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Showing posts from October, 2019

Reading Notes: Sioux Unit Part B

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This week’s readings of the Sioux tribe were highly interesting. First off, the vivid details that were consistently conveyed across multiple stories were highly consistent and rich. An example of this was in the story Iktomi’s Blanket when it was speaking of the season changes from the perspective of the Great Spirit (another common theme that I’ll go over) that stated, “snow-white blanket” and “everlasting hill”. These two description words were obviously used with a purpose of creating a more mystical-type of tone, one of reverence for the Great Spirit who controls so much of these Native American lives.
A big theme that I could see within these stories was one of familial ties. Obviously, family is important to so many different cultures throughout the world, but it can be seen even more evidently in these short stories. Iktomi’s grandfather is seen throughout the story, he is prayed to, and his ancestors are further involved with the story. This type of theme is always interest…

Week 10 Story Lab

For my storylab project from this week, I delved into the TVTropes website, which was honestly more fun than I thought it was going to be! First off, what peaked my interest the most were the “Horror Tropes” – going from there I was able to look into some of my personal favorite kind of things from horror movies/stories/media. My favorites (going into it) were “calls are coming from inside the house”, psychological horror, and ominous knocking. Furthermore, when I was looking at this list, there were so many specific types of tropes that I wouldn’t have been able to identify. Examples of these were: “Kensington gore”, “Giant Eye of Doom”, and “Eldritch Abomination”. I was pretty fascinated by the eldritch one, which described these alien-like beings as incomprehensible beings (basically the cosmic horrors that Lovecraft had written about). The idea of looking at something that would drive any normal person insane is quite a great concept to write about – maybe delving into the madnes…

Reading Notes Week 10: Great Plains Part B

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Today’s readings included some Native American ghost stories, which are a bit different than the traditional ghost stories that most think of. In these, the ghosts are physical beings, present, ever-watching within certain areas of the woods. Hunters have to take precautions to avoid the ghosts while protecting themselves. In one of the stories a hunter is circled in upon, like a rabbit in a snare, by a multitude of ghosts – when one gets close enough to attack him, the hunter shot it in the head, sending them away. Normally, when I think of ghosts, I think of entities that can’t be harmed by normal weapons such as a gun – only by supernatural related objects. Other stories that I quite liked were the ones that dealt with the animals. In a bunch of stories, the rabbit was the “main character” where a couple of things were explained about why the rabbit is the way that it is.
A depressing story that I read within this unit was in the second one called, “The Wakanda” where a boy winds…

Reading Week 10: Great Plains, Part A

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The Great Plains stories that I was able to read this week had many interesting details that were associated with them. I liked how they described the world before life was on it. That it was just water everywhere – then the water would recede at the beckoning of an animal to one of the gods (or land would arise up). This supernatural sounding landscape, that would be molded before human’s eyes is an image that will probably stick with me – it’d be a good way to open some kind of creation story (or a story about the way things are).
Other types of stories that I saw during this unit included ones that described the first time the Native Americans started having a tradition. Examples of this were: smoking of a peace pipe/why they would do that and why/how a pole was to be worshiped. The stories seemed almost dreamlike at certain points, with impressive feats (or seemingly important details) would be casually brushed over. I feel like one of the most important stories to this unit was…

Why the Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher has a Split Tail, Week 9 Story

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A long time ago, when humans still had not come about, Oklahoma was filled with many of the animals that are still found there today. Two of the most important animals within the community were the graceful, brown and white feathered Kingbird and his friend, the massive Buffalo. One day, as the Kingbird was resting on the Buffalo back, looking for insects to catch, the Buffalo turned its head sideways and spoke, “Little bird, why do you always come and sit on my back, why should I let you benefit from my size while you give me nothing?”. The Kingbird thought for a moment and replied, “Why do I have to benefit you? I’m not causing any harm to your back, am I?” The great Buffalo turned his head back toward the plain ahead and huffed, “You’re lucky I’m in a terrific mood today, for there is grass aplenty for me to graze upon.”
Weeks passed, with the Kingbird occasionally using the Buffalo as a ride – nothing more was said on the topic until one evening, right as the sun was setting. Unf…

Reading Notes Week 9: Nigeria Stories, Part B

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These Nigeria folk tales are the type I especially like. I’m not sure if it is because of the simplicity or the actual stories themselves, but overall, they are quite to my liking. My favorite story out of the bunch was the one about the hippo and the tortoise. All of these stories have plots that are easy to follow along, but in the traditional folklore way, they have seemingly random conflicts throw in. What I mean by random can be seen in the Hippo story and the Elephant vs bush cow story. For the first, the hippo invites all these animals to eat with him and his seven wives, but once his guests get there, he proclaims that they aren’t allowed to eat unless they can call him by his name. For the elephant story, the monkey who is trying to tell the chief about the fight happening where it shouldn’t gets heavily distracted on his way to tell, then once he gets there, it takes him a little while to tell the chief something. I’m not really sure what this adds to the story other than m…

Reading Notes Week 9: Nigeria Unit Part A

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I quite liked the Nigeria stories – they were simple and had themes/explanations that matched what I think of when I think of fables. They explained why animals are the way that they are, they had some life lessons, and finally, they were actually humorous (even though there were some pretty intense deaths).
One of my favorite stories that was told was, “The Disobedient Daughter Who Married a Skull”. It again deals with the re-occurring theme of being careful who you marry. This daughter, who was described as one of the fairest maidens throughout the land, had only the highest of standards in the man who she would choose to marry. She didn’t want to marry her father’s friends (which makes sense to me) or any other man who came up to her, asking for her hand in marriage. Eventually, a skull from the spirit lands (which I love the name of) gathered body parts from people he knew (another scary image) in order to appear as the best-looking man this woman had seen. She then married him a…

Week 8 Comments and Feedback

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The comments that I have been receiving from the class are not only very welcome, but they are completely framed in such a positive way! I never really thought that comments would be helpful for any of our learning experiences within this class, but I was very wrong. The comments have helped shaped my writing, from expressions of how they liked how much detail I threw into a story, to feedback about some of the “blanker” aspects of my writing (aka the mystery behind some of it), and finally the positive comments that relate their lives to what my life is right now! On top of this, I really like getting to know the class – you don’t really get to do that in most college classes at OU, so having commenting be required really helps the class grow closer together. Hearing about where people are from, what their interests are, and the many different majors that are in this class makes it a very diverse and enlightening group of people to comment with each other. The stories that I’ve been…

Week 8 Reading and Writing

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Overall, the assignments that I’ve been given for this online class have been very helpful and extremely informative. The way that this class has helped shape my writing was surprising to me – from the comments made on my introduction/project site, along with reading the multitude of short stories (either from an actual myth or from a student). I like doing the actual reading, but sometimes it is hard for me to come up with information to write about – there’s only so many times I can say why I liked the writing in the myths. The stories themselves are consistently full of vibrant details and wonderful characters, which have absolutely inspired me in most of my writings.
The biggest accomplishment I’ve had within this class, was stumbling my way into some halfway decent short stories. I’ve always liked creative writing (I even took a class of it in high school), so this class forcing me to write hasbeen awesome. My research strategies have been slightly influenced, with having more o…

Week 7 Story: Hadrian's Tale

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Hadrian was a farm boy from the city of Corinth – he had always been told by his mother to be wary of the areas outside their lonely home, since she couldn’t be sure of what was out there. He had asked her one day, while milking the cow, why she had such trepidation to go outside the city limits. She responded with a matter-of-fact reply, “Because it’s dangerous”. She had always been that way with him, never taking any “talkback” and always demanding absolute obedience. Her favorite phrase had been, “so help me child I will throw you into the depths with Cronos if you speak back to me like that.”
It had been that attitude that drove him away. He wanted to see what was out there, to experience all that the world had to offer. The night he ran away had been the hardest, sleeping alone on the side of a barren road, looking out for fellow travelers that might need some company. Hadrian made his way from Corinth to Athens to Sparti, further drifting towards the sea. Since he had laid eye…

Reading Notes: Japanese Mythology Part B

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Again, these Japanese mythology tales convey a supreme sense of mysticism along with a calming type of presence – this can be seen through phrases such as, “sweet ambrosial sake they poured into cups of frail-stemmed sea-lillies” these carefully chosen words convey so well what the images are within the stories, exactly how they need to be described. I also liked the hero’s (Yamato) quest to find new love (even at the expense of his previous love). The golden apple is also found within this collection of stories, another artifact/symbol that can be found throughout mythology in the world. You can even see an example of the golden apple in video games! The idea that some fruit can grant you eternal life/bliss is such a great concept to put into a story – having an everyday, normal object with such extreme powers causing men to search after it heedlessly is a great concept to explore. Again, there is a monster slayed within the story, with the Great Boar taking that spot. The challenge…

Reading Notes: Japanese Mythology Part A

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This week’s reading was very interesting, especially since I had never really heard about or read Japanese mythology.
One of my favorite stories from this unit was the 8-forked serpent of Koshi. I read this earlier in the class, which is part of the reason that I liked it so much. Other reasons were I simply like fantasy stories where the main character is able to triumph over some huge monster through his wits alone. 
Furthermore, he wound up with a beautiful wife at the end of it, for his troubles – when stories like these end well with a heroes ending, it makes me think of an earlier time in my life. The types of stories that have “good” endings are ones that are looked highly upon by children.
I also liked the stories at the beginning, which described how life came to be through a flower that bloomed the Izanagi and Izanami, who then shaped the Earth with a spear, drawing up mountains and carving out valleys. The overall tone of the stories was mystical, ethereal in a sense. The …