Reading Notes: Ramayana: India’s Immortal Tale of Adventure, Love and Wisdom, E & F

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Ram_and_Sita_as_a_couple_%28bazaar_art%2C_1950%27s%29.jpg

Since the storytelling for this week is over, I’m going to try to focus on content alone in these sections. I didn’t read the previous sections of this book, but I really wanted to get to the reading that involved Rama and Sita. These are two characters that I really enjoy learning about, and I love all the differences in versions I’ve read thus far.

When Rama discovered what had happened to Sita, the text gives such good descriptions. I could see him pacing back and forth, crying, and desperately hanging on to thoughts she was alive.  This book in particular is so good at vivid imagery through their text. From start to finish, I could picture the events so much better than the other versions we read (though there was nothing wrong with them, they were great as well).

Poor Rama has already been through so much, the loss of his kingdom, separation for everyone he loved, the king dying, and for Sita to be lost was just the icing on the cake. The ongoing search for Sita had me sitting on the edge of my seat, even though I already knew what the outcome would quite possibly be.  I feel like they set this up so much more like a cliffhanger looking for Sita compared to the other versions. The monkeys are also a huge part in this story. When Hanuman came into the story I was really excited. He is definitely a character that has such strong personality, and I like him a lot. He’s basically a life saver to Rama and Sita. And wahoo, Sita was found thanks to Hanuman. He wanted nothing else to do but get Sita safely to Rama, but of course (just like in the originals) it wasn’t that easy. Probably my favorite part of all this reading was the description of Hanuman basically receiving his “job well done.” They describe him leaping into the air, pressing down the mountains with his pressure, and the trees shaking and shedding blossoms. I thought that was great use of imagery, and brought this story to life, just like so many other parts of this story!

Bibliography:

Image One: Rama and Sita Wikimedia Commons

Ramayana: India’s Immortal Tale of Adventure, Love and Wisdom by Krishna Dharma accessed online here.

 

Saturday, September 23

Today is Saturday of Week 5. I hope you are enjoying the weekend!

Class Procedures and Reminders

Project Stack. I got through most of the stack, and those assignments that were left will be at the top of the stack on Monday. If you want comments back sooner rather than later, turn in your project today; don't wait until tomorrow. While you are waiting on comments back from me about your Project assignment, you can check the stack to make sure I received your email.

Extra Credit. Why not celebrate the end of the week with a Famous Last Words post? That and lots of other extra credit options can be found in the extra credit section of this week's assignments.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Class Twitter. From yesterday's Twitter @OnlineMythIndia, here is an international collection of illustrations for Tolkien's Hobbit. My favorite is Gandalf and Bilbo as imagined by Maurice Sendak:


Unplug. Some words of wisdom from Anne Lamott: Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes... including you.


Storybook Archive. This project is from the Myth-Folklore class: The Search for Bo Peep's Sheep. Bo Peep has lost her sheep, but she has a whole world of nursery rhyme friends who can help her to find them.


Free Book Online: Today's free book is Ottoman Wonder Tales by Lucy M. Garnett. See the Freebookapalooza blog for links and the table of contents. The illustrations are by by Charles Folkard:


Story of the Day. Today's story is from Aesop's fables: The Battle of the Beasts and the Birds. Which side do you think the bat should be on?


Video: The video for today is Ramayana + Mahabharata = Wisdom. I thought this would be a good video to share as the Indian Epics class gets ready to move on to the Mahabharata!


Growth Mindset: Today's growth mindset cat knows that not all effort is created equal: Make sure your effort is effective. You can find out more at the Growth Mindset blog.


Event on Campus: The Native American Studies department is hosting a lecture by Native artist Larry McNeil at 2PM in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.


Navaratri. This is the autumn observance of the "Nine Nights" Festival (and ten days) which are dedicated in Hinduism to the worship of Devi, the goddess in all her forms, especially as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. You can read more about the festival at Wikipedia and at About.com: Hinduism. From the Twitter stream for #Navratri, I found these great images of Modern Goddesses:



Check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day, or click here for past announcements.

Next

It took me almost twenty years to learn one simple thing. If you hate it, press next.

I listen to music every day and I attend music festivals any chance I can get. I’ve listened to thousands of songs and seen dozens of artists. There’s always that one song that I can listen all the way through over and over again and there’s always that one artist that I’ll  stand on my feet for almost six consecutive hours just to see. But there are times when there’s that one song that just straight up SUCKS. I press skip, that’s the magic of technology.

When it comes to real life, it’s harder to press next. But is it really that hard? Why have we been taught to stick things out even if that thing is draining us mentally, physically, and emotionally?  What I’ve learned is that life is way too short to deal with bullshit. If you genuinely hate your major and your classes are impacting your mental health, DROP IT. If you’re in a toxic relationship, END IT. If a TV show is boring, FIND A NEW ONE. If your friends are constantly making you doubt your friendships, GET NEW FRIENDS.

It may not be an easy process to rid yourself of everything that seems familiar to you, but there is a difference between familiarity and comfort. “Oh, he does this all the time.” “Oh, they’re hanging out without me again.” “Oh, it’s fine. I’ll get over it.” You make yourself become familiar with their actions even when it hurts you. However, you’re so used to it that you allow these behaviors to continue. Comfort, on the other hand, is when you feel content with the people and things around you. “Ah, he makes me happy. “Ah, my friends really care about me.” “Ah, I’m happy with how things are.”

Am I happy? Am I being treated well? If yes, let it play. If no, press next.

 

News Story #1: Gaylord hosts lecture series on dangers of journalism

The Gaylord College of Journalism is presenting a public lecture series throughout October and November in conjunction with the presidential dream course “Journalism Under Siege” to prepare students for the dangers of a career in journalism.

As journalism has evolved over the years, so have the dangers that reporters face on a daily basis. The dream course and lecture series focus on “increased resistance and distrust of journalism, as well as (its) future,” according to the OU Daily.

John Schmeltzer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism professor, and Mike Boettcher, an Emmy-winning journalism professor and foreign correspondent, conceptualized the series after noticing a drastic increase in attacks on the media during last year’s presidential election, Schmeltzer said.

“We realized at that point after having watched an entire summer of the attacks on the media – by not only Trump but by other candidates – that something had really changed, and we wanted to go and really dig down and figure out what’s going on,” Schmeltzer said.

The featured lecture speakers have a range of diverse experiences as professionals in the field, according to OU’s dream course webpage.

Oscar Cantu is one of the speakers. He was previously the publisher of a newspaper in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Schmeltzer said this speaker was chosen because he shut the paper down in April in protest after one of his reporters was killed. Cantu will share his insight on protests and safety on October 11.

Gaylord’s main goal in presenting the series is to give students an idea of what to expect throughout their careers and warn them of the potential challenges they may face, Schmeltzer said.

“They’re going to have to stand up for themselves and stand up for the craft that they’re learning,” Schmeltzer said. “And more than anything, we want people to come away with the feeling that there is a future in journalism, and despite what’s happening now, this profession has stood the test of time and it’s going to continue.”

Gabe Stilwell, a journalism junior, said it is important that journalists know how to stay safe because a lot of times, journalists have to work in dangerous places. This summer, Stilwell was robbed while working on a final project for his multimedia journalism class.

“Anti-journalism sentiment is really strong right now because of Trump,” Stilwell said. “He’s pushing this message of journalism being the enemy of the public… So all of these things that journalists are trying to uncover are being turned against us… even though we exist to serve the public.”

Stilwell said he attended a public lecture hosted by Gaylord last year, and he hopes to attend at least one of these lectures.

“It’s just nice to supplement all the background of writing and interviewing… with actual skills based on experience,” Stilwell said. “I think that’s sometimes more important than the actual classes we have to attend.”

The lectures will take place on October 4, 11 and 25 and November 1 and 15 in the Gaylord College Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

Learn about reproducible research and the Open Science Framework

This is a great opportunity for learning about the Open Science Framework as a tool for making your research more open and reproducible. It is also a great way to manage projects and share information even if you do not want to make it open. I like that it has many integrations with tools that researchers are already using such as Dropbox, GitHub so you do not need to give up workflows you are already using. For those of us here at OU, OneDrive will soon be added as an integration.

  • Date of workshop: Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
  • Time: 9:00am – 12:00 pm
  • Location: Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center, Bizzell Memorial Library, Room Number: LL123
  • Link for RSVP: https://goo.gl/boHVTC

OSF COS OU promotional flyer

A Percussive Afternoon

I have been to many musical performances in my life; I absolutely love the experience of live music. The majority of these performances have been in the vein of Western music, from classical concerts to rock festivals. However, this past Sunday I attended a musical event at Catlett that centered on Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and it was a very different experience from any past musical event I could recall attending. The “Souza Percussion Duo” consisted of five pieces, and each one was enchanting. A multitude of percussion instruments were played throughout the concert, ranging from marimbas 10 times my size to drums to woodblocks to cymbals.
While the Western ideal in music is usually a single, clear melody backed by one or several harmonies (whether vocal or instrumental), I learned that in traditional African society the ideal sound is “fuzzy”. Just as Westerners prefer clarity in music, Africans and those who follow in their musical traditions strive to create a network of complex and layered melodies. This was reflected in the fact that at most times, both of the musicians were holding two mallets in each hand. This gave them the amazing capability of creating several intricately intertwined melodic lines at all times.
Another interesting aspect of the structure of the songs was their melismatic quality; they often sounded floating and otherworldly. Rather than having a sharply defined structure or a single time signature at any point, as is the case in much Western music, the focus was on the patterns and rhythms, and the way that they combined to create a mosaic of sound. I had never experienced this approach to music. I enjoyed it immensely, and have certainly been inspired to attend more non-traditional concerts focused on the music of places like Africa and the Caribbean.

Friday, September 22

HAPPY FRIDAY! You have reached the end of Week 5! Here is a link to the class calendar for finishing up Week 5 and moving on to Week 6.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Project Stack. I read and replied to all the assignments turned in on Sunday, and I'll try to get through rest of the stack today. While you are waiting on comments back from me about your Project assignment, you can check the stack to make sure I received your email. And anything you turn in today will be at the top of the stack for Monday. :-)

Extra Credit. A lot of people will be working on their Storybook Introductions this week, and the extra credit reading option might be helpful if you have some reading to do for that. Find out more in the extra credit section of this week's assignments.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Class Twitter. From yesterday's Twitter @OnlineMythIndia, here is an NPR story: Why Are Old Women Often The Face Of Evil In Fairy Tales And Folklore?


Words from India. Today's word is SERENDIPITY, from Sarandib, an Arabic name for the island of Sri Lanka, also known as Ceylon.


Storybook Archive. This project is from the Myth-Folklore class: The Real Arabian Nights. You may know the heroes of the tales of the Arabian Nights, characters like Aladdin and Ali Baba, but in this Storybook you will see things in a new way as the evil magician from the story of Aladdin tells you what really happened.


Free Book Online: Today's free book is The Story of Buddha and Buddhism edited by Brian Brown. See the Freebookapalooza blog for links and the table of contents.


Story of the Day. Today's story is from Aesop's fables: The Lion and Other Beasts Hunting. This is the origin of the "lion's share," a phrase in common use but which people often do not associate with Aesop's fables.


Video: The video for today is another fun one the PBS Idea channel Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? As a fan of memes, of course I say: yes, they are art!


Growth Mindset: Today's growth mindset cat is looking at the big picture: remember your why! You can find out more at the Growth Mindset blog.


Event on Campus: The Musical Theater's season opens tonight with City of Angels at 8PM in the Weitzenhoffer Theatre (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.


September 22: Equinox. Today is the autumnal equinox; you can learn more about the astronomical details at Wikipedia. In the Wiccan "Wheel of the Year" (see image below), the arrival of Fall is celebrated as the holiday of Mabon, while in the southern hemisphere, it is the corresponding spring holiday of Ostara. Happy Mabon!



Check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day, or click here for past announcements.

Drake

I miss you. You goofball of a dog. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there in your last moments. I’ll see you again. I love you.