Monday, March 30, 2020

Week 9, Story: The Greybriar House

Our story begins in 1903 with Dr. Blake from Miskatonic University in Arkham, Essex County, Massachusetts. Dr. Blake was assigned by his University to write an article to investigate the Old Greybriar House and the mystery around the murders that had occurred. It has been 10 years since the famous 1893 murder that occurred at the Old Greybriar House.  The story goes that a trespasser was found dead in the barn, a pitchfork driven through his skull. Nobody knows exactly what occurred that night, but they believe that Hiram Greybriar’s ghost did it. Dr. Blake took interest in this story as he is a skeptic of any supernatural activity and wanted to get to the bottom of what happened that night. It is 7 pm on a windy and rainy night and the crew has just arrived at the Old Greybriar House. “I guess this is it.” Says Dr. Blake. “The legendary Old Greybirar House, let’s see what all the drama is about.”

The house from the outside obviously shows its age, windows all shattered, paint color all washed away, cobwebs everywhere, overrun by weeds, and an overall eerie vibe given off. Dr. Blake pulls out his camera and begins to survey even more of the property. Blake sees a young man walking on the other side of the street from the house and decides to approach him. “Excuse me young man do you know anything about the murder that occurred here 10 years ago?” The boy with a shuttered look and a glazed look in his eyes responds with a clear short “Yes.” Dr. Blake with a concerned look asks, “Can you tell me anything you know about this house and what happened hear?” The boy slowly nods his head and then responds. “I used to live across the street from here. My older brother was dared by a couple of his classmates to try to spend the night at the Old Greybriar House. The house was thought to be abandoned after all the previous owner widow Hiram Greybriar committed suicide there after her husband had died in a car accident.

Many other high school students had chickened out on the dare, because they thought the house was haunted. My brother wasn’t afraid though. The night was getting late, so all the other classmates went home after my brother had been in the house a while and seemed like he was fine. It was around 4 am when out of the complete silence of the night we heard a blood curdling scream. My family all rushed over to see what had happened only to find my older brothers was dead. There were no witnesses, no suspects, and no leads. The local police force had given up. They could not find any evidence of who caused my brother's death, but all the locals think it was the ghost of Hirm Greybriar who killed him.” Blake looking visibly concerned looks to the boy and says, “Thanks for the help son.” The boy replies, “Your welcome, I better get home it is getting late.” Blake goes back to looking around the house for evidence. He eyes back to the house at one of the windows and sees a shadowy figure. He sees what looks to be a shadowy figure. Blake squints to see what is behind the window.

Suddenly, a loud crack of lightning strikes near the house. Blake surprised by how the close the storm was falls to the ground in fear. Blake looks back up to the window to see woman that looks almost floating. Blake out loud screams, “That can’t be!” Blake sees that is the ghost of Hrim Greybriar not just standing there but holding a pitchfork pointed up with another impaled head. Blake’s entire body trembles as it looks like he sees his own head impaled on the pitchfork. The lightning strikes again, Blake looks away from the light, then back to the window. The ghost is gone, but the on the window in blood is written, “Leave Dr. Blake!” Blake sees this and screams while sprinting back to his car. Blake drove like his life depended on it and never returned to the Greybriar house! The house is said to be still haunted by the Greybriar ghost and will kill any trespassers.

Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part B

  • Kunti has a secret in her past
  • Kunti did not fear Durwasa
  • Kunti was given the gift to summon a god whenever she wanted by Durwasa
  • She tested the gift and it worked
  • She took the sun god into her arms and he left and she was left with a child
  • Kunti was unmarried at the time
  • Kunti placed her son in a basket and placed it in a bank as the basket floated away
  • She begged the son god to watch over him
  • Pandu while hunting shot an arrow and accidentally killed a hermit
  • The hermit cursed Pandu
  • The moment that Pandu becomes intimate he will die
  • Pandu told his brother that he would not be returning to the kingdom
  • Pandu asked Kunti to summon a god and give the kingdom its future kings
  • Pandu was given 3 sons even though he asked Kunti for more kids
  • Kunti helped Madri become a mother
  • Pandu now had 5 sons total
  • Pandu died after he forced himself in passion on Madri
  • Pandu had a funeral in flames and Madri threw herself in the fire as well to die with him
  • The sons would be known as the pandavas
  • Ghandari had a troubled pregancy
  • The day she gave birth was the saddest day of her life
  • She gave birth to a huge lump of flesh
  • The flesh was divided into 100 pieces by Vyasa
  • Each lump was put into a vat of oil
  • the children came to be from the vats
  • the vats and she was able to hold her child
  • She could not see her children, but others could
  • they were children that could only be loved by their parents because of their demonic looks
  • Kunti and her 5 sons return to the kingdom
  • Duryodhana tried to trap and poison the pandavas
  • Durvodhana laced the food with poison that would make them sleep
  • He tied up the sleeping Bheem and then pushed him into the lake
  • Bhem was attacked by poisonous snakes
  • Any other mortal would have died, but Bheem broke from his ties and killed the snakes
  • Naaglok who is Bheem's god father gave him a potion
  • Bheem realized he was no longer going to be an innocent boy and decided to face the dangers all around the Pandavas
  • Bheem said he had could not remember what had happened to him
  • the pandavas needed a teacher
  • Drona was the brahman and would end up becoming the teacher of the pandavas
  • Drona threw various reeds at the ball down the well and they stacked up and he pulled the ball out of the well
  • The pandavas wanted Drona to meet their grandfather
  • Bhisma appoints Drona as the teacher of the pandavas
  • Drona was able to pin point each students skills
  • the sons were taught to control the divine weapons
  • the weapons were able to control the elements
  • Drona wanted vengeance against a kingdom with the help of the pandavas
  • dog was shut up by an archer who placed arrows to stuff the dogs mouth
  • Arjuna was crushed as he realized he was not the world's greatest archer
  • Arjuna asks Ekalavya who taught him these archery skills and he replied that it was Drona
  • Ekalayva became the world's greatest archer by just looking at a picture of Drona and training
  • Drona commanded Ekalyva cut off his right thumb
  • Drona basically ended the career of a boy who could have been the world's greatest archer

Extra Credit Reading Notes: Mahabharata Part A

  • Many storytellers have given their own iteration and twist on the story
  • a story of kings and queens and heroes and villains and a story of an all consuming war
  • an account of how karma functions
  • every result is based on what happened before and impacts what happens after
  • shantanu asks ganga said yes
  • Shantanu was made to promise to never question her.
  • they became married
  • She drowned their first child and she killed their next 6.
  • He stepped in before she could kill the 8th.
  • She explains
  • she had been tasked to give birth to the 8 celestial spirits
  • After telling him the truth she left him and took with her his one remaining son.
  • 16 years after Ganga had left, Shantinu returned to where he met his past wife
  • His wife appeared before him as he was shocked to see his son again who had become an amazing archer (Devarat)
  • Shantanu brought back his son to the kingdom and made him a prince
  • time passed and Shantanu fell in love with a different woman
  • Shantanu was miserable
  • Devarat went out to find the fisherman's daughter in an attempt to bargain
  • Devarat went out and begged for the fisherman to have his daughter marry his father
  • Devarat gave an oath and vowed to never marry and never have children
  • He did this to make his father happy and he became Bhishma
  • The father was not happy, but he was actually heartbroken and felt a sense of doom
  • He was still proud of his son
  • Bhisma kept his promise
  • After his father passed Devarat acted as a father to his two step brothers
  • three princesses are brought back after the death
  • oldest sister named Amba was allowed to leave, but the other two had to stay
  • King could not accept Amba as she was taken by a different man
  • Amba accuses bishna of ruining her life
  • Amba seeked out revenge
  • Parashuram fought with Bhisma for 23 days
  • they were evenly matched 
  • Parahuram ended up giving up
  • Amba still wanted Bhisma dead and wanted to be the reason for his death
  • King Vichitraviyra died due to illness
  • the kingdom was left with no king or prince
  • It was decided that Bhisma was to end his celibacy and become married with kids
  • He refused
  • Vyasa is summoned by his mother Satyavati
  • She asked him to father the children of ambika and ambalika
  • Vyasa was not a good looking guy
  • Because Ambika closed her eyes when she layed with Vyasa the child would be born blind
  • Ambalika turned pale with fear when Vyasa too her, he tells her that her child will be born pale and will have poor health
  • Amabalika asks for another chance, but she sends a servant girl in her place
  • The servant girl accepted him with no fear 
  • All 3 women gave birth
  • Vidura was the child of the servant
  • Bhisma raised the 3 boys
  • there was an unspoken rivalry between the 3 brothers
  • blind Dhritrashtra became king
  • Pandu had no ill feelings, but Pandu was supposed to be the king
  • Gandari blind folded herself for life to marry Dhritrashtra and they would both be blind
  • Gandari wanted to repair this injustice that had occurred in his eyes

Friday, March 27, 2020

Week 10 Story: My childhood room

For my storytelling assignment I decided to go down memory lane and talk about what I can remember from my childhood room. I wrestled about what I should write about until I saw the suggestion of this idea and it was like a light bulb turned on. This was a fun project as I love nostalgia and going back remembering all the good from when I was little and growing up.

I was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. In my life I have lived in two houses. The first was in the very beginning of my life, I was a newborn until about two years old while we lived there. I do not have any memories of that room. When I close my eyes and think of my childhood room, I can picture it vividly.

When you walked into my room you would be struck by the theme of sports. The OU logo and crimson and cream where painted like a banner across the top of each wall. I had a twin bed with power rangers bedding and pillows. Above the bed was about 20 glow in the dark star stickers that were glued to the ceiling and are still there to this day. Every night I would fall asleep underneath the stars. Near the stars was an electric toy airplane that would zoom around my room and hypnotize me until I drifted off into a slumber.

There were two specific items that jumped immediately out to me when I thought started writing about this subject. I had this awesome NBA lamp, it had all 30 teams at the time pictured on it and the main part of the lamp under the light bulb was a basketball. I loved that lamp and hopefully will be able to buy another one day. The second item was this storage unit that I used for all of my toys which was shaped like a basketball. I wish I had a time machine where I could go back and just look around that room one more time. I still have the same room at my parents house, but with none of my fun childhood items. I wish we all didn't have to grow up so fast.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Extra Credit Reading Notes

  • Ayodhya is the capital of the country of Kosala.
  • Kosala, beautiful large country which had a very large river running through it.
  • Ayodhya contained many fountains, palaces, mansions and squares.(Imagine the giant city from Tangled) 
  • King Dasaratha was a great king who ruled fairly over the country, but sadly was childless.
  • Ravana gained powers through prayer and was out to destroy worlds and enslave other gods.
  • Vishnu promised to incarnate as Dasaratha's son and defeat Ravana as he could only be defeated by a human.
  • After a sacrificial ceremony was performed, Dasaratha's wives gave birth to his children after proper time.
  • Viswamithra convinces Dasaratha to allow his son Rama to go with him to Sidhasrama.
  • Viswamithra has a great analogy about how if a seed sprouts too close too its parent tree that it will have its growth stunted compared to an overprotective parent.
  • Lakshana also accompanied his brother Rama to protect Viswamithra.
  • Rama begins his destiny to destroy evil after he kills Thataka with an arrow to the throat.
  • Because Vishnu was incarnated currently as Rama, Mahabali seized earth and heaven.
  • All the gods affected by Mahabali appeared to Vishnu and begged him to regain their kingdoms.
  • Vishnu took birth as brahmin dwarf in response to their appeals.
  • Vishnu disguised as a dwarf came to Mahabali and tricked him into giving him a gift of land. Mahabali saw that he was a dwarf and granted Vishnu's request of as much land as he could cover in three strides. After the oath was agreed to the dwarf transformed into a giant and took one step that covered the entire span of earth, the second step covered all of heaven and the third step was right on top of Mahabali's head which sent him to the underworld which disposed of him.
  • Thataka kills demons with arrows while Rama protects the sacrificial fire and those who are praying near it.
  • Ahayla was to be turned into a piece of granite until Rama passes by her.
  • Ahayla was later restored to her earlier form my Rama.
  • Rama catches the eye and heart of Sita.
  • Rama was also infatuated by Sita and could not stop thinking about her.
  • Anyone who was able to lift, bend and string Shiva's bow was deemed fit to marry Sita.
  • Rama was not only strong enough/able to bend and string the bow he also broke it when he fired an arrow out of it.
  • Rama was then deemed worthy of marrying Sita.
  • Rama and Sita were then married in a huge event.
  • Dasathra realises that at his age that his reign as king needs to end and that he needs a successor. He names Rama as the next king.
  • Kaikeyi reminds Dasathra about the promise that he made to her. Dasathra must now tell Rama that he will no longer be the king and that his brother Bharatha will be king.
  • Rama is commanded to leave the kingdom and live in the forests for the next 14 years.
  • Everyone in the kingdom mourned the loss of Rama into exile.
Bibliography: Narayan's Ramayana by R.K. Ramayana

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Week 8 Comments and Feedback

  1.  I think that the comments that I have received are great. I am getting great tips on what I need to do to improve my writing. My favorite part of the comments that I have gotten is just how positive everyone has been. When people comment on my blog or when I see comments on other blogs are all supportive. It is a nice feeling to know that others think that you are doing a good job.
  2. I would say that I am doing a decent job with my commenting. Going back to what I said earlier about being positive. I try to be positive in all my comments as much as I can. I think it is hard to find enough content for comments when in all honesty most of the work that I have read has been really good. I try to find things for others to improve because that is what I want in my comments, but most of the time there are hardly any mistakes.
  3. Looking back at my introduction post I think I did alright. I obviously could have overwhelmed it with details all about my life, but I wanted to hit the biggest parts. I have enjoyed learning about the other people in this class. Although I haven't met them in person, reading about how similar and different we all are is really cool.
  4. I need to be more consistent on the long feedback comments that are like 150-160 words long. With that being said I need to start doing some of the extra comments.
  5. I chose this picture for one being that it is pretty funny. I am an extremely reflective person. I think all the time about what I need to do better and what all is going on in my life. This class has given me the opportunity do the same with that in addition to having great external feedback from classmates.

Image Source Link

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Week 8 Reading and Writing

I have really enjoyed this class so far. Learning new things and reading great stories has been a great experience. I would be lying if I said I had maximized my work this semester. I have gotten in a bad habit of procrastinating and doing assignments close to the deadline. I just have been super overwhelmed with all the responsibilities I have. This is far and away the busiest semester I have had in college. I loved the Ramayana and all the great stories that came from it. Some of the readings have been challenging as I am unfamiliar with characters. I usually have to  re-read the readings to make sure I know exactly what has happened. I think my best work is what I will talk about next section of this blog post.

The image below is from my story: Team Rocket finally captures Pikachu. I had to go through large amounts of edits and changes for this project. The story now as it stands is in my opinion my best work from this class. I had a great time writing this and seeing where I could make it better based off of the notes I received.

I touched on the subject of what I think I need to better in this class. Going forward the rest of the semester I want to be ahead on my work and get on top of the extra credit assignments. I haven't been consistent about my effort and I want that to change.