Thursday, May 3, 2018

Dead Week: Learning by HEART

I decided to look at my schedule for this Learning Challenge. Since the semester is almost over, I decided to look at my schedule for next semester. All of my classes are in the afternoon, except for Friday, I just have one morning class. All of my classes are in Gaylord, so they are all classes that I care about and will help me with my future career. I just need to learn how to manage my time and really take advantage of the free mornings that I will have. Whether that be studying or getting a part time internship/job, I don't want to slack off.

Clock (KMART)

Dead Week: Back Up and Review

Hanuman (Daily Announcements)
This graphic was my favorite on the announcement page. I love Hanuman and really liked this art that depicted him.

This video was really cool! I've always seen OK Go making cool videos and this one did not disappoint. The colors were vibrant and the creativity was there. Loved it!

Dead Week More Reading: Epified Krishna

Krishna Wikipedia
Krishna is a major deity in the religion of Hinduism. He made enemies before he was even born and became a friend to those in need but an enemy to those who sought out to harm Krishna's loved ones. Everyone thought that he was of the world, but they were wrong, they were a part of Krishna's world because Krishna was an avatar of the god Vishnu. He's one of the main characters of the Mahabharata. Krishna was a main helper of the Pandavas during their many adventures and troubles.

Krishna Comes

Dead Week Wikipedia Trail: Infinity War to Weight Loss

Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War is the 19th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the biggest movie in theaters right now. I just saw it and loved it, so I wanted to look it up on Wikipedia.

One of the characters in the movie had the super power of hypnosis, so I clicked the link. I never realized that hypnosis dated back to the 1800s!

Weight loss
Hypnosis led me to weight loss because apparently people can be hypnotized into losing weight. Weight loss is good if you're overweight or obese, but can be bad for your health if you lose too much weight. 

Infinity War Poster (Wikipedia)

Dead Week Famous Last Words: Summer and Senior Year Part 1

I have one final left. Just one final until summer vacation. I just finished my senior year of college, but I have one year left. So one senior year down, one to go. I'm staying in Norman this summer and hopefully interning in OKC. For advertising/media internships they let you hear back absurdly late, so I'm on pins and needles right now. I'm excited for next school year too. I'm living with 5 close friends in a house near campus and will be graduating next May. It'll be weird to end college, but I'm ready for the next chapter in my life and want to see what the future holds. But for right now, I'm still in school and trying to pave the way for my future as best I can. Glad to be done with this semester though, just two to go, then we're outta here.
OU (Google)

Dead Week Tech Tip: Google Define

Defined "confabulate." I had heard the word before and didn't know the meaning. Now I do. I'll use Google Define more often!

Dead Week Story: A Wolf in Rat's Clothing

Rat (Google)

There was once a colony of rats ruled by a graceful and wise king. Every day they would go out into the wilderness and hunt for food, and every night they would go back to their home and share what they had with the rest of the colony. However, a wolf caught notice of these rats and became intrigued.

This wolf loved to eat rats. Rats were his favorite food and he would do anything to get his paws on a delicious rat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So he approached the rats' home, pretending to have a limp.

"What are you doing here, Wolf? We don't want any trouble, we just want to live in peace." said the king.

"Oh no no no, I don't want to eat you, mighty rat. No I have a limp and cannot walk, would it be an inconvenience if I rested during the day outside of your domain?" said the wolf.

The king rat agreed, and the wolf's plan was in effect.

For weeks, every day the wolf would wait for the rats to go about their daily business and pick the last rat in line to eat.

One by one, the rats dissapeared and no one knew what was happening.

The king slowly became suspicious. He decided to be the last one in line one day and wanted to catch the wolf in the act of trying to eat a rat.

As he planned, once he was the last one to leave, the wolf lunged at the king rat with his bite. However, the king was fast and dove out of the way, and into the wolf's neck, biting him.

The wolf was dead and the rats were no longer in danger.

The End

More Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt

Author's Note: This story was a brief telling of the Clever Wolf story from More Jataka Tales

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Reading B: Final Jataka Tales

The Noble Horse
A noble horse was taken into battle and helped a knight capture six kings. Upon capturing the sixth king, the horse was wounded but knew that the knight had to capture one more. So after the final king was captured, the horse died. Everyone knew of the horse's nobility and he was remembered. War never broke out again.

The Patient Buffalo
A monkey tormented a buffalo by jumping on his back, trampling his food and hitting him with sticks. The buffalo never fought back and told a fairy it was because the monkey did not have much brain. The fairy gave the buffalo a charm that allowed him to never be annoyed by the monkey again.

The Quarrelsome Quails
When a hunter came to capture quails, the King quail told them to work together and fly away to escape the net, but never to fight. If they were to fight, they could be caught. One day the hunter came back and two of the quails began to fight and he caught them. But the King quail and the quails who heeded his words were never caught.

Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat
King Quail (Babel)


Reading A: MORE Jataka Tales

The Fairy and the Hare
A hare, a weasel and a monkey lived together and gathered food. They decided to gather food for poor creatures and give the food away. A fairy wanted to test them, so she transformed into a beggar and approached each of them. They all offered her food, and even offered themselves as food. The fairy made a fire but the flames were cool. The hare was confused, but the fairy let him know that it was a test and they passed because of their kind hearts.

The Master's Test
An old master told his pupils to go and steal money for him because they were young. However, one pupil told the master that even when no one was watching, he was watching himself, so he couldn't do it. The master smiled and said that he passed the test. The pupils realized from then on that even when no one is watching, they are watching themselves.

The Two Pigs
A woman adopts two pigs. She keeps them for years until there is a feast. Men get her drunk and convince her to give them one of the pigs to eat. The other pig tells the pig to not be sad to leave the world, but to feel joy. The words echo across the land and the pigs are honored by the king. Even after the king dies, the land is joyous.

Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat
Master and Pupil (Babel)


Sunday, April 29, 2018

More Reading: Babbitt's More Jataka Tales

The Girl Monkey and the String of Pearls
A king, queen and their family went to the river one day and the queen left her pearls on the side of the river when she got in. A Girl Monkey waited for the servant that was guarding the pearls to fall asleep and then stole the pearls. Everyone was looking for the pearls and couldn't. The guard suspected a monkey because no one could have gotten in or out of the castle. He set a trap with glass beads and one of the monkeys stole them. He then knew that it was a monkey and finally caught the Girl Monkey. The king was very grateful.

The Tricky Wolf and the Rats
There was once a wolf that wanted to eat a colony of rats. He stood outside their colony and tricked the Chief of the Rats and made him think that he was lame and pathetic. The Chief believed him so he stood outside their colony every day and ate the last rat to leave. The Chief noticed this one day and decided to be the last one to leave. The wolf tried to eat him, but he avoided the wolf and bit the wolf's neck and killed him.

More Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbitt
Girl Monkeys (Jataka Tales)

Famous Last Words: Lake and Dead Week

Last week I talked about my excitement for the lake trip I was going on. Well, now I'm back and let me say, it was such a nice, relaxing weekend with my roommates and I'm not ready to get back to school life. I only have two weeks left in my senior year, and after that, most of my friends are going on separate life paths. I still have another year in school, so I get to soak up Norman for a while with the remaining friends I'll have here, but a lot of my other friends are moving away to jobs or grad school. It's weird. College has gone by so fast, I barely got to process it. That's why this weekend was so nice. I have lived with one of my roommates for three years, and the other one for two years, so it was a super nice time getting to spend this weekend with them at the lake. We went out on the boat, drank some beers, ate some good food and just had some good roomie time for one of the last times. It was bittersweet but still an amazing way to close out the semester, school year and last year living together.

Grand Lake (Lee's Resort)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reading B: Inayat. Twenty Jataka Tales

The Guilty Dogs
There was once a group of palace dogs that destroyed the King's saddles for his horses. When the king found the saddles destroyed, he knew it was dogs that did it. But he didn't know which dogs did it, so he ordered every dog in the city to be killed. When the dogs heard this, they went to the wise chief dog and had him talk to the king. The dog knew that it was the royal dogs, so he had the king test them by feeding them buttermilk. Once they drank the buttermilk, straps of leather fell out of their mouths and the king knew it was them. He stopped the killing of every dog and started to give all dogs in the city royal treatment. 

Dog (YouTube)

Twenty Jakata Tales by Noor Inayat

Monday, April 23, 2018

Famous Last Words: The Lake is Near

With school almost ending and this being my last year of living with my roommates, we planned a trip to my roommate's lake house on Grand Lake. It's been a tradition to go every Labor Day for the past 3 years and with this being one of the last weekends of senior year, we decided to make a trip up just as roommates. I have a pretty busy upcoming week with a huge final presentation for my Ad Research class that's worth a huge portion of my grade, but once I'm finished with that, it's lake time. The lake is so relaxing. You can do whatever you want without worry. There's a boat, a canoe and a nice big dock where everyone hangs out and swims in the lake. It's one of the most relaxing places that I've been to and I can't wait to go back. This semester has been so busy with almost no free weekends for any of us. But this weekend, we're finally all free and have planned on this for a month. It's going to be perfect.
Roomies at the lake

Tech Tip: Typing Test

I used KeyHero to do a typing test. I liked how it highlighted mistakes in red until they were fixed.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Week 13 Story: The Monkey and His Peas

As I sat in the tree, my stomach grumbled. What was I to eat today? Would it be bananas? Maybe some mangos? Or would I be lucky enough to find something better? As a monkey, you eat whatever you can find, but as a vegetarian, it's quite difficult.

All the other predators make fun of me for only eating fruits and veggies but it's not my fault. I didn't choose to be a little chimp. If I could turn into a tiger and eat whatever animals I wanted, believe me I would. But alas, a monkey I'll always be. My stomach is growling so loud I can't hear the sound of my own thoughts.

But suddenly, I see them. Humans.

They stop to feed their horses and eat something for themselves, and I notice something quite appealing: peas. My favorite food of all time. Oh how I love peas. There's just something about the little rascals, I love popping each individual one in my mouth and savoring the amazing flavor.

My window of opportunity is small, so I act fast. While the humans are looking away, I swoop down from my tree and snatch the can of peas without a sound. Oh happy day! What luck that on the day I am most hungry, I find peas! I'm not letting anyone lay a paw on them.

As I enjoy the little morsels, I get a little too excited and let one fall from my tree and onto the jungle ground. Oh no! I'm not going to let this pea go to waste. I went through too much trouble to let any of these delicious treats get away from me.

As I shimmy down the tree to get my pea back, the humans notice me. I cant get away in time and they start chasing me with sticks.

"Shoo shoo!" they say.

I am so frightened by the sheer number and size of them that I completely forget about my peas. I drop them as I run from the men and they are crushed one by one under the mens' feet.

Oh how I wish I let that one little pea go! For if I had, I would have still been eating the dozens of other delicious peas in my grasp.
Monkey (Wikipedia)

How greedy of me to lose everything while trying to gain one little thing!

Author's Note: This story was based off of Spend a Pound to Win a Penny. I wrote it from the monkey's perspective. I wanted to make the story an internal dialogue from the monkey's head and go through the situation of him losing the peas while trying to get one back.

The Giant Crab and Other Tales From India by W.H.D Rouse

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reading B: Buddhist Jataka Tales

Spend a Pound to Win a Penny
A monkey took some peas from some people below a tree. He dropped one pea, and in trying to get it, dropped all the other peas. The people saw the monkey and shooed him away. He realized that he shouldn't be so greedy with his peas because he lost all of them to try to gain just one.

Silence is Golden 
A lion had a cub with a jackal. The cub looked like a lion but had the yelp of a jackal. Other cubs didn't think he was a real lion, so his father told him to keep his mouth shut. For the rest of his life he was quiet so that others thought he was a lion and weren't frightened by his jackal yelp.

The Cunning Crane and the Crab
There was a crane that lived by a pond. He hatched a plan to catch the fish and make them think that he would take them to the lake, but he would really eat them. He tried this same thing with a crab, but the crab was smarter and knew the crane had other plans. He threatened to kill the crane if the crane did not let him live. The crane let the crab down at the lake but the crab killed him anyway.

The Crane (Blogspot)

The Giant Crab and Other Tales From India by W.H.D Rouse

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Reading A: Buddhist Jataka Tales

The Giant Crab
A giant crab would eat the animals that came to the lake to drink and got bigger and bigger as he ate. An elephant and his wife planned to stop the crab. The crab hurt the elephant and was infatuated with his wife. So while he was distracted by elephant's wife, the elephant crushed the crab.

The Dishonest Friend
A man trusted his friend with a plough. The friend took the plough and told the man that a rat ate it. The man knew the friend was lying and he took the friend's son to another house and told the friend that a hawk took the boy. The friend didn't believe that a hawk could take a boy, the man retorted with no one could believe a rat could eat a plough. The friend gave the plough back and the man gave the son back.


The Giant Crab and Other Tales From India by W.H.D Rouse

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tech Tip: Canvas Dashboard

For this week's Tech Tip. I changed the colors and changed the names of all of my courses on the Canvas Dashboard. It's easier to navigate than to remember the course numbers and ID's for each class. This makes it a lot easier.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Tech Tip: Twitter Following

For this Tech Tip, I decided to follow a new Twitter account. The account I decided to follow was John Krasinski's. He was Jim Halpert in my favorite TV show, The Office, and he recently directed a new thriller called A Quiet Place. I'm interested in seeing that movie, so I decided to follow his Twitter account to see what he and other people are saying about the movie.

Learning Challenge: Sleep

Sleeping Baby (Independent)
In the article I read, How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body, it said that no one knows exactly WHY we sleep. I thought that was so interesting. We all get tired, and if we don't sleep, we feel awful, we look awful, and if we keep it up, we'll live shorter. I have no idea why we sleep either, but I think it's interesting that scientists don't even fully know the reason.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Week 11 Story: Three Fishes

Once upon a time, there were three fishes. Their names were Very-Thoughtful, Thoughtful and Thoughtless. 

Very-Thoughtful, the leader of the group, was a smart and cunning fish. He always excelled in whatever he put his mind to and he never was easily influenced by bad decisions. 

Thoughtful, although not as smart, was still a relatively intelligent fish. He always thought things through, and weighed the pros and cons of every situation before he made decisions. However, sometimes those decisions weren't always the right ones. 

Finally, there was Thoughtless, the weakest-minded fish of the group. Who knows why they kept this guy around. He had the attention span of a nematode, he was always getting himself into trouble with sharks and such, and he never thought about a decision before making it. 

One day, the three fishes were swimming towards a city. Very-Thoughtful felt weird and told the other two that they should swim back home. Civilizations have people that hunt and eat fish like them and it would be too dangerous for them there. It was a better idea to just go home. 

However, Thoughtless had to go running his mouth again, "But the city is so cool! Our home is boring. Don't you guys want to see what's in store there?" 

Thoughtful weighed both of the options carefully in his head, but in the end, he went with Thoughtless' idea to keep swimming towards the city. In his mind, what was so bad about a new experience? 

Very-Thoughtful was hesitant but he couldn't let his friends keep swimming alone. Who knows what kind of trouble Thoughtless could get them in. 

When they got to the city, they immediately regretted their decision to keep swimming. A huge net suddenly surrounded Thoughtless and Thoughtful with Very-Thoughtful watching from the outside, helpless and not knowing how to save his friends. 

Suddenly, he had an idea. If he distracted the fisherman, maybe he would try to catch Very-Thoughtful and his friends would have a chance to escape. He began to flail and splash around in the water and the fisherman took his net from Thoughtful and Thoughtless as he tried to catch Very-Thoughtful. 

This was their chance. The second the net was gone, Very-Thoughtful shouted "Swim away! Swim and don't look back!" The three fishes might as well have been Michael Phelps with the way they booked it out of that city. 

3 Fish (Blogspot)

Author's Note:  This story was an expansion on the 3 Fishes story in Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbit. There wasn't any real story change, I just wanted to expand on the story and make it a little more interesting by describing the fish more and giving the situation more detail

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Reading A: More Jataka Tales

The Cunning Wolf
A man goes to hunt wolves for his dinner. He lies on the ground and plays dead until one comes up that he can hit. The king of the wolves sees his trick, and runs away before the man can hit him and throws his club but misses. The rest of the animals run away.

The Three Fishes
Three fishes leave their home and go towards a city. One of the fish, Very-Thoughtful, tells the others that they should go home because there are fishermen in the city. The other fishes don't pay attention and get caught in a net. Very-Thoughtful creates a distraction for the fisherman and the others escape. They return back to their home.

The Penny-Wise Monkey
A king and his men from a rich country go to take a far away country. They see a monkey eating peas. The monkey drops one pea and tries to retrieve it, but in turn, loses his other peas. The king learns a lesson to be grateful for what he has and not try to gain a little but lose a lot.

The Golden Goose
There was a golden goose that decided to help a family by giving them its golden feathers every day. One day, the mother gets greedy and decides to take all of his feathers. When she takes them, the feathers grow back normal, not golden, and the goose never returns.

The Golden Goose (The Baldwin Project)
Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbit

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Fake Social media Tech Tip

Famous Last Words: A last time for everything

As I look upon the week in front of me, a lot of different emotions hit me. I am a part of OU's Sooner Scandals, and Brackett week (show week) is this upcoming week. If you read my intro, Sooner Scandals is an on-campus event that involves organizations writing, directing, choreographing and writing music for a 12-minute musical. And because I am a senior, this is my last year to be a part of it.

I started Scandals when I was just a sophomore. I was involved with theatre in high school, but I wasn't serious enough about it to go to college for theatre or anything. But when I heard about Scandals, I knew that it was the thing for me to do. There are so many people in Scandals casts that have no musical bones in their bodies, but they are a part of the show and learn the dances and songs like everyone else. It's a thing that anyone can do, musically inclined or not.

Our awards from last year (Facebook)
Scandals means a lot to me, not just because it's a fun way for me to be creative and still be involved with music and theatre, but it means a lot because of the friendships and relationships I've formed throughout it. Last year, I was the head director for my organization and we were paired with a sorority. The head director for the sorority and I hit it off and got to know each other throughout the process, she became my girlfriend, and we're still dating, more than a year later.

It's a stressful process with a lot of different people working on one collective show, and I am going to be relieved when it's over. I'll have more time for myself, for my friends and girlfriend, and more time for school. But I will also be sad that I am no longer going to be a part of Scandals. It was a huge part of my college career and now, that part of college is done for me, like so many other things soon will be.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reading B: Jakata Tales

The Elephant Girly Face
Girly Face was a nice elephant. Heard bad men talking and started killing people. King made good men talk around Girly Face and he turned back into a nice and well-behaved elephant.

The Crane and the Crab
Crane likes to eat fish and tricks them by putting them in his mouth with the hope of the pond. Eats them instead. Does the same with the crab but the crab sees through the crane and kills the crane.

Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbit

Girly Face Killing ( The Baldwin Project)

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Reading A: Jakata Tales

How the Turtle Saved His Own Life
People think turtle is a demon, want to kill him. Think of throwing him in the water to kill him and the turtle tricks them and tells them that he hates the water and will die. They throw him in and he is back in his home.

Crocodile and Monkey
Crocodile wants to feed his mother monkey heart. Monkey says that his heart is in a tree so the crocodile takes him there. Monkey tricks crocodile when crocodile opens his mouth to eat him and monkey escapes.

The Foolish Timid Rabit
Basically Chicken Little with the sky is falling. Coconut falls on Rabbit's head, he tells everyone that the earth is breaking up, every animal believes him and then the lion tells the rabbit that it was just a coconut.

The Ox Who Won the Forfeit
A strong ox's owner bets money that he can pull a thousand carts. But he whips the ox in front of everyone and the ox does nothing. The ox then tells him to be nicer and not whip him. When the owner is kind and encouraging, the ox moves the carts and wins his owner's money back.

Jataka Tales by Ellen C. Babbit

The Jatakas Book (Indian Epics)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Tech Tip: First Tweet

I have had a Twitter account since around my sophomore year of high school. I think Twitter is a powerful medium to reach people on the internet with little amounts of words. I haven't tweeted in almost two years but I think I could get back into Twitter soon. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Week 8 Progress

I realize that I am a little behind on this class. I'm currently in 18 hours of classes, plus 15+ hours a week of extracurricular activities. This has been one of my busiest semesters and it's hard to keep up with an online class as well. But I'm determined to succeed in this class and do more extra credit assignments to make up for it. I might even get ahead over spring break just so that I'm not stressed about my progress. I really enjoy this class and the assignments that go with it. It's one of the more interesting classes I've taken and I've learned a lot about Indian storytelling that I didn't know before.

Week 8 Comments and Feedback

I feel like the comments in this course are helpful to get to know the other students without actually meeting them. I always love getting comments on my blog and project from other students and they are always encouraging and helpful. I think that my comments are helpful too. I try to find something in common or something I particularly enjoy about every other students' blog post and put that into my comments, so that they know I was really reading their post, not just commenting to comment. The comment aspect of this class is one of my favorite parts of the course.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Wikipedia Trails: From Blues to the Indian Removal Act

I started my trail off here because of the Sita Sings the Blues movie I watched the other week. I love blues music but wanted to know it's origin. It started in the Deep South and has roots in African American traditional work songs that date back to the era of slavery. It's crazy to see how far blues has come.

Elvis Presley
The blues then took me to Elvis Presley's page, otherwise known as the King of Rock and Roll. Presley died at the young age of 42 due to poor health. His health was poor because his diet consisted mainly of heavy, rich and unhealthy Southern cooking like chicken-fried steak and biscuits and gravy.

Elvis had Cherokee blood in him, so I clicked on this link. I actually have Cherokee blood in me as well!

Indian Removal Act
The Indian Removal Act was an act signed by president Andrew Jackson in 1830. This act forced Native American tribes to migrate west past the Mississippi River and walk the Trail of Tears. The act went down in history as cruelty towards the native people that were moved from their homes and forced to go to unfamiliar territory, where many of them died on the way.

This was an interesting trail to go down. One minute, I'm looking at a good genre of music, the next minute, I'm looking at a very sad and unfortunate event in American history.

Andrew Jackson (Wikipedia

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Tech Tip: Blogger Template

For this Tech Tip, I changed the background image on my blog. All you have to do is go to the Theme option on the Blogger page and customize the background. I encourage everyone to edit their blogs!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Week 6 Story: Shantanu Meets a Girl

It was just your average day as a king. I'd do my ruling business, order some servants around, eat like a me, and then go down to the river for my daily walk. However, this specific day, I met a girl. She was beautiful, and was washing her clothes in the river that I walk by. I had to speak to her. "Come here often?," I say, immediately regretting my stupid pickup line. "Not really," she says "I just moved here." "Well why don't I give you the Hastinapura welcome? Let me invite you over for dinner." And she came to dinner. And she came back over the next few weeks. We would talk and laugh and I was beginning to fall in love with her. I proposed and she accepted.

However, there was a catch. Not a huge catch, I just couldn't question any of her actions. Seems normal. She'd wear a weird shirt, I wouldn't comment. Not too hard for the first few years. But then it escalated. When she got pregnant for the first time and had the kid, she immediately took it to the river. I didn't ask why, but when she came back without the baby, I was suspicious. "I drowned the baby," she said. I couldn't believe my ears. Drowned the baby?! Our baby?! I know I'm not supposed to ask, but how could she. Over the course of the next few years, she drowned the next 6 babies we had. At the 8th baby, I said enough was enough and she had to tell me why she was doing such an awful thing. "I told you not to ask," she said "but I guess you're gonna hear it." She proceeded to tell me that she, my WIFE, was the incarnation of the river Ganga and our sons that she drowned were the Vasus, who were reincarnated as babies to be punished for stealing Vashishtha's cow. After telling me this, she took the last baby and just disappeared. Gone. Didn't even say goodbye. Women, am I right?

Ganga drowns her son (Blogspot)

Mahabharata by Narayan

Author's Note: I wrote this about Shantanu and his relationship with Ganga and how she drowns their children in the river when they have the babies. I told it through the perspective of the king and how he would react and his thoughts about the crazy situation that he got himself into.


Reading A: Mahabharata

Shantanu and Ganga
Shantanu falls in love with a woman at the river and she agrees to marry him as long as he never questions her actions. When they have children, she drowns each of them in the river, and he stops her once she is about to drown the eighth one. She explains to them that she is the river Ganga and gave birth to the eight gods, Vasus, who are being punished as humans for stealing Vasishtha's cow. When Ganga drowns the babies, she returns to heaven and takes the last son with her, he returns to Shantanu as an adult by the name of Bhishma.

Shantanu and Satyavati
Shantanu falls in love with a fisherman's daughter, Satyavati. He opposes their marraige because Shantanu already has Bhishma for a son. Bhishma vows to never have children to help his father. Shantanu and Satyavati have two kids, one becomes king but then dies, and Bhishma takes the throne instead of the other son because he is too young. Meanwhile, a neighboring king holds a ceremony for his daughters to select a husband and Bhishma seizes all three for Vichitravirya, the young king. One of the daughters, Amba, has already promised herself to another king so her father banishes her. She vows revenge on Bhishma. Vichitraviyra marries the two other daughters.

Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura
Vichitraviyra dies withouth having any sons, so Satyavati has the widows sleep with her son Vyasa, to bear children. He looks strange because of his strange religious rituals, so the widows are afraid of him when they sleep with him. One closes their eyes, so their son, Dhritarashtra, is blind. One turns pale with fear, so their son, Pandu, is born pale. But one of the widows has her maid sleep with Vyasa in her place and he likes her, so the son, Vidura, is born normal.

The Pandavas and the Kauravas
Dhritarashtra has a wife who covers her eyes to share his blindness. Pandu has two wives, Kunti and Madri, but cannot have children. Pandu is hunting and shoots a deer having sex but the deer is actually a celestial being in disguise who curses Pandu and says that he will also die making love. Pandu's wife has him have gods bear children for him, and he has 5 sons, called the Pandavas. Pandu can't resist his passion for Madri and dies making love to her. She jumps on his funeral pyre and leaves Kunti to take care of the sons.

The escape from the fire
The Pandavas set their house on fire that Purochana builds for them. It's a trap and everyone thinks they died but they escaped.

Life in hiding
A rakshasa is killed by Bhima, the sister of the rakshasa falls in love with him and they have a son. Vyasa urges the Pandavas to disguise themselves as beggars. They beg everyday until Kunti divides up the alms. Bhima also defeats another rakshasa.

Draupadi's swayamvara
King Drupada is having a swayamvara for his daughter and the Pandavas show up. Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu, is there with his brother Balarama and they recognize the Pandavas in disguise. During the contest, Arjuna is able to hit the target with his bow and wins Draupadi as his bride. The 5 brothers have to share Draupadi as their wife. But she had 5 husbands in a previous lifetime, and prayed to get them back. She got them back when she married the Pandava brothers. 

Pandava (Wikipedia)

Mahabharata by Narayan 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Comment Wall

This is the comment wall for my storybook portfolio! Feel free to leave a comment.


Rama (Dharma Wiki)

Tech Tip: YouTube Playlists

This is my YouTube playlist that I created. I use YouTube for several reasons. I like to find new music, I like funny videos, I like to keep up with the latest trends. This playlist is a few videos with music that I think is good. I play guitar as well, so there are some songs that highlight guitar playing.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Week 5 Story: Raymond's Crush

I was always jealous of Rob. He had it all. He was the star quarterback on the school's football team, class president, had the coolest best friend, Hayden, who was almost like a sidekick, and most importantly, he had Sara: the most beautiful girl in the world. I always admired her from afar. We had a few classes together and I'd be lucky if she even accidentally bumped into me in the hallway. My family could never associate with the likes of Rob and Sara. My sister, Sharon, tried to ask Rob to the prom freshman year, and Rob's brother, Lawrence, humiliated her in front of the whole school. I actually wouldn't have even seen Sara if it weren't for that moment.

I was so upset that Lawrence embarrassed Sharon that I had to find out who did it. When she pointed him out the next day, he was sitting at lunch with Rob, Hayden and Sara. While I was mad at Lawrence for what he did to my sister, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Sara. She was captivating. She came from a wealthy family too. Her dad, John Sutherland, is in charge of the city's workout gyms. Rob even had to bench press in front of him before he asked Sara out, just to prove to her dad that he was strong enough for his baby girl. 

But I'm rich too. Money isn't much though when you have no one to share it with. We have butlers and maids at my house, but it's just me, Sharon and my uncle Mark that live there. No one ever comes around. "Raymond why don't you ever bring a pretty girl home?," the maids tease. I tell them that I have a girlfriend, but she lives in a different town. When in reality, the only girl I'll ever love is in the arms of another man. I have to find a way to take her from him. 

This story was based off of the Ramayana by Narayan. 

Authors Note: It takes a modern spin on the character of Ravana. I made him a teenager with a crush on the modern-day version of Sita. 

Raymond- Ravana
Sara- Sita
Rob- Rama
Hayden- Hanuman
Lawrence- Lakshmana
 Mark-  Maricha
Sharon- Shurpanakha
John Sutherland- King Janaka

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tech Tips: Adobe Photoshop

I used Lynda to get a tutorial on Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. I used what I learned to create this funny and cheesy action movie poster, featuring me. I think having knowledge on the Adobe apps is helpful to know because it makes you more well-rounded when it comes to technology.

Reading Notes A and B: Sita Sings the Blues

For this week's reading, I chose to watch the movie: Sita Sings the Blues. The movie is a cartoon interpretation of the Ramayana. It is animated and tells the story in 3 different ways. The first story that is told is the story of a couple who gets split up because the man has to move to India for work. The woman eventually follows him but when she gets there, the relationship wasn't what it used to be. After she takes a trip to New York, he ends the relationship and she stays in America. Although she is heartbroken, she finds comfort in her new life and new cat while she begins to study the Ramayana. This has parallels to the Ramayana because of Sita trying to win Rama back after he rescues her and eventually being tired of it and being swallowed up by the earth. The second story being told is the actual Ramayana. It is told by 3 Indian shadow puppets through a comedic conversation and recalling of the story. During their story, an animated version of the Ramayana is told. Every so often, the animation style changes and a musical interlude happens with Sita singing old-timey songs while an important scene is happening. They are used to further the story and put music to crucial parts of the Ramayana, such as the scene where Hanuman and Rama rescue Sita from Ravana. I did notice one key difference in this version, Lakshmana isn't with Rama or Sita when they are banished into the forest, it's just the two of them. It wasn't a big deal, it just threw me off because I was used to him being there with them. Overall, I really liked Sita Sings the Blues. It was very funny and a lighthearted retelling of the Ramayana. I think I would even enjoy it if I didn't read the Ramayana or had to do it for an assignment, it was a really good movie and I would recommend it to anyone who is familiar with the Ramayana.

Sita Sings the Blues was directed and animated by Nina Paley

Sita Sings the Blues Poster ( Wikipedia )

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Tech Tip: Meme Generator

I used Img Flip to make this meme. I feel like it is applicable for me in Indian Epics because there are so many extra credit opportunities for when I'm not feeling like doing a reading assignment and am being lazy. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Reading Notes: Ramayana Part C

Ravana Abducts Sita
When Lakshmana is away from Sita, Ravana comes to her disguised as a hermit. When he reveals himself, she tells him to leave, but he picks up the ground she is on and flies away.

Jatayu and Ravana
Jatayu tries to rescue Sita but Ravana kills him and he dies before he can tell Rama and Lakshmana where Ravana went.

Rama and Lakshmana Meet Hanuman
Rama and Lakshmana head to the kingdom of Kishkinda. There, the monkey Hanuman meets them and disguises himself as a scholar, but Rama sees through it. Hanuman is loyal to the younger brother of the king of Kishkinda.

The Story of Vail and Sugriva
Vail churned nectar from the ocean, so the gods gave him awesome fighting powers. Mayavi, the demon, challenged him, but Vail chased him into a cave. When they didn't come out, Sugriva's advisors told him to block the cave and trap the demon. When Vail came out, he was enraged at Sugriva and Sugriva fled to escape him. Vail took his wife.

Rama's Empathy for Sugriva
Rama feels empathy for Sugriva because he lost his wife and is in exile. They believe that they can defeat Vail. Vail is forbidden from the mountain because he once defeated a demon in the shape of a buffalo. He hurled the carcass and it landed near a sage that cursed Vail and said that he would die if he ever went to the mountain.

Sita's Jewelry
Sita threw her jewelry when being taken away and the monkeys found it. Sugriva has the jewelry and gave it to Rama.

Sugriva Battles Vail
Sugriva challenges Vail, Vail laughs at his challenge and his wife urges him not to fight. In the middle of the battle, Rama fires an arrow at Vail and Vail argues with Rama if he acted right or not. In the end, he decides that Rama did the right thing. He dies and Sugriva becomes king.

The Rainy Season
Rama and his brother spend the rainy season in the forest while Sugriva is supposed to form an army in the meantime. He forgets to form the army and Rama sends Lakshmana to remind him of his promise.

Lakshmana Visits Sugriva
When Laksmana comes, he kicks down the gates of the city. Hanuman invites Lakshmana to see Sugriva, who is drunk. Sugriva promises not to get drunk again and goes to see Rama.

Search Parties Sent
Sugriva forms an army and search parties are sent to find Sita. Rama tells Hanuman how to identify Sita.

Hanuman and Angada Head South
Hanuman and Angada are trapped in a tunnel and meet a mysterious nymph who had once been a goddess. The nymph returns to heaven and they break out of the tunnel, still haven't found Sita.

The two meet Sampathi, brother of Jatayu, the bird. His wings have been burned off when he fell to Earth. He says that he saw Ravana taking Sita to Lanka, across the ocean. Hanuman grows immensely and becomes a giant monkey so that he can step across the ocean.

Ramayana by Narayan

Hanuman (Free PNG)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Topic Brainstorm

Weapons of the Gods
I figured that doing a project over different weapons would be really cool and interesting. There are so many gods and so many weapons that they used in various battles, the possibilities are endless. I don't know much, or really at all, about the weapons the gods used, so I would love to learn more about them. One blog I saw had the weapons introduce themselves and tell stories, so I liked that take on it.
Weapons of the Gods

I enjoyed reading the Ramayana, so I would love to do a project over it. There are so many stories in it that could be retold, and so many people in the story whose perspective I could tell from. I know a little about the Ramayana, I read it, but I feel like there's more to be told, and more in-depth stories to be found.

I love music, I always have. So it would make sense that a music project interests me. I don't really know anything about Indian music, so I would love to listen to a wide variety of it and write about it. I'm sure there are stories as well that deal with music or have musical elements to them.
Rock on Hanuman

Epic Battles
If this class is called "Epics of India," I'm sure the battles are epic as well. I'm interested to learn more about the amazing battles that happened in Indian Epics. I haven't read or listened to any epic Indian battle stories, so this topic idea intrigues me. There are opportunities to write stories from both sides and to see different points of view on the battles.
Epic Battles

Kurukshetra War 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Reading B Notes: Ramayana

Rama's Exile
Lakshmana and Sita want to accompany Rama into exile and the king's charioteer supplies them with transportation. They manage to escape and once they finally get to the forest, King Dasharatha dies.

When Bharata returns to town, he finds out that his mother planned to make him king instead of Rama. He is outraged and finds Rama and tries to convince him to come back. Rama refuses, so Bharata takes his shoes back and places them on the throne.

Forest Life
As Rama, Lakshmana and Sita move deeper into the forest, they visit sages. One of the sage's wives gives her jewelry to Sita. They also meet the bird Jatayu, a friend of Dasharatha, who offers the group protection.

Ravana's Sister
Ravana, the rakshasa, has a sister named Shurpanakha. She is in love with Rama and tries to seduce him and get rid of Sita. Lakshmana stops her and mutilates her, but doesn't kill her. She then goes to Ravana's step-brother, Kara, who commands an army of demons to attack the group. Rama defeats them and Shurpanakha flees back to Ravana.

Ravana in Lanka
In Ravana's domain in Lanka, he has turned gods and gurus into servants to sweep and such. Ravana is furious when he sees what Lakshmana did to his sister. He also falls in love with Sita after hearing his sister describe her.

Ravana and Maricha
Ravana's uncle, Maricha's, mother was killed by Rama. Ravana wants Maricha to help him abduct Sita. Maricha is reluctant but helps Ravana by turning into a golden deer than captivates Sita. She wants Rama to capture the deer, but when Rama goes to capture it, Maricha disguises his voice as Rama and causes Sita to make Lakshamana go save him. This leaves Sita by herself.

Jatayu, Dasharatha's friend (Redbubble)

Ramayana by Narayan

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reading A Notes: Ramayana

I will be summarizing each story in a sentence or two

King Dasharatha
Maharajah Dasharatha is a king over a glorious land with his 3 queens. Although he is powerful, he is sad because none of the queens had bore him a son.

Dasharatha's Sons
Dasharatha performs a horse sacrifice to obtain a son, accompanied by Kaushayla, his chief queen. The gods promise the king 4 sons.

Up in heaven, Vishnu has to defeat Ravana, but Ravana can't be beaten by a god, only a human or monkey. Vishnu agrees to come to Earth as a human. Meanwhile, Dasharatha has 4 sons and Vishnu is one, under the name "Rama".

Rama (Dharma Wiki)

Vishvamitra, a great sage, comes to ask the King for a favor. He wants Rama and his brother to come help him fight evil rakshasas. The King is hesitant but the sage assures him of their victory, he lets them go.

Rama does battle with Thataka, a female rakshasa. Vishvamitra orders him to slay her and he does, gaining magical weapons as a reward that enables him to defeat Maricha, son of Thataka.

A story that Vishvamitra tells to Rama about the goddess Ganga, aka the river Ganges. The story is about how she came from heaven to Sagar Island.

Gautama was married to Ahalya. Indra was in love with Ahalya and made himself appear as Gautama and seduce her. Ahalya falls for it and Gautama finds out and curses both of them, causing Ahalya to become invisible. Only Vishnu coming to Earth as Rama can end her curse.

Rama and his brother go on an outing in the city. There they walk around and see all kinds of girls, but one stands out: Sita. Rama falls in love with her at first sight.

King Janaka
King Janaka presents a bow to the brothers and says that whoever can is strong enough to bend the bow can marry his daughter. His daughter is Sita

Rama Wins Sita
Rama takes the bow and doesn't just bend it, he brakes it in half with tremendous force that knocks everyone over. He wins Sita.

Another avatar of Vishnu comes and meets the brothers. He's mad that the bow has been broken. He almost attacks Rama's brother before Rama steps in between and proves himself to be worthy by drawing the bow of Vishnu.

Rama and Sita's Wedding
Rama and Sita get married and all three of Rama's brothers find wives from King Janaka's family as well.

Dasharatha plans to name Rama his successor instead of Rama's brothers. But the king owes Kaikeyi two favors and one of the royal servants persuades her to oppose Rama's coronation. Since the king owes her two favors, he can't oppose her and Rama is exiled for fourteen years while his brother, Kaikeyi's son, is named successor. The king realizes that this is because of a curse due to him killing a boy in a forest many years ago.

Ramayana by Narayan

Monday, January 29, 2018

Thoughts on Feedback

Overcoming the Fear of Feedback

It's always hard to ask for feedback. You want to get better, but you don't want to hear how. It feels like people are attacking you, when in reality, they typically just want to help you improve too. This article had a routine in it that helps you take feedback and turn it into goals. I found these steps really helpful because you ask questions about the criticism you receive, and then thank them and strategize ways to improve yourself.
Feedback (Sott)

6 Bad Mental Health Habits That Sabotage Your Success

I found myself guilty of one main thing on this list: Catastrophizing the future. I worry about the future a lot and ask "what ifs" all the time. It's not good and I know it's not good, but I can't help but do it. I feel like if I stop worrying about the future and focus on the present instead, everything usually works out better and I'm not anxious or nervous. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Week 2 Story. The Crane: A Hunter


Father smacked me upside the head. It hurt. It usually hurts, but I'm used to it. I didn't bring enough food home and we were 3 fish shy of having the most in the village, which meant honor for our family. I wouldn't say my childhood was hard, it just had its ups and downs. Father was loving, in his own way, and mother was eaten by an alligator before I even hatched, so I never knew her. It's a thankless job, being a crane. Everyone blames us for depleting the lakes of fish, but how else are we supposed to survive. It's a crane-eat-fish world, and the only way to win is to play the game. Because I wasn't the fastest or biggest crane in the family, I resorted to different tactics in order to fill my stomach for the day and bring home enough food to honor my family. I began to talk to the fish, I gained their trust, and just when they think I'm not a threat, they're already in my mouth. I knew it wasn't the most "ethical" way to hunt, but it did its job and I don't go hungry. With this method of hunting, our village became the fattest and most powerful in the crane kingdom, and I was their star hunter. No matter how fast or big the other cranes were, they couldn't gain the fish' trust like I could. I was invincible. Until one fateful day... I was making my rounds around the local ponds and lakes and I came across a dried-up pool with many fish, barely submerged, dreaming of the nearby lake. I, like always, saw an easy way to satisfy my hunger without even making an effort. One by one I promised each fish a trip to the lake, only to devour them in my nearby eating tree. It was all going well until I got greedy and wanted something more: a crab. I had never eaten crab and was curious to see how the little shelled creature would taste. He seemed to be falling for my ruse, but held onto my neck as we traveled, rather than my mouth. I found it odd, but knew I'd get my meal soon. All of that changed when I felt a sharp pain in my neck and heard the words that chilled my spine: "If you try anything, I'll kill you, Crane." He knew. I had to choose my next moves very carefully or they could be my last. I gave him the waterworks. It was the last thing I had. He spared my life as I let him in the lake. I thought I was free, I thought I would go on to hunt and gather and live my life as I had been, but his claw to my neck cut all of it short...

Author note and bibliography: Story inspired by The Cunning Crane and Crab by W. H. D. Rouse

Crane eating a fish (Dina's Wildlife Adventures)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reading Notes: Crane and Crab

Wow what a story. I knew that Indian folklore usually involves a moral lesson, but this story had a great payoff. The story involves a cunning, deceitful and particularly evil crane. This crane lives on the bank of a lake and spends his days hunting and eating fish. There is a pool nearby that has all but dried up and is filled with fish. The crane hatches a plan that involves tricking the fish into thinking they're being helped, only to eat them when he gains their trust. He tells each fish that he will take them to the lake so that they can live more comfortably and then takes them to his tree to eat them. Once he's eaten all the fish in the pool, he's so desperate for food that he resorts to trying to trick a crab into trusting him. However, this crab is smarter than the fish and is suspicious of the crane's motives. He makes a deal that the crane is to allow him to hold onto the crane's neck as he transports the crab to the lake. The crab makes it known to the crane that he can kill him at any moment and the crane spares his life. But at the last moment before the crab reaches the lake, he uses his claw to cut the crane's head off, stopping his trickery for good.

The Crane and the Crab (Mom Junction)
The Cunning Crane and Crab by W. H. D. Rouse