Thursday, March 19, 2020

Story Lab: Ted Talks

For my Storylab, I watched the Ted Talks given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Jennifer Barnes. In The Danger of a Single Story, Adichie begins her talk by describing the role of foreign books in her childhood. She explained that the stories she wrote contained cultural aspects that did not belong to her culture. She was influenced by the stories of the white man that she felt like people like her couldn’t exist since they weren’t represented. In some ways, I can sympathize because many of the books I read were written by white people. As a child, I don’t remember reading a children’s book that was about Asian kid. The only thing I knew that was about Asian people was Mulan. Growing up with books that only portray American culture made me more familiarized their aspects. I spent a lot of my time at a daycare that belonged to a white family. When it comes to cuisine, I grew up eating American food - mashed potatoes, hot dogs, and pork and beans. When my mom cooked Filipino or Puerto Rican food, initially I didn’t like it. I remember wondering why my mom never cooked mashed potatoes (it was one of my favorites).

Another point in Adichie’s talk was having a single story for a person or group of people. Having a single story about someone just means having assumptions and preconception about the person before getting to know them. What causes us to have a single story are external factors that influence us. If a cultural group is portrayed in such a way, people are going to end up viewing them in that way.

Chimamanda Adichie Single Story
Source: Serendipity

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Reading Notes: Jataka Tales Part 2

The Wise and Foolish Merchant
This story reminds me of the Monkey and the Crocodile story with the clever monkey as the wise thrifter. A detail that I noticed was that the story said “young” and “foolish” when describing the merchant. The story is trying to show that young people tend to be less wise and more naive while older people tend to be wiser. Being the wise merchant, I expected him to be more helpful with the other merchant. In the end, I felt bad for the young merchant for falling for the demon’s trick.

The Elephant Girly-face
What I enjoy about these tales is that there’s a lesson to be learned. This story shows that the people you surrounded yourself with influences you in the end. If you hang with bad people, you will end up adopting bad traits. If you hang with good people, you do good things. I enjoyed the simple-minded elephant but I would have liked it more if she thought for herself instead of following what those robbers said.

Ellen C. Babbitt, Jataka Tales, Tales

Elephant Airbnb
Source: NY Times

Reading Notes: Jataka Tales Part 1

The Crocodile and Monkey
I actually remember reading this tale earlier in the semester. I always enjoyed this story because of the clever monkey. My favorite part is where the monkey tricked the crocodile into talking.

The Merchant of Seri
I haven’t read this story yet. After reading it, the story exhibits the greed that some people have within them while juxtaposing that trait with selflessness. After time and time again, poor people are taken advantage of by others who have wealth. However, I’ve always believed that exploiting people especially the poor comes back as bad karma. I’m glad that the second merchant wasn’t greedy and gave the grandmother and girl something in exchange for the bowl.

Ellen C. Babbit, Jataka Tales, Site

The Merchant of Seri
Source: Sacred

Friday, March 13, 2020

Week 9 Story: The Three 5’ 2” Daughters of Pandavana

Pandavana gave birth to three daughters at the same time
At the time of delivery, the ones In the room with her was a midwife, a doctor, and her grandmother.
The only family she truly had was her grandmother, who raised her since she was a child.

The grandmother and Pandavana lived on the edge of town, primarily depending on the forest for their resources. When the two came back from the hospital, they had three new additions to the household: Bellatrix, Celina, and Maricela. 

The girls grew up without their father because he was too much of a horn dog. He ended up getting killed for sleeping with another man’s wife. Regardless of his absence, the girls never thought of him; they didn’t know any better.

From early on, Pandavana noticed the the three girls had a strong sense of wrong and right. Pandavana wanted to teach her girls everything and to protect them from making mistakes like she did growing up.

Being a skilled fighter herself, Pandavana taught her daughters the art of combat; she wanted to ensure that her daughters could defend for themselves if she wasn’t around. All the while, Pandavana also taught her girls to be head strong and compassionate towards themselves and others.

Pandavana was a strict instructor towards her daughters. Even though the training was rigorous, the girls quickly adapted and persevered. Initially, the girl’s desire to learn how to fight was fueled by their fear of rakshasas. At night, the grandmother would tell spooky stories about the rakshasas that lived in the nearby forest. Ever since, Bell Celia and Mari all wanted to be able to protect themselves.

The three girls grew up to be amazing and tough fighters. When the girls were children, they would do sneak attacks on their grandmother while she was “unaware.” Neither Bell, Celia, nor Mari knew that their grandmother was a master in fighting. Bell quietly jumped down from a nearby tree and aimed her leg at the grandmother. “I got her now!” thought Bell. When Bell thought she had her, the grandmother grabbed Bell’s foot and threw her to the ground. The grandma laughed out loud and asked “was that supposed to be a sneak attack? I could hear you guys from a mile away! Try again!”

While the three daughters were indeed beautiful, their most noticeable feature was their height. Compared to the town’s people, the Pandavana’s daughters were surprisingly short.

One day, the girls took a trip to the market to find a certain elixir. On their walk, a couple of annoying guys ran into the girls and tried to hit on them. Despite receiving rejection from all three, the men were persistent and soon they became aggressive. The men lunged at the girls thinking that they could over power them. However to the men’s surprise, the girls beat them all to a pulp which made them run away like a bunch cowards. One guy’s pride was completely tarnished that he swore to get his revenge.

Skip forward to when the girls finally became adults. Their mother, Pandavana grew very ill. No type of elixir or medicine could cure her. By the first week, she couldn’t stomach any type of food. By the second week, the mother lost a considerable amount of weight. By the third week, Pandavana couldn’t get out of bed or talk much. Watching their strong mother deteriorate, pierced the heart of the three daughters. Pandavana raised them all on her own as well as taught them everything they knew. None of the girls could stand watching such a strong and independent woman suffer.


Richard Wilson, The Five Tall Sons of Pandu, Reading

Author’s Note
My story is based off of the rendition of the Mahabharata, The Five Tall Sons of Pandu which explains the come up of the five sons of Pandu. The Pandava’s were a royal family so the sons were taught in the art of war and were extremely knowledgeable.

In my version of the story, I did a gender and height bender. Call me cheesy but I think it’s a good idea. After reading several Indian epics, I’ve noticed that its the sons who learn how to fight. To be honest, having the daughters learn how to fight came from my own desires. I’ve always wanted to learn how to fight because I thought it was something practical and impressive. A specific trait that I wanted to portray in my characters was strength and power. The theme for my portfolio is courage, wisdom, and power. For Pandavana, I wanted to show the strength that a mother has and always has to have. For the three girls, I wanted to show their power through their fighting and their strength through the downfall of their mother.

Lastly, I inserted a picture of an anime character named Michiko Malandro because she’s one of the most strongest anime women I know. Despite being irresponsible and obnoxious sometimes, Michiko can always defend herself and fight others off. While her story isn’t like Pandavana’s daughters, they all have power and strength within themselves.
Michiko Malandro 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Reading: The Five Tall Sons of Pandu

After reading the beginning, I’m glad that I get to read more about Yudhishthira and Bhima. I remember learning about them in the earlier readings. The story says that the sons were trained in the “arts of war” and I wonder if that’s actually what happened in those times. Did royal sons and daughters actually learn about war? What I appreciate about the way the Five Tall Sons of Pandu is that the story is easy to understand. 

Richard Wilson, The Five Tall Sons of Pandu, Reading

The Pandava’s
Source: Wiki

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Reading Notes: Nine Ideal Indian Women

Not trying to sound bad but when the story said that Indian women “highly educated and accomplished” I was a bit surprised. I always thought women were oppressed back then. Yet again, this story does focus on the daughter of a royal family. Also, I’m not to familiar with how royal families work so I was surprised when the Maharani chose the friends of Savitri; it makes me question how genuine Savitri friendships are. Since they chose certain girls, I would like to know how they chose them. I wonder what parameters the royal family abided by. Another detail that I noticed was how the Princess was paying attention to her professors. Not trying to sound negative but I just wonder how long her attention span keeps up because in some stories regarding royal families, the princess or prince become apathetic towards learning. So far, I’m enjoying reading about Indian women! Something that I like about these Indian stories is that the description of scents and scenes are well-written; I can really imagine  “floating flowers” and “crystal-clear stream” or smell “jasmine flowers.” I find the writing in Nine Ideal Indian Women to be beautiful and carefully written.  Aesthetic diction is a method of writing that I would like to use in my future stories. 

Sunity Devee, Maharanee, Nine Ideal Indian Women, Archive

Source: Blog

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Famous Last Words: 7 Deadly Sins and Sickness

Hi Everyone!

This past week absolutely sucked. I got sick Monday night and I’ve been trying to recover all week. I would drink my medicine but when I woke up, I felt like I was near death. I felt super weak and my head wasn’t fully there if you know what I mean. Despite my sickness, I still went to my classes. I had to go to my physical chemistry class because I had to turn in homework on Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, I had a physics lab practical at 10:45 am so I really couldn’t skip. Towards the end of the week, my sickness became an annoying cough. The night before my practical, I ended up staying awake all night because I kept coughing despite drinking medicine. I would have taken NyQuil but it was already too late and that medicine knocks me out for several hours; I would not have woken up in time.

On the bright side, after I took my practical, I decided to treat myself by going to the sauna! It was my first time so I had no idea what to expect. I sat in the steam room for thirty minutes and afterwards, I was completely soaked. I also took advantage of their shower by rinsing for 15 minutes. The spa also provided towels, shampoo, conditioner, and soap. I really thought they were going to charge me for all the items that I used but in the end, the total came out to an even $20. I will definitely be going back to the spa but next time, I want a full body massage.

Due to my sickness, I haven’t been in the gym as much as I wanted to. I went to Sarkey’s Fitness Center with my girl Brenda on Tuesday night. By the time we got there, I felt super weak. I don’t really like going to gym when I’m not feeling good because I want my workouts to be worth it. Throughout the workout, I felt sluggish and tired. When I got home, my body had the chills.

Another bright side is that I aced my microbiology exam that I took this past Friday! Me an my friend took the exam online. Based on the group me with my classmates, many of them felt like the exam was trash. Luckily, my and my friend Aaliyah studied together the week leading up to the exam so we knew many of the questions. What’s cool is that my micro professor made attendance optional due to the coronavirus. He made us do clicker quizzes in class but now he’s going to make them online concept checks. After acing the exam, me and my friend Aaliyah ate at the nice cafeteria for lunch.

Lastly, I want to say that I finally started watching 7 Deadly Sins with my boyfriend. Initially, I wanted to watch it because of one of the characters named Ban. I saw Ban on Instagram and wondered which anime he was from. After doing some research, I found out that he’s from the 7 Deadly Sins. To be honest, I think he’s super hot so I watched scenes from the show that included him. Soon, my interest for Ban became an interest for the overall show. The show takes place in medieval times which is something I’m not used to when it comes to anime. Right now, I’ve seen Sir Meliodas (Dragon’s sin of Wrath) and Big Diane (Serpent’s sin of Envy). Currently, I am waiting to see the hot and intrinsic, Ban (fFox’s sin of Greed).

7 Deadly Sins
Source: Otaku

Ban - Fox’s Sin of Greed
Source: ComicBook