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Week 10: Krishna Reading Part B

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Krishna shares food with his friends and Brahma takes notice and tests his divinity stealing their cows. Then Brahma kidnaps his friends so Krishna recreates them all and the cows out of himself.

Krishna's brother Balram wants to punch Hastin the bull to death. Krishna says he will ride the bull instead and played the flute for Hastin every night while feeding him. Then he had become docile and he rode Hastin under the full moon.

Krishna and Balram made friends with people of the city in Mathura. Trivakra came to them with three deformities looking for healing. Krishna hugged the woman and when he let go she had been fully healed. Kansa heard of this and was infuriated.

The death of Kansa saw peace in Mathura. Krishna and Balram restored order throughout the city.
 They freed the jailed king father of Kansa Ugrasen. He released his parents as well and they wept joyously. Ugrasen was restored to power.
Trivakra approaches Krishna and Balram

Week 9 Story: Diary: River flows in Me

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Diary: River flows in Me
March 3rd, 5565BC Dear Diary, 

Today another group of pilgrims came. They were dispersing the ashes of their loved ones in my river. My heart is heavy and full all at the same time for those who lose loved ones before the proper time. I blessed them for paying their respects to their loved ones so that they may reach moksha.

- Ganga
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March 12th, 5565BC
Dear Diary, 

Today I was blessing travelers and animals as they came to my river to rest and drink when up in the sky I saw eight vasus' crying and flailing about. They came to me and said, "We have been cursed oh goddess, one year from today when the sun rises we will be born one by one as humans to live out humans' lives with no recollection of our divinity." Their story shocked me so I agreed to help. I told them that I would have them and upon their birth, I shall destroy their human bodies …

Week 10: Krishna Reading Part A

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The Earth is riddled with demons and begs the Deva for help who goes to Vishnu to plead her case. He agrees to be reborn twice: once as the serpent Shesha and second as Krishna to slay Kansa and the other demons. Kansa on his cousin Devaki's wedding day hears a voice from above that states that Devaki's eighth child will be his demise. After a sage drops by echoing his concerns he slays all the children and locks his cousin up. Vishnu is reborn to them in jail and Krishna and they escape with his help.

Krishna and Balarama grew up feeding the cattle and wrestling and playing with the other village kids. Kansa learns of his whereabouts and sends a cattle calf demon to kill him but Krishna slays the cow. Then Kansa sent the brothers of Putana to slay Krishna. One in the form of a crane and the other in the form of a snake. They both met similar ends. He spared the sea serpent and it returned o the sea.

He frees Devaki and his wife then his imprisoned King father. Then recants t…

Week 9: Reading

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I decided to do the videos for my reading this week. I really enjoy getting a visual representation of what I am reading so this is great. The Mahabharata: Karmic Revolution brings the stories of the Mahabharata to life in a great way.

They describe it as "an account of how karma functions" so we learn how everything before shapes what comes after and vice versa. It starts off as it should with the Gangan river Goddess and the king and the eight sons she kills. 16 years later a young man had tamed the river and Ganga appeared to the king to let him know that that young man is his son. The King falls in love with a woman who will not marry him because her sons cannot gain the throne. The prince sees his father's despair and gives up his birthright to the throne. She gave birth to two sons who ruled in succession one after the other, the first dying in battle and the second helped by Bhishma (Devavrata) made regent.

Week 8 Comments and Feedback

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1. Feedback in. Overall, how would you rate the quality of the comments and feedback you are receiving from other students in the class? What kinds of comments are you finding to be the most useful?  Sometimes I really appreciate the feedback I am receiving and sometimes I am left wondering if they read the story ar all. Most useful comments to me are when people have questions or relate well to my writing.
2. Feedback out. Similarly, how would you rate the quality of the comments and feedback you are leaving for other students? Have you found some good strategies that help you give detailed feedback? Are you getting some good ideas for your own writing as you analyze other people's writing? I have taken many approaches that I've stolen from other blogs and past blogs and I've let those people know. It's great to see what others are doing in comparison.
3. Blog comments. Do you have a sense of getting to know people by connecting with them at their blogs? Are you happy w…

Week 8 Reading and Writing

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Overall, how well are the reading and writing assignments working for you? I believe they are going well so far. I will say I am sooo happy I decided to do a storybook instead of a portfolio. It is so much more fun and creative definitely the highlight of the semester.
Are you happy with your blog? With your project website? My blog is decent but my real joy is my website and storybook. I find it so liberating than your normal writing composition classes. It's nice to let creative juices flow and a whole lot more fun.
Are you satisfied with how the writing is going for your project? How about your story posts? I was very pleased with my introduction but I think I am going to do a hard edit on my Suraasa story, it just doesn't sit perfectly right with me yet. But I know in the end it will all flow as it should.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment(s) in your writing for this class? I'd say the biggest accomplishment so far has been getting better at grammar an…

Week 7 Story:Strained Lineage and the House Fire

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Long ago Prince Vichitravirya fell for a beautiful woman named Ambika but atlas her heart belonged to another. He'd watch her and tell her that someday he'd be king and all the world shall be hers should she request it. Nervous and frightened she did not want to displease the soon-to-be king so she neither confirmed nor denied his advances towards her. What Vichitravirya didn't know is that she was in love with a man named Vyasa. As she became betrothed to Vichitravirya she wept. One night Ambika sought out Vyasa and the two consummated their love for one another never to see each other again. Ambika was soon pregnant and worried so she made a request of her husband-to-be that before they wed she wished to take a pilgrimage to fast and pray, taking only her lady's in waiting. Vichitravirya accepted her proposal and she left. Over the course of her pilgrimage she gave birth to a baby boy and named him Pandu, she quickly gave him up to a local Yadava chief named Shurasen…

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part D

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Yudhishthira was discussing with Krishna Bhishma's end and said to send Arjuna who objects. Bhishma challenges Arjuna and refusing to fight a woman is struck down by Arjunas arrows. Men became bloodthirsty slaying family members and all alike. Ghatotkacha is slain by Karna. Dhrishtadyumna cuts off Drona's head for he is blinded by sadness. Arjuna fights Karna, Gandiva is broken but Arjuna keeps going and kills Karna.

Karna and Arjuna fight to the death

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part C

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Yudhishthira is in the forest and a brahmin tells him to pray to the Sun God. A copper pot is given to him and his family remains in the forest fasting and praising for 12 years. Krishna visits and promises to Draupadi that she will be queen again, but she is still upset and complains to Yudhishthira. A holy man visits saying Ajuna will be undefeatable if he goes into the mountain and receives the blessing of the great god, so he goes and fasts and lives on air. Arjuna begins to fight a mountain king who turns out to be the Great God. He was blessed and given gandiva a divine bow. The other Gods showed up and blessed Arjuna with even more gifts.Arjuna goes to the celestial city The Pandavas went to the Himalayas where they were reuinted by Ajuna. Bhima meets his half brother Hanuman. Hanuman explains to him how the four castes work and how things were before.


Bhima and Hanuman

Week 6 Story: Toto and the Mountain

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Dorothy and the gang travel to the Emerald City to seek out the Wizard of Oz, each with something in mind they so desperately want. The Wicked Witch of the West watching, all so mindful, is hellbent to stop the ruby slipper wearing ginger and her band of misfits.

"Oh how I cant wait to return to my beautiful Kansas farm, we may not be able to grow crops due to all the tornado's but still: there's no place like home." Dorothy gleefully stated as they skipped in unison. 
"Well if you can't grow crops then what do your scarecrows have to defend?" asked Scarecrow. 
"Well, you see all of our scarecrows ended up as firewo-" 
"POPPIES!" interrupts Lion.
"Oh they're beautiful!" exclaims Dorothy.
"Now this is a field worth guarding" Scarecrow states impressed.
"-And there is the Emerald City! We are so close, let us not get distracted by the poppies and move forward!" shouts the ever so goal-oriented Tin Man.


Watchin…

Reading : Mahabarata Part A

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There is a  goddess named Ganga of the Ganges. Eight vasus are cursed to be born as humans. Ganga willing to help tells them they must each sacrifice 1/8 of their power to her son and they agree. She meets and marries king Shantanu and asks him to never question her or she will leave. As the vasus' are born to her one by one she casts them into the river Ganges to die and return to celestial form. The eighth is born and the king attempts to stop her so she leaves, but before she goes she explains it all. She later returns with a son for the king and names him Devavrata. King Shantanu in his old age lusts after Satyavati, a girl born of a great bhramin and a fish, but is not blessed to marry her because the King will not denounce Devavrata as heir and refuses to give any son born unto Satyavati the throne. Devavrata renounces his claim so that his father may marry Satyavati. She gave birth to two sons who ruled in succession one after the other, the first dying in battle and the se…

Reading Notes: Ancestors of Rama

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Dilipa and Sudakshina were sad for they had no children. So they decide to visit a sage. Apparently, they passed a divine cow named Surabhi and she cursed them to never have kids for not paying their respects to her. The sage tells them they must serve Nandini the divine cow's daughter. So every day Sudakshina worshipped Nandini and then brought her into the forest who was then watched over by Dilipa; at the end of each day Nandini was brought back out of the forest to Sudakshina. One day to test Dilipa a lion attacks Nandini, the lion says he's guarding a tree for the gods and Nandini trespassed so she must die. Dilipa begs the lion to take his life instead of Nandini's. It ended up being an illusion created by Nandini. Nandini blessed the for Dilipa's actions with a son which they named Raghu. Raghu grows up to be a mighty prince and warrior. Dilipa is trying to perform 100 sacrifices and Indra is determined to keep the title solely for himself, so he goes invisible …

Reading Notes: Sita Sings the Blues

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I decided to watch Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley. I wanted to get a good visualization of it all in my head. I loved how she used the Ramayana and incorporated these hilarious narrators. The entire time three narrators are trying to make sense and recount what happened, they sometimes get it wrong and quickly forget themselves. They are also quick to point out where the Ramayana contradicts itself and they laugh about it saying do not challenge these texts. They add a very comical dialogue and do a great job retelling these epics. The musical accompaniment is truly perfect. The creator used 50's style jazz love ballets and they fit ever so seamlessly into the storyline and plot. So many times does Sita sing for Rama for him to save her or that he's "knocking at the door" Nina Paley did an incredible job with this music selection. It's funny how this entire story has a comical side, from the animation to the narrators to even the music. I truly enjoyed this r…

Storybook Plan

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It's all about Hanuman baby!

Introduction: the wonderful legend of Mount Mainaka
Mount Mainaka
Mount Mainaka! More Mainaka
I will be expanding into the stories of the 3 Demonesses:
Surasa: Ref Simhika: Ref Lankini: Ref
I am excited to see how this storybook takes shape around my good friend Hanuman! To see it in all it's glory via Hanuman's own personal account click here:
AllAboutHanuman
Hello, I'm Hanuman

Comment Wall

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Hanuman and I Appreciate the Feedback!
All About Hanuman
(Statue of Hanuman)


Week 4: Toto and the Mountain

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Dorothy and the gang travel to the Emerald City to seek out the Wizard of Oz, each with something in mind they so desperately want. The Wicked Witch of the West watching, all so mindful, is hellbent to stop the ruby slipper wearing ginger and her band of misfits.

"Oh how I cant wait to return to my beautiful Kansas farm, we may not be able to grow crops due to all the tornado's but still: there's no place like home." Dorothy gleefully stated as they skipped in unison. 
"Well if you can't grow crops then what do your scarecrows have to defend?" asked Scarecrow. 
"Well, you see all of our scarecrows ended up as firewo-" 
"POPPIES!" interrupts Lion.
"Oh they're beautiful!" exclaims Dorothy.
"Now this is a field worth guarding" Scarecrow states impressed.
"-And there is the Emerald City! We are so close, let us not get distracted by the poppies and move forward!" shouts the ever so goal-oriented Tin Man.


Watchin…

Reading Notes: Ramayana Part D

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Hanuman and the Mountain
By far one of my favorite stories in the Ramayana this one is easily top 3. The story begins with Indrajit praying to the Fire-God who blesses him with a Brahman weapon which he then uses to commit a massacre. Thousands of bears and monkeys lie dead thanks to Indrajit when Hanuman arrives. Jambavan, the bear king, sees Hanuman and his sorrow is momentarily lifted. He asks for Hanuman's help telling him he is the only one who can save those fallen. He tells Hanuman he must travel to Himalaya the mountain king and return with healing herbs from the top of the mountain only then will those who've been slain be saved. Hanuman travels to the Himalayas to search for the herbs. Unfortunately, he cannot find them and so his next best solution to take the whole mountain cause why not? His return to Lanka is an embraced one as all those who had fallen begin to wake up as if from a deep slumber. 


Hanuman and the mountain

Audio Laura Gibbs: PDE Ramayana Hanuman and…

Reading Notes: Ramayana Part C

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My hero Hanuman 

Hanuman is the man per usual and is saving Sita. At first, she thinks it might be one of Ravana's tricks but it is indeed Hanuman. The piece turns into a beautiful poem. Hanuman declaring he's come to rescue her on Rama's behalf. Then Sita goes into a flurry of powerful statements of Rama her love. I'm a sucker for a good poem and this was so beautiful. Hanuman may be Sita's hero but he's also mine.


Artistic photo of Indian Epics
Hanuman Captured
Hanuman finds Sita and rescues her but is still furious that someone dares touch his mistress. He goes about destroying the dwelling when Ravana finds out. Ravana sends Jambumali to kill Hanuman but is not successful, he merely wounds Hanuman who then crushes him. Prince Aksha and his rakshasas also attempted to stop Hanuman and met their deaths swiftly. Next up in the ring was the deadly Indrajit. Indrajit tried and tried but missed every shot, knowing he couldn't kill the monkey he decided to ensna…

Topic Research: Hanuman and the Demonesses

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I decided to expand on my initial idea of Surasa when I learned she was one of three demonesses Hanuman had to overcome on his way to Lanka to save Sita. It worked well because I needed three stories and there are three of them.

Surasa:
As we know his encounter with Surasa is an epic one. She tests his might and his wit. Apparently, the gods and sages asked Surasa to test him and the reasons vary from text to text. One says it is to prove he is worthy of a task such as saving Sita, another says the gods do not trust him and want to test his strength and mind and another even says the gods just want to hone Hanuman's abilities even further thus making him stronger. Regardless the test is epic and in the end, Hanuman outwits Surasa she then returns to human form and blesses him.


Simhika:
While flying across the ocean Hanuman is caught y the tail end of his shadow by the demoness Smihika. She attempted to swallow and eat him instead Hanuman shrank in size and entered Simhika's mout…

Feedback Strategies

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Process Praise:
Carol Dweck yet again shines some light on some very useful information. In keeping with how to make a growth mindset a habit, she studied process praise vs people praise. It's fascinating how when praising effort it reinforces the growth mindset and a knack for killing laziness. Reinforcing the person: "you're so good at _____" keeps them fixed that they cannot try new things or be good at other things because we are praising talent. On the flip side reinforcing process: "you've worked really hard and it shows" teaches one that they can accomplish anything with enough work. It reminds of when Tim Notke said: "work beats talent when talent doesn't work". I love this article's stance.

Mirror:
I truly do resonate with Carol Dweck and her growth mindset approach to life and understanding of how to set kids up for success. She explains in five qualities how to best give feedback with young readers. What I loved most about th…

Reading Notes: Part A and B

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Hanuman's Matron: Sita
PDE Sita

The meeting between Rama and Sita is by far my favorite in part A of the Ramayana. It is so poetic and so beautiful their encounter. She is walking in the garden and see's him and is astonished. He only hears the jingle of bells at her ankles and the sound is music to his ears and instantly he knows she's the one. He looks up and his eyes confirm what his ears already know to be true. By far my favorite lines out of the entire piece:

'At that instant, Rama heard the jingle of the bangles on the lady Sita's feet, and he said, "I know of a surety that there comes hither a lady whom I shall love beyond all things else in the world." Lifting his eyes he saw Sita, the king's daughter, and they loved each other then and forever.'

Sita then goes to pray to the goddess Bhavani who reaffirms the strong pulls of her heart. Rama then mentions Sita's beauty higher than the queen of night. It's an absolutely beautiful and p…

Feedback thoughts

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Silence the Critical Voices in Your Head
Critical voices
This article stresses the importance of rewiring your brain to see the positives and hear them. I sold books door to door with Southwestern Advantage for 5 summers. I worked 14hrs/day, 6 days/week and let me tell you the rejection after my first summer didn't phase me. What phased me was my own critical thoughts, the voice inside my head! At SWA we called him "Mr. Mediocrity" and the only way to beat him was to use positive self-talk, constantly reaffirming yourself. Just like the article talks about focusing on the positive! It's so incredibly important! loved this article.



Make Good Art: Neil Gaiman’s Advice on the Creative Life
Good Art
This was such a beautiful article and speech. I love how Gaimann is completely blunt about his own experience and the perception these college graduates should have walking out into the world. He wants everyone to know nothing so that anything is possible. You have no limits wh…

Topic Brainstorm

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PDE Hanuman and the Mountain
Hanuman is an easy first choice for me. From day one when Hanuman and I met in a rap video about him on Laura's blog, I've been hooked. He's witty and kind, very loyal and always does what's right. He's the man to beat but no one ever can. I've already written a retelling of Hanuman and the mountain and done some research soI am already enjoying him and his narratives.

Surasa
Next on my list would be Surasa and she's mostly on here because of her epic fight with Hanuman. She comes initially on his quest to save Sita and test his strength, physical and mental. Apparently, this test is defined by her trying to eat him... It's a funny tale with hidden meanings and reasons for it all. I think doing a little background research on Surasa would also help make more sense of it.

Suvannamaccha
I've also looked into Suvannamaccha because she also relates to Hanuman in her own fun way. She is a mermaid princess who attempts to stop o…