Mythology with Erin

Adventures in storytelling

Tag: Week 7

Famous Last Words: Texas Still Sucks

What a week. Texas week (or saxeT week as we often call it) is always a crazy time on campus, especially for the band. I didn’t have a lot of time to focus on academic work, though I tried to get everything done before we left Friday morning for Dallas. It didn’t really work, haha, but I’m still ready for this coming week.

I enjoyed reading Japanese myths this week and writing my Texas hate story. I also liked adding to my Storybook. I feel like I’m doing a good job with it, and it’s been fun to focus on a writing project that’s completely under my control. I’m also so impressed with everyone else’s stories! I love reading them and thinking about I can help improve them.

My work in my other classes is still going well. I had an English exam last week that I nailed. I still need to write my essay, though. I also got a 100 on my Native American music exam, which is exciting. I love being ahead so I can worry less later. I have a HUGE midterm this week that I’m going to start studying for, but I’m not terribly worried about it, either.

OUDL 2018 Snareline veteran members. Source – Personal Photos

Texas week for the Pride is full of tradition and excitement. All week, we prepared to put our best performance on the field. Here are some highlights from the weekend:

Semi-formal Dinner: We all dressed up for a nice dinner at our Dallas hotel before we set out for our evening pep gigs. I don’t enjoy dressing up, but it was a very short event, the food was good, and it was nice to not be in a hurry.

OUDL 2018 throwing horns down in our fancy clothes. Source – personal photos

Alumni Pep Gig: I LOVE the alumni pep gig that we do at a hotel in Dallas every year. It’s extremely short, and everyone is very drunk, which is a recipe for us having a good time. When the drumline leads the band in with parade cadences, we feel like gods. I also like this event because we play a special cadence that we never play at any other time. We learn the cadence on the bus on the way to the gig, and it’s super fun to play!

This is our special Texas week cadence! At the end, you’ll hear the cheer “Go OU! Go OU!” Instead, we now yell “Texas sucks! Texas sucks!”

State Fair: After the game, we get to wander around the fair for two hours! This year was fun because it wasn’t dark out yet. I ate a piece of fried pizza and some fried cookie dough.

And then the game… Well, we know how that went. It was still amazing to be a part of that last minute rally. The sideline energy was electric, and we put every bit of our energy to propelling our team on. We were so close, but it wasn’t enough to stop that field goal. I’m glad it wasn’t the 21+ rout that it could have been, though.

It’s just been announced that Mike Stoops is gone. I appreciate what he’s done for the university, and I’ve never called for his head, but I do think it’s time to try something new. It was obvious that yesterday’s defensive issues stemmed from a coaching problem, not a player problem. Schemes were bad, and tackling technique was ineffective. It does make me nervous that this happened mid-season, though. I expected us to wait until the end of the season.

Well, now we have a bye week, which will be a good mid-semester regrouping time for us, both in football and in our individual schedules. I’m looking forward to victories in the future! Boomer sooner!

Featured Image: OUDL 2018 Snareline before the start of the game. Source – Personal Photos.

Tech Tip: Twine Game Link

Here is my very first Twine game!

Pick a Number

Uploading this file to Oucreate was pretty simple, except after I did it I couldn’t figure out how to view the actually page, and Oucreate was acting up. Luckily, OUIT is the bomb, and they were able to help me find the right link and work out the issue! I’m excited to make more of these games, and hopefully I’ll do a Twine story for class very soon!

Image 1: Backlit keyboard. Source – Pixabay.

Image 2: Game controller. Source – Pixabay.

Week 7 Story: The Red River Showdown

One day, a strong, young pioneer man fell in love with a wise and beautiful princess. He wanted to marry her, but, though she loved him in return, she would not marry him until he proved he was worthy by obtaining the Golden Hat, a mythical relic that would bring glory to whoever wore it.

So, the pioneer, determined to find the hat and prove his devotion to the princess, tied his two white ponies to his covered wagon and set off into the prairie.

He traveled south through grasslands and rolling hills. Sometimes, the wind howled and battered the wagon fearsomely, but his ponies were loyal and hardy and scarcely slowed at the obstacle. 

After two days of riding, the pioneer came to a wide gorge at the bottom of which was a winding river. 

“I haven’t seen many rivers,” the pioneer said to himself and his ponies, “but of those I have seen, none of them have been red!” For this river’s water was a murky red-brown from the mud and silt that flowed through it. 

The pioneer followed the river until he found a bridge. On the other side of the river was a town. He stopped at the local inn to feed his ponies, and he decided to go inside and get some food for himself. The pioneer was surprised to find that there was no one else in the inn except for the innkeeper.

“No one stays here anymore,” said the man as he wiped a glass dry with a filthy rag.

“Why not?” asked the pioneer.

The innkeeper sighed. “There’s a demon-possessed bull that rampages through town every day, destroying buildings and goring other animals. All of our wranglers have tried to stop it, but none have been able to calm it down.”

The pioneer was sad to see such a nice town laid to waste, and he was interested in seeing a demon-possessed beast. “I’d like to try to catch this villain,” he told the innkeeper confidently.

“I can see there’s no deterring a strong and energetic young man like yourself, but you should know that the bull can only be harmed if you break off its horns. Otherwise, even if you it kill it, it will come back from the dead twice as strong,” said the older gentleman.

The pioneer thanked him for his advice and went back out to his ponies, who were gleaming and lively after their dinner. He hitched them up and procured a heavy sledgehammer from the back of the wagon. Then he went to the field outside the town and waited for the demonic animal to arrive.

Just before sunset, a cloud of dust appeared on the horizon, and soon the pioneer saw his foe: It was an enormous longhorn, with blood red eyes and rippling muscle. It’s pelt was white dappled with burnt-orange patches, and its each horn was as long as a man’s wingspan. With a start, the pioneer noticed a glint of gold between the beast’s two horns: a hat made of solid gold. It was the famous relic he had been seeking! Now he knew not only had to defeat the beast; he had to snatch the prize from his head. The pioneer half-expected his ponies to buck and bolt at the gargantuan longhorn, but they trusted their master and pawed at the dust expectantly. Taking the sledgehammer in one hand and the reins in the other, the pioneer cried, “Yah!” and the wagon shot forward.

The two opponents thundered toward one another until they met, and at the last second, the pioneer pulled his ponies to feint left. As the wagon narrowly missed the charging longhorn, the pioneer leaned from his seat and swung the hammer at the razor-sharp horn. With a crack, the horn broke, leaving a splintered nub on longhorn’s head. Like jousting knights, the two pulled away from one another and turned around for a second engagement.

This time, the longhorn’s head tilted to one side, off-balance from the loss of his horn. The pioneer knew this was his chance to take the Golden Hat!

The wagon and longhorn charged closer and closer to one another, and this time, the beast was even angrier. He leveled his head, ready to maul the twin white ponies with his remaining horn.

The pioneer quickly snatched a lasso from under his seat and tossed it. It snaked around the horn and held fast! Using all of his strength, he pulled the longhorn alongside the wagon. Like a snake, he snatched the Golden Hat off of the longhorn’s head and placed it on his own. With only a half-second remaining before the bull could smash the wagon, the pioneer swung his hammer once again and snapped off the remaining horn. The longhorn lowed with fury, and the pioneer, his prize obtained, dropped the hammer and lashed the reins! “Go!” he urged.

The ponies shot forward, and the pioneer realized they were heading straight for the red river’s gorge! Behind them, the hornless longhorn pursued, its eyes rolling, mouth frothing. The pioneer did not turn the ponies from the gorge but let them run until the very last second. Then, he yanked sharply on the reins, pulling the ponies and the wagon in a steep U-turn at full speed. Miraculously, the wagon didn’t tip, but the longhorn, in its fury, did not have time to stop himself from flying off the edge of the gorge, where he fell into the raging river below.

The pioneer returned to his princess with the golden hat perched on his head, and he told her about his daring adventure. Impressed with his bravery and skill, she finally decided to marry him, and the Golden Hat brought the two of them glory for many years.

Author’s Note: 

The story is based on the adventures of Yamato, a Japanese hero. In honor of Texas week, I decided to turn the original into a story about a Sooner versus a longhorn. In Yamato’s story, he is sent to find a Golden Apple in order to get a beautiful siren to love him. In my story, the pioneer is searching for a Golden Hat, which is the trophy in the Red River Rivalry. On the way, Yamato has to fight a demonic boar. The boar can only be harmed by the Sacred Sword, and only on his tail. I reflected this by making the pioneer have to break the longhorn’s horns before it could be defeated. In a later story, Yamato loses the Sacred Sword and finds it again nestled between the antlers of a stag. I alluded to that by having the pioneer find the Golden Hat between the horns of the longhorn. Finally, Yamato kills the boar by jumping onto it, cutting off its tail, and riding it off of a cliff (of course Yamato escapes the fall). I mirrored this by having the longhorn chase the pioneer to the gorge of the Red River. If you’ve ever driven I-35 South toward Dallas, you’ve driven over the gorge that I’m thinking of! The sharp U-turn that the pioneer pulls the wagon into is meant to allude to our own covered wagon that rides through the end zone after a touchdown and turns around sharply. In a way, the pioneer did score a “touchdown” by stealing the Golden Hat and carrying it all the way to the end of the “playing field.” At least, that’s the allusion I’m trying to invoke. I hope you enjoyed the story! Boomer!

Bibliography:

Romance of Old Japan by E.W. Champney and F. Champney. Web source.

Image 1: Sooner Schooner at an OU football game. Source – Wikipedia.

Image 2: Covered wagon. Source – Flickr.

Image 3: Longhorn. Source – Flickr.

Reading Notes: Japanese Myth, Part B

I really enjoyed reading about the Japanese hero Yamato today! I can’t believe I haven’t heard of him before. He’s certainly a hero that deserves to be among the ranks of Hercules, King Arthur, Achilles, and other great heroes.

The Grotto of Love:

The idea of a haunted/enchanted cave is pretty cool. I haven’t included a magical setting in any of my pieces yet, so maybe that would be fun to play with.

It totally sucks that Yamato is basically cheating on his princess.

Yamato has to search for a special prize, which is a common quest in many other mythologies.

The Demon Boar:

The fact that the boar can only be harmed by a certain weapon and only on his tail reminds me of video game bosses. Maybe that would be an interesting way to twist this story.

“But Yamato, undaunted, drew the Sacred Sword, and with an agile bound springing clean over the boar’s head, he bestrode the astonished creature and, grasping his tail, severed it suddenly from the spine. Blind with pain the demon plunged over the precipice and was dashed into a thousand fragments upon the rocks below, while Yamato, sliding dexterously from its back, remained in safety upon the brink.”

I love the action writing in this passage. It’s dynamic and exciting. It’s filled with motion and vivid words.

The Grass-Cleaving Sword:

Tacibana suddenly appearing in the fire is certainly a crazy plot twist!

The Sacred Sword:

“Again rang the siren’s song in the ears of Yamato and his former madness fell over him.”

I think this passage is trying to attribute Yamato’s unfaithfulness to Tacibana to the siren’s song, but I didn’t really get that the first time. It is a better explanation of why he leaves her, though I wish his heroic acts had a more noble cause behind them.

Oh, I see, the siren really is evil and has been trying to trick Yamato this whole time. Another plot twist!

“…thus amid its wide-spreading antlers rested the Sacred Sword!” That’s a really unique and cool image! 

I like that a lot of the labors in the story are framed as hunting. Hunting was obviously important in Japanese culture, and their heroes were good at it.

The Dragon:

Tacibana rescuing Yamato (again) is a really sweet moment, and I think it redeems this as far as a love story goes.

“Suddenly her voice was whelmed in a terrific uproar. The Thunder God Raiden beat furiously upon his drums; great leaden clouds shut out the sky. Futen, the Wind God, unloosed his tempests, while with a flash of forked lightning, from a rent in the midnight sky, hurtled Susa-no-wo, Dragon of the Sea.” This is another really epic moment, and I like that it gives us a glimpse at some other Japanese gods that we haven’t heard of before.

“His head was like a camel, his horns were like a stag, and his eyes were glowing coals of fire. Scaled like a crocodile, he brandished a tiger’s paws, armed with the talons of an eagle.” There’s the classic description of an Asian dragon, except this dragon is evil!

I’m not a fan of sad endings, but I do like the twist of Tacibana sacrificing herself to save Yamato.

The Quest of the Jewel:

The Empress’ transformation into a warrior kind of reminds me of China’s Mulan. 

The Jewel of Heart’s Desire is a neat relic with magical powers. It’s kind of like a crystal ball and a genie lamp rolled into one. It reminds me of a pearl, particularly the pearls of power that are found under the necks of many Asian dragons.

“Can it be that some great star hath fallen into the sea?” I really like the idea of the Jewel as a fallen star.

Takeuchi’s sacrifice is another heroic moment that I really like, though I’m sad that she died.

Bibliography:

Romance of Old Japan by E.W. Champney and F. Champney. Web source.

Image 1: Japanese swords. Source – Wikipedia.

Image 2: Enoshima, an island that Yamato visits. Source – Wikipedia.

Image 3: Yamato combating the fire. Source – Wikipedia.

Reading Notes: Japanese Myth, Part A

Izanami and Izanagi:

I like that the story starts at the very beginning, like most cultural mythologies. I wonder how it would be different if these myths started in media res.

Izanami and Izanagi have similar names probably because they’re married to create a visual connection between them.

I think the way the prose describes the formation of the Sun, Moon, and Earth is beautiful, and I love the natural imagery.

The part where Izanami and Izanagi have to reintroduce themselves because the first time, Izanami, a woman, spoke first, seems pretty sexist, but it also may allude to the strong cultural norms of respect and honor that exist within Japanese culture.

In both the poem and the prose, the celestial bodies and land formations are depicted as “children” despite not being people. 

In the myth, Amaterasu and Susa-no-wo seem to be instantaneously full grown. I wonder would be like as children.

It’s interesting that there is a rivalry between the humans and the gods, which is different from some other pantheons. 

I like the idea of duality in this origin myth: Izanami matches Izanagi, Amaterasu matches Susa-no-wo the God of Fire matches the God of Water.

Ooo, an underworld descent (katabasis) which is commonly found in classical mythology. I’ve already written one this semester, but I’m interested in seeing how the Japanese one is different from the Greco-Roman underworld.

This story ending is very sad and hopeless, but it establishes a firm dichotomy between the worlds of life and death.

The Miraculous Mirror:

I love the image of weaving the tapestry of Doom with conflicting images of Life, Death, Peace, and War.

I wonder why Susa-no-wo drove Amaterasu away in this story. I love their sibling rivalry, though, and that they are opposites of Sun and Moon.

The story ending here is a clever twist to get the Sun-Goddess to return.

The Heaven-Descended:

I like the idea of a bird acting as a messenger in this story.

Even a deity in Japanese myth can be killed, which is an interesting change from the immortal and invincible gods of classical mythology. The gods can also “sin” and be considered evil.

Uzume seems to be the Venus of the Japanese gods

It’s funny that they decide to send the pretty one—not the strongest or fastest one—to check out the giant.

The Fortunate Fish-Hook:

Ho-wori and Ho-deri are another example of duality in Japanese myth. I can definitely image a set of rival twins being a part of these stories.

Descending into the ocean is a fascinating change of setting! I wonder what other settings are not often explored.

I wonder how this story would be different if Prince Fire-Flame was still mad at his brother…

The Labors of Yamato: The Rescue of the Princess

Judging from the note at the top of the page, Yamato is like the Japanese version of Britain’s King Arthur and maybe even Greek Heracles. 

“I am called by the name of my country,” cried Yamato, as he dealt the avenging death-stroke. 

That is the most epic line of dialogue I’ve read all semester. It’s something that belongs in a Hollywood action movie! I love it!

Bibliography:

Romance of Old Japan by E.W. Champney and F. Champney. Web source.

Image 1: Japanese pagoda in front of Mt. Fuji. Source – Pxhere

Image 2: Izanagi and Izanami searching the seas. Source – Wikipedia.


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