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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Daily Debriefing

Contemporary film and literary portrayals of Greek and Roman mythological figures present distorted images and information, according to a Huffington Post article written by Dartmouth classics professor Pramit Chaudhuri. Although awareness of Greek and Roman mythology has increased, the success of books and movies by Rick Riordan, such as the "Percy Jackson" series, describes the contemporary adventures of teenage demigods inspired by inaccurate representations of ancient mythology, according to Chaudhuri. Modern retellings of myths about the Titans and Giants paint them as "monstrous threats to order and civilization" and favor mortal protagonists. Children who indulge in these contemporary versions of mythology that underline the creatures' negative qualities rather than powerful symbolism should be encouraged to learn the classic context for the "cartoonish" villains, Chaudhuri said.

A report released by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities advises institutions to become more involved in preparing prospective students by investing in their elementary and secondary educations, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The report was written by 12 college presidents and calls on the association's member campuses to help students prepare for a successful academic career early in life. Areas with high rates of poverty should work the hardest to minimize the effects of educational disadvantages in early years, The Chronicle reported. The report also recommended that colleges improve teacher preparation programs, increase the number of dual-credit classes and provide high schools with updates on their graduates' performance. In addition, elementary and secondary curricula should conform to college expectations, according to The Chronicle.

A survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness revealed that many colleges are ineffectively helping students with mental health issues, Inside Higher Ed reported. The organization utilized student perceptions to determine whether universities meet mental health needs. Of the 765 students diagnosed with mental illnesses who participated in the survey, 45 percent said they did not receive academic help like tutoring, lighter course loads or help from professors. Some said they were unaware that such academic services existed, and 35 percent of diagnosed students said their universities were unaware of their illnesses because their college health centers focused on physical ailments while ignoring mental needs, Inside Higher Ed reported. The report encourages colleges to raise awareness about mental health issues on their campuses by training faculty and staff, sponsoring suicide prevention events and offering peer support.