journey he took to get home. He would always remember that in order to reach one's goals a person must never give up but keep trying his best.

Picture of Argus

This picture of Argus, his dog, would remind Odysseus of the importance of loyalty. In addition to Argus, only Odysseus's wife, son and sheepherder Eumaeus remained loyal. Through his absence, Odysseus learned that in order to inspire loyalty one must truly care for others and not just about themselves.

Wine chalice

The wine chalice represents to Odysseus the importance of using your head to find a solution. On the island of the Cyclops, Odysseus brought with him the nectar of the gods, which he uses to get the Cyclops drunk and stab his eye as part of his escape plan. Odysseus learned that it's not always about brute strength, but that one should use their intelligence to solve problems.

Statue of Athena

The statue of Athena represents the idea that no one can do it all by his or herself. During his journey, Odysseus had to learn to look to the Athena and the other gods for help. He asked Zeus to protect him when he was all alone going past Scylla and Charybdis the second time. He could never have survived without help, and he acknowledges that help when retelling his story. Odysseus came to realize that success comes from asking for help and showing gratitude, rather than being arrogant and seeking personal glory.

Lotus flower

The lotus flower is a reminder for Odysseus to be a responsible leader. Odysseus sent his men instead of going himself to meet the Lotus Eaters, and his men easily forgot about their mission. Odysseus learned that as a leader, he needs to be the one leading by his actions. The leader is the one who must keep the focus on the group goal while also making sure no one is left behind.

My Journey

A handshake

A handshake represents the idea of meeting new people. Over the course of this year, I have had the opportunity to become more involved in groups and activities both inside and outside of school. As a result, I have met a variety of people and interacted with them in different contexts. Through these experiences, one lesson I have learned is that by interacting with new people, I have gained a better and deeper understanding of the world that I would not have experienced if I chose not to become involved.


Hourglasses often represent time, or in my current situation, they represent time management. This year, I started graduate school and had two part-time supplemental jobs on top of teaching full time. Through this experience, I have learned that I need to prioritize what is the most important or urgent, rather than getting overwhelmed by small, insignificant responsibilities. I believe this experience has helped me use my time in a more effective way.

Cat at rest

A cat at rest reminds me of how despite everything I must do and am expected to do, rest is important. Although rest may not necessarily include a three-hour nap, rest may include catching up with my family, watching my favorite TV show, or just sitting out on my front porch. Rest is vital because it gives me the chance to re-energize and feel ready to face the obligations of my sometimes-hectic life.


Books often symbolize knowledge and learning. Even though I am an adult and most of my official schooling is over, this does not mean that my desire to learn has completely vanished. Not only is it important for me to learn and strive to become a better teacher, but it is essential that I continue learning to grow as an individual as well. Over the course of this year, I have taken classes and attended book studies which have challenged my beliefs and have made me question the status quo. I have learned that when I am challenged or I struggle in some way, I become a wiser, stronger version of myself.


A map of London's underground railway reminds me of the travel opportunities I have had over the past year, which included taking several modes of public transportation. My husband and I traveled to Maine twice and visited the Boston area. I am certainly not keen on taking public transportation, but my husband always seeks out new ways to challenge me. Traveling both near and far this year has taught me that it is valuable to have experiences outside of where you live. Salina, Kansas is just a small bubble in the world, and there is so much to see, do, and experience. If we do not take the opportunity to travel when presented to us, we will continue to have a limited perspective of events happening in our world.


Created with images by Kieran Lynam - "Globe" • markusspiske - "globe africa europe" • 422737 - "dog animal pet" • Greencolander - "dripping" • janka00simka0 - "antiquity the statue of vienna" • Yoshikazu TAKADA - "Lotus Flower" • TeroVesalainen - "handshake hand give" • Alexas_Fotos - "hourglass time sand" • spies, emanuele spies - "Sleeping beauty" • jaycross - "IMG_3532.JPG" • futureshape - "Old Tube Map"

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