Ideas in Antiquity Final Exam Project
Group Members: Destiny, Alexandria, and Ella
● A 400-word summary of what happened in each of the four meetings of your study community.
Summary Day 1: In our first meeting we discussed The Lion King as a group.After we had the group members share some of their leadership behaviors they wrote down and why they wrote them down, we as group leaders wrote our own ideas down and shared them with everyone. We discussed networking/team building, mentoring / modeling good behavior, calling out bad behavior, making a decision on behalf of the community, and anti leadership.
Georgina and Maya talked about their own experiences calling out bad behavior at George Washington University. They related their own student experiences to calling out their university president to how Zazu called out Simba for not behaving like a future king.
We also discussed how in the Lion King Mufasa models good behavior for Simba by taking his role as a father seriously. Throughout the movie, Mufasa teaches Simba lessons about the circle of life and how to be a good king (leader). He used the IATEP model several times by using metaphors to explain the way the world works to Simba. He simplifies the information and makes it easy for Simba to understand.
For anti leadership we talked about how although Scar is a leader in the Lion King, he was not a good one. The main focus of our discussion was to see the traits of anti-leadership Scar possessed but also if he was forced to take this role as the underdog. We came up with selfishness, egotistical, untrustworthy, and lack of integrity as the main anti leadership traits that Scar possessed. Each member of the group gave examples of anti leadership behaviors in their own life. Maya talked about how she senses these things in her roommate who is overly bossy but does not exhibit good leadership qualities. Madison talked about how she has seen it in a few family members that feel as if they are the heads of the family based on age only and not their actual leadership capabilities.
We also talked in length about making decisions on behalf of the community and how it looked in the Lion King. We talked about three examples which are detailed as follows:
- Sarabi- Sarabi decides to refrain from mating with Scar as well as not hunting for the pack. She urges other women to do the same. Sarabi decided on behalf of the pride lands to stop Scar from his anti-leadership.
- Simba- Simba makes a decision based on the community by having everyone in the pack rebel against Scar. The main point for Simba is to see whether or not him returning to the Pride Lands was a big decision for himself or the kingdom.
- Rafiki- His role is very small, but he decides on behalf of the kingdom, by finding Simba and urging him to return home and claim the throne. He made this decision for the better of the failing Pride Land.
Summary Day 2: In our second meeting we had the group members read The Oresteia of Aeschylus: Agamemnon. After they read there was a short scenario they were assigned to read answer questions too. The scenario that was discussed was : Your husband comes home from war, but while he was away you learned of all the terrible things he had not done, and also the “sins” of his father. You yourself have fallen out of love and are in love with someone else. You now have to make a decision based on what you want to do versus what is the right thing to do.
- Would you find it easy to discuss how your husband’s doing?
- Is revenge on your mind?
- What emotions do you think you would be feeling in the moment? Why?
We made it clear in the beginning of the meeting that we wanted a discussion of the scenario, not just straight reading off their answers. Georgie started off the conversation with her thoughts on the scenario and discussed how she felt that her judgment would have been clouded by the information she would have learned. The majority of responses were that because they no longer have love for this person and learned of all the terrible things that he had done their ability to make a good decision based on what is right for the community.
After the discussion of the scenario we turned to actually talking about the play itself. We wanted to know who the play made them feel and the extent that Agamenon went to win the war. The biggest thing that kept popping up was the fact that Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter to get prefered wind for his ships. Because Micheal was the only boy in the group we asked him how he would have felt to sacrifice his daughter and if that would be something that would ever cross his mind. Michael responded that he would not even consider this and would have thought of a whole new plan. The discussion then turned to focusing on the behavior of the day which was Making a decision on behalf of the community and Mentoring/modeling good behavior. We then discussed how hard it is to make a clear decision for the community when your own views are skewed from hate. The idea of modeling good behavior Goegrie talked about because she has 5 younger siblings. She expressed her conflicts with wanting to be carefree and not worry about all the little eyes that were watching her. For her college was a little bit of an escape because she did not have to worry about what her siblings are going to copy that may not be the best for their age.
In relation to The Lion King the group discussed how Scar’s judgment to lead was way off because of his hatred that his brother became king. We discussed how Scar and Aggimuna’s wife both had hatred for their “kings” and how when they killed them off it wasn’t for the betterment of the community, but for their own selfish reasons.
Summary Day 3: The group members were asked to give their thoughts about the episode they watched of The Crown on Netflix. We explained dikaiosune and how the word applies to being a leader. Then we asked them each to take 5 minutes to write out how being a leader is isolating, how knowing what is right (dikaiosune) can make enemies out of those that do not want to adhere to certain rules, even people that were once close friends. Some of the group members made comments about how they have experienced this in their personal lives, where they have had a friend who always wants to go off the deep end but as leaders they choose not to follow them. Specifically, Ghable brought up the fact that oftentimes black parents drill into their children not to be followers. It is common for black parents to say “if your friend jumps off a cliff are you going to jump too?” Black children have to be leaders. Many times they are not afforded the luxury of not adhering to the rules and getting away with it. We also talked about other examples of leaders with dikaiosune. Some of the examples brought up were pastors and parents. These are people in roles that are often scrutinized and punished for knowing what is right, but often getting pushback for it.
We also discussed the meaning of Eirene and imagined how the siblings might reconcile. We talked about what that might look like and what it would take from both sides to agree. We talked about the meaning of paideia (child-rearing/education) and how differences in education can make a vast difference in the way people behave, even people that grew up in the same household. Specifically, we talked about how Elizabeth and Margaret were raised differently because they had different roles to take on as adults. We then compared their childhoods to that of Mufasa and Scar and talked about how if we were to take a glimpse into the two lion brothers as cubs, how we might get a better understanding of why they turned out the way they did.
Maya talked about her own struggles with her sister. As the oldest sibling she felt like she had dikaiosune. She would often tell her younger sister right from wrong. Although she thought she was doing the right thing, her sister ended up resenting her. She expressed that she wished they had a better relationship. We talked about eirene and the importance of trying to reconcile with her sister. We emphasized that even though she was not wrong, she would be exhibiting leadership behavior by reaching out to her younger sister who might not be as mature as her.
Summary Day 4: The behavior for this virtual meeting was Anti-leadership. We had exactly five group members, so we decided to have one of the group members play as the judge. We again had the groups separated into two groups, Defense and Prosecution. Some of the points that the Defense brought to the table was that Scar may have dealt with psychological disorders due to having to be in the shadows of Mufasa. For references they used the interview video of Beyonce’s Mother about her daughter Solange. They also discussed that Mufasa forced his brother into the outlands, forcing him to do whatever was necessary to survive. The defense stuck to Scar being not guilty due to psychological issues forced on by parents and Mufasa. On the other hand, the prosecution decided to follow the route of Scar deliberately planning the death and take over of Mufasa. The prosecution discussed that Scar showed anti-leadership by leading others to commit actions that would cause harm to others. As the group leaders, Alexandria, Ella, and I (Destiny) did intervene during the call and gave slight hints and brought up more scenarios for both cases.
Overall, the judge surprisingly found Scar on the account of Anti-Leadership, Not-guilty. We all were very surprised by this and had the judge explained why she believed Scar was truly not-guilty. She said that because of the assignment to watch the interview with Beyonce and come listen to the case, she realized that Scar faced many dilemmas that caused him to do the things he did. Scar had definitely shown leadership qualities but he had been forced as an outcast that caused him to mentally change, and do whatever was necessary to survive. Due to the class discussion and activity being online, I believe we faced some hardships that could have been avoided. Maybe if the class meet-up was in person, we would have had the opportunity to make the environment realistic and really have the defense and prosecution bring in videos or maybe some type of physical evidence to support their claims.
After the trials of Scar, we went on to the true and final discussion for the leadership project. The discussion was based on having Scar and Mufasa being raised in the same environment and both becoming kings, would Scar become a better leader or equal to Mufasa. Most of the members agreed that Scar would have been an equal to Mufasa if both were given the opportunity to lead the Pride Lands or maybe even split the lands amongst each other. One member even discussed that Scar was able to control a vast amount of Hyenas, in which did out number the lions, and it made it seems that Scar had the capability to have more followers than Mufasa making Scar a more superior leader. The trials and discussion were great as a whole, we were happy to have all the members participate and give their own opinions in the discussion. One thing we would change is to have more people so that we could have a two weeks worth of evidence build-up and then have a trial for Mufasa v. Scar. With more people we could have a jury, judge, audience, and lawyers.
● Feedback from each member of your learning community on the extent to which they performed the five leadership behaviors you identified better and more often (300 words per member).
Member Feedbacks (300 Per Member):
Ghable Bell- Friend/Roommate: My name is Ghable Bell, I am a freshman Health Management major from Detroit, Michigan. I appreciate Destiny asking me to join this program, and her professor for coming up with something as great as this. I am a very straightforward person and usually know what I want and how it should be done. While in this program, I realized some new behaviors about myself and things I needed to change. I see myself as very kind, and take in the perspective of others at all times. I am a part of Howard’s Freshman Leadership Academy (FLA) and I have had some workshops to work on my leadership skills, but I can say that this was very different from anything I have learned. First off, I would like to say that I could not tell the difference between leadership behaviors and skill until now. I honestly don’t even know there were behaviors for leadership. The first couple of class meet-ups we discussed the Lion King, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I had never really looked at Lion King more than a jealous brother killing his sibling and taking over. Instead, this program opened my eyes to true leadership and anti-leadership. All the behaviors we discussed over the course of 4 weeks were behaviors I had come in contact with in my organization, we just had not discussed them deeply. The behavior I believe attracted me more than all the others, was making decisions for the community. I can say that I have problems with speaking up about things as a whole and sometimes falter when it is my turn to speak about issues. I know now, that it is impossible to please a crowd, and I must meet the needs of people and not their wants. When I am called on for meetings now, I am able to voice my opinions to my members by starting what needs to be done in our organization. I have also realized that it is essential for me to research and communicate with others from different regions in order for me to be able to communicate effectively with everyone.
Georgina J.- Friend from home goes to GW: I am Georgina Jolivette and I go to George Washington University. I have known Ella for a lot of years through school and being co-captains with her in cross country. I have had previous experience with leadership in high school as I was on student council all four years of high school. During our meetings the leadership behavior that I improved the most on was networking and team building. Seeing as I had (before coronavirus) an internship at Sherrod Brown’s office that was an important skill for me to hone. When talking about modeling good behavior I do not think that changed very much because I have five younger siblings. When babysitting them and overall just being around them I have to watch how I act because even when I do not think they are watching me, they are. As Ella can tell you, I am not one to hold my tongue. If there is something that I do not feel is right I will speak out. Day two had to have been the most helpful for me. Even though I have been in multiple different leadership positions I have struggled with the decision making aspect in regards to my positions. When we discussed what we chose for the scenario answers it showed me other people’s perspective and what others struggles looked like in regard to my own. I learned/ hope to develop that making decisions is hard and you can not please everyone. I had to leave a toxic friend group that I should have left a long time ago and it was because I did not want to hurt anyone, even though they were hurting me. I think it will be a constant struggle to make decisions, but I will have many opportunities to work on that skill. Anti-leadership was a topic I had not previously discussed before. I really enjoyed that Beyonce was included in the assignment because it made it more relatable and fun. Whren thinking to myself if I had any “anti-leadership” behaviors I could only think of one. Sometimes when I am speaking out it sometimes tends to go toward the more disrespectful side and my point is less effective. I think on an overall level this activity has helped find some things that I can work on, but also showed me that I have a lot of strengths when it comes to leadership.
Maya Slavkin- Coworker and GW student: I am Maya Slavkin. I was the other group sales intern alongside Alex at the Washington Wizards. As a young person stepping into the business world at Monumental Sports, I found working with Alex and the other girls in this study community extremely rewarding. Particularly, I found it rewarding to work on networking and team building. Ironically, I worked for a professional sports team, so it really came in handy. At first I was very shy. I wanted to do a good job but also keep my head down. I started to open up a bit more and made it a point to network with people at the organization. For example, I set a meeting with the head of the Human Resources department and talked with him about my plans as a graduating senior. It made me really nervous, but once I did it, I felt more confident. As a result I set another meeting (coffee date) with someone who works as a lawyer in the governmental affairs department. I did not have any interest in being a lawyer but I thought it beneficial to chit chat and learn about what she does. I figured I never know when I might need her or have to work with her. She also might know someone who knows someone who knows someone etc. In addition to meeting with people that were higher than me, I also found it beneficial to network with my peers. I organized monthly intern night out(s) where we had fun and talked about our future plans with one another. I saw this behavior exemplified in the Lion King when Simba meets Timon and Pumba. Their relationship grew and then there came a time when Simba needed them. He did not have time to immediately network and find allies. He already had them. That was a lesson for me and something I never thought of like that before this study community. I took a new lesson from the movie and applied it to my professional life by deciding to network while I had the chance and was not under any pressure.
Jerkayla N. — Close friend: My Name is Jerkayla, and I had the opportunity to join Destiny for her leadership activities. I really enjoyed these activities and segments that were involved in each lesson. I am currently a business major at Howard University so learning these new behaviors as a leader will help me in the long run. Already being in the School of Business (S.O.B) I am used to being in teams and having a lot of team-building, so this behavior I believe did not change in terms of occurrence. For modeling good behavior, I think this is something I do more often now. I am more conscious of how I present myself in the presence of others, mostly those who are not my superiors because I feel like my peers will be those who I can lead. I am a very blunt person, so pointing out flaws and calling those out on their bad behavior is something I do less. I want to be a leader who calls out flaws and corrects them and I guess I have been doing it wrong previously. My favorite lesson in these activities was day three; making decisions on behalf of the community. I like to be very blunt but I am not so much of an outspoken person, so it has been difficult for me to speak up and make decisions for others. Currently I am able to speak up about issues in my groups for class and what should be expected of us. Just like everyone else, I am currently home for COVID-19 and I am able to discuss issues within my household to my mother and father, which is something I have had problems doing. Last but not least, is anti-leadership. I never really saw myself as having anti-leadership behaviors, but now I am thinking that I may do things that make me a bad leader. In order to decrease the behavior, I have taken the time to self-analyze and really think before making decisions or speaking to others, because the last thing I want to do is to come off as someone people do not want to follow. Overall, I am happy to have joined this activity and hope to do something like this again in the future.
Micheal Moore- Friend/Howard student: I’m Michale Moore and I am an Engineering major at Howard. When Ella first asked me to join this group I was a little confused. I honestly didn’t know what it would entail. I already have a lot of work to do for my own classes so at first I was unsure if I could give any of my time. When she explained it to me more I started to understand that this may actually help me in my growth, so I agreed. When the discussion turned to networking and team building I paid extra attention because of the career I want. In the long run I want to be an architect and that involves working with many different people trying to come up with the best outcome. For me it was easy to come out and discuss or at least talk because I not only knew Ella, but Georgie too. It was interesting to see the difference in opinions even though we are all friends. I think the behavior I struggled most was calling out bad behavior. I don’t like to get involved with other people’s business even when I should. I did like the assignment that went along with this behavior, but I kind of wish I had a background of The Crown instead of watching a random episode on the third season. It did work with the assignment fine even though I had not seen the full show. I thought the behavior of anti-leadership was interesting. In schools when leadership is brought up it’s always the good traits, but they never talk about how some of those traits when used in the wrong way actually turn “bad”. I think the traits I most improved on was modeling good behavior and learning the correct way to “call out bad behavior”. I am the youngest child so I’ve always had role models in my older siblings, but I am also an independent person so I never really thought of the role I play in mentoring others. Doing this “workshop”, as I would call it, helped me not only identify my strengths and weaknesses, but look into others perspectives.
● An evaluation of your four-week program. What worked and what didn’t? Which leadership behaviors did you find it easier and more difficult to foster? What happened that you expected and what that you didn’t expect? How would you improve the program next time? (500 words)
Destiny: I can honestly say that I should leave the Leadership classes to Professor Sandridge because they come with a lot of thinking and time. As a whole, I really enjoyed doing this four-week program with my group and extra members because it has taught me alot about myself as a leader and how to really work with others. I can attest that completing days three and four online is something that worked but could have been better in person, since that was how the days were planned for the specific activities. Our first two meetings did come out perfect since they were in person and our discussions were live and interactive. I would probably have more people in the group if there is a next time to have a class discussion with more inputs and opinions. The behaviors such as Team building, anti-leadership, and making decisions were easy behaviors to discuss in class. They seemed to be behaviors most of the members did not have problems addressing and were easy to give input on. However, when it came to discussing the behavior of calling out bad behavior, we came into some problems. Most members believed they did not have that problem of calling out bad behavior, but we had to have them rethink if they were doing it appropriately. The outreach to having the members understand that we often call others out on bad behavior, but face the hardships of exerting them properly is a huge anti-leadership trait that most people face. My expectations were very low for this assignment truthfully. I expected the members to be very quiet and just listen on the first day, to the extent of how our class started. Instead we received the complete opposite, our members had done all the assignments and were ready to jump into discussion and even had questions of their own! There is room for so many improvements, if we have the opportunity to commit to this four week program again. I actually was able to come up with a list of improvements but will only speak on a few of them. My first improvement would be to have my group, larger than three members and then the “students’ ‘ would be more than 10 members. I say this because I believe that this requires more people from different backgrounds and areas, because in class we learned that leadership skills are acquired from all around; so to have some diversity would be nice. I would want a larger group due to the reason that I would want a bigger class discussion and opinionated answers from others. My second advisement is that I would have this as an in-class only assignment and discussion. I from experience can attest that going online and in class back and forth is a lot to deal with, so to keep my class engaged, all of our activities and discussions will be held in class. My last and final advisement, would be to have the class not based on old stories, current stories, or even movies. I would like the class to revolve around current events and current Ted Talks from leaders today. I believe that keeping things in the current condition and in the future would help keep the attention span of my class.
Alexandria: Let’s be honest. This assignment was difficult. It really put the job of a teacher into perspective. Devising a whole week’s worth of lesson plans was hard. It took a lot of effort to figure out how to put the IATEP model into place. It took time and careful cultivation. The easy part was identifying the examples. I was able to take examples from how our class was designed and come up with other examples from bodies of work that I was familiar with and could easily identify leadership good and bad behaviors in. I found that it worked to relate leadership to bodies of work that people already thoroughly enjoy. The same thing goes for the articles. I found that they were less reluctant to read the articles that they found relevant and interesting. The group members really enjoyed dissecting Lion King because it was something they were familiar with and relatively easy to understand. I do not think they enjoyed reading the articles because most people rather watch something than read. Personally, I found it easiest to get my friend to network. Maya was my coworker at my internship. She was more shy than me. My dad is very sociable and he raised me to be the same way. I make friends with everyone. For example, I was able to ask the people at the food stands for chicken after the games because I had made friends. Although they could not help me move up in my career necessarily, it was still a form of networking. Maya would frequently ask me to get some for her but I encouraged her and let her know it was easy. Simply asking people “how are you” is building a rapport. Over time she did so and she became more comfortable. Doing this even led her to setting meetings with important executives at the company which is something she would not have done at first. It was also easy to get people to use clear and concise language. The members of the group were very articulate and willing to dig deep on their answers if what they said was not clear at first. It was difficult to get them to try and encourage and inspire others. Well, encouragement is not difficult. However, inspiring people is. Actively inspiring people often takes putting oneself out there. The people in the group were not people who enjoyed being in the spotlight. I honestly did not expect to grow from this assignment. I thought it was just another thing to do. I was surprised at the end when I had made relationships with everyone involved in our study community. I feel like that in itself was a way of networking. Like I mentioned at the beginning, this really put teaching into perspective. I have a newfound appreciation for teachers and the effort they put into leading.
Ella: I’ll be honest, when I first read through the midterm/final I did not understand the point. When we (the group) were planning it was a little hard at first. We were trying to think about how we could engage other college students to do work and what we would find interesting if we were in their shoes. I didn’t know how this project would play out because if none of the people did the activities or did not engage in the discussions there would not be much point. I was worried how people were going to take extra work not for their class, but it worked out better than expected. I think all of our activities worked out because even if they for some reason did not have time to watch a movie, we picked a movie that they have probably seen millions of times. Our first 2 meetings went very smoothly and I think that has to do with the people in our group. When we had our last 2 meetings they were online, but the format of the group allowed this transition to be fairly smooth. When the meetings did go online I would say they were not as productive in the sense of really discussing the material in depth. There is something about doing things on zoom or facetime that sometimes puts a weird barrier up. The leadership behaviors that were the easiest were probably anti-leadership and making decisions because college is all about making hard decisions. The one leadership behavior that I felt had the best discussion was calling out bad behavior. My friend Georgie and I have similar personalities when it comes to calling out people, but not every call out is reasonable and just. I liked doing this discussion because in our own antiquity class we had already had the chance to see that tone and how you “attack” someone gives different levels of effectiveness. I actually found it fun to take what I had learned and tie it into our own assignments. I’m not sure what my expectations were for this assignment, but I do not think they were very high. I expected that the activities that had to do with The Lion King were going to be more popular than some of the articles they read. You could see the difference in discussions when we would talk about the movie vs an article. Our group was fine with discussing both, but since this being in their spare time I think they were happier with the movie. I did not expect the level of participation that our group gave us, that was one thing that surprised me. In college there is already so much that you need to do so the fact that our group members participated like it was an actual class was cool to see. If i could improve something I would probably either add more people to add into discussions and bring new opinions and ideas. Another thing I would change slightly would be to have more assignments based on current topics or events. I think sometimes people get disconnected with things that are “dated” and they can’t relate to. Overall what I took away from this assignment was that for us to progress as leaders we need to really see how hard it actually is to lead people even if it’s only a few of them.