Reading Notes: Ramayana Part C

File:Rama and Lakshmana at Conference with Sugriva, the Simian King, and Companions, Scene from the Story of the Burning of Lanka, Folio from a Ramayana (Adventures of Rama) LACMA M.86.345.14.jpg

After completing Part C reading, there are so many different stories I could create. I haven’t decided exactly what to write yet, but I feel like I want to make a modern day short story from a small section of the reading. There are so many options including the character conflicts between brothers, the death of Vali, etc. I could include just Sita’s side of view. I could even write this from Sita’s point of view if I wanted to stray from a modern approach.

Sugriva is Vali (ruler of monkey kingdom’s) little brother. The set began with Sugriva persuading Hanuman to disguise himself and determine who strangers were and what they were doing. Rama was overjoyed hearing of Sugriva, and Hanuman was overjoyed that he’d found allies. Lakshmana described Rama’s situation, and Hanuman insisted that Sugriva was in the same situation. I could change just the beginning portion of this story in so many ways. I could turn this into a modern short story. I would change the characters from indian epics characters, to maybe some movie stars.

Sugriva’s Story would also be cool to rewrite, except modern. I want to take a modern approach this week to whatever I write. I could have Sugriva as a different character who’s older brother (Vali) stole his wife from him. The story could then follow the same line, but with modern characters and modern time. Leave it to Rama to persuade Sugriva to go into battle with his brother, Vali! Sugriva and Vali was such a good read. Tara didn’t want Vali to accept battle with Sugriva since he was with Rama. This just shows how strong of a character Rama is. I loved the poetic dialogue in it, and I’d love to try something like that some time! I do want to reread this short portion (or Vali’s death) again if I decide to create anything poetic. I was so surprised at how the killing of Vali turned out. Is that a fair battle between the brothers when Rama is hiding out to take a shot with his arrow?

The mourning phase then begun for Tara, the monkey’s, and even Sugriva. But, Rama was praised and lifted up throughout the sadness. Now Sugriva is king, and Rama has to wait until the season of rain ends before he can find Sita. Lakshmana has to hurry Sugriva along in the quest when the season ends, and Sugriva sent out 4 armies of monkeys. Sampati (Jatayu’s brother) provides that Ravana took Sita to Lanka and the army was headed in the right direction, The story of Hanuman finding Ravana asleep in his bedroom with no Sita gives me so many ideas. Where else could she be? What have they done with Sita?

I thought it was interesting that he finally found Sita in Ashoka Grove. The description of her surroundings was great, including all of the different shaped/animalic demons. I felt bad when Hanuman was captured. It was agreed that Ravana would set his tail on fire. This then brings up war for Sugriva and Lanka! What a turn when Vibhishana (Ravana’s brother) opts out of war and takes Rama’s side.


Ramayana Online: Public Domain Edition with sources used from M. Dutt, R. Dutt, Gould, Griffith, Hodgson, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Oman, Richardson, and Ryder.

Image One: Rama and Lakshmana with Sugriva accessed on Wikimedia Commons.

Famous Last Words: Hectic is an Understatement

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To say that this week has been a hectic week would be an extreme understatement. It’s the end of week 3, and I’m looking back wondering how I had enough time in the week to complete what I did complete. I’m so proud of my hard work and determination to continue to excel in school while working crazy hours. I know that my bank account sure appreciates it!

Through all of the craziness this week, unfortunately, I didn’t get to complete the storytelling assignment, and that’s an assignment that I genuinely enjoy. I completed all of the other assignments for this week, so for that I’m pleased. I had the PCAT Examination on Friday, so basically my week was filled with studying in any free time. As much as it bothered me to not be able to complete the extent of my work in this class, I knew that I could make it up. Whereas, for the PCAT I’d have to pay lot’s more money, wait months, re-take the test, and so on. Thankfully, I didn’t have much work in Capstone this week that had to be completed out of class, so that helped tremendously!

I plan to complete the Tuesday/Wednesday deadline assignments for this class today, because like last week, I’ll be working 38 hours and struggle to find enough time during the week to fully dedicate my time. I have my first lab report due in Capstone this week as well, which I plan to begin work for tomorrow (Sunday). During the week, I plan to wake up at 5 each morning before heading to my 8:30 AM classes in order to work on the lab report until it’s complete. I’ll be writing in week 4’s famous last words with an update on how that went. Basically, as soon as I get out of class, I head to work. So for me to truly be productive and manage my time, I feel that waking up early and going to sleep at a reasonable time would end with a better scenario for me.

Image One: Exam found on The Blue Diamond Gallery

Feedback Strategies: Praise is OK in Quantities, Right?

Image result for feedbackThe first article I chose to read was Criticizing (common criticisms of) Praise. I feel like I’m a person that typically gives praise, so I wanted to see the criticisms of it. The author introduces the way children are raised and praised as well, to make his criticism of praise stronger. I do acknowledge and see why praise shouldn’t always be given, but contrary to the author, I do think that it’s necessary sometimes. It’s interesting to me that it’s suggested that since our end goal is approval, if we give praise to an individual in feedback they won’t push as hard to make it any better if it’s already approved. To me this would be different from person to person. I don’t think a little praise would affect my writing to where I didn’t continue to follow the rest of their feedback and improve. There is definitely more to feedback than praise alone, and no praise should not be the sole feedback experience. If feedback contains areas of praise where the reader really understands and enjoys what’s going on and critique and feedback on how to fix areas that aren’t understood, I see nothing wrong with that. I guess I’m more along the side of praise can be useful, but obviously depending on the situation depends on the outcome/reason.

The second article I read was Be a Mirror: Give Readers Feedback that Fosters a Growth Mindset. I chose this article, because I’m a huge fan of growth mindset. I wanted to learn more about how to provide feedback for people that can lead to growth mindset. Although we’re obviously not giving feedback or working with kids in this class, growth mindset has an impact on ALL of us. The following are tips that I can use in order to give feedback positive to growth mindset:

  1. Be Specific
  2. Focus on what the reader is doing
  3. Focus on the process put in
  4. Make sure it can transfer
  5. Take yourself out of the feedback (I really like…)

I really found #5 interesting, because this is typically something that I do often. I didn’t realize that it could be considered a negative approach if you’re trying to ensure a growth mindset.

Image One: Feedback found on Public Domain Pictures.

Topic Research: More on Horses

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Nakula and Sahadeva/ Castor and Pollux

I’m still trying to brainstorm different ways to properly make a storybook involving these characters, along with those involved with them. I’ll probably be thinking about it for a while. BUT, this is by far my favorite suggestion. Castor and Pollux are such cool characters, and their parallel to Nakula and Sahadeva would be so fun to write about! I’m confused on how Ashvins ties into the story containing Nakula and Sahadeva still. The storybook could mainly be about Nakula and Sahadeva meeting Castor and Pollux from different times. Heck, they could even be horses in my storybook. The meeting could lead to several different things, either a rise up of each to fight eachother with their homeland, or simply each of the pairs telling their story as more and more characters get involved.

Airavata and Uchchaihshravas

The heavenly horse and the heavenly elephant who both are involved with Indra would be a really cool story line to tell. I could switch it up completely, but still keep the culture and legend behind it. I could begin the story with background and legend about Airavata and how the heavenly elephant is basically Indra’s transportation. Uchchaihshravas could come into the story wondering why he’s not worthy enough to carry Indra, who churned him from the ocean. The two could either turn on Indra and run away to other parts of the world to find different characters, or they could become best friends and I could contain dialogue to have many different conversations and stories between characters.


Uchchaihshravas really interests me, and I think I could create a story revolving around him. He’s a seven-headed, white horse that has so much legend involved with him. Similar to my project in mythology, I could have Uchchaihshravas travel to the different points in time where other indian epics horses arose. I would want to include his awesome appearance on Earth as he was said to have rose out of the milk ocean. Writing about Uchchaihshravas alone might be pretty difficult to come up with several different stories about, but it’s still a possibility.


Image One: Uchchaihshravas found on Wikimedia Commons.

Reading Notes: Ramayana, Part B

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While reading part B, I finally started to understand the language used in these versions a little bit more. I think what confuses me more than anything is the amount of characters and how all of the different characters relate. When I write my own story I want to focus on a small portion of a story so that the reader is not confused with so many different tales and characters.

In the opening Bharata returns, I had no idea that things were going to turn the way they did. Prior, I was curious how Bharata would react to his brother being exhiled and his father’s death. Kaikeya is such a big character that it’d be really cool to tell the series of stories from her point of view. Why she was so persistent that Bharata rule? Why she reacted the way she did when Dasharatha died? So on and so forth. The culture here is really cool with all of the different rituals that they do at a funeral. The ritwigs reciting Japa and the sama’s chanting samas would be a cool ritual to include in my own story. I think the sandals that Bharata gives to Rama show strong symbolism. This is definitely something that I want in my story. I could write about anything, but I want the sandals to represent sort of a token of the torch, or royal authority as it says in the text. I also appreciated that Bharata wouldn’t return to the land until Rama did. Lakshmana and Rama go into battle with the demon, Viradha. How crazy is it that he had powers to where he coudln’t be wounded by sharp weapons? The battle was confusing, but further confusing when Viradha was actually Tumburu. One character I really connected with and wanted to research further was Agastya. What if Rama would’ve went with Agastya instead of continuing on his journey in the forest? That could be a whole new story in itself! He could end up finding Viradha/Tumburu there. He could somehow defeat the evil curse. I also think the story could’ve been understood a bit better if it weren’t for the intense and continual dialogue. When Rama rejects Shurpanakha, the whole story begins to whirlwind. It seems so modern, but at the same time ancient. Rama prevailed and got the rakshasas with his arrows. This then brought forth greater hate, and the demand to kill Rama. Khara attacks again and loses, leading up to confrontation between several different characters. Although the attacks, chase, and introductions are interesting, I want to focus my story on how events would’ve been different if either Rama would’ve returned with Bharata or Agastya.


Ramayana Online: Public Domain Edition with sources used from M. Dutt, R. Dutt, Gould, Griffith, Hodgson, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Oman, Richardson, and Ryder.

Image One: Agastya giving Rama a sword for battle found on Wikimedia Commons.

Reading Notes: Ramayana, Part A

First off, the vocabulary used in these sections can be very confusing (since I know nothing about Indian Epics). I really wanted to focus mainly on King Dasharatha in these notes, because he has such an interesting/confusing life. I found it very interesting to learn new vocabulary, and I’d like to use some of the vocabulary if possible when writing my own story. Although it will be confusing until I learn more, I’m trying to fully understand the story. The amount of characters and twists make it hard to follow.  Below are some vocabulary words that I’d like to use:

Maharajah- “great king”

Rajah- Ruler in the south

Homa- sacrifice ritual

Rakshasas- demons

King Dasharatha contained amazing imagery. I felt as if I was Ayodhya, the capital of Koshala, an Indian kingdom. It seemed like such a wonderful place to be. I want to re-create this kingdom in my own story. Dasharatha was a sad man because he hadn’t had any sons from one of his 3 queens (Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, Sumitra). After undergoing ritual, he was promised 4 sons (though he only needed 1 to carry on royalty, which later causes problems). It would be interesting to write a story from Kaushalya’s point of view, or even the animals that they used for sacrifice (horse, reptiles). Ravana seems to be the king of Lanka. Yama was the god of death, so that could also be an interesting story to retell. King Dasharatha’s four sons were as followed: Kaushalya (Rama), Kaikeyi (Bharata), Sumitra (Lakshmana and Shatrughna). He wanted both Lakshmana and Rama to help battle the demons, or rakshasas. In battle (with a woman-Thataka), Rama cut off both her arms with arrows, and Lakshmana her nose and ears. After the death and win, he receives some crazy weapons that speak to him. Ahalya is such an interesting character, I would love to incorporate her into a story of her own. In Sita, I feel like the love between Rama and Sita could go into so much more detail. They could potentially have a storybook created just about them, or a story written about them at least. But the love isn’t won so easily, Rama has to fight for Sita. The families are so intertwined, as Rama’s brothers end up finding love within Janaka’s family as well. Kaikeyi has a very interesting plot here, and later decides that Dasharatha must make Bharata his heir and exile Rama. The story goes on, and I find the karma version of Dashartha’s death very interesting.


Ramayana Online: Public Domain Edition with sources used from M. Dutt, R. Dutt, Gould, Griffith, Hodgson, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Oman, Richardson, and Ryder.

Image One: Ravena being attacked by the three sons by Wikimedia Commons accessed online here.


Famous Last Words: Already 2 Weeks Complete?

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Time flies.. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was beginning college, and now I’m already 2 weeks into my final semester at OU? That’s so crazy to me.

As far as the first two weeks went, they’ve been crazy!

I began week 1 work for this class before the semester even started which was a tremendous help. I’ve been working every single day at work right after I get out of lab class until close. This makes it extremely hard to find time to work on school work. BUT, I’ve made it work.

This week I tried to get as much work done early in the week as I could. I’ve completed all of the assignments this week prior to Friday, so that I can work on week 3 assignments over the weekend. I’ll hopefully have some time to complete many more extra credit assignments this weekend as well. Needless to say, I’m proud of my progress thus far and I am excited to decide what to do for the project and get started on it!

Once again, my goal this semester is to complete all of the extra credit that I can as it will help me in the long run. I know there will be weeks that I’m struggling to find time to complete all of the assignments, so it will make that time less stressful. Because who needs any more stress in life? My one certain goal that I KNOW I can do is to complete at least this extra credit assignment each week. It excites me to do this assignment, because it’s sort of like a diary. I get to keep up with my weekly progress both in and out of school. This will also be super cool to look back on as I progress further into my future.


Image One: Exhaustion found on Public Domains Pictures.



Feedback Thoughts: Criticism As a Positive

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This assignment last semester really helped me a lot in learning more about feedback and how to make it a positive experience. Feedback is more than just reading someones work and saying “great job!” But, positive feedback is encouraging and useful as well, there’s just much more to the entire feedback picture. From my experiences in the mythology class last semester, I found that the people that actually took the time to really read my project work and provide detailed feedback helped me the most. I’ve learned that harsh feedback is generally not meant to do anything but help you improve your work. But, there are more ways than one to get the point across when providing feedback.

The two articles that I read were Using Harsh Feedback to Fuel Your Career and Overcoming the Fear of Feedback. The steps in order to fuel your career with harsh feedback are very useful. One that seems very important is the step to prioritize which feedback is useful and should be dealt with compared to those that aren’t.  I think most times people read harsh words and it’s hard to fuel that into positive energy. But sometimes, the harsh feedback is exactly what we need in order to push forward and improve. In Overcoming the Fear of Feedback, the idea revolved around the mindset. I am very interested in the growth mindset view, and continue to enjoy learning more about it and the different ways that it affects individuals. Who knew that the mindset individuals have could play a role in so many different ways? When struggling with feedback in the different scenarios, this article would be great to go back and reread.


Image One: Get and Use Feedback found on Flickr.