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Did you ever want to be a hero? As a child did you ever fantasize about being the Lone Ranger? Or a knight in shining armor? Perhaps your taste ran more towards Superman and Batman. Do you remember the disappointment when you discovered that you would never be one? That heroes were fiction and that real life “just isn’t like that?” Do you remember all the other childish expectations you had for your adulthood that you surrendered as you discovered the limits of your ability? If so, you are not alone. From time immemorial, individuals have shared these dreams and disappointments and it is to you that the Odyssey is dedicated. Homer would like you to know that you were not mistaken as a child: You can be a hero. Indeed, you must be a hero for there is no other way. The Odyssey will show you how.
This was the first paper I wrote when I returned to school to transition from engineering to the social sciences and humanities. It is still one of my favorites.