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week three story: dharma's funeral

The skies were grey over the bright lotus blossoms the day of Dharma's funeral. Dharma, who had ruled the kingdom of Koshola for upwards of forty years, was the monarch of many peoples' dreams. She was kind and understanding, but, most of all, she was wise and strong-willed. The kingdom had not had any conflict since the time Dharma took the throne; she was level-headed and preferred her peace over any war. 
Throughout her rule, the only thing causing Dharma disdain was her daughter, Binsa. As her name suggests, Binsa was a fearless girl, so much so that it got her in trouble many times, but she was always redeemed by Dharma. 
As Binsa grew older, she became more like her mother everyday. Although she already possessed the agency to be the next monarch, Binsa began helping build up the kingdom's marginalized communities that desperately needed assistance. She was turning out to be a great leader, but she didn't think it would come so soon. Dharma had been sick for many m…
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extra credit reading notes: pde ramayana, part b

For Ramayana Part B, I have chosen to focus on Dasharatha's funeral/death as my focal point for my own story. This funeral was perceived as an extremely tragic event for the kingdom as a whole--not only Bharata. In this, I would like to do something similar in my own story, but with some twists and the addition of the setting. Chose from my Part A notes.

Instead of having the two males being the characters, I would like to gender-bend both, making a queen and a princess. With this, the princess would presume the role of performing the funeral rites for her mother and so on. With her new role as queen, the kingdom looks to her for the answer to immortality because the people can simply not go through losing a ruler again. In result, the princess must go on an elaborate journey, as Bharata does, to find the nectar of immortality that has been spoken of for ages in the kingdom. This nectar is created in The Ocean of Milk, which the princess must go through forests, rivers, and oceans …

extra credit reading notes: pde ramayana, part a

For the Ramayana Part A reading, I would like to focus on setting. Throughout the readings in Part A, there are many mentions of nature: deer, flowers, glistening waves, and more. There is such a visual element to the stories within this section that I think it will be great to focus my own story around the imagery the original stories offer. 

The specific section that drew me into focusing on setting was The Ocean of Milk found in Rama: Avatar of Vishnu. Although I did not know prior to reading the story what The Ocean of Milk was, it just sounds beautiful and dreamy. Upon reading more about the Ocean of Milk, I found that once churned, the ocean produces immortality. From what I can tell, The Ocean of Milk is a high platform above the oceans in which Vishnu and Lakshmi reside.

For my story, I would love to meld together The Ocean of Milk with the dreamy forest-type land found throughout Ramayana Part A. In my story, there will be a sense of springtime with a lot of greenery and lotus …

biography: the smell of preschool

While at work the other day, (I work at a daycare), I noticed that the hand soap in the bathroom had been changed. The smell was familiar and the signature label has been branded into my brain from the time I was four-years-old. Suddenly, I was overcome with memories from when I myself was in preschool. It might be strangely specific, but the soap below, (or the "fish soap" as it's referred to in my family), has such a nostalgic smell for me. 

Although I never purchase this soap myself, anytime I use I get fond flashbacks of much simpler times--the times of bear hunts, baby bumblebees, and photoshoots for every season or holiday. Occasionally, I'll wash my hands in a public restroom and get sent straight back to my preschool classroom where I washed my hands for lunch everyday after a long morning of crafting.
The daily ritual before lunch was to stand in a line waiting to get on the step stool to wash our hands. Then, we would head to the lunchroom where I would eat m…

week 2 story: family traditions

It was my first day at a new school in a new place, and I was not looking forward to it. I had never attended a public school, but my mom told me it was time. 

"Rish, you're seventeen now. You know you have to do this to carry on our family's traditions," my mother pressured.
"Mom, I know," I say, slipping the fresh canvas backpack over my shoulders. 
I have never carried a schoolbag before, so this was different. My outdated textbooks weren't the only thing weighing me down, though. You see, the women in my family are all rakshasis. 

If you don't know what rakshasis are, we're creatures with the ability to lure people in, then eat them when we feel it's right. Naturally, we aren't the most attractive, with two huge fangs protruding from our mouths and a not-so petite figure. 

Luckily, we have the opportunity to shape shift into whatever we want. This makes luring even the least gullible very easy for us.

In my family, we don't start eatin…

feedback thoughts

As a perfectionist, I take feedback very harshly. Even though I know whoever is giving the feedback has my best interest in mind, it hurts me because I see that as a fail. Because of this, the two articles I chose are How to Overcome Perfectionism and Why It's So Hard to Hear Negative Feedback. In the first article, I really latched onto the statement about not letting your failures weigh you down, but let them be a building block to a closer definition of "perfection." I have really struggled with this in the past; if I am not automatically good at something, I take my L and never try again. In the second article, it is explained why this negative feedback hits us so hard. When we receive feedback, there is always the iffy question of whether or not the feedback is in good faith. Instead of seeing feedback as a personal attack, it is important to use it as a mean for self-improvement. 
These are things that I really struggle with, and it was great to see this area spoke …

topic brainstorm

Indian Astrology As I am a huge fan of western astrology, my first area of interest is Hindu astrology and how the two differ and are alike. From my research, I have found that the name of Hindu astrology is Jyotisha or Jyotishya. In some Indian universities, Hindu astrology is an area a student can earn a degree in, proving its significance to Hindu people. The names of the signs in Hindu and the planets in which the signs are rule by are parallel to those in English and of western astrology. Another similarity between the two is the existence of a birth chart, or, in Hindu, a Bhava Chakra. The main difference I've noticed is that Hindu astrology places the moon at the center whereas western astrology puts the sun in the center. I would like to tell the story of the planets and their relation to Hindu people.

Parvati Parvati is the goddess of many things: fertility, love, beauty, marriage, children, devotion, and more. She is seen as the nurturing one of the gods, nicknamed the Moth…