Famous Last Words: The End

These will be, quite literally, my Famous Last Words for this course! What a ride it has been. I had no idea what this class was going to be like when I enrolled, and I just did it to get my final General Education credit. However, I think this might be my favorite course that I've taken at OU. Often, it didn't even feel like a class! I loved the readings and getting to explore multiple cultures through their traditional stories. I also found a lot of joy in the writing portion of the class, as we engineers don't often get to flex that part of our brain. Additionally, it was nice getting to keep up with the stories of different classmates. Some of them were really fantastic and you could tell they put a lot of effort into them.

One of the most valuable parts of this class was engaging in a discussion about learning and teaching methods. This class introduced some ideas about breaking generally accepted education methods and standards in favor of a nontraditional but more p…

Week 12 Lab

More Ted Talks

A New Theory of Human Intelligence

I absolutely loved this video. In essence, I do believe in talent to some degree. However, you cannot determine talent at the age of 11 based on arbitrary measures. Talent is something you make bloom, and I believe that every child should have the opportunity to polish their talent the way they want to. By telling kids that they are something, like slow or gifted, they will believe you and start to act that way, for better or for worse. Changing this system will require a lot more effort by educators, but that is necessary to see the rewards of a better system for all,

Copyright is Brain Damage

I was not surprised to hear that artists often don't make a lot of money from copyright and that most of the money made goes to the corporations. However, I never really thought about how copyright can hurt the artist by lessening exposure and stopping the circulation of their art. Additionally, I agree that art needs an external influence to …

Reading Notes: Beowulf, Part A

NOTE: I started reading King Arthur but honestly got a little bit bored, so I am going to read Beowulf for my second part of Week 12.

The Story of Beowulf by Strafford Riggs with illustrations by Henry Pitz (1933).
The Young Beowulf

Pure Athlete:
Beowulf reminds me a lot of some people I played sports with in high school, specifically one kid I played football with a year younger than me. This guy came into his freshman year and was already one of the strongest people in the weight room and was pretty fast too, just naturally gifted. He worked hard too, but he just was uncoordinated and not that good at football. It was kind of a shame and he ended up quitting after sophomore year. Hopefully, Beowulf is able to fix his deficiencies and become a great warrior because it is obvious that he has a lot of potential!

Beowulf Lands in Daneland

I like Beowulf's stubbornness. It takes that kind of quality in a hero to stay true to their goal or honor even when their men may be sca…

Reading Notes: King Arthur, Part A

King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table by Andrew Lang and illustrated by H. J. Ford (1902).

The Drawing of the Sword

Good Family:
Arthur really takes the news of being adopted really well. Yes, he cries but he is thankful for his father, mother, and brother. I originally thought his brother Kay was going to be jealous or something, but he is in awe and happy for Arthur. This is all around just a good family dynamic.

The Sword Excalibur

So Merlin pops in and stops the fight? That seems like cheating to me. I feel like the people would lose respect for Arthur after all of that. Honestly, he comes off as a bit of a wimp to me, with MErlin always there to catch him if he falls. What happens when Merlin isn't there anymore? At the end, the knights say they are proud to serve under Arthur, so maybe I misinterpreted this part.

Lady of the Lake:
In the video game The Witcher 3, there is a quest where you received a sword from the Lady of the Lake, just like Arthur does! This was a rea…

Week 11 Story: Don't Look Down!

As the group of five strolled through the unfamiliar town, a chill ran down Bluejay's spine. He could feel the eyes peering through windows and doorways. However, the fact of the matter is that his group needed food and a place to sleep for the night as they continued their journey home. Even if the locals weren't friendly with them, they would surely be friendly with their gold.

"Stop," boomed a deep voice. The group turned to see a towering man in a fabulous headdress and the longest tobacco pipe they had ever seen. That was a Chief if Bluejay had ever seen one. "State your purpose," we commanded.

Bluejay looked to his group, who had made him the de facto leader after losing their Chief to drowning earlier in the trip. He straightened his back to try to get to eye level with the village's Chief. "We are simply here to trade for food and goods, for we have nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep. However, we do have gold and will make fair trades wit…

Reading Notes: Hero Tales, Part B

Tales of the North American Indians by Stith Thompson (1929).
Heroes: Lodge-Boy and Thrown-Away
Gruesome: Wow, the imagery in the first part of this story was really gruesome. Propping her up by a stick to make her look alive and burning her upper lip to give her a laugh is something straight out of a horror movie.
Short Short Stories: I like the format of these stories. They are really short, kind of skipping over details, but have some interesting and clever plot points to them. I feel like the boys are starting to build a normal-ish family again. 
Scolding Not Working: It is kind of funny how the father's scolding has absolutely no effect on dissuading the boys. In fact, I think it may even be encouraging them! They hear about this thing that their father wants them to stay away from and it makes them only want to check it out more.
Snakes with Flat Heads: I am glad that this story had some sort of explanation for the natural phenomenon of snakes having flat heads. I have found that…

Reading Notes: Hero Tales, Part A

Tales of the North American Indians by Stith Thompson (1929).
The Jealous Uncle

Uncle Killing His Nephews:
Why is this just accepted? I absolutely do not understand. If this was maybe a cultural misunderstanding then I could get that but this does not seem normal in their culture. I am so confused. Why does his brother allow this and why does his wife allow this? I do like how he gets his just desserts at the end though?

Bluejay and His Companions

Bluejay the Bully:
From the title and plot of this story so far, I think that Bluejay is going to be the protagonist. However, I kind of don't like him because of how he treated Grouse. I am hoping that his adventures will teach him to be a kinder person to those around him and not be such a bully.

Hitting on the Head with a Bone:
I think there is an opportunity for a story here. So at the beginning Squirrel and Bluejay both grab sharp bones to hit the person below them after their climbing battle. What if the bones were actually for some oth…