Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Reading: Part D Mahabharata

I’m reading Part D of the Mahabharata and there’s a big war happening. People are dying and there’s a lot of hate being passed around. One idea that I had is I would change the story so that instead of actually fighting, everyone sits down and talk about their feelings. The characters will talk their problems out like adults and resolve their conflicts.

Here’s my second idea: Virtual reality. Earlier in my posts, I said that I wanted to make these Indian Epics modern. So my idea is to make the fight take place in virtual reality then, everyone can just leave and live like nothing happened. Their anger and frustration is taken out but no one gets hurt! 

Further into the reading, I read that Ghatotkacha ends up dying which made me. I enjoyed reading about him because he was a half demon and half human. He reminds me of my favorite anime character, Inuyasha, who is also a half breed. I would change the story so that Ghatatkocha is not slain. I just might change the entire story and have him fall in love with a mortal woman.

Donald A. Mackenzie., Public Domain Edition: Mahabharata, Mahabharata 

Ghatotkacha as Javanese Wayang puppet
Source: Wikipedia

Reading: Mahabharata Part C

A detail of the story that caught my attention was that the Pandavas lived in the forest for 12 years living off of fruits. Plus, they continued to perform their religious acts despite living in the forest. This part of the story surprised me because the Pandavas were royalty so it must’ve been difficult for them to get use to the forest at first.

I really liked the part where Arjuna, who was only a mortal, trained himself to live off of air. His penance was extremely high that the Gods even noticed him. I found it super funny when he came across the Great God and had a battle with him.

C. A. Kincaid., Public Domain Edition: Mahabharata, Mahabharata 

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Growth Mindset: 6 Bad Habits

6 Bad Mental Habits that Sabotage Your Success

The first bad habit was making excuses. We should avoid blaming others or external circumstances for our lack of achievement. My question is what if it’s my fault; can I blame myself at least? Most of these habits I already knew; In fact, I do most of these bad habits. One habit that I have a hard time with is seeking audience approval. I still find myself wanting to please others  instead of reaching my goals for me. I’m slowly getting better at letting other people’s journey affect me, I see how good other people are doing so I end up forgetting all the progress that I’ve made. The other habit that I’ve gotten better at is my insecurity. I know that its important to take every opportunity. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Bad Habit Self-Doubt
Source: Psychology

Wikipedia Trail From Edgar Allan Poe to The Kraken

Edgar Allan Poe
While going through social media, I read Edgar Allan Poe and decided to learn more about him. He was one of the first people to live off of his bookings and writing which was significant at his time because it was uncommon. I also learned that he married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. My high English teacher taught about Edgar Allan Poe’s work but I never knew that he was involved in incest. Furthermore, Poe’s works influenced many authors such as H.P. Lovecraft.

H. P. Lovecraft
I’ve seen his name so many times that I wanted to learn more about him as well. He’s famous for his supernatural horror stories such as “The Call of Cthulhu” and “At the Mountain of Madness.” I came across Lovecraft before and have been wanting to read his books for quite some time now. What’s ironic is that H.P. Lovecraft’s stories weren’t popular at their time of release and he was basically unknown during his career. However, several years after his death, he is seen as one of the most significant 20th century writers of supernatural horror writing.

The Call of Cthulhu
This title caught my attention because I’ve heard of Cthulhu but never knew exactly what it was. Reading the article about this book, I now know that Cthulhu is a huge sea creature that is supposed to sleep at the bottom of the ocean forever until it awakens at an apocalyptic era. I find stories like this extremely fascinating. I love learning about the unknown and the ocean so when the two genders are combined, it’s the perfect story for me.

The Kraken
Now, the infamous story of the Kraken has always interested me because it’s terrifying to think that a creature like that might exist. Nowadays, it’s more likely that the Kraken was just based on sitings of the giant squid or octopus. I learned that the story originated from Scandinavian folklores. Based on Norse sagas, the terrifying creature lives in the seas around Norway and Greenland.

The Kraken
Source: Wikipedia

Biography: The Boys

The first memory I have of my daycare took place at night. For some reason, my parents and I were driving around the neighborhood at night; I think they were looking for a nanny to take care of me. They stopped at a stop sign and noticed the corner house next to us.

The second earliest memory I have of my daycare happened inside that corner house. Kids were running around playing as I quietly observed. When my mother and I entered the house, I sat on this huge comfy recliner chair. My mother found the owner who was this huge woman that was probably in her forties. Later, I end up calling her “Nanny.” The next thing I see is my mother exiting and closing the fence. She waves me goodbye as I cried out to her. Being an adult, I now know this is a common occurrence, but at that time, it was a challenging experience.

The usual kids were composed of four mean boys. Two of them were older than me while one was the same age. Physically, they were always stronger and faster than me. Running and playing tag with them always sucked because I had asthma. Verbally, the boys were mean and poked fun at me every day. It was super frustrating at times because I was a fragile person (and still am). On some days, they were would be mean for no reason. I spent several days with hurt feelings and scorn towards them. Either I had to suck it up or always be it and butt hurt.

My distaste for them lessened, and I grew attached to them. Every day, all four of us would eat the breakfast that Nanny made for us. We would all walk to school because we went to the same elementary. After school, we would walk back to Nanny’s house and play. At that time, the Game Boy was out, and all three of them had one. I remember sitting with them and watching them play Pokémon and Yugioh. At some point, my parents bought me the Ruby Red Game Boy. My very first game was the Legend of Zelda. When I took it to Nanny's house, everyone else was so excited that I got one finally.

My friends and I would read the “I Spy” books and play legos. Nanny didn’t like Spongebob, so whenever she did let us watch it, we would all sit down and focus on it. We all drew and colored together. Sometimes, it would just be Alex and me. He was two years older than me, and I thought he was so cool.

One of my friends was actually in my class. His name was Cyle. When we weren’t in daycare, we would see each other in class. His mother liked me because I was a good kid; I didn’t break the rules or be disruptive. I thought his mom was so pretty because she had big curly hair and freckles all over her face. Cyle also had an older sister who had the same features as his mom. She had hand tattoos that spelled out a word when she made a first. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted a tattoo like hers.

Me and Cyle went to middle school at the same time where we grew apart. I grew to have the biggest crush on him, and everyone knew somehow. At the end of eighth grade, I moved away from everyone. I spent seeing those boys every single day to never seeing them again. The world works in mysterious ways, so I hope that I run into one of them someday.

I think back on these memories and wish was there was a way to relive old experiences. At the time, I hated going that daycare. Now that I’m an adult, I wish I could have cherished them a little bit more.

Author’s Note
Lately, I've had the biggest urge to write about this time in my life. I couldn't decide how to write my story, so in the end, I just told a narrative. My goal was to show a transition from when I was not too fond of the daycare to appreciating everything about it. From kindergarten to the third grade, my parents put me in daycare because both of them worked all the time. Even though I was away from my parents many times, I did spend my days with fun people.

Initially, this story was called "Daycare," but after reading it over again, I felt like I focused the story more on those four boys. For some reason, my time at Nanny's house has stuck with me all my life. The reason why I never liked going to that place was that the place always smelled bad. I don't have much tolerance for bad smells. Also, when I did come in, I was usually there before any of the other children arrived. The Nanny was also strict and a killjoy. For some reason, she didn't like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network so we never watched the cartoons that would play on them. Instead, we watched PBS television shows. No hate towards them, but it would have been nice to watch Spongebob.

Patrick, Squidward, and Spongebob
Source: Vox

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Comment Wall

Hello everyone!

Here is the link to my portfolio if anyone is interested: Site

Silent Princess
Source: Fandom

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Reading Notes: Mahabharata, Part B

I noticed that the prince paid attention to detail. He noticed that the palace roof was made out of wood and other materials that can easily burn as well as the oil. I appreciate characters who are aware of their surroundings. I enjoyed reading how the skillful miner dug a tunnel for the Pandava’s escape and how they were able to escape. What stayed with me was how a violent wind spread the fire to the lac palace causing the low caste mother and five sons to die. Then, what’s even worse is that their charred bodies made everyone think that the Pandava’s died.

When the sister rakshasa went to Bhima, I didn’t think what she said was smart. She was very quick to tell Bhima about her brother and that he should let her be his servant. I think if she chose her words carefully, then Bhima might have considered. I’ve also noticed that many women rakshasas fall in love with mortal men. The fact that the rakshasa and Bhima ended up together really surprised me because usually demons don’t have a good ending. The story talked about their marriage too quick so if I were to rewrite it, I would spend more time talking about their time together. I also found it funny when their son was named Ghatotkacha, which means pot-headed. They named their son that because he was bald, but the meaning does not make me think of baldness. I also thought it was sweet how the demon was honest; she just wanted to be with Bhima and begged for his family to convince him to marry her.

C. A. Kincaid., Public Domain Edition: Mahabharata, Mahabharata

Bhima, Hidimba, and Ghatotkacha 
Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Reading Notes: Mahabharata, Part A

I instantly noticed that this story features Ganesha in it! In my earlier blogs, I talked about how I was always interested in learning more about him. Ganesha was appointed as the scribe for Vyesha where he was told to not stop his pen. I’m thinking about giving this story a more modern take on it so maybe instead of pen, I’ll have Ganesha type the story out. One detail of the story that stood out to me was that Uparichara’s semen fell into a river where a female fish consumed it. As a result, when the fish was caught, a boy and girl came forth. I’m not sure what that means but I would definitely change this detail. In a small amount of semen, there are millions of sperm so I would make it so that all those sperm cells turn into his million children. However, since it takes an egg and a sperm to create a human, I might make his children be missing something to show that they’re not complete. I’m not sure what I’ll do. I might make it so that all of his children are all males and that they’re on a hunt for their other half.

The next part of the story kind of confused me. While the daughter, Satyavati, was ferrying across the river, the Rishi Parashara persuaded her to marry him in exchange for her to lose her fishy smell. They get married and have a kid named Vyasa; he arranged the Vedas.

Reading further into the story, I was surprised reading the part where Ganga threw seven of her babies into the Ganges river. After reading it, it makes sense now because she was helping the Vasus. When her husband finally said something, I was hoping that she would be more considerate towards his feelings because the story did not say that Ganga ever explained herself to him.

I’m starting to understand Satyvati’s story now especially reading her part from a different perspective. The man who wanted her thought her smell was sweet and alluring but to others, her scent was fishy. The man wanted her to be the mother of his son so he promised a sweet smell and that she would be a virgin again. When she gave birth to his son, the baby turned into a man which is how I perceived the story. What surprised me was that the son quickly left his mother to holy meditate. I don’t understand what compelled him to do it since he quickly turned into a man.

Mackenzie, Donald A., Public Domain Edition: Mahabharata, Mahabharata

Manuscript illustration of the battle of Kurukshetra
Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Famous Last Words: Go Beyond! Plus Ultra!

For this class, I have not been keeping up with the assignments. What’s bogging me down is the reading. I’m trying my best to keep up with the reading but since it can be long, I get sleepy. When I tried to catch up on my reading notes, I focused on one or two characters. I didn’t really like using that tactic because the beginning of the section was about the two characters I picked. Then, later, the story focused on different characters. Since the characters I focused on were only used in the beginning, I didn’t take notes about the main part of story. In one story that I read today, the author used names that had meaning behind it. The translation behind the names made the story more meaningful and followed the theme. I would like to adopt this tactic  into my future works. 

I’ve been putting in much effort to keep up with my biochemistry and physical chemistry class. Despite my efforts, there’s still so much material to go over. Unfortunately, I have three exams for three consecutive days – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On the bright side, I’ve finally resumed my MCAT studying this weekend after putting it off for so long. I have a little over a month so I’ve been trying to finish a chapter a day for each book. Right now, I’m reviewing organic chemistry and now, I’m on chapter three. 

This past week, I went to OU’s Miss International pageant where my friend and roommate Ida participated in. It was an amazing experience. Each contestant was amazing and I tried to meet all of them. When the contestants were showing their talent, my heart was racing for all of them. 

Lastly, the death toll for the coronavirus has surpassed the death toll for SARS. Now, the value is above 800. I watched videos about how China’s popular sites have become ghost towns. My cousins finally messaged me back and now we’re having long-time needed conversations. 

Coronavirus Spread
Source: CDC

Wikipedia Trail

On the twitter stream, I saw a Scythian horse. It was adorned with accessories and I have never heard of a Scythian horse. When I searched it up on Wikipedia, I didn’t find an article about horses but instead found one about the Scythians who were a nomad group of people who lived in the 7th century B.C.

While reading about the Scythians, I saw the terms: Huns, Goths, Turks, Avars, and Khazars. These terms peaked my interest because I’ve learned about the Huns, Goths and Turks, but not the last two.

Rabbinic Judaism
I read that the elites within the Khazars converted to Rabbinic Judaism. I’ve never seen the word “rabbinic”; it reminds me of the word rabbit. I learned that rabbinic Judaism is the mainstream form of Judaism. It’s called Rabbinic Judaism when the religion is espoused by the Rabbinites.

Oral Torah
In the previous article, I read that Judaism believes that Moses received the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. I was interested in learning more about the Oral Torah because I’ve never heard of a Torah.

Gold Pectoral
Source: Wikipedia

Extra Credit Reading Notes 0

Despite being the wife, Kaikeyi doesn't care about the death of her husband nor her other sons. Throughout the reading, I noticed that men are notably nicer towards women. For example, maybe it's because she was his mother, but Bharata would not kill his mother despite the wrongdoing she's done. Shatrughna and Bharata both knew that Rama would not be happy if he finds out what they did to a woman. I might change how Kaikeyi received zero punishment. Bharata's comments about parents are interesting to me. He says that a man's allegiance to them is temporary. A man enters and leaves this world alone. I might include Bharata's analogy in my future story.

Later in the story, Sita was kidnapped by Ravana while Rama was trying to catch the golden deer was. The demon’s plan was good so I think I might keep this part of the story. The sister of Ravana, Sherpanakha wanted Rama badly so she tried to kill Sita. There’s not much I want to change because I enjoyed reading this part the most.

Mackenzie, Donald A., Ramayana,

The Golden Deer, Rama, and Sita
Source: Academy

Monday, February 3, 2020

Bibliography: The Fall and Rise

Author’s Note
It took me a couple minutes to decide how I was going to write my story. I didn’t want to do a regular narrative where I describe what happened. In the end, I decided to include some of the comments people have said to me that really stuck with me all these years. I also include my own thoughts and significant events. Since there’s little narrative, it’s up to the reader’s interpretation to decide who’s saying what. 

Overall, the comments start off negative but then, they turn positive. In sixth grade, I barely had any friends and I felt extremely alone; I thought I was going to feel that way forever but I didn’t. I wanted to show how my life got better not only through the comments but also with their position. The left represents negativity while the right represents positivity. I also bolded, underlined and italicized words/names that are significant to me.

“Man, you’re ugly

“Will you go out with me? My friends dared me to ask you”

“Please take that ponytail down; it does not look good on you”

“Why are you wearing that?”

“That choker looks stupid on you”

“Why do you walk like that?”

“You act like a lesbian with your friends”

“This is difficult for me to say but I was offered a job in Manhattan so I won’t be your orchestra teacher anymore.” 

“April, please wake up”

“Do you want to go to the football game with me?”

“April, we need to go to the wrestling tournament so we can see cute guys!”

“What time do you want to go to Sundown Salute?” 

“Did you listen to One Direction’s new album? PhenomeNiall. AmaZayn. BrilLiam. ExtraordinHarry. FabuLouis” 

“You’re my best friend and I really like you April” 

“April, tell Cyle you like him”

“I wish he liked me back.. Why does he have to like her instead?”

“You’re my best friend Courtney. You’ve been my rock

“I’m moving to Oklahoma”

“Are we going to keep in touch?

“Of course”

“We won’t be graduating together. I’m going to miss you all so very much. Thank you for being my best friends.”

The Lotus
Source: Psychology

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Famous Last Words: Plus Ultra!

Recently, I’ve been keeping up with the coronavirus outbreak in China. Yesterday, I read that a man in the Philippines died from the virus. The entire situation freaks me out because my family lives there, and I don’t want them to get infected. I messaged my cousins, who have Instagram, and told them to be extremely careful. Every time I get on social media, the death toll from the coronavirus increases; right now, the death toll already reached 300. What’s even crazier is that I have a friend who is studying abroad there. She’s stuck because of the travel ban. In the earlier stages of the outbreak, WHO didn’t declare it as a global emergency and now, they’ve officially announced it. There is no vaccine and the virus is difficult to treat. I pray that this situation gets better because my mom is traveling to the Philippines this March. 

On a brighter note, an exciting event I went to was my photoshoot for a pageant that I’m in. Today, the contestants and the students in charge of the pageant committee, went to the city to take headshots and film stuff for the reveal video. I’ve never done anything like it, and I’m awkward when I take pictures. In the end, it was a great experience especially with such wholesome people. All the girls are encouraging, so I’m glad to have met them. Once the video is finished, I’ll make sure to provide the link in my blog! 

Since we are already in Week 4, our first midterms are next week! I’m going to try my best to study for everything and go to the gym. To anyone who is reading this, study hard and ace those exams. In the words of All Might, Go beyond! Plus Ultra!

The Symbol of Peace - All Might
Source: My Hero