Category Archives: Week 2

Famous Last Words: Getting Better

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This option as extra credit is one that I hope to keep up on doing. This will really allow me to see my thoughts on this class, other classes, and/or life in general as time goes along, and my progress within each . So to my future self, keep doing this extra credit!

This week, I feel that I am in a much better place mindset wise than last week. Yes it’s sad that the break had to end, but it’s time to get into the groove of things and get work done early so I’m less stressed. This means much less netflix, much more focusing, and more ways to stay motivated in school.

Class work wise, I actually skipped ahead and got the readings done for next week and already know what I want my story to be. I’ve found that the reading notes really do help me, and tuning in during reading is a great way to let your imagination roll at the “what ifs?” and such.  I had much fun with the story, and it’s actually my favorite writing I did this week. I really enjoy reading stories and letting my imagination take the story somewhere else, and writing about it.

For other classes, things are still very chaotic. This is because every class I am taking requires textbook reading, homeworks, discussions, quizzes, and I’m having a hard time adjusting to the time frames by which these are due. Again, when I get a set schedule and am able to get ahead in my planner, things will get MUCH better. I still think the classes I’m in are going to be very interesting and make for a great semester!

As far as time management goes, work is becoming more of a consistent Tuesday/Thursday schedule, giving me time to plan when I want/have time to do the work for this class. This is the main problem that I could and probably will face as the class progresses. I hope to keep up my “pace” and stay ahead a week at least with the readings. Since the readings are actually enjoyable to me, I don’t find it a “pain” at all to sit, read, and take notes.

Image 1: Thumbs up with Beautiful Sunset by Wikimedia Commons

Feedback Thoughts: It’s a learning experience

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The articles I chose to read about getting and giving feedback, along with the link are listed below:

Presence, Not Praise: How to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with Achievement

The Difference Between Praise that Promotes Narcissism vs. Healthy Self-Esteem

Using Harsh Feedback to Fuel your Career

5 Tips for Taking Feedback like a Champ

I found the first two articles very interesting, especially the second which differentiates narcissism and self-esteem. I didn’t really realize this was such a huge deal, and something as simple as saying “You rock, you are the best,” or things along those lines can fuel narcissistic thoughts and/or actions in children. I just find that crazy, because from what I’ve seen of parenting friends, they all praise their child like there’s no tomorrow, which I never thought was a problem. I guess, it’s all a means of balance. All the children I’ve seen raised that way turn out just fine. 🙂 They need to know that hard work pays off, and when they work hard their results are excellent! But then again, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. And my opinion is that one kid will not react the same way another kid would.

Though I enjoyed the first 2 articles, I really found the second two the most useful. “Using Harsh Feedback to Fuel your Career” was GREAT! I know personally, it’s hard to take negative feedback in certain situations, but easy in others. What needs to be understood, is that generally harsh feedback is used for you to better yourself. I really liked how the writer included his personal story about rejection in the Marine Corps, or basically being treated as a joke because he didn’t look like he fit the role. We as people need to find a way to have those negative emotions fuel something so much greater in us, and not to give up! The last article basically covered tips on how to take feedback better. The majority includes understanding and reacting in an appropriate manner.

In my personal opinion, receiving negative feedback at work is very hard. It’s kinda like “well…is this going to make me lose my job, can I recover, am I not cut out for this?” But a simple mind shifting or adjustment can make a world of difference. Maintaining positive, and finding ways to come back stronger is important!

For this class particularly, I will absolutely LOVE feedback. I really think it helps my writing improve, and I enjoy reading other people’s perspectives on my work, rather good or bad. It’s a learning process, so there is no need to feel awful about receiving “negative feedback” when it’s not meant to be taken in that way, the writer is only trying to help. 🙂

Image 1: Thought’s on Feedback? Source: Flickr

Week 2 Storytelling: Fairy Frog to the Rescue

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Once upon a time in the deserted lands of Israel, lived a young, bewildered couple, Sarah and Abraham. Since Abraham was of great rankings in the village, it was he who had to deal with any unfortunate happenings. And to his dismay, the entire village was slowly fading away, people were dying, illness was spreading, and hope was beginning to deteriorate at the wake of each new outbreak. Desperate, Abraham decided to set out on a journey across the land to Egypt to obtain the cure to many of these deadly illnesses that looked so rewarding for their people. In this day and age, no cure was certain, it generally consisted of a mixture of herbs to try to help immunity recover, prayers, and hope. Often times, recovering was nothing short of a miracle by the grace of God. Time ticked quickly, as the village people did not have enough immunity to survive many days before their body attacked itself. For this task, he needed his wife to oversee safety and approve his actions and validity of treatment ideas. He was frightened that the king would seize Sarah, due to her intriguing beauty, as the townspeople were awestruck at her glance alone.

Abraham contemplated for days before deciding that he would travel horseback with a carriage toting Sarah across the great land. Even worse for her, she’d sit in a large box to hide her identity. Halfway along the journey, they met a plain white horse, Daisy,  with no specific or noteworthy qualities about her. She urged them to follow through with their journey trying to save lives, and promised that they would find success as long as they didn’t give up. With that promise she passed along a small jewel from her saddle.

“When all options are exhausted, pray to God with this Jewel in hand and he will send you the most prized possession known.”

Baffled, Abraham gave great thanks, promised he would do as she said, and continued on the journey. He fought the idea of throwing the jewel out, as he thought it was some sort of joke. Shouting from the hidden box, Sarah urged him to keep the unique jewel. Upon their arrival at the Egyptian gates, the guards questioned Abraham on his “gifts” in the ridiculously large box.

“What brings you to this area?” the guards asked suspiciously.

“I have family dying on your land, and I must attend to them quickly before it’s too late, I brought great ‘mounts of food,” he replied.

Concerned, the guards arose and gathered around the box. “May we take a look?”

“HA, I mean who are we to ask, we can take a look, or you cannot cross through to our land,” the largest guard declared.

“I will pay the greatest price to pass through, long as you do not open the box and contaminate the goods for my family,” Abraham stated, gasping for air.

Just as he finished his sentence, the guards ripped open the box, revealing Sarah in her majestic beauty and all. Shattered, she slowly arose from the box and lowered her head. She tried to explain to the guards their situation.

“We need help. Our village is dying out and we have heard this is the place to find a cure.”

As if they’d just heard the funniest joke of the year, the guards chuckled louder and louder as each second ticked by. The king immediately appeared at the gates, and in great awe stared at Sarah.

“You will allow this gem to pass through to our land under one condition, now quick, close the gate so they have no way out” he scorned.

Eager to complete their journey and get home to the deteriorating village, Abraham tuned in to the king and urged him to discuss his condition. He hoped they simply had to make some fair trades with food and items needed, and they would receive the cure and return back home.

Instead, “The masterpiece I find in this woman will be made mine, and the scrappy man will be forced to abide by my rules for the remainder of his life,” he sternly spoke.

With great fear and no further choice, Abraham and Sarah followed the rules. As they drug Abraham to the hills to attend to drastic chores, they carried Sarah by chariot to the palace. Gasping for air as he plowed the fields by hand, Abraham remembered that one jewel Daisy had given to him. He prayed endlessly exhausting his last breath, and falling to the ground.

Miraculously out of thin air, a humongous frog plopped right beside him, grabbing his hands, and helping him rise to his feet.

“You can call me fairy frog, that’s my name!”

“I’ve been sent to save both you and your wife. You shall come with me, and I shall cure your whole village!”

Amazed and in utter awe, Abraham watched as Sarah then appeared from thin air, and next thing he knew they were both riding in the very carriage they arrived in, carried by the fairy frog back to their homeland. Upon arriving at the village, the dreary image and sickness lurked throughout. Immediately, the fairy frog spoke and healed any and every illness found. The villages image turned drastically from dark to unimaginable brightness!  And just like that, the frog disappeared, leaving the couple and the village in disbelief and amazement.

Abraham thought to himself, “God really does work in mysterious ways if one silly little frog can save a village…”

Author’s Notes:

I joined ideas from both The Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace and The Fairy Frog plot lines together, and adjusted tremendously to create this story. The plot of Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace involved both Abraham and Sarah fleeing to Egypt. Abraham was perplexed at how to get Sarah through without the king seizing her. He brought her through with a box, and his attempt failed when the guards found his “secret.” She was sent immediately to the king, and for his safety, pronounced him as her brother, not husband. Abraham prayed in this tough time, as his wife was being made Queen by this questionable King. Sarah fought to get free, causing the king to feel disgusted with her, and contemplating what to do next. They were later freed, because God gave Abraham great powers to infect the king with leprosy, and declare that his wife will not be persecuted ever again, or God would punish the king once again.  In The Fairy Frog, Hanina was ordered by his dying father to follow his rules. This meant that his mother and father would die, he would mourn for seven days, then the day before Passover he would go into the market place and buy the first item offered to him. He followed through with his work, and at the market place the first item was a silver casket. Out of this casket jumped a small frog from a smaller casket within. The frog ate tremendous amounts and grew enormous, making Hanina question following through. After the Passover, the frog asked the couple what they needed and followed through with the yearnings. He urged them to follow him into the woods, where he revealed more amazing surprises, including the gift of herbs and roots to cure all diseases. Since he followed the dying’s wish he was rewarded. The frog then shrunk and hopped away. I used ideas from both stories to create a similar struggle for Abraham and Sarah, setting up their arrival into land they did not want to stay, but had no choice at first. I introduced Daisy and the jewel as a replacement for the man giving Hanina the casket. In this case, God granted them the fairy frog to break through and save their lives, as well as the entire village. The overall moral being to keep your word, and great things will happen.

Bibliography:

Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Gertrude Landa: The Higgeledy-Piggledy Palace & The Fairy Frog

Image 1: Abraham and Sarah: Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: The Fairy Frog Image: Found in the reading here

Reading Notes: Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends, Part B

The Higgledy-Piggledy Palace: Picture found here

My favorite reading tone and storyline was set in The Higgledy-Piggledy Palace. First of all, I love the creativity found in the title, and how it relates to all the chaos of “spirits” and emotions later in the story. It begins by setting up the characters in the story, describing Sarah as the most beautiful and greatest mother to the Jewish. This gives me a base to start with for an introduction. I also love the strong use of vocabulary including words such as, “dazzling, radiance, countenance, glorious…” Abraham thought that the Egyptians would seize Sarah due to her great beauty, so he concealed her in a box. Why would you conceal someone so treasured in a box? This just makes my mind wander as different ways of “hiding” such treasure. As a way to keep her concealed, Abraham payed the price on the highest of gems. The attitude that the guards gave, followed by the arresting of Abraham and the opening of the box revealed an amazing gem indeed. Sarah was sent to the king despite the hopes that Abraham had. When I read that she lied about her relation with Abraham I quickly wondered what would happen if they found out about her lie, and that he was actually her husband. After creating illness and shocking Pharoah with it, he announced that if anyone messes with Sarah they will regret it and be punished by God. The Fairy Frog was a change of tone. It started out dreary as the old couple died and the day before the Passover Hanina set out to fulfill his word that he promised to his father. I thought it showed a very good lesson that you stay true to your word even if it seems strange at the time. He was given many great blessings for following through with his word, and not letting the strange predictions get in his way of staying true. The frog could represent a fairy in many different tales. Maybe a tale could include only animals, and a love story combining both the story from above and this one. The story could set with two cats, two horses, or two dogs in love trying to get the other across the land without the king of all seizing the other. The fairy frog could somehow come into the picture and save them, instead of the spirit that Abraham was able to utilize. The fairy frog could create many fairy tale endings for many different characters, in many different stories.

Bibliography:

Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Gertrude Landa: link to the reading online

Reading Notes: Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends, Part A

The Giant of the Flood Picture: Found in the reading here

The Giant of the Flood begins with Father Noah inspecting the Ark and contemplating how he could find a unicorn for the Ark. I find it rather sad that he sunk the idea of Og (the giant) bringing him a unicorn at first, called him names, and belittled him. After Og brought him his supposed to be small unicorn (bigger than expected) anyways, Noah was perplexed. Noah is depicted as such a jerk character basically, and shunned Og until he got what he wanted from Og. If a man drinks too much of juice from wine, becoming a beast, and continues to drink becoming foolish like a monkey, what if the reverse happened? What if you could take a crazy man and fill him with juice of the wine. Would the effect on him be reversed so that he becomes strong as a beast? Also, the idea of having Pegasus as the strong lead character in some type of story teaching all the Unicorns how to conquer to world struck my mind. Pegasus is such a cool character, so it has to be mentioned in my story somewhere. The Beggar King shows a hierarchy of power in a sense. Hagag undergoes heartache but in the end realizes that he learned what it’s like to be humiliated, and realized that he didn’t belong on the throne. The blind beggars needed his service. This could be used as a portrayal with Greek Mythology horses leading the world, starting as a joke, then ruling with their grace.  The change Hagag made from the joke to the leader is awesome, and he turned out to be the most sympathetic leader once he sat on the throne again! The Quarrel of the Cat and Dog is more similar to my writing style than the previous few. I was surprised when the Cat and Dog decided to part ways due to them not getting enough food together.  The agreement made to never cross paths made me immediately wonder what would happen if they did indeed cross paths. The poor dog wasn’t having much luck alone, and begged the wolf to stay. I do not understand fully why when they met again the cat had such hate and remorse for the dog being there. I guess it was more of a stature that he broke his word. But it still confuses me why they didn’t want to cross paths, as nothing bad happened between them. I think this story would be a really great base for a contrast between why cat and mice do not get along, as the cat eats mice. Maybe a story could involve a great friendship between cat and mice until broken word, which then breaking of word (in different scenario) would cause the cat to prey on mice. The Water-Babe contained many characters, such as Princess Bathia that I have heard of before. From Shepherd-Boy to King was an exhilarating passage! The poor little shepherd boy began his journey in life alone. This ties the unicorn back into the picture, as he clung to the horn of it. This concludes just how large the unicorn in these stories really are. Larger than mountains. I love how the deer is linked to having lightning speed, and saves him from the big, bad lion that way.  I love the way that all of these stories are inspired by the Bible, and all take different turns and leads.

 

 

 

Bibliography:

Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Gertrude Landa: link to the reading online