Sunday, February 16, 2020

Week 5: Famous Last Words

So I'm just now getting back into the swing of things after having been to Austin for a week and then playing catch-up when getting back... but finally yesterday (Saturday) I got a chance to start writing some stories again (yay for tiny stories!), and I also reached a big decision about my Portfolio this semester; I am going to just zoom in on Ramayana stories, and I'll choose stories from four different books of the Ramayana, which will make it flow more easily; I'll do the Uttara Kanda for sure, and then maybe Hanuman stories from the Sundara Kanda, and maybe some good battle moments from the Yuddha Kanda. Anyway, I don't have to decide now, but just keep reading and writing stories. It's funny: when I started the semester, I was all keen on doing a Mahabharata project, but here I've ended up working on the Ramayana again after all, and I'm actually enjoying this approach more than any other Ramayana work I've done before.

I found some really lovely shadow puppet art to use for the stories I wrote yesterday, like this Ravana puppet where you can see how the puppeteer is able to move the arms (that's definitely a big advantage of the Ramayana over the Mahabharata: all the gorgeous artwork out there).

Yesterday I also made a spreadsheet to help me look up literal translations from Valmiki and Tulsidas... I probably should have done this ages ago! This will be really helpful if I carry on with this project and someday do a whole Ramayana composed of 100-word episodes. Yeah, that would be weird, but I think it could actually be really useful, and that way I could bring in stories from the other Ramayanas too, like the Ramakien, and so on, but without it turning into something too large. I set up the spreadsheet so that it has my stories on rows with info to the left, and then the translation references with rows leading off to the right, and a single shared column where I can sort them. It's going to be really useful moving forward as a way to see how the 100-word stories I have done (white rows) line up with the traditional Ramayana (green rows):

Maybe next time I take this class, I will do a spreadsheet like that for the Mahabharata!

And things are looking good overall at the coursework spreadsheet; my next assignments are due a week from now at the end of Week 6. Next week is going to be super-busy with all the Storybook Introductions coming in, so I know I won't get to any of this until net weekend, but that works. The Week 6 Project should be fun too because I might have gotten some comments by then, plus I can use it to do some research to get the next story page ready. Maybe I'll jump right to the Uttara Kanda and fill in the middle pages later. I can figure that out next weekend. :-)

And yeah, if you're getting the impression that spreadsheets rule my life, it's because..... yes, they do, ha ha.

About other stuff going on, one word: Instructure. Watching that whole two-billion-dollar circus last week was so depressing. Plus I actually got trolled by two people at Twitter (Instructure-can-do-no-wrong types) and had to block them. I've never actually gotten trolled before. Ugh. If that is the kind of experience other people have often at Twitter, no wonder they get frustrated. I've never had that happen to me before, and I hope it doesn't happen again. And a happier Twitter thing: I did a podcast last week with Drew Perkins from TeachThought and he put it up already. That was really fun!

I've been listening to Cat Stevens this week a lot; I don't know why. Sentimental I guess. So, here's a good one:

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