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Week 7 Story: Mahabharata Family Tree

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The Mahabharata narrates the rivalry between the two groups of cousins, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, whose family drama ensues an all-out war. The Mahabharata all begins with the birth of Vyasa – wait, does it begin there or before him? He’s not even a Pandava or Kaurava, is he? Okay, I’m going to figure out this family tree first. 
Mahabharata family tree (Wikipedia)

We’ll start with Satyavati, who was born from a fish and a king. Making her half-fish and half-woman. So that makes her a mermaid, right? No wait, I think she was a human woman who just smelled like fish. Okay so, she was raised by a fisherman and meets Parashara, a rishi who takes away her fishy smell in exchange for embracing him. This trade left her with a beautiful scent and a son, Vyasa.
Next, there is King Shantanu, son of King Kuru. Shantanu’s first wife was the goddess Ganga. Together, they had like seven or eight kids, but she kept throwing them into the Ganges. For obvious reasons, this upset Shantanu and he…

Reading Notes: PDE Mahabharata Part D

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PDE Mahabharata by Arnold, Besant, Devee, Dutt, Ganguli, Kincaid, Macfie, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Seeger, and Tagore
The battle continues and Bhishma is killed by Arjuna's arrow, causing Drona to take over Duryodhana's armies. Drona's attempts to take Yudhishthira prisoner, while Arjuna is willing to sacrifice his life for him. Abhimanyu was surrounded and killed by Duhshasana's son. Arjuna blames Jayadratha for his son's death and avenges Abhimanyu by killing Jayadratha. Bhima's son Ghatotlacha is killed by a dart from Karna. Drona is killed by the Pandava general Dhrishtadyumna, forcing Karna to take control of Duryodhana's armies. Bhima finally kills Duhsasana and gets revenge on him for treating Draupadi so poorly. Arjuna kills Karna when Krishna brought up the death Abhimanyu. Kripa advises Duryodhana to ask for peace, but Duryodhana says he won't since he has wrong the Pandavas so much. Shalya becomes the new leader of the Kaurava army and is killed …

Extra Credit Reading Notes

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The Sons of Rama: Luv and Kush – The Invincible Twins (Volume 503) by Anant Pai

The comic begins with the story of a launderer beating his wife and differentiating himself from Rama saying he wouldn't take a wife who was in another's house. This makes Rama conflicted, but he decides to banish Sita because his duty is to his people. Lakshmana didn't want to leave Sita but Rama demands him to. Valmiki finds Sita when she is frightened by a snake. The hermitage became Sita's safe haven and where she raises her sons. Valmiki teaches them about Rama, the Ramayana, and how to use weapons. When he tells the stories of the Ramayana he refers to Sita as Vaidehi. The boys agreed Rama was cruel to Vaidehi and wonder what happened to her. Rama wants to send Lakshmana to find Sita for his yajna, but decides to use a golden statue of her instead to avoid upsetting his people. Luv and Kush find the horse and are willing to fight. The sons defeat the army and the army returns to Rama …

Learning Challenge: I Wish My Teacher Knew

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For my learning challenge this week I read the New York Times article, "What Kids Wish Their Teachers Knew" by Donna De La Cruz. I expected the notes to be kind letters to the teacher, letting her know what she could improve or change about her class. Instead, the letters were about the struggles the students were dealing with outside of school. I think these things are important for teachers to know, so a child's poor behavior or lack of success in a class can be better understood, ultimately leading to improvement. I went to school in Oklahoma where teachers are underpaid, and towards the end of my high school, many of the teachers that were genuinely passionate about teaching left to other states to get higher pay. With a graduating class of about 1,200 and every class I had was filled with about 30+ students, there weren't many opportunities for teachers to get to know their students. My teachers always offered to be there for students in need, but I think the le…

Famous Last Words: Getting Ahead

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This week I really focused on putting my plan of getting ahead in this course into action. I’ve managed to finish all of my week 6 assignments before the weekend and even started the readings for week 7. I’m about to begin studying for the MCAT, and I want to have as little other schoolwork as possible towards the end of the semester, so I’ve been prioritizing finishing assignments in this class a lot recently. I also got hired for a job I’ve been wanting, so my schedule is about to get a bit hectic. I’m hoping that getting ahead in this class will ease some of the stress I’ll have in a couple weeks. I’ve enjoyed the reading this week, but I think most of my future readings will be based around the Ramayana since my storybook is over Sita. For my writing, I’ve been working on stepping outside of my comfort zone. I usually just write retelling or stories from third person, but I’m working on being more creative in my stories. I’ve really grown to love the self-grading system of this c…

Review: Week 6

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I have completed the backup for my blog and checked on the Progress Chart to make sure on I'm on target with my desired grade. For my video this week I watched "Bheem meets Hanuman" by Epified. The video was about Bheem goes to find flowers and ends up lost in a forest, while trying to find his back he meets Hanuman. Hanuman is upset that Bheem woke up the other animals while he was trying to find his way back. Hanuman blocks his path and Bheem tries to get past him but he is unable to, so he asks Hanuman for forgiveness. Then Hanuman greets Bheem as his brother and they part ways. I really enjoy the Epified videos because they give me an opportunity to learn more about characters that usually aren't main characters in the epics. My favorite graphic this week was the diagram that helps identify what tasks need the most focus. I find when I'm overwhelmed with school work or problems, I struggle to know where to begin and I think this graphic will be helpful for or…

Reading Notes: PDE Mahabharata Part C

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PDE Mahabharata by Arnold, Besant, Devee, Dutt, Ganguli, Kincaid, Macfie, Mackenzie, Nivedita, Seeger, and Tagore

For these reading notes I wanted to focus on one character, Draupadi, who is following the Pandava princes into exile. She is upset that Duryodhana tried to make her a slave and her husbands didn't try to protect her. Draupadi and her husbands are rejoined with Arjuna and they returned to Kamyaka. Draupadi is carried away in a chariot by Jayadratha while her husbands were gone hunting. She says that Jayadratha is worthy of death for kidnapping her, but Bhima spared his life. The goddess Durga promises the Pandavas and Draupadi that they would remain hidden during their final year of exile. When they arrive to the city of Virata, Draupadi offers the queen to be a bondwoman. The queen was drawn to Draupadi, but feared that her beauty would cause problems. Draupadi reassured the queen that she was protected by her husbands. The queen sends Draupadi to deliver wine and foo…