Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week 3 Storytelling: Jatayu and Sampathi.

One evening, Rama and Sita were putting their twin boys to sleep for the night. Being a little restless, the boys asked for bedtime story to ease them into their slumber.

"Let us tell them the story of Jatayu and Sampathi" Suggested Sita, "They need a little reminder of their brotherhood."

“Once upon a time, in a far away land there was a pair of brothers named Jay and Sam,” Began Rama, “The brothers were inseparable. They spent every day together playing, laughing, screaming, fighting….”
“That sounds awfully familiar,” interjected Sita, as the boys let out a giggle.
“These brothers were the best of friends!” Rama continued, “They loved being with each other very much. One day, as they were playing in the field, they saw a bright, bright light off in the distance. ‘What is that light?’ said Jay and Sam almost simultaneously, ‘We should go explore where that light is coming from’ said Sam. So off they went, full of wonder and desire to find the source of this beautiful light.”
“It was a BEAUTIFUL light, unlike anything the boys had ever seen before!” said Sita, taking over the story.
“They journeyed closer and closer to the light, it soon became a competition for them. ‘I’m faster!’ said Jay as he took off running toward the majestic light. ‘No you’re not!’ exclaimed Sam as he came running after his brother.
Suddenly they stopped,” Sita said with a gloomy voice.
“Oh look it’s time for bed!” Rama interjected teasing the boys.
“What happens, mom? Tell us the rest of the story! What happens! What happens” yelled the boys one after another, eager to hear the gloomy terror that faced Jay and Sam.
“Ohh, alright,” said Rama, “I guess we can finish the story”
The boys squirmed in their bed, excited to hear about the fate of Jay and Sam.
“Suddenly, they stopped,” Rama said picking up the story.
“They had approached the light, but this was no ordinary light. It was a huge forest fire. ‘COOL!’ said Jay as he foolishly stared at the raging fire, ‘Let’s go touch it!’
‘No way!’ screamed Sam, ‘Are you crazy?’
But Jay did not listen to Sam, and he approached the fire.
‘I am SO much stronger and faster than you,’ said Jay to Sam, ‘this fire can’t do anything to me.’
‘I’m fast and strong too!’ Sam said, now filled with anger, ‘Let’s race into the fire to really see who’s best.’
Just as they were entering the fire, a fiery branch fell on Jay and burned his arm.” Rama finished.
“Now children,” Sita began, “The reason Jay was burned is because he was selfish, and unkind to his brother. You two need to remember that you always have each other, and to always be kind to each other.”
“Goodnight kids,” Rama said as he kissed each of their foreheads, and they drifted to sleep with the biggest brotherly bond you could ever imagine.

Image of Sita 

Author’s Note
: Jatayu and Sampathi who in most versions of Ramayana were birds, who would compete in their youth to see who could fly closest to the sun. In the original story, one of the brothers flew too close to the sun and his feathers were burned, however the shade of his wings saved his brother. I took the suggestion of making their story into a simplified bedtime story which has a huge moral for Rama and Sita’s twin boys. In my story, the twins too, are often competitive and often let their rivalry get the best of them. Rama and Sita take turns telling the story of how a sibling rivalry can lead to huge ramifications. I made major changes to the original story, and renamed Jatayu as Jay and Sampathi as Sam, in order to simplify the story.  The dialogue of the twins interjections were added in order to make the story more realistic, as if Rama and Sita really were telling their kids a bedtime story. Another change I made was the addition of a burning fire instead of flying toward the sun that caused the boy’s injury. Yet, the story came together in the end to have a lesson that is very important in competing siblings: be kind to one another. I really liked the image I chose. While I may not have used it for its original purpose, the image showed Sita in a maternal role, holding the hand of one of her sons. 

  • Narayan, R. K. (1972) The Ramayana.

Reading Diary B: The End of the Ramayana

I decided to backtrack a little since I feel like I sped through this section to the ending. These notes begin on page 121
  • Ravana ignores all of his previous "favorite" women. What a nice guy...
  • Hanuman found Sita!.... Just kidding its Mandodari. Did he really think Sita would snore?!
  • Hunaman found Sita for real this time! But she's surrounded by crazy rakshasa ladies with their weapons.....
  • And she hasn’t been taken care of.
  • I am so glad Sita is loyal. Ravana keeps trying to convince her to be his wife, and she’s just not having' it.
  • Hunaman found Sita, was able to talk to her, but he can’t save her and take her back to Rama..?
  • I really like Hunaman. He's sneaky and has vengeance. He burned down the entire city.
  • Ravana is a little butt-hurt that his city was burned down by a monkey
  • Ravana calls his executives to talk, and even they question why he did the things he did. Rama and Lakshmana are a force to be reckoned with.
  • Apparently everyone wants Rama dead. And why are they so insulted by the fact that Hunaman is a monkey.
  • NOW they think about how Sita would feel.
  • Looks like we're having a war.
  • Vibishana is so wise, and Ravana is just so stubborn that he can’t see the truth. Rama is no ordinary man, and he is going to come to kill Ravana.
  • I am so glad Rama is noble and accepts Vibishana, even though he seems to be lying.
  • AND he has inside knowledge about Ravana’s attack plan.
  • Yay! Ravana is losing the battle.
  • He’s losing so bad he tries to trick Sita
  • Rama even gives him the option to surrender and return Sita before he kills his entire army
  • Poor Sita has to see her dead husband… except he isn’t dead!
  • The battle continues as Ravana and Rama use different weapons of trickery and clarity.
  • Yay! Rama killed Ravana and he got back Sita!
    Image provided by Wikipedia Commons of the Battle of Ravana and Rama 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Reading Diary A: Rama and Vani

  • I really enjoy the quote on P. 90 "The perfect man takes a false step, apparently commits a moral slip, and we ordinary mortals stand puzzled before the incident." It's something to ponder not only within Ramayana but in life in general.
  • Sugreeva's Story is very interesting.  Vali is just a tad bit dramatic. His brother didn't mean to entomb him. I mean, he got out....Isn't taking someone's wife a little extreme..
  • On a side note.... How long has Rama been in the forest? Has this 14 year sentence started...?
  • This battle is very entertaining. It is rather sad tho. I can only imagine how distraught Vali's family was, when they found that he was dead. 
  • It's humbling that Sugreeva is crowned king, and still does not turn his back on Rama. 
  • I'm glad Hanuman did not mistake Sita as Mandodari, I can only imagine how disastrous that could have been. 
So far, the second half of Ramayana has been just as action- packed as the first. I have noticed that Rama seems slightly more...... mature? I'm not quite sure of the word I am looking for, but he seems to be building as a character throughout the story. I also quite enjoy the stories within the story, once again. The background information makes the current scene much easier to understand. 

Image of Ravana

Week 2: Famous Last Words

This week, has been just as crazy as the last. However, I am getting into the swing of things. Adjusting to new classes and figuring out what is expected of me and when the deadlines are, has always been a struggle for me. Regardless I am REALLY enjoying this class. It is forcing me to think critically as I read others posts and find flaw not only in their writing but my own. I have always thought of myself as a strong writer, but in technical writing. Storytelling and reflection are seldom writing styles I use, and it is nice to strengthen myself in other areas of writing.

On another note, classes are going well. I have gotten in the swing of things, so to speak and feel much less overwhelmed. As I always like to say, I’m “getting my life together” as I balance assignments, exams, readings and of course work.

I am truly very excited to see where this semester takes me. I have just got that gut feeling that I am going to really learn, and be successful this semester (knock on wood, ha ha).

A note on Ramayana:
This book is crazy. It is unlike anything I have ever read before.  The stories within the story are so entraining. It adds such a nice little flare to the reading, like little side notes. Honestly, at first I was worried about this book. I know nothing about India and this book was instantly discussing gods and goddesses and famous Indian characters. It was a little overwhelming. Yet, Narayan really finds a way to keep it simple enough for those of us, like me, who have no idea about the culture to keep up and understand.

I know I say this all the time, but I really am excited to dive into this class and, probably for the first time LEARN instead of regurgitate information. 

This image from Wikipedia, is kinda whats going on in my head: Everything

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Storybook Topics

1. Karma

I talk about karma on a daily basis. Usually half-joking, but never the less the word “karma” comes out of my mouth several times a day. I absolutely love the idea of actions having an impact on the future. Karma to me has always been an easy way to summarize the “Golden Rule”. If you do something bad, something bad will happen to you. If you do something good, something good will happen to you. I am very interested to learn more about the history, as well as the religious associations with karma.
According to Wikipedia the literally meaning of karma is action. It is also associated with re-birth and the ideas of after-life. I think this will be very easy to find information on, and the research so far has been very interesting, especially the incorporation of Hinduism. The association of the Lotus flower to karma is also a nice little plus, since it is so beautiful

2. Gurus, Yogis, Rishis

I really liked the idea of exploring gurus, yogis, and rishis because of the idea of constantly having a teacher. I have noticed, so far that Rama constantly has an adviser, or teacher with him, and I can’t help but think that that helps him have a more overall successful life having that extra guidance. I was also drawn to this idea because of the category of yogis. Meditation is fascinating to me. Sitting down and taking time out of your day, to reflect and clear your mind can only be a good thing so why not learn more about it!
I have never heard of the word “sadhu” and from what I have been noticing through Wikipedia, yogis and sadhus are very similar in the way that they dedicate their life to meditation, and in a sense retirement. These images are incredible! The bright red these dedicated individuals wear is truly beautiful. I really hope to learn more about individual “mentors” in the Indian epics.  

(Here is an image from Wikipedia of what "typical" Sadus would look like)

3. Women Characters

Even within the first half of Ramayana, there have been many woman characters that have a huge role in how the story proceeds. Not only are there female human characters, but also goddesses and rakshasas. I like this option because it is so open and there is just so much more to learn. Particularly I am very interested in Sita and Ahalya. I feel as if their story has been muted through Ramayana, and would love to have more information on other aspects of their life.
So far it has been slightly overwhelming. There are so many woman characters! Looking further into Sita and Ahalaya has really been rewarding. There is so much information on each woman that I am very excited to explore

4. Birth Stories, Death Stories

Everyone has an interesting birth story, even if they don’t know it. In order for everything to line up just perfectly for a person to enter the world, some would argue is a miracle each time- similarly with death. We often do not like to talk about death but within epics, death is usually a very dramatic, story.

I hoped to narrow it down to either birth or death stories in my research but both topic are so interesting, and quite frankly in some ways crazy. (Like the fact that Rama and his brothers wouldn't have been conceived without magic rice?!) I also found Yama very interesting being the god of death. He gets to decide what you are reincarnated as upon your death. I feel like this is going to be a very interesting topic to explore. Does anyone ever think Yama is unjust?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Week 2 Storytelling: Ahalya's Story.. With a Modern Twist

"What a wonderful day!" Ahalya exlaimed as she walked outside for a bit of fresh air. 

"Nothing could possibly go wrong!" she thought as she walked through the town. 

Ahalya had a seemingly normal day. She did her chores, she worked in her garden, did some shopping. It was a beautiful, calm day. Her life was fantastic. In fact she thought she could live this way forever.

One day as she was wandering through the market she met this beautiful man Gautama. Well technically her dad met this wonderful man, but that did not matter to Ahalya. She thought he was great!

Time passed and soon enough Gautama and Ahalya were married in the most beautiful wedding across the land. Every member of the town admired her beautiful dress, and the wonderful flowers. Each woman wished that someday she too could experience such beauty.

Time persisted, and Ahalya and Gautama had a wonderful time together. His life was great, her life great, everything was great... except for her stalker Indra. Indra, you see had always been OBSESSED with Ahalya. He would never leave her alone! Even after she was married!

“Why can’t he understand that I love my husband!” thought Ahalya after the 15th call Indra made to her that day. 
“I want to live in peace with my wonderful husband!”

Indra simply was not ever going to take no for an answer desperately he searched his mind to find a way for Ahalya to love him, the way he loved her.

“I've got it!” he said aloud, startling his cat. “I will disguise myself to be Gautama! It is a flawless plan!”

So off he went to Ahalya’s house, wearing a thick coat and a large hat. Luckily for him it was the middle of winter.

“I’m hooome!” Indra said as he walked into the kitchen.

“OH! I have missed you today!” said Ahalya as she planted a kiss on his cheek.

“This is working perfectly!!!” thought Indra as he continued his scheme of deceit.

“Why don’t you take off that coat?” said Ahalya “It’s warm in here!”

“OHHH no. I’m rather chilly.” said  Indra in hopes not to blow his cover.

“Whatever.” She replied

The evening went on as they had dinner and prepared for bed. Indra could not believe this was working so well.
They were just getting into bed when….

“I’m hooome! Sorry I am la-…” began Gautama when he discovered this man in his bed.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Cried Gautama, “Where you about to SLEEP with him?!”

Ahalya had never been more confused. In walked her husband while she was with….
“INDRA!” she exclaimed.

“Get out!” cried Gautama, “You CHEATED on me.”

Off she went banished from her wonderful life to live in a cave. She was so lonely, and so depressed that she let herself go. In fact everyone who ever saw her said she began to look like the rocks she lived among….

Image of Ahalya

Author's Note: This story was inspired by Ahalya's Story, but from quite a different view point. Ahalya's story was a side story in Ramayan by Narayan of a woman who was turned into a stone after cheating on her husband Gutama with Indra. She was deceived by Indra, yet still punished to become a stone until Rama came across her. I chose to write about this story because it seemed like it was a bit of an unfair situation. While Ahalya eventually did realize that the man that claimed to be her husband was indeed Indra, she was still was tricked, and this story is a modernized dialogue of the story from her viewpoint. The original story was told from an omniscient viewpoint of sorts. There was not a vast amount of detail, and the style in which it was written had a “matter-of-fact” feel. To me, the story lacked emotion and personality so by adding dialogue between each of the characters, I hoped to make the story more relateable and personable. I changed a few facts, such as Ahalya actually turning into stone to ease the consequence. After all, cursed to be a stone for in indeterminate amount of time is a little harsh. I also added a bit of humor to the story in order to make it more interesting and fun. 

Bibliography:  Narayan, R. K. (1972) The Ramayana.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reading Diary B: Continuing The Journey

P. 53-89 
Narayan, R. K. (1972) The Ramayana.

As this book continues, It is becoming much easier to follow and understand as I become more familiar with the characters, as well as the overall writing style. Here are some more thoughts I had throughout this second section of the book
  • It REALLY sucks that Rama has to leave home. And he’s so noble, and honest to his words he wont ev
    en stay, even after Dasharatha changes his mind.
  • At least he has his brothers to keep him company??
  • And at least they have a chariot full of stuff to use....
  • I guess Dasharatha proves you can die of sadness....
  • BTW, why hasn't Bharata come back to take the throne yet... What's the time frame here?
  • I would have been annoyed if I was Bharata.... "Welcome home! Your brothers have been exiled, your dad is dead, and oh yeah!, you're King"
  • (Kinda hate Kaikeyi for being that crazy, jealous wife and causing all of this)
  • At least Rama is more or less okay with living in the forest for a few years
  • *Insert trap woman* Of course she’s super beautiful
  • “I’m not a demon like my crazy evil brother I SWEAR!” I don’t know if I trust this lady…..
  •   OF COURSE Sita has to be captured by this “golden deer”… I’m not even going to dive into all the questions I have about that…
All I can say is.... What's gonna happen next. I'm officially hooked. 

Painting of Rava & Sita
(Wikipedia Commons)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reading Diary A: The Beginning of Ramayana

Pages 1-53 

This week, I began my exploration of "The Ramayana" by R.K. Narayan, and let me just tell you that It took me SEVERAL pages to get used to the writing style. So far I am really finding this book to be quite enjoyable, especially since it its unlike anything I have ever read before.

Here are a few notes that I took as I was reading, to help keep everything in my head clear. 
  • Ravana has to be killed by a human
  • Magical Rice?!? I'm liking the way this is going.
  • Viswamithra: now sage, used to be a king Is it just me or is Visawamithra super touchy about the fact that he used to be king...
  •  Poor Dasaratha... He wanted children so badly and they get taken away on this crazy journey through a desert full of dead GIGANTIC serpent
  • Serpents big enough for elephants to fit in their mouths??? No thank you
  • Thataka: Crazy demon number 1… but no worries Rama’s comin’ in for the kill
  •  Why are there so many gods and demons?
  • Mahabali: Another demon??? Defeated by a Dwarf (or apparently bee) that’s actually overthrows him and sends him to “hell”
  • Ganga: The story of how the oceans came to be on earth
  •  Viswamithra has an explanation for EVERYTHING   
  • Is each place a new story???.... Apparently so.

                So far what I have noticed of this book is that Rama is a pretty cool guy. He was taken from his parents before he was really ready, to go on a crazy journey with Viswamithra. Everywhere they go, Viswamithra has a story to explain everything, and Rama is loved, and wonderful everywhere he goes. He is even chosen as King, when Dasaratha is ready to “retire”. But like all good things, Rama is headed for an interesting time as he is sent away for 14 years … I am ready to find out what happens next!

King Rama With Bow

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 1: Famous Last Words

This week has certainly been a whirlwind....

                I have never taken such an involved class! I do have to admit that it is quite a struggle for me to adjust to all the writing and reading. I came to OU with all of my English credits fulfilled, and dove in to the math and science, never to read and never to write again….. Or so I thought.  While this class is quite different from any other class I have taken, I absolutely love it. I’m perpetually confused, always behind, and constantly over-whelmed with my forgetfulness, but I absolutely love it. The way in which we are exposed to new things (and new people) is astonishing. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve “bragged” about my new little blog to anyone who will listen. This class has taken me out of my comfort zone in ways I never would have expected.
                So far this week, I have learned that writing is not always technical. For the past few years now, I have primarily found myself writing in a “report” fashion, relaying information in an “X,Y,Z” formation. “Make your information simple.” “It must be set up to be repeatable!” “Leave out unnecessary descriptions.” I may still do that from time to time within these blog posts, kind of like I am now (old habits die hard) but it is SO refreshing to be able to write, simply for the sake of writing.  This class has also already taught me how to manage my time in a much more efficient fashion. I may still wait until the last second to do assignments or turn things in, but I am becoming much more aware of the dedication and time it takes to do these assignments, as well as assignments in other classes.
                It was such an impulsive decision to take this class, but I am so glad it crossed my path. I am ready to learn, not only the material, but also about my peers. I’m ready to tackle the semester.

Here is a little inspirational quote I feel is all too accurate. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Epics of India: Overview and Explanation

          So you may be wondering why I am taking this class. As stated in previous posts, I'm an Engineer, and I don't know about you, but the vast majority of us are a little overbearing. (Don't tell them I said that ;P). It is a very no-nonsense sort of degree path, filled with weird chemical compounds, and even weirder equations, and that is precisely why I'm here. 
          I was sitting in a row of chairs waiting to be “group” advised (which yes… is as strange a concept as it sounds), pondering what I was going to take in the upcoming semester. Calculus, physics, chemistry, chemistry disguised as a different name… That was all I seemed to ever be taking, and all too serious. I wanted, I needed something different. Just as these thoughts were running through my head, I heard a girl a few seats down talk about this refreshing online class that had something to do with India. She kept saying the word “epic”. Was this class that cool? Was I missing out? These words floated through my head for a couple weeks as I decided what class I should take for a non-western civilization credit. Cruising through the options, these words finally came together in coherence: Epics of India. It was like a light went off. This girl wasn’t talking about being super stoked about this “epic” class, (although she may have been) she was recommending the title of a very interesting class: Epics of India.
          This far in my life, I know two things about India: it is super populated, and curry is delicious. Otherwise, I have no background knowledge at all. Being Asian, I’ve been lumped into the “East”, and often times I’m asked if “It’s all basically the same” and “The cultures are very similar”. I usually spend a few seconds convincing myself not to shout “Such Ignorance!” and walk away, before explaining that each country is so completely different from its neighbors, and each culture formed independently. There is no place remotely similar to India. While in Asia, the culture and history is so vastly, vastly different from other countries just a couple hundred miles across the ocean.
          While I may have stumbled across this class be complete nosiness, and confused eavesdropping, I am very excited to see what I learn about the stories and culture that formed the country.

Look at this beautiful elephant dressed for a fair !

Storybook Favorites

                The first project I explored was The Museum of Goddess Art. The title itself sparked me to visit the page, and with a banner of stars welcoming you into the site, how could I say no! I have always found the concepts of Greek Mythology, and what a better way to explore it than to learn about goddesses. This storybook not only focuses on Greek goddesses, but also Egyptian, and Hindu Goddesses. I know very little about Hindu mythology, and this is a gateway to get to know not just culture, but also specific goddesses, and their powers and principles.

                The second Storybook I explored is The Ganges River. I currently have a bit of knowledge of the Ganges River, in the current scheme of life in India and Bangladesh. Being an Environmental Scientist, this river is often the exaggerated, mega-example of over-population, and its affect on water quality, and functionality, and human health. Seen as sacred, this water is often used to “cleanse” animals, people, and items with its healing power. Being vital to Indian life, I find it so interesting to learn not only of the physical, practical, way it is being used, but also the history and culture imbedded within this vital river itself.

                Lastly I explored How I Met Your Mother. Being obsessed with the show, it was only natural for me to choose it. This Storybook is about three different Fathers telling their kids, (or apparently a hundred kids) how they met their mother. Each of the three stories is completely different with completely different reasons for sharing the story. Let’s face it, we all love stories, even if they are tragic, and these are no exception. Old people + great story + great story time = happy listener and these three stories I’m sure will be just as fun. 

Here is a picture of The Ganges River. Isn't it Beautiful!

Week 1 Storytelling: Greedy King Frank

“THE King of France went up the hill,
With twenty thousand men;
The King of France came down the hill,
And ne'er went up again.”

There once was a King named Frank that ruled France. Like most Kings, his greed often got the best of him. Born from a long line of royalty, I guess you could say this king was also pretty spoiled. The Kingdom was calm, all was well. No one seemed to question Frank, or his ruling. At least that is what he thought. Frank spent his days basking in his own glory, reminding everyone around him just how wonderful, and magnificent he was.
Frank was also sort of self-absorbed. There were mirrors in every room of his castle. It almost seemed as if he wanted to surround himself…. With himself…
“I am SO handsome!” Frank would say, as he glanced in every mirror hung upon the walls of his castle. His house maids soon began to wonder if there was ever going to be a single surface of the wall uncovered with these vast mirrors, that of course he always wanted cleaned to perfection.
Frank had a very simple life. He stayed in his castle, with the idea that all was well, and the country adored him, as he sat upon his throne staring at himself.
However, like most self absorbed people, Frank was completely unaware of the great disaster going on within his home village! Famine had struck, and times were hard. The people had been wondering if moving from this village was the solution to the issue.
More years passed, and the famine grew, causing great despair as King Frank sat upon his throne…. you guessed it, still staring in the mirror at himself.
“We must move, and suffer no more.” said a brave soul in the city center. This lone voice was all the people needed to take the plunge to move.
As the townsmen packed their things and prepared for the journey up the hill to a better location, word finally traveled to the self absorbed King Frank.
“The people cannot leave without me!” he exclaimed as he discovered this tragedy. Who was to bask in his beauty!
“I am coming with them. We will build a new castle upon the hill.” He said to himself in the mirror.
King Frank began to pack his things, ready to move up the hill with his townspeople. Yet it soon dawned upon him: how will I get all my mirrors to the top of the hill!

“THE King of France went up the hill,
With twenty thousand men;

Upon this realization, King Frank, being the selfish king he was, enlisted the “help” of his townspeople.
“Each member of the town must a mirror up the hill!” He declared, to the town.
The townspeople were reluctant to help such a selfish king, but they decided that this was not the battle to choose. Famine was upon them, and they needed to leave the town.
So, up the hill they went, each member carrying a mirror. Days went by as the King continued to stare in his hand held mirror as his carriage pulled him along his journey. Finally, they reached the top of the hill, and it was more than they had imagined! The land was a paradise! Water was clear, fruit was plentiful, and things were looking up!
A few years passed, as the town thrived. People were happy, and everything seemed to be going well… That is until the greedy king found a new obsession.
Frank, in his old age no longer saw himself to be as handsome as he once was, and because of that he was forced to find a new obsession: other people’s things. After all, he was King! He had the right to whatever he wanted! So on he went taking whatever he pleased from whoever he wanted.
The people were outraged. A self-obsessed king they could handle, a robber, not so much. They came together in unity to banish the king. Even his own family did not defend him.

The King of France came down the hill,
And ne'er went up again.”

Down to the famished valley they banished him, never to think of King Frank, or his mirrors again. 
( King Frank)

Authors Note: This story was based on a Nursery Rhyme. This Nursery Rhyme came from The Nursery Rhyme Book, edited by Andrew Lang and illustrated by L. Leslie Brooke (1897). This story is a bit of a morality story like all the others I am sure we have read throughout our childhood. There was a selfish, greedy king that thought he was doing nothing wrong. He's King!  Eventually however, he was exiled from his own town because he was just that selfish. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Me, Myself and I: An Introduction

Hi! I'm Gloria.
Here is a little story of my life.
          January 11th, 1995, was a very eventful day in my family's life. It was the day I was born! Officially born in Oklahoma City, I have spent my entire life growing up in Lawton/Fort Sill, surrounded my military men, deployment, homecomings, and the strange mod-podge of a town: Lawton. I am half Korean, and in turn, feel as if I have grown up in a completely different world than most. I often find myself confused at the customs and ideas that I have been taught, that are normal to me, just to find that I am, in actuality, the different one. But that’s an entirely different story.
          In 2013, I began a new chapter, a trivial journey: college. I had always questioned what I was going to major in, and finally I decided that Environmental Science was the path for me. However, majoring in Environmental Science has proven to be no simple feat. The College of Engineering truly is an interesting battle to fight, especially considering the fact that we as students choose to do so. Yet, as permanently confused as I may find myself, I would not have it any other way. 
While some may say that being an Engineer is a crazy notion to begin with, I am also pre-law, with a minor in philosophy, hoping to blend the two completely contrasting ideas into one career. This semester, like many aspects of my life is a mix of a little bit of everything. Currently enrolled in 19 hours, each class is completely different from the last. This semester, I am enrolled in Organic Chemistry, Physics, an Environmental class, as well as two philosophical classes, and lastly of course, Epics of India!
          In addition to my academic career, I also currently work as a receptionist in an attorney’s office in Norman throughout the week.

I hope you enjoyed this little tid-bit on me, myself, and I!
And because I’m just a little self- absorbed….. And clearly a little insane….
(Picture of me..... Obviously, my finest moment)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Places

"Think of Your Favorite Place".....
This phrase has been said on so many occasions, for so many reasons throughout my life, and I have always struggled with identifying that "place", because for me (....and my easily distracted mind) that list could go on for days as I contemplate everywhere I have been....
So after days of thinking, and narrowing, here are my top three favorite places. 

First Thing's First: Lawton, Oklahoma 

Anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to wander through this sad town in South-West Oklahoma, may be hugely confused right now. However, growing up in Lawton has its perks, believe it or not, the best one being: 

The Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge 
(featuring my photography skills. Ha ha)

Okay, Okay, TECHNICALLY not IN Lawton, yet there's nothing quite like it.....
Unconventional Beauty. Wide Open Skies. Complete Serenity. 
Over the years, I have visited this little slice of happiness, certainly
over a hundred times, yet the beauty, is always just as shocking each time I look down over the planes of Oklahoma. 

Secondly: Santorini, Greece 


I was incredibly fortunate enough to travel through Greece in 2011, and while each and every place we visited was incredibly beautiful, There is nothing quite like, the stark, white buildings covered with bright blue roofs cascading down the hill, to the ocean.

And Third, But Certainly Not The Last: Norman, Oklahoma 
How do I begin to describe how my life has changed in the short year and a half I have been here? Undoubtedly, I have done the most growing in Norman. While growing up, and learning how to be independent definitely sucks, doing so with a little Boomer Sooner, in your step softens the blow

(Wikimedia Commons)