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What Do Myths Really Mean?

Program Number: 21391RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/23/2014 - 3/28/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Montreat, North Carolina
Price starting at: $568.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

From Homer's Odyssey to the legends of King Arthur to the countless stories told by Native Americans, myths are an important part of every culture throughout history. While everyone is familiar with myths and nearly everyone finds them interesting, they are often viewed as entertainment, but little more. Can it be that myths also express profound and complex truths which are fundamental to a way of life? If so, what is the meaning or meanings which lie behind these fascinating narratives--and how does one discover them? Can these meanings be usefully understood by those outside the society in which they originated?




Highlights

• Receive a basic introduction to mythology and experience vivid illustrations of mythic narratives.
• Explore different approaches to myth interpretation.
• Understand how practical applications of mythic themes can relate to present-day life.



Activity Particulars

All facilities in one bulding, with approximately 300 yards walking required, a few stairs (elevator serves all areas). Outside areas are mountainous, with inclines and uneven terrain.



Coordinated by Montreat Conference Center.




Montreat

Originally founded as a spiritual retreat center, Montreat, nestled on Lake Susan at the foot of Graybeard Mountain, continues to be a peaceful destination for those seeking respite. Footpaths weave through the 4,000 acres of surrounding woodlands and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer other recreational opportunities.



Accommodations
Beautiful conference center overlooking small lake in the center of Montreat. Spacious lounges, classrooms, fireplace and dining facilities in same building.
Meals and Lodgings
   Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
  Montreat, NC 5 nights
 Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn is undergoing a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. By May 2014, all guest rooms and public areas will be refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.
  Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757
  Contact info: 401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: www.montreat.org/general/housing-options
  Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. Most double occupancy rooms have two beds (a double bed and a single). Single occupancy rooms have one double bed. The bedrooms also have a desk, a clock, radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are served by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
check in at the Assembly Inn begins at 3 p.m., 4:00 - 5:30 p.m., program registration at the Assembly Inn. You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
12:15 closing program, then lunch from 12:30 - 1:30 at the Assembly Inn You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at the Assembly Inn in Montreat.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Montreat, NC
  Nearest city or town:  Black Mountain, NC; nearest large town: Asheville, NC
  Nearest highway: Route 9 to Interstate 40
  Nearest airport:  Asheville Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Montreat, NC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Knoxville, TN

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours, all interstate 

 

Greenville, SC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1 1/2 hours, all interstate 

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
same as listed for airport
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

arrange for transport with Road Scholar coordinator at Montreat; she will coordinate times with other participants.

 

Charlotte, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours, all interstate 

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
various... see listing below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

price varies, avg price is $60 per person, one way
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles

   

The Road Scholar coordinator suggests/recommends to you Grandyco Car Service 828-273-3214 and is happy to coordinate transportation for guests coming in to the Asheville airport, so price is less Other options (visit www.flyavl.com for more) Marvels Transport 828-280-1698 A Red Cab 828-232-1112 Areawide Transportation 828-713-4710 Beaver Lake Cab 828-252-1913 Checker Cab 828-254-1155

 
Driving Directions
  From All Points - to Interstate 40 Come to Western North Carolina via Interstate 40; use exit 64 for Black Mountain/Montreat/Route 9 (15 miles east of Asheville, NC). At the exit, turn north on Route 9 (go through one traffic light, across a railroad track and another traffic light, and up the hill to the traffic light). Go straight across where Route 9 becomes Montreat Road, and travel approximately two miles to the Montreat entrance (stone gate). From the gate, continue approximatley 1 1/2 miles to the middle of the conference center. The Assembly Inn is on the hill on the left, across from Lake Susan. Pull up to the front door of the Inn to unload, and then park your car in marked spaces along the lake or the Inn. Please note: do not trust a map or GPS that tries to bring you in on Route 9 (except for the last few miles) instead of Interstate 40 (unless you desire to travel along very sharp curves, up and down mountains). Also, do not take Flat Creek Road... come up Montreat Road (Route 9 North).
Elevation Note: Participants may wish to hike on their own in surrounding mountains, which peak elev. exceed 5,400.

Equipment Requirements: Anyone wishing to enjoy outdoor activities (walking, hiking) should bring hiking boots or shoes with tread on bottom.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation
(Sunday, March 23)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 4 - 5:30 PM. Pull up to the Assembly Inn porch to unload, then park your vehicle in any designated spot close by the Inn or by the lake.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. A relaxing break after your travel day! All our meals are served buffet style, so grab your plate and utensils and settle in for some comfort food. A choice of two entrées (or have both), good for you vegetables, a complete salad bar, bread and, of course, some yummy desserts. Tea (sweet and unsweet), coffee, milk, and water available.
 Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m., usually in Convocation Hall in the Assembly Inn. We will spend some time learning a little about Montreat, meeting your instructors, going over the schedule, and answering questions. We know you're tired from your travels, so we'll wrap up around 8 p.m. with some "getting to know each other" activities. Refreshmentments and fellowship follow in the lobby, or retire to your room for rest.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Begining our exploration of myths
(Monday, March 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Then you're in for a treat! Breakfast options change each day, but will incorporate lots of your favorites. Biscuits and gravy, french toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns, oatmeal (not the package kind either), and lots of others. Standard offerings include fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, baked pasteries, orange juice (and another kind of juice). Fresh coffee or hot tea will start your morning off right!
 Morning: During our first morning class, we begin our discussion of myths. What is a myth? Is it just a simple story? If not, then what do myths mean--really? This session will focus on the eternal wisdom contained within these fascinating and ancient narratives. We will have a mid-morning refreshment break and then return to class to continue our exploration of myths. Are you familiar with the myth of Baucis and Philemon? We'll use this touching story as a way to explore some of the deeper implications of myths.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room.
 Afternoon: The focus this afternoon will be on the concept of "polysemy." Something which is "polysemous" means more than one thing simultaneously, and we'll see how that applies to mythology. After class, there will be an opportunity for a Walk Around Montreat (guided tour of grounds) or free time.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: Evening program, from 7:00 to 8:00 games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship. Perhaps a movie on a big screen, if the group is interested.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Greek pantheon, or major gods of ancient Greece and optional hike
(Tuesday, March 25)
   
 Breakfast: Another yummy breakfast, served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Get your morning off to a good start! It's the most important meal of the day!
 Morning: No presentation of mythology is complete without an introduction to some of the main characters, especially those who figure in the classical myths of our culture. We will begin this morning with a review of the Greek pantheon, or major gods of ancient Greece. We will have a mid-morning refreshment break and then return to class for continued exploration of myths. Certainly one of the most interesting and important members of the pantheon is Aphrodite, Greek goddess of sensual love and beauty. The session will be devoted to this fascinating temptress.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Ready for something out of the ordinary? Today's menu is "Taco Tuesday." Build your own taco, taco salad, or whatever creative combination of Mexican fare you choose. Chips, melted cheese, and salsa (along with jalapeños if you so desire) top it all off. A complete salad bar is available as well. And don't forget to leave room for some cobbler and ice cream!
 Afternoon: Aphrodite--the Roman goddess Venus--figures in a large number of different and often rather dark myths. This afternoon we'll examine the tragic story of Venus and Adonis. 3:30 Optional hike in the mountains or enjoy Free Time
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship and optional movie on big screen.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Euhemerus, one of the earliest students of mythology.
(Wednesday, March 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Do you like sausage links or patties?
 Morning: One of the first and still quite useful ways of understanding myths is "euhemerism," named after Euhemerus, one of the earliest students of mythology. We will discuss how this approach can be both useful--and misleading. We will have a mid-morning refreshment break and then return to class for our continuing discussion about what myths really mean. According to Euhemerus, myths are originally accounts of actual historical events. Does this mean that we are in the process of creating myths right now? If so, what are some current examples?
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area! We'll have directions and suggestions of wonderful places to visit. Here without a car? If you haven't made a friend to hang out with for the afternoon, we'll help you get where you'd like to go.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: Class time again (you did have the afternoon off, you know!) Our evening course involves a special mythological Surprise!
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Mythologist Sir James Frazer; similarities between Adonis and Jesus Christ; Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung.
(Thursday, March 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Morning: One of the most important mythologists of the first half of the twentieth century was Sir James Frazer. He was particularly interested in the myth of Venus and Adonis. Why? And how did he understand this compelling and deeply moving narrative? We will have a mid-morning refreshment break and then return to class to continue our discussion about Frazer. Frazer saw some intriguing similarities between the death--and resurrection--of Adonis and that of Jesus Christ. We will investigate other such similarities between myths and religion and discuss what they might mean, particularly the psychology behind them.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Afternoon: One of the most richly rewarding approaches to understanding mythology is through depth psychology or the psychology of the unconscious. Both the influential psychologists Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung found mythology an important tool for understanding the human mind. We will look at some of the reasons why. 3:30 - 5:30 is free time
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship (no movie tonight).
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: The hero in us all. Conclusions, summaries, and a challenging wrap-up of what we've learned.
(Friday, March 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. It's your last chance to try Ronny's gravy and biscuits! Don't miss out!
 Morning: Everyone in the class will already be familiar with the universal myth of the hero. This morning we will focus on this common motif, especially with regard to the views of the mythologists Joseph Campbell and Lord Raglan. We will have our mid-morning refreshment break and opportunity to check out of your room (checkout required by 11 AM) and then we will return to class for our final discussion about myths. Our last session will be devoted to some conclusions, summaries, and a challenging wrap-up of what we have learned together this week. Our closing program will be held 12:15-12:30 p.m., and we'll say our good-byes over lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room (Box lunches will be available for those who cannot stay through lunch).
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Montreat, NC Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city... For additional information, visit www.ashevillechamber.org
  Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres. For additional information, visit www.biltmore.com
  Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions! For additional information, visit www.exploreblackmountain.com
  Black Mountain Golf Course
Boasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides.
  Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
  Carl Sandburg Home
A simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute!
  Cherokee Indian Village
The Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal).
  Chimney Rock Park
Located in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required. For additional information, visit chimneyrockpark.com
  Folk Art Center
Home of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville For additional information, visit southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
  Grandfather Mountain
Located in Linville, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails For additional information, visit grandfather.com
  Harrah's Casino
Harrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation For additional information, visit www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
  Linville Caverns
A 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain. For additional information, visit linvillecaverns.com
  Thomas Wolfe Home
The childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum. For additional information, visit www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/wolfe/wolfe.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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