Reading has always been one of my favorite pastimes since I was a child. From an early age, my topic of choice was mythology: the stories of gods and heroes, monsters, and adventures of ancient peoples. My father (pictured with noted Judaism scholar Daniel Boyarin) and my mother always kept my library well-stocked with books filled with stories from the ancient Greeks, Norse, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Israelites, Americans, Japanese, and Indians. In addition to providing access to the material I craved, my parents also pushed me to go beyond the bottom line in my studies, telling me time and again that “’Good enough’, isn’t.” Even today, my parents still make the long drive from Memphis to attend concerts and lectures hosted by the university to support my sister and me. As the time to look at college majors approached, however, I was unsure how I would be able to work my passion into a career, or even a major, in a university setting.
After two years as a Music Performance major here at UT, my love for myth led me to the Religious Studies department as a place where I could further my education, not only on “What” messages the stories from my childhood contained but also on “Why and How” they conveyed them.