Category Archives: Week 6

Famous Last Words: Getting Too Far Behind

Image result for don't give up quotes

It’s 10:16 on a Monday, and the week technically ended for week 6 assignments at midnight. So needless to say, I’m behind. I have yet to complete the project feedback, just as last week. Instead of completing the project feedback (since I have class soon and probably wouldn’t finish), I decided that I at least needed to do one extra credit assignment. I really need to get ahead this week, and I know I’ve said this every week, but being behind is really a struggle.

For this class, I barely had time to finish my assignments due on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, making it extremely hard to procrastinate and complete at the last minute with enjoyment. When I’m ahead I enjoy the material much more, as well as I’m able to write better stories and get more into the posts and readings.

It’s not only this class that I’m behind in, as I’m behind  in my lab class as well. I’m thinking my brain just might have kicked into spring break mode already, and the completion of schoolwork is seeming like a struggle. Or… maybe it’s the fact of being a senior, and as the semester draws closer to the end, I’m finding it harder to keep focused and stay ahead. Netflix is just seeming so great these days since I barely ever have any free time, but that’s college, right?

Anyways, I must set goals for week 7, since week 6 has been such a fail for my standards. In week 7 I plan to complete all of the reading on Monday, as well as hopefully start the story. On Wednesday, I plan to finish and post the story, and then view the project feedback for the week and try to get started on that (since I’ve yet to complete that assignment)! After that, I plan to either take another week to edit my introduction in my storybook, or begin the first story in it (which is what I’ll probably do).  Then Friday I will be able to focus on blog comments and maybe complete some extra credit so that I can catch back up where I’ve been slacking at. There’s no giving up. So here’s to sticking with it and not letting myself fall behind!

Image 1: Fitting Quote for Not giving up. This was posted by BK on Flickr and can be accessed here.

 

Week 6 Storytelling: The Mountain Spirit Defeat

There once was a large native village that covered hundreds of miles in Japan. This village was such a busy place for all of the residents, and even tourists. During the old times, it was almost mandatory for the young boys to leave home and endure their own adventures once they reach manhood. For young Katsurou, his adventure meant so much more than the average boy’s.

“I will not return back to this village until I have made a name for myself, I want to be famous, I want to be brave, I want to make a difference in this world,” he spoke passionately towards his mom.

After giving a short speech, final hugs and goodbyes, Katsurou was off on his journey! He quickly found himself second-guessing his decisions as he plunged through thick fog searching for any sort of sign of need. Finding no hints, he kept on heading towards the mountains in the far distance. He thought that if he could make his way through the mountains there would be something on the other side, something so powerful that he would be known all around. As the sun began to set, night rolled closer, and steps got closer toward the mountain, he realized he needed a place to turn in for the night.

“I’m so close, keep going, don’t give up,” he kept repeating to himself quietly.

As his thoughts urged him forward with motivation, he grew closer and closer to the mountains.

“I’m here, I’ve reached the mountains, my destiny is on the other side,” he screamed with joy upon arrival.

As he walked on up to the mountains and peeked through the dense fog he saw absolutely nothing on the other side. Nothing but a huge forest covered with thousands of trees. With disappointment, he turned his head and walked toward the strange forest to rest his head for the night.

“I’m just a failure, I’ll never be anything on my own,” he cried.

After hours of pushing towards the forest and contemplating every aspect of life, Katsurou arrived at the forest. He looked around for a place to lie down and refresh, when he suddenly saw an event occur that could change his life. As the clock struck midnight, he saw thousands of black cats dancing as if there was no tomorrow. The dancing was lit by a full moon, giving way for spooky happenings.

“No Schippeitaro, he mustn’t find out about this,” the crowd of cats yelled.

After the midnight hour, Katsurou was left again in the silent dead of the night, as the cats just seemed to disappear form thin air. Exhausted from the day, he laid down his head and slept until daylight.

The new day brought forth much more motivation for the young boy, and he plunged forward in his journey, imagining that the night prior might’ve been a dream. As he walked searching for any sign of acceptance, he found a trail marked by human tracks. He followed this path and found a weeping woman at the end of it.

“Take mercy on me, help me for I have done no wrong,” the woman hollered. Katsurou found men in a hut nearby and asked how he could help the woman.

They replied with, “There is no help that can be given to her, the Spirit of the Mountain causes this great sadness and will whisk her (his dinner) away come tomorrow morning.”

Stunned Katsurou replied, “Who’s Schippeitaro, I believe I might have dreamed something of him.”

“Schippeitaro is the head dog who belongs to the prince, he lives right around the corner, why do you ask?” the men spoke curiously.

Without saying another word, Katsurou was off. He found the dog and begged that he come with him to bring equality to all of the forest, and put an end to this harsh act. After eagerly accepting the offer, the two were off to save the land. When midnight struck and lit up by the full moon, the same event of the “crazy cat call” happened again. There was one difference this night as Schippeitaro boldly stated the largest cat of them all, the Spirit of the Mountain, was present.

Quickly, Katsurou and Schippeitaro captured the Spirit of the Mountain with their bare paws and hands.
“Look here, you will either stop causing such sorrow for good people in this forest, or you will be forever sorry,” Katsurou spoke.

“I don’t understand your problem, for I have not hurt you yet” the Spirit of the Mountain replied.

And with that Schippeitaro pinned the Spirit down and Katsurou drew the sword. Instead of sending him to a quick death, they then took the Spirit to a village far away, a place that he would learn his place in society, and learn how to treat everyone fairly without causing pain and sorrow. For they wished him to live a happy life, but a fair life as well.

“My name is Katsurou, meaning victory, for I have won this battle, and made a name for myself, everyone must be fairly treated.”

Author’s Note:

I got inspiration from Schippeitaro, a story found in the Japanese fairy tale unit. In the original, the young boy set out to make a name for himself. When doing so, he found rare events occurring in the full moon at midnight in the forest. These cats were shouting about keeping it from Schippeitaro. He was then placed in a strange situation when he came upon a woman begging for life. He was told of the story of how “The Spirit of the Mountain” caused this great pain and captured her by fastening her into a large cask in the forest chapel. He thought this was extremely unjust and found out who Schippeitaro was, begged for him, and put Schippeitaro in the cask leaving him in the cask. The next night at midnight the cats were dancing and creating havoc, and this is where the young boy watched as Schippeitaro fastened his teeth into the “Spirit of the Mountain” and the young boy cut his head off with the sword to protect the lady. I began with a very similar story, but instead I wanted more of a happy ending. I didn’t think that the Spirit should die, as he is a cat, and that’s just not right. I changed it to where he gets to live, but he just has to suffer consequences for his actions. I also kept the same characters, but gave a name to the young boy (Katsurou) in hopes of a better connection being formed.

Bibliography:

Japanese Fairy Tales from The Violet/Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. This story can be accessed online here.

Japanese Name Meanings. This website can be accessed here.

Image 1: This image is from Schippeitaro, in the Japanese Fairy Tales unit by Andrew Lang. It can be accessed here.

 

Reading Notes: Japanese Fairy Tales, Part B

In Schippeitaro, the young boy set out on an adventure leaving his native village. He decided that he wouldn’t return back to his village until he made his name famous. I love the description the author used on his journey. He made the mountains and forests seem so tough to get through, and gave great descriptions to make the reader feel as if they were there, which is a really good tool to have when writing. I thought it was so random that after struggling for a place to take shelter through the night the boy spotted “hideous cats” between the wooden pillars of the chapel. It all made sense when he described there was a full moon, that’s usually when crazy, weird things happen. That’s when he heard the “Do not tell Schippeitaro!” At this point in the story, I was really wondering who exactly Schippeitaro was, and the reason as to why they had to keep dancing a secret from him. After the midnight hour, this scenario vanished and the boy was left alone, finally finding some footsteps to follow, where he found another strange scene caused by the Spirit of the Mountain causing a woman to plea for help.  I love the authors idea of then having a story within a story. It turned when the boy was given Schippeitaro for the night and decided to fasten him to the cask, which brought the girl to where she was. What a turn when Schippeitaro and youth battled together! This story was extremely interesting, and you never knew what was going to happen next. It was my favorite in this section based on originality and amazing descriptions throughout. This gives me many different inspirational ideas to write about. I really like the idea of the young boy going off on his own in search of a battle to make a name for himself. I could write a story that begins the same, however, Schippeitaro could be his right hand man all along. I also would want to make a happy ending as always, and I’m not quite sure what that would be yet. I enjoy their battle together, but I don’t like that a cat was killed, even though it was the spirit of a mountain. So maybe I could make the spirit of the mountain a different character.

Japanese Fairy Tales from The Violet/Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. This story can be accessed online here.

Image 1: This image is from Schippeitaro, in the Japanese Fairy Tales unit by Andrew Lang. It can be accessed here.

Reading Notes: Japanese Fairy Tales (Lang), Part A

My absolute favorite fairy tale in this section was The Cat’s Elopement. First of all, the title is very intriguing, I was thinking “a cat eloping? Hmmm….” So the author does a good job at grabbing the reader’s attention by the strange title. This story also had strong character build, as I felt connected to both of the cats very strongly. When their fate was tried, I was very saddened that they were not able to be together anymore (but only for a while). I love the tone of this story as well, because it tells such a crazy fairytale in such a “normal” manner. I adore the idea of Gon and Koma running off together to be together for true love. I think the idea used with the serpent is interesting, but it could be changed in many different ways to change up the story. For example, I got an idea to write about two cats growing up in this area far apart from each other. The two cats could both escape from their families when they were away on vacation. They could find each other on their separate journeys to find the leader of the land. However, they could find true love instead. From there they could set out on a completely different journey, who knows. I could make a very different journey, or I could use one in a different story to bring two different stories together. I also wanted to try writing a story from a different view point. I could write this story from Gon’s point of view, and describe his love for Koma and all of the troubles he had to overcome to finally get to live with Koma and the nice princess forever! I think that would turn out to be a very cool story. Also, I would like to utilize some of the great vocabulary used in this selection. Overall, I do want to try to write a story about two cats falling in love and having to overcome some sort of problem!

Bibliography:

Japanese Fairy Tales from The Violet/Pink Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. This story can be accessed online here.

Image 1: The princess in the story crying for the poor cats. This photo can be accessed here.