Monday, April 13, 2015

Online Education Review

                                                                      Computerized Classroom
Please share your thoughts about online education in general and also your experiences in particular.

I have found online classes to be a great option for me as a student. Although I believe that some classes that are offered online shouldn’t be, they are still a great alternative.

What features of online courses are most/least valuable to you?

I enjoy that most online classes allow students to work at their own pace. I realize this can be beneficial to some while harmful to others, but it has been great for me. My only reservation would be the inability to get a questioned answered immediately in an online class; I frequent my professors’ office hours in traditional classes.

Would you take more fully online courses if they were available?

Not within my department. If they were gen ed classes, then yes.

If you were to design a fully online course, what would it look like?

1)I’d allow the student to work at their own pace; 2) I would hold office hours; and 3) I would provide the student with the liberty of choosing some of their course material (much like in this class).

Gen. Ed. Review

                                                                    For The Good of the People
Has Gen. Ed. been an important part of your education at OU?

It has. General education has provided me with the opportunity to learn about an array of subjects that afforded me with a unique perspective on life. I’m glad that I have been able to take these classes. Although at times they were boring or tedious, they assist in creating a well-rounded educational experience.

 What have you liked best/least about your Gen. Ed. experience?

As I mentioned above, these classes were typically tedious and sometimes time consuming. However, in retrospect, they were beneficial for me during this time of great personal growth. Moreover, I am thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had to take my general education classes because they’ve provided me with the tools to critically analyze everyday issues.

 What do you think you will remember most from your Gen. Ed. classes?

I’ll unequivocally remember this class because of the training in a skill (writing) that I’ll use for the rest of my life. Other than that, I’ll never forget the arduous nature of my Native American philosophy class.

If you were to design a Gen. Ed. program, what would it look like? 

It would have to provide students with a class choice that covered topics that were pertinent to their success in the ‘real world.’ I like to look at things practically.

College Writing Review

                                                           Scientific Writing
What is your major and what role do writing courses play in your major?

Health and Exercise Science. I don’t believe that a single writing course is offered in the department.

What kinds of writing-intensive classes have you taken both inside and outside your major?

I haven’t taken a single writing-intensive class in my major. All of my writing classes have come as upper division non-western/western civilization electives.

How have your courses helped you to grow and develop as a writer?

This course has by far been the most influential (even more so than English composition) in my development as a writer; I’m glad that I chose to take it.

What has been most/least helpful about the writing you have done for this class?

What is most helpful is the fact that we as students get near daily feedback on our works. This allows for time to go back, learn, and grow as a writer.

 What have been the most meaningful writing experiences that you have had in college?

The most meaningful writing experience was certainly this class. Other than this, most all of my writing has been done in the form of lab reports.

If you were to design a writing class for your major, what would that class look like?

The only way that I could envision this type of class fitting into our curriculum would be to have the class read research articles on topics in the field and write analyses to said articles.

If you were to design a writing class for students from all over OU, not specific to any major, what kind of writing class do you think would be most useful? 

I would have to design the class such that the students would have to read and write about something that they find interesting.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Famous Last Words for Week 12

So all of my classes are beginning to wind down here in the last few weeks of the semester. I feel so close, yet so far to finishing up this semester. I have three group projects and three papers that I’ll be working on between now and then. However, it will all be well worth it here in a few weeks.

I’m really looking forward to what life has in store for me. I have to admit that things have shaped up very well for me. I’ve been accepted into the physical therapy program that I wanted to attend (with scholarship!), signed the lease for my new apartment (which is awesome), and will have an awards banquet to celebrate my completion of a research program that I’m in here on campus. Additionally, I spoke to a friend of mine in the program who informed me that I’ll have the option of doing one of my clinical rotations in the city of Los Angeles! That would be very cool. Luckily, I have a friend who will be living in Orange County and my girlfriend’s family live in the San Fernando Valley. I think that it would be awesome to be able to practice what I love in such an awesome place and then leave the clinical site and go out and relax on the beach each and every day. Or even better, to be able to go hiking at one of the many national forests in California on the weekends. Ah – dreams.
                                  (personal photo of my girlfriend taken at Yosemite in July of 2014)

Earlier this week I had an exam in one class that is very interesting, yet very challenging also. I tend to like those classes the most – the ones that force you to really learn and apply the course content.  I’m ready to finish up all of my projects and turn my focus on studying for my three finals. Luckily, I should be able to get the grades I want in my classes even with average test scores!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 12 Storytelling: Mango Tree Travels

“Grandpa, why must we walk to this tree again?” asked Danzell.

“The route that we must take is not quite suitable for an automobile,” responded Bhoj.

“And how many hours will it take us to get there?” implored Kuroff.

“About 7,” said Bhoj.

“Ahh, that’ll take forever!” whined the boys.

“Hush, now you both wanted to go,” added Kirsa. “Hurry and eat your breakfast so that you can head out before dawn.”

They gathered their travel gear and headed west for the mango tree just as the sun breached the horizon. Luckily, the path they were set to travel was lined with mature sandalwoods; they would be spared some of the parching sunlight of a typical Indian summer day.

“Grandpa, my feet already hurt,” exclaimed Danzell half an hour into their trip.

“Oh my, what have I gotten myself in to?” thought Bhoj.

The three made their way through countryside on the tranquil dirt path. A calming breeze at their backs made it easier for the boys to handle the walk.

Just as the three began to hear to the Ganges off in the distance they came across a familiar face.

“Bhoj, what a pleasant surprise!” shouted Rasalu, Bhoj’s longtime comrade.

The two exchanged a hand shake and hug that only true friendship can elicit. The boys hadn’t seen their grandfather smile that big in quite some time.

“Well, who are these two handsome lads?” said Rasalu jovially. “Surely they can’t be kin to someone as ugly as you.”

The boys glanced at one another and broke out in the type of laughter that wrenches your stomach.

“He’s our Grandpa,” said Kuroff.

“Well, where are the three of you headed?” beseeched Rasalu.

“The mango tree,” responded Bhoj.

“That must be close to half a day’s commute from here on foot!” quipped Rasalu.

 “Would you like to take my elephants? I’ll come along, too; I haven’t been to that wonderful tree in years. We would cut travel time in half.”

Bhoj looked at the boys seeking their approval.

“Yeah!” rumbled both boys jumping up and down.

“Very well, let us go and prepare them for travel,” said Rasalu.

The four then set off on the trail towards the mango tree on elephant.

“Wait till we tell Dad what we did at Grandpa’s this summer!” proclaimed Kuroff.

“He’ll be so jealous,” added Danzell.

The boys were now able to enjoy the scenery from a marvelous vantage point as they made their way west. They crossed the Ganges and began on the low incline at the base of mountain range.

“Let us stop and enjoy the scenery,” said Bhoj.

“Of course,” agreed Rasalu.

They continued in this fashion of stopping and enjoying the marvelous views all the way to the peak of the mountain.

“The MANGO tree,” shouted the boys as they breached the zenith.


                                                                             Mango Tree

Rasalu commanded the elephants to lower themselves so that the boys could hop off.

They both then darted off to touch the tree and look out over the summit of the mountain.

“Wow, Grandpa was telling the truth,” exclaimed Danzell, “there is an entire valley full of people just on the base of this mountain.”

Rasalu, taken back by the boys’ enthusiasm for the lei tree, asked, “How in the world do you have these boys so excited to explore nature?”

Bhoj responded, “Oh, you know. I still tell my tall tales from time to time.”

Author's note: I wrote this story in third person so that I could provide the reader with the perspectives off all characters. I hoped to be able to illustrate an adventure that took place in the Raja Rasalu unit. I didn't make any significant changes to the story. What I did do was expand upon the section of the story from their journey on the way to the mango tree.
Bibliography: Swynnerton, Charles. Adventures of the Punjab Hero Raja Rasalu.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week 12 Reading Diary B: Rasalu and Hunter

The king plays music in order to lure in game, and then shoots and kiils them? This sounds like an old-world version of a deer feeder.

It seems like in most of these stories, there is some type of condition. And it is this condition that makes the entire story so interesting – let’s see what is in store here.

And now all of the conditions set forth are being broken. I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming.

This scene of the dying buck is so terrible!

And now the doe wishes to take her own life??

And now the two fawn die as well?? Wow. This can’t possibly get any worse, can it?

This story of the hunter is not what I expected; it is much more somber.
                                                                         Hunter's Prize

Week 12 Reading Diary A: Prince Rasalu

The king has two queens? Hmm… polygamy.

Wow, this story went south very very fast ha ha.

And now the prince has the ability to perform miracles! Wow.

So now the Raja Salbahan is going to come face to face with the son he attempted to have massacred? This seems to spell for quite a dramatic ending.

Why would Lona eat the grain of rice if she was forewarned of the events that would ensue?

He and his equine must grow and develop some sort of special relationship. I can’t imagine growing up with a horse, a parrot, and no other children.
                                                                          Prince and Pal

See! That is what happens when kids are rendered in isolation.

Rasalu will serve as a tribute? This sounds familiar… Hunger Games?

The giants have the heads of… cows? Odd.



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Essay: The Life of Buddha

                                                              Siddhartha's Exposure

This unit was actually quite interesting for me. I did not know a great deal about the life of the man who would become Buddha, so this was all new information. Initially, I expected that the unit would be centered around Buddha and Buddhism; however, much to my surprise, it was largely about the boy’s experiences and what led him to become the man he was.

I did not necessarily have a favorite or least favorite story with this unit. As I mentioned, I found all of them to be quite informative as well as entertaining.

The background information did do a thorough job of describing what to expect. I can’t say that anything should be changed there.

I don’t believe that there were notes for any of the stories in the unit. However, I enjoyed this because I was allowed to explore the stories and make connections on my own. The one section I thought could have been improved was the section over the Fair Maidens and Gopa’s dream:  I wasn’t aware of the events surrounding Gopa’s marriage to Siddhartha or the events surrounding the birth of their child. Although this information was included as an additional link, I felt as if this was pertinent information about Prince Siddhartha.

This reading unit served its purpose for me in that it provided a detailed account of the life of prince Siddhartha. I took this class hoping to be able to take something away about other cultures, and this certainly fit the bill.

I saw several connections between this unit and much of the two other epics that we read about. Primarily, some of the same characters present in this unit were in the Ramayana. I did not expect to have these stories overlap like they did – but it was a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 11 Storytelling: Gopa's Thoughts


Dear diary,

Today the king’s priest came into my home and, upon seeing me, began to jump up and down and rejoice. I thought that he was quite an odd man; however, he informed me that I was going to be prince Siddhartha’s wife. I mean, who ever said that I wanted to be married? I don’t even know the guy. I’m more interested in enjoying my twenties as a free spirit.



Dear diary,

People in the city are making such a big deal about prince Siddhartha! Just today I was informed that all young girls were to travel to the palace on Saturday in order to receive gifts from the guy. Me? Yeah, I’m going to show up late and act like I totally don’t care.



Dear diary,

So, I did just as I said I’d do; I was the last one to show up at the palace. Siddhartha tried giving me a ring. All I could think was that, “He must like it if he wants to put a ring on it.” I didn’t want to take it – after all, I’m not in to pretention. A ring that nice would surely draw all sorts of attention to me.



Dear diary,

The stinking king of Kapilavastu showed up at our doorstep today asking my dad to permit Siddhartha to marry me. Why am I not able to have any say in this? Luckily, my dad said the prince had been nothing but a sloth thus far in his life and he didn’t know if he could permit my marriage to such a man.



Dear diary,

Great – just because my dad called out the prince for his lethargic nature, there is going to be a city-wide competition to prove that Siddhartha isn’t lazy after all. I think it’s actually somewhat amusing that these boys are all going to compete for my hand in marriage. This afternoon is going to be interesting.



Dear diary,

Well, the first challenger to Siddhartha was an artsy-type. He wanted to compete with the prince in a ‘write-off,’ but Visvamitra stepped in and declared Siddhartha the victor before anyone had even done as much as pick up a pen. Next up was a mathematical match-up. Siddhartha won that one, too. I was actually pretty glad at that because the other competitor was a pocket-protected prim.



Dear diary,

It has been arranged. I’m marrying Siddhartha. I hope that I like this guy. I haven’t even had the chance to sit down and converse.

 I’ll surely be back in the next few days to write about what I think about the prince once I formally meet him.



Author’s note: I wrote this story in first person to describe how Gopa may have felt during the process of Siddhartha winning her hand in marriage. The unit itself didn’t include much about Gopa other than her dream. I found that a bit odd, so I wanted to expand upon her character here. This section of the unit focused on what Siddhartha and his father had to do in order for Siddhartha to marry Gopa. I should also mention that Siddhartha is the name of the man who would go on to become ‘Buddha.’ I didn’t change anything as far as plot, but I did include much more of Gopa’s thoughts. Link to the story:

Bibliography: The Life of Buddha, by Ferdinand Herold. 1922.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 11 Reading Diary B: Siddhartha's Conversion

“…but companions and friends desert us when it is the path of holiness we would take.” This seems to describe some people who I know to the tee.

It is only fitting that Siddhartha takes the warrior horse to go and perform the noblest act.

 Does this have some connection to the power that humans have over animals or what? It seems like, for the most part, animals are gentle beings that are molded by the actions of their owners.

It is understandable that all wallowed at the news of Siddhartha’s departure.

Why is it that Kanthaka died? Could this be foreshadowing of more deaths to come?

Hmm… five dreams? This must represent something significant.

Those were some STRANGE dreams.

Ahh – this describes the image that must associate with “Buddha.” He is seated with legs crossed and is facing towards the east.

Week 11 Reading Diary A: Life of Buddha

I wonder what the significance, if any, is of the six tusks.

So was Maya always a queen? I didn’t see anything indicating that she was.

I find it to be a bit peculiar that king Suddhodana distributed food and drink upon hearing of the good news. Is this custom in their culture?

Well, it seems like the earth is certainly joyous at the impending birth of Buddha.

This collection of stories has been quite metaphorical – I suppose there is no better way to tell it.

It sounds like the land was quite merry in the land of Kapilavastu.

So prince Siddhartha was raised by his aunt? Interesting!

So there is a connection between Rama and prince Siddhartha – Visvamitra. This must have been quite a special teacher.

So, was it prophesied that someone would become “the Buddha?”       

It was intended that Siddhartha would never see the infirmities of the world – this seems odd.
                                                                  A Young Prince

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Storytelling for Week 10: Avian Assessment

Swoosh! Down went Bhimi as he flew straight for earth’s surface. His siblings – Korza and Khamki – had no choice but to do the same.

“Why in the world are we going to land in the middle of India?” asked Khamki. “I mean, after all we are heading southwest, aren’t we?”

“Oh hush,” barked Bhimi.

“I grew tired. We’ve flown over 300 miles today.”

“Yeah, that’s what you get to look forward to with aging,” joked Korza. “You will have to stop and take breaks.”

Khamki gestured as if her back was hurting to poke fun at Bhimi. Both She and Korza got a good laugh out of it, but Bhimi – not so much.

“Look, just because I’m the eldest and most mature of us three doesn’t mean you can disrespect me. Mom and Dad will be quite pleased to see, so let’s just rest a little and make it back to see them in a few days,” said the wise Bhimi.

“Now help me find a place for us to land before it gets too dark.”

“How about we aim for that clearing in the woods where all of those humans are gathered. Maybe there is some sort of a festival going on,” declared Khamki.

The three finches slowed their descent and nestled on a tree branch just a few feet from an eclectic bunch of fowls.

“Well hey there,” said an eagle perched right below them. “What brings you to the battle for Hastinapura?”

“The battle for what?” cried Korza.

“Hastinapura” shouted a vulture from a few feet down on the field.

“I’m sorry, but we are just stopping by on our migration west,” explained Bhimi. “We had no intent to participate in a battle.”

The fowls turned to look at the finches and burst out in laughter.

“Oh my! No, we’re not going into any type of battle here,” uttered a sparrow who sat just below them. “This is the battle for the kingdom of Hastinapura.”

The eagle cut in, “We’re nothing but spectators for this event. It promises to deliver plenty of action if you’d like to stay and watch.”

“Why in the world are these two groups going to fight for this – Hastinapura?” enquired Khamki.

So the three of the birds went on explaining the events of the Mahabharata to their new companions.

“What a shame!” cried Bhimi. “This family had everything the world had to offer at their fingertips: knowledge, prosperity, peace, and they elected to pour it down the drain because of their vices.”

“And I thought that we migratory birds had it bad. No – Duryodhana, Shakuni, and Dhritarashtra – these are men who disgust me with their every being.”

The next day, the birds all spectated at the battle that began to unfold.

“What a mess these humans are,” said Khamki.

All of the birds nodded in agreement.

“Well, I suppose that we could sit around and be entertained by the bloodshed all night if we pleased. We must surely make way our way west before we lose another day of migration.”

After the finches bade their farewells, they were gone just as swiftly as they landed.
Author's note: I again chose to write in third person with the hope of sharing the opinions of several characters in the story. My intent with this story was to illustrate that even the simplest of creatures realized that what was going on was wrong. I did not make any changes to the Mahabharata.
Bibliography: Narayan, R. K. (1978). The Mahabharata.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Week 10 Reading Diary B: Yudhistira Talks

Yudhistira opened up chapter thirteen with a statement that resonated with me, it was this: “Is it worth all this conflict?” Do these two mighty empires need to go to battle? What will they gain as a result? I think much in the same way with current events – why must violence be the ultimate resolve? One group will do the unthinkable to another – and all for what? It seems a tragedy that, even with all of our analytical cognitive ability, we many times decide on a whim.

It seems a bit unorthodox that many of the characters are given ample opportunity to pledge their allegiance to one party or another before the fight. I suppose this is similar to the events surrounding many civil wars.

Wow! It would be quite a sight to be present when all of the bad omens occurred.

So I must admit that I felt like the battle was strung out for an excessive period of time.

Week 10 Reading Diary A: Dhritarashtra's Vice

Dhritarashtra needs to establish a council wherein he can get some sound advice – or a therapist.

It sounds like Duryodhana plans to go to battle against his cousins. I guess that every good book needs some type of a conflict.

The pompous Duryodhana was taken as a prisoner? I very much enjoyed reading this.

A deer drawing an unsuspecting man out into isolation? This sounds familiar! I wonder who it could be this time.

That must be some ridiculous H20 to kill all who come into contact with it… or could it be H202? That would sure do the trick.

It was just a yaksha, that explains it.

All of the pandavas are going to simultaneously appear within a neighboring kingdom AND continue to perform some of their uncanny feats? This sounds like nothing less than a bad idea to me.

It is nice to read that they’ll be participating in their favorite hobbies for the first time in twelve years. I do have a soft spot for seeing joy in others.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 9 Storytelling: A City of Splendour

“Go and play now, Virta” said Nartha. “Leave the man to do his work.”

She pointed and led him away. She then chuckled at the inquisitive nature of children.

“He doesn’t bother me a bit,” said the architect.

Nartha responded, “Nonsense, you must work without distraction to have this project finished before the grand rajasuya sacrifice.”

The architect later sought out Virta.

“You know I can build just about anything, right?” asked the architect.

Anything?” implored Virta.

“Yes, is there anything special that you would like for your section of the house? There is a surplus of space,” explained the architect.

“Just last week I built a swimming pool lavish enough to accommodate the Pandavas.”

“My parents wouldn’t permit something grand in my living quarters – after all, I’m a kid!” responded Virta.

“We can keep this between the two of us,” added the architect.

“Well, how would you create something special without my parents knowing?” beseeched Virta.

“Ha! That is the easy part,” scoffed the architect. “I have built all types of secret nooks and crannies for my clients for years.”

Secret?” grinned Virta.

“Of course! Typically it is at the request of the head of the household in order to get some time away from the Mrs. and enjoy the ‘man cave,’” lauded the architect. “But that is beside the point.”

“Virta?” called Nartha as she made her way through the partially constructed palatial abode.

“Okay, so how about you draw up what you think you’d like?” said the architect as he tore off a piece of his design paper. “Come up with a few ideas and I’ll do my best to work it in to your quarters.”

Nartha made her way out to the patio as the architect hurried off to continue his craft.

“What are you doing out here alone?” inquired Nartha.

“I was just playing by myself, per your suggestion,” quipped Virta.

“Well, go wash up and prepare yourself for dinner. We are expecting to have our neighbors – the Pandavas -- over to dine with us,” explained Nartha.

After dinner, Virta hurried off to draw up some sketches for the architect.

“What should I do? The possibilities are limitless!” thought Virta.

“Ah! I know.”

Virta flipped open a few of his favorite books. These tales described an imaginary escape by the main character into a world so exciting that no kid would ever want to leave.

Virta drew up everything that stuck with him during the fictional excursion – slides, elevators, zip lines, and trampolines – and placed the drawings on his nightstand. Off to bed he went, though the excitement made sleeping quite a challenge.

At sunrise the next morning Nartha came in to Virta’s room. “Rise and shine!” exclaimed Nartha. “We’re traveling to the other side of Indraprastha to visit your aunt.”

“Today?” asked Virta.

“Yes, today. Now get ready,” added Nartha.

“Great, I planned on handing the plans over to the architect myself! How will he ever know exactly what I want,” thought Virta.

Off they went. The trip took a half-days time on chariot. As a result, the family stayed with their kin overnight.

Upon arrival the next day Virta darted to his section of the house.

“What happened?” he thought to himself. “This looks. . . normal.”

Virta grew upset at the thought of the architect letting him down.

A tear made its way down Virta’s cheek as he leaned against his wall. Upon touching the wall Virta managed to press on an uneven brick.

Bam! Down went Virta as the wall gave way and he sped down a slide. The slide ended on a foam ball pit. After Virta made his way out of the pit, he marveled at all of the features of his hidden playhouse. Everything he requested was carried out to a tee.
"He really is a master of design," thought Virta.
Author's note:  My tale was in a third person writing style. I wrote this story because I was inspired by the description of the city of Indraprastha. I hoped to be able to provide depth to the events that occurred when the city was being built. Narayan mentioned the city and all of its grandeur, but he did not include much of the building itself.
Bibliography: Narayan, R. K. (1978). The Mahabharata.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Commenting Review

I do feel as if I have made some good connections with a few classmates. Some of whom created interesting storybooks that were quite good at drawing the reader back in for more the following week. I think that the introduction was the most meaningful way to make a connection with a classmate. I think that the suggestions for revisions on storytelling posts have been the most useful by a long shot. I have actually never had a class which promoted commenting on classmates’ work – I have found it to be pleasant. I think that getting feedback from more people each week could potentially be a way to improve the overall commenting process for this class; some students provide much more meaningful comments than others.

I chose this image because I found it to be inspirational. Some of my storybook stories were written based off of inspirational images much like this.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Writing Review Week

I believe that the Storybook project as a whole has been my greatest writing success this semester. I’ve really enjoyed writing it and I think that it has turned out well so far. I hope to continue to progress on my writing capability. Writing in story form surely isn’t something I’ve done much of (especially before this class), and I’d like to expand on my abilities in this area. My storytelling posts are principally for my Storybook, and as such, they deal with the interactions between a grandfather and his grandchildren. I would have to think that being able to place myself in the shoes of the characters has best helped me to write my stories.

                                                                                Lei Tree

This photo was included in a Storybook story in which the grandchildren learned that it provided anyone consuming its fruit with wisdom. I loved the image itself and it fit the description from the story where I read about it first -- on the top of a mountain/hill.

Reading Review Week

I found both Narayan’s Ramayana and Mahabharata to be very good reads. I viewed as rather pleasant as opposed to a ‘mandatory’ reading assignment. Buck’s Ramayana didn’t interest me very much; however, I think it may be due to the fact that I had just read the story a few weeks back. I appreciate that the class provides us with the option of rereading the epics, but I picked the alternative option because I don’t particularly enjoy reading things twice. I didn’t necessarily use the reading diary directly to build on my storybook, but I did take note of which stories stood out to me. My suggestions for future students would be to utilize the storytelling assignments to create the storybook if possible; some students may enjoy writing a substantial amount, but I preferred to try and keep the workload down.

                                                                         Adept Archer

The image I chose of Rama was chosen because I enjoyed reading about his prowess with the bow. He utilized this ability countless times in the Ramayana and I believe that it provides an apt visual introduction to the story.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Reading Diary B: Pandavan Exile

Okay, so a battle will undoubtedly occur – between who, though?

Based on the description of Khandavaprastha, I would say that it sounds like a modern day Palm Springs, California.

Narada is quite the character – he stirs up conflicts only to go ahead and resolve them? Hmm.

 What envy Duryodhana has towards the Pandavas. The war must surely be between these two groups.

Overall, I have found this book to be captivating. It has thus far been a much more pleasant read than the Ramayana.

Yudhistira succumbed to the power yet pitiful gamblers mentality. I can not believe that he bet absolutely everything he owned – and lost! Duryodhana has done quite a terrible thing here.

The loser of the second game of dice will have to go into exile for twelve years—what is the significance of this? Rama was forced to do the same in the Ramayana. Coincidence? I think not.

Yudhistira mentioned that he was not to act in anger; imagine what the world would be like today if that principle could be held by men.
                                                                         12 Years in Exile

Reading Diary A: The Banished Brahmins

I found a few of the events that occurred early on in the Mahabharata to be interesting.

How dare King Drupada turn his nose up to childhood friend Drona. I can say that I have seen the same happen to people I know – what a shame that is.

The house of joy – that was a great surprise. I found it interesting that the corpses of five men and a woman were found in the mansion.

I like the sliver of foreshadowing thrown in by Narayan when he spoke of Ghatotkacha’s ability on the battlefield; I now want to know just how this battle comes about.

How about that encounter with Vyasa? At times I feel much like the characters here when they are told by Vyasa, “Ahead I see victory for your principles.” I know that if I am patient and diligent, then I’ll finally accomplish my goals.

Draupadi requested to be married to all five men in a past life – quite interesting.


Overall, I’m curious to see how the plot is going to unfold.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Extra Reading Diary: Moral of the Story

I appreciate the moral of this story. So often people become occupied with insignificant things that go wrong when there is much more of significance going well; I think that college student in particular fall into this category.

Again, I appreciate the moral here. So many things seem to occur in our lives for seemingly unknown reasons. In retrospect, they are (for me, at least) typically the best things that could have happened.

The last story about the monkey and the boar was applicable to me. I tend to think about businesses and government spending as excessive, my roommate, however, is a business major and tends to write it off as ‘the nature of the business.’ I find it quite comical when smaller, parsimonious businesses do well and the ‘big guys’ fall because of their own vices.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 7 Storytelling: Jovial Jackal

The 5 o’ clock whistle rang at the Canine Brothers law office. All fifty workers logged out of their computers, grabbed their suitcases, and headed for the door.

“Ah, what a WONDERFUL day it is,” thought Mr. Jackal as he strolled down the tree-lined sidewalk.


“Looking great, Mrs. Equine”

“Good day, Mr. Hare.”

Mr. Jackal said all of this as he made his way home. He strolled up along his fence and gave a great grin to his children as they played in the yard.

“Honey!” cried Jackal’s wife.

“Why the commotion, dear?” said Mr. Jackal.

“That tiger! He is at it once again!” exclaimed Mrs. Jackal.

“I saw it all from the window!”

“And what was it that you saw, honey?” beckoned Mr. Jackal.

“Well, you see, there was a mighty nice Brahman fellow making his way down the sidewalk when he came across the tiger pleading for help,” said Mrs. Jackal.

“Wasn’t he [the tiger] in there because of a failed attempt at murder? That’s the word down at the office,” said Mr. Jackal.

“Yes!” cried out Mrs. Jackal.

“What I’m trying to get at is that the tiger managed to coax Brahman tourist into opening the cage!”

“The poor man didn’t have any idea of who that tiger really is.”

“Now you need to hurry out there or that tiger is going to eat that poor Brahman!”

Mr. Jackal, well-equipped to handle situations like this because of his law background, hurried onto the scene.

“Tell me what is wrong, dear Brahman,” said the jackal calmly.

The Brahman, trembling in terror, proceeded, “The tiger lamented and pleaded for anyone to help him out of the cage he was locked in.”

“Uh huh, I see. Go on,” said the jackal.

“He [the tiger] claimed that he was locked in by accident. I thought he looked to be a man of good character,” declared the Brahman. “And as soon as I opened the door he pounced on me and roared that he was going to eat me.”

“Well why don’t we go and hear the tiger’s side of the story?” responded the jackal.

“My good sir, Mr. Tiger, how are you today?” asked the jackal.

“Mighty fine!” said the tiger. “And even better after I devour this Brahman for supper.”

“About that,” said the jackal, “why don’t you explain just what happened?”

“So I was locked in this here cage,” responded the tiger.

The jackal, looking puzzled, said “What do you mean locked in?”

“You know, confined within the bars,” beckoned the tiger as he approached his former prison.

“I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean,” said the jackal. “I can be slow to grasp situations at times.”

“Ah! Perhaps a visual would help me to better understand your story,” exclaimed the jackal.

“Fine you idiot,” shouted the tiger as he jumped in the cage.

“I was trapped. Like this. In the cage.”

The jackal, having set up the tiger just right, pounced on the door and saw it slam shut.

“Now have a fine day, my Brahman,” commented the jackal, “and see to it that you don’t fall for the ploys of these thugs.”


Author’s note: I told this story in third person to elaborate on the character of the jackal. In the Indian Fairytale  In the Indian Fairy Tales the jackal is simply brought in out of nowhere; I thought it would be nice to have known more about him. The original story line had that the Brahman helped the tiger who was trapped in the cage and pleading for his life. Upon being freed, the tiger threatened to eat the Brahman. Next, the jackal came about and tricked the tiger into being locked back up. I didn't change the overall storyline much; what I did manage to do was to create a story for the jackal and slightly readjust the conversation that led to the tiger's self-imprisonment.

Bibliography: Indian Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs (1912).