Thursday, November 16

Today is Thursday of Week 13. If you have not done your story yet for this week, that means today is Storytelling Day... and then Thanksgiving break can begin! Here is a link to all of this week's assignments. You can finish up Week 13 now, or you can do the end-of-week assignments after Thanksgiving, based on what best suits your schedule.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Storytelling style: Second Person. Each week I suggest a storytelling style you might try (previous suggestions: social media, rap, animals, sci-fi, ballads, OU/Norman, gender-flip, screenwriting), and this week I wanted to suggest second person style: the "you" style. For a fantastic example, see Connor's Storybook: Hell on Earth. In this 21st-century version of Dante's Inferno, Vergil does not just show you hell; you live it: The first thing you hear is a whisper, "Wake up." he first thing you notice is the unbearable headache.  Your head throbs to your heartbeat. 

Project Stack. I have just a few Sunday emails left in the stack, and then I'll move on to the assignments turned in during the Monday morning grace period. 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.

My schedule today. I'll get through as much of the stack today as I can, and then I'll finish the Week 12 assignments next Friday (after Thanksgiving), along with any Week 13 assignments I have time for. Meanwhile, don't let my schedule hold you back: you can keep on working ahead on Week 13, Week 14, and even Week 15 assignments: those are all available in Canvas right now, no need to wait!

Extra Credit. There are so many tech tips to try; maybe you can find one that will help deal with the busy end-of-semester, like setting up Canvas notifications or synching the Canvas calendar with your Google or Outlook calendar! 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 a lovely Latin bookmark. It says "lege lege lege relege labora et invenies," which means: "read read read re-read work and you will find it" ... a motto from the alchemical book, Mutus Liber.

Proverbs. Here is a proverb to warn you about the dangers of multitasking: He that hunts two hares will catch neither.

Storybook Archive. This project is from the Myth-Folklore class: The God Hephaestus. The god Hephaestus needs you to understand what the gods of Olympus are really like, and he would know.

Free Book Online: Today's free book is Mother Goose: The Old Nursery Rhymes. See the Freebookapalooza blog for links and the table of contents. The illustrations are by the wonderful Arthur Rackham:

Story of the Day. Today's story is from the Indian jataka tales: The Woodpecker, The Turtle, and The Deer. This one is a story of animal friendship.

Video: The video for today is The History of English. You can find more great videos at the Open University YouTube channel.

Growth Mindset: Today's growth mindset cat keeps on practicing: With practice, you can develop new abilities. You can find out more at the Growth Mindset blog.

Event on Campus: It's Late Night at the Fred Jones Museum tonight until 9PM, with free admission to all (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

November 16: Alan Watts. Today marks the death in the year 1973 of Alan Watts, a Buddhist teacher, speaker, and writer who was a tremendous influence in the spread of Buddhist ideas in the West. You can read more at Wikipedia, and in his memory, I am glad to share this lovely video: Life From Above, and Beyond.

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

Into the Mainstream: The Rise of Radical Populism in Europe

This week I had the opportunity to attend Into the Mainstream: Explaining the Rise of Radical Populist Parties in Europe. The lecture was held at Zarrow Hall by Dr. Reinhard Heinisch. I decided to attend this lecture purely out of obligation. I realized that this lecture would not only count towards my Global Engagement requirements but it would also count as an extra credit opportunity in my Understanding the Global Community class.  In this lecture, Dr. Reinhard Heinisch attempted to explain the rise of radical populist parties in Europe and the long-term implications of this phenomena. In general, populism is the political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite and seeks to solve this. From the lecture, it seems that populism In recent years, Europe has experienced a rise in radical populism and it isn’t just a momentary trend. It’s on the rise because this kind of party is highly mobile, flexible, and represents more than just one pool of voters. In fact, in the lecture, Dr. Reinard Heize, explained that populism steals from both left and right wing parties. As a result, the rise and growth of populism in Europe has caused rises in emerging political parties, nationalism/nativism and anti-globalist views.

I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture but wish Dr. Reinhard would’ve delved more into the effects of populism and its future implications. Overall, increased nationalism and anti-globalist views in Europe is alarming and leads me to question whether this rise in populism will lead to large increases in racism and paranoia in Europe. The rise of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim views already seems to be proof of this. The masses in Europe seem to fear losing their social identity and sense of control. Moreover, how far will the rise in populism set globalist ideals back? For the most part, in recent years, the world has undergone a steady process of globalization that has spread trade, technology, and capital across global boundaries. However, as the rise of nationalism and nativism increases in Europe the masses will undoubtedly want to stray away from the globalist agenda. I feel that in the upcoming years this could eventually mean decreases in international correspondence and negotiation as every country will be more concerned with their own social and political agenda. Alarmingly, this could in turn also weaken larger international bodies like NATO and the United Nations. However, the bigger concern is that, the world can’t afford this type of social and political development. In order to ensure changes in larger issues like inequality and environmental sustainability, cooperation and understanding need to be continued.

Language and Religion: The Case of Arabic

Last week, I attended Language and Religion: The Case of Arabic. The speaker, Dr. Muhammad S. Eissa, is an independent scholar who has taught Arabic since 1966. In this lecture, Dr. Muhammad explained the significance of language and how it affects how we practice and perceive religion. He placed the largest emphasis on how the Arabic language affects how Muslims practice and perceive the Quran. Language is often largely associated with identity. Therefore, in most cases, if an individual associates a language with a religion than it begins to alter their perception and understanding of that religion. The language of the Quran has always been the Arabic language. According to Dr. Muhammad, for Muslims to truly recognize the Quran, the book has to be in the Arabic. The teachings behind the Quran are altered if the book is translated in another language. In short, the translated Quran, is no longer the Quran. This seems to be in part, because of diglosia, the situation when two languages are used in different conditions within the community.

Overall, Dr. Muhammad left his topic open ended and only lightly touched base with its significance. However, I was relatively intrigued by the points he made during his lecture. The biggest question I had during his discussion was whether the Arabic language hinders teaching and interpreting the Quran to different groups of people. Although I understand there will be discrepancies between the wording of the Quran if it is translated into another language, I don’t believe language should play such a big factor in how a religion is spread/taught. Are the people that are learning the Quran in different languages practicing its teachings incorrectly? However, with that being said, I also understand that the Quran is extremely sacred for Muslims. It is a significant part of their religious and social identities. Therefore, its justified that Muslims can only recognize the Quran in its original Arabic language.


A Night with Friends

I am very glad that I got to return to one of my favorite international events from last year: the international student game night. This one this year passed much the same as it did last year. I ended up playing Uno for a large majority of the night and met a bunch of super cool people. For example, I met Anto from Venezuela and Francisca from Brazil. I also got to hang out with some friends that I had previously made, such as Amer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, when I see these people around campus, I don’t hesitate to say hi. This program was a great way to bridge the gap between American and International students.

Reading Notes: The Giant Crab, and Other Tales from Old India, Part A

Image result for parrots

First of all, I adore all of the illustrations in this book. It was so hard to pick a picture for my post, because I love all of the images. Based on the year this book was written, 1897, I was expecting something totally different. I guess I was expecting the language to be hard to understand, but this felt like a modern read to me, easy to understand and dialogue galore. The stories were all so cute, I had a hard time choosing a few to really think about rewriting a story to. The Hypocritical Cat was one of my favorites, and I enjoyed the great amount of dialogue involved. The story had a huge plot twist, like who would think the rats would end up killing the cat? I didn’t like that the cat was killed, so I could change this story to where the rats all stand together and fight for change some how. Instead of killing the cat, they could offer the cat some delicious cat food that they find on their scrummages? There are so many different ways I could change this story to where the meaning is the same but the cat doesn’t have to die.

Another story I really enjoyed and would like to create my own story over is The Wise Parrot and the Foolish Parrot. I definitely got a kick out of the parrot names, Beaky and Tweaky. I think it would be fun to keep Beaky and Tweaky as the parrots and develop the owner more. When the owner leaves, Beaky and Tweaky could actually be watching the owner’s dog instead. It would be comical to have the dog doing silly things while the owner is gone and having Beaky and Tweaky as tattle tales to change up the story. I think the amount of dialogue in all of these stories is so useful. When I create my own, I will for sure include dialogue.

The Giant Crab, and Other Tales from Old India by W. H. D. Rouse and illustrations by W. Robinson in 1897.

Image One: Two parrots found on Flickr.


Unit 5.2 consisted of perfecting and completing my newsletter. The fortune 500 company I chose was Starbucks which was really fun to work with since I love the company! I chose to make my newsletter theme all about Fall, a popular time for Starbucks.

I was asked to comment on one fellow classmates blog with their dummy layout. I looked at a few students rough drafts and they all looked really good.

I enjoyed this assignment because I love Starbucks and I especially love going in the fall when they have special seasonal drinks and colorful, seasonal cups. When I think of a target audience for Starbucks I mainly think of women between the ages 18-25, so I made my newsletter colorful and fall themed which will be attractive for my audience.

Creating my newsletter came fairly easy to me since I am starting to become more and more familiar with InDesign. I know this will be beneficial for my future with creating projects in InDesign.

Finish the semester strong

The semester is coming to end, and for me, this is my last semester of college! I’m so excited but this time of year is always extremely busy. You guys know I love lists and today I’m going to share the list that helps me get through the last few weeks and make sure I get everything done. It’s the “all the assignments due before the semester is over” list.

What to do

Gather all your syllabi and a notepad. I haven’t ever done this within my planner because sometimes the list can be long, but if you feel better about that then go for it. Go through each class and write down anything you have to turn in for the rest of the semester. This can be as simple as a discussion you have to submit, a project or a final exam. I think you’ll be surprised by how doable the list actually is at this point in the year. I know I’ve made a daily to-do list longer than my assignments before the semester is over list.

a list in my filofax of all my assignments to complete for the semester

When to do it

Now! There is no better time than right now to make this list. There is enough going on that the list is useful in helping make everything seem doable, but you aren’t too far out that it’s a mile long and seems impossible.

What to do with it

This helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel (the entire college tunnel this semester!!!) and it also gives me a tangible list of tasks I can refer to. Once I make this list, even if I’ve finished my homework for the week, I’m more likely to work ahead to complete my assignments. I can see exactly how much is standing between me and rest and I’m also able to better plan out my time so that I’m not blindsided by how much work that final project is actually going to be.

After looking at my list I see I only have eight things to do before I can graduate. That’s crazy.

I hope this helps! Keep pushing, you’re almost done with the semester! What do you like to do to finish the semester strong?



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Books for NaNoWriMo

If you’re beginning to think you may need some help to whip your work in progress into shape, these books for NaNoWriMo have you covered.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I’ll receive a small commission if you happen to purchase one of the books I mention — at no extra cost to you. 

Books for NaNoWriMo

Bashing out words is one thing, but structuring your story is quite another. And while the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to just write your words without thinking about next steps, we’re halfway through November. And that means that NaNoWriMo is almost over, and you’re well on your way to being at a point where you have to actually do something with those words you pulled out of your skull cavity.

But have no fear! I’ve got your back.

If you’re in the market for some quick and dirty writing education, I’ve got a list of books that will help. And sure, you can probably find all the information contained in these tomes online, but isn’t it nice to have good information all in one place, and vetted by capable editors?

(Small disclaimer: I think writing books are double-edged swords. I’ve spent a lot of time just buying them, thinking I needed them to make me a writer. But I realized I was just metaphorically asking for permission, or knocking on a door that wasn’t really a door to begin with. So, keep that in mind with this post. Do you need them to write? Absolutely not. Does it hurt to read about the craft of writing? Never.)

Anyway, here are my recommendations for books for NaNoWriMo!

Books for #NaNoWriMo
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Craft Books for NaNoWriMo (to structure your writing)

Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham
Do you feel like your novel is at a level 10 all the time? Like it’s just go go go go and never a moment for your characters to process what’s going on? Then this is the book for you. The main premise is that the action occurs in the scenes, and then characters digest the action in what Bickham calls the sequel. And balancing out these things is the key to balancing out the actions and emotions in your story.

The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante
Do you wish you’d gotten one of them there advanced degrees in creative writing? That’s what this book feels like to me. Is there anything sexier than a Norton English book? It’s got academic establishment written all over it, and it’s way cheaper than any MFA program. (Unfortunately, there’s no workshop included.)

Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
We all know that characters need to grow throughout the course of a story. They have to change, go through some stuff, and maybe even get a haircut. But like, how do you go about making all this happen to your characters? This is a great book for creating characters and their motives.

The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates
For me, the hardest thing about being a writer is balancing my energy with my day job and writing. And this book is great for pacing your work between the day job and creating the Next Great American Novel. And a really cool thing about this book is that it comes with assignments that you can work through to sharpen up your writing skills.

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
I am the queen of creating stories that just sag in the middle, no matter how hard I try. I start strong, and end with a bang. That middle, though? Saggy. That’s why this book is great. Not only does it help you structure plot for different styles and genres of stories, but it also has a lot of plotting diagrams, which are great for visual people.

Woo Woo Books for NaNoWriMo (to keep your head in the game)

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
In the middle of NaNoWriMo, it’s hard to miss the idea of Bird by Bird. I mean, you’re bashing out words every day, slowly but surely making your way to the end goal. And that’s one thing you really need when you’re working on a big writing project, because otherwise it’s so overwhelming. But, in case you forget when this month is over, pick up this book to keep you on the path of taking it day by day.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
This book singlehandedly kickstarted my journaling process. I love how Goldberg details her free-writing process — fountain pens and cheap notebooks — and I’ve definitely adopted that. If you’re looking for something that will help you embrace the mundanity of writing, look no further. For building your process and creating the routine, this is your book.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Has it been long enough since this book came out for me to remind you about it? I think so. One thing I love about Elizabeth Gilbert is how she embraces the woo woo of writing. (If you haven’t seen this Ted Talk yet, then you really need to watch it.) I think this book is a great reminder to honor your ideas by consistently working on them, because if you don’t, they go.

The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
I’ve been having a lot of really big conversations lately about what I’m meant to do with my life, and this book is exactly the book you need for those sort of conversations. This book covers talks about where talent, work, and passion all intersect, and what that means for your life’s work. And if you’re into this book, you should definitely check out Jeff’s blog.

Making your way through #NaNoWriMo? Check out these books.
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So that is a handy dandy list of all the writing books for NaNoWriMo you need to keep your motivation, and to make your story functional.

Let me know in the comments what books for NaNoWriMo you recommend!

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My Social Media Profiles

This week in class we were asked to investigate more into some of our own social media profiles. In the assignment we were called to analyze some of the steps that were taken when creating the profiles.

Although this was slightly intimidating at first, I was excited to take a deeper look into developing my social media on a professional level.

I started with LinkedIn. This site mainly just had questions such as biographical information, a picture and contact. However, it also asked for components like education and work background. This is done so that potential employers can see who the potential employee is on a professional level. It is also built to help members make similar connections with one another and network through the job world. I think that this media was much more thorough than canvas.

Next, I began to develop my twitter profile. One of the first things I noticed is the increased freedom of expression in the content it provides.

As for my twitter profile, I will focus mainly on PR and AD news with an emphasis in Sports PR since that is the field I am hoping to go into. I will also emphasize topics that are relevant to the University and surrounding areas.

Social Media is a key part of PR, and by improving these skills, I will become a better PR professional.