From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project: http://magazine.beloit.edu/?story_id=240813&issue_id=240610

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Rewriting Assignments—Autumn 2017 (All Classes)

[a] Fire Write RF
This special Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving assignment has a number of functions. It is meant to highlight the importance of writing drafts and rewriting as part of the ongoing writing process. It is also a realistic approach to the confusion of Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. Take a look at the assignment and follow the instructions precisely. Please note that this assignment replaces class. It does not involve extra work (you get to choose when you do it, as long as it in before Wednesday at noon).

 All Classes
Letter Rewriting Assignment

[1] Make sure you have the following materials. They will be handed out in class on Thursday, 11/16. If you do not have these materials, please pick them up from the MI administrative assistant, Becky Moffet, in MI 219.
          *An envelope with the Beloit College history department return address.
          *A green index card.
          *A paper clip.
          *A copy of John McPhee's New Yorker essay, "Draft No 4."

[2] Read the assigned book for Tuesday's session (this is very important). Then do the quiz.

[3] In place of a class meeting on Wednesday 11/22, do the following things.
          *Read John McPhee's essay (about forty-five minutes).
          *Think about it; really reflect upon it.
          *Rewrite the letter you wrote for the first assignment of this course.
          *Reread it carefully one more time (on-screen or as a print-out).
          *Print the letter.
[4] Take your unstapled, printed letter and position it so that the envelop becomes a kind of "cover." In other words, do not fold the letter into the envelope.

[5] Take the green index card and write out the full address of your reader. Then put your name on the index card, too.

[6] Put the green index card on top of your letter, and in the "binder" created by the unsealed envelope.

[8] Put your quiz at the back of all of those materials.

[9] Take the paper clip and bind them all together.

[10] Bring the paper-clipped materials to the MI administrative assistant, Becky Moffet (from Richardson, go usptairs to the second floor of MI, take a LEFT, and walk all of the way to the end of the hallway—the office will be on your right). If you have problems, ask anyone in the building. If no one is in the office, gently slip it under the door.

Due No Later Than Noon on Wednesday 11/22
[c] リライト RF

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

China's Lunar Calendar 2017 10-31

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
11/1.........................................................................................................10/24
This is one in a never-ending series—following the movements of the calendar—in Round and Square perpetuity. It is today's date in the Chinese lunar calendar, along with basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying lunar calendars (and Chinese culture) for many years, you will likely find yourself asking "what does that mean?" I would caution that "it" doesn't "mean" any one thing. There are clusters of meaning, and they require patience, reflection, careful reading, and, well, a little bit of ethnographic fieldwork. The best place to start is the introduction to "Calendars and Almanacs" on this blog. I teach a semester-long course on this topic and, trust me, it takes a little bit of time to get used to the lunar calendar. Some of the material is readily accessible; some of it is impenetrable, even after many years.

As time goes on, I will link all of the sections to lengthy background essays. This will take a while. In the meantime, take a look, read the introduction, and think about all of the questions that emerge from even a quick look at the calendar.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date

二期星
Tenth Month, Thirty-First Day
Tuesday, October 31
————

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
德天
合月
Heavenly Lunarity
Virtuous Linkage

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰

酉己丑
吉中
戌午寅
吉吉吉
亥未卯
中中
23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 In-Between
03:00-05:00 Auspicious
05:00-07:00 Inauspicious

07:00-09:00 Inauspicious
9:00-11:00 Auspicious
11:00-13:00 Auspicious
13:00-15:00 In-Between

15:00-17:00 In-Between
17:00-19:00 Inauspicious
19:00-21:00 Auspicious
21:00-23:00 In-Between

The hours above are for Hong Kong. It is up to you if you want to recalibrate or to assume that the cyclicality of the calendar "covers" the rest of the world. This is a greater interpretive challenge than you might think.
                             —————————————————

Section Four 
Activities to Avoid  
(top-to-bottom; right to left) 

穿合
井醬
Mixing Sauces
Boring Wells

Section Five 
Cosmological Information




Twelfth Day (Ninth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: xinmao (28/60)
Phase (element): Wood
Constellation: Tail (6/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Grasp (6/12)
————

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)





五歲
虛破
咸水
池 痕
————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Sweeping Rooms

Baleful Astral Influences
Generational Destruction
Water Scar
Five Voids
Widespread Pond

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
白 山
White, Mountain
———— 

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Activities

門 灶
Kitchen
Gate, Stove

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

China's Lunar Calendar 2017 10-24

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
11/1.........................................................................................................10/24
This is one in a never-ending series—following the movements of the calendar—in Round and Square perpetuity. It is today's date in the Chinese lunar calendar, along with basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying lunar calendars (and Chinese culture) for many years, you will likely find yourself asking "what does that mean?" I would caution that "it" doesn't "mean" any one thing. There are clusters of meaning, and they require patience, reflection, careful reading, and, well, a little bit of ethnographic fieldwork. The best place to start is the introduction to "Calendars and Almanacs" on this blog. I teach a semester-long course on this topic and, trust me, it takes a little bit of time to get used to the lunar calendar. Some of the material is readily accessible; some of it is impenetrable, even after many years.

As time goes on, I will link all of the sections to lengthy background essays. This will take a while. In the meantime, take a look, read the introduction, and think about all of the questions that emerge from even a quick look at the calendar.

Section One
Solar Calendar Date
廿
二期星
Tenth Month, Twenty-Fourth Day
Tuesday, October 24
————

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
生驛金王
氣馬匱日
Kingly Days
Golden Cupboard-bare
Postal Horse
Engendered Vapor

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰

酉己丑
吉吉吉
戌午寅
凶凶
亥未卯
中吉
23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 Auspicious
03:00-05:00 Inauspicious
05:00-07:00 Inauspicious

07:00-09:00 Inauspicious
9:00-11:00 Auspicious
11:00-13:00 Inauspicious
13:00-15:00 Auspicious

15:00-17:00 Auspicious
17:00-19:00 Auspicious
19:00-21:00 In-Between
21:00-23:00 In-Between

The hours above are for Hong Kong. It is up to you if you want to recalibrate or to assume that the cyclicality of the calendar "covers" the rest of the world. This is a greater interpretive challenge than you might think.
                             —————————————————

Section Four 
Activities to Avoid  
(top-to-bottom; right to left) 

伐安出開
木牀財倉
Opening Granaries
Capital Outflow
Positioning Beds
Felling Timber

Section Five 
Cosmological Information







Fifth Day (Ninth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: jiashen (21/60)
Phase (element): Water
Constellation: Wings (27/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Open (11/12)
————

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)

上開裁祭
梁 市衣祀
作交移祈
灶易徙福
穿修理入
井造髮學
置動醫出
產土病行
兀上
招厭五月
搖對離忌
————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
Entering Study
Going Out (and about)
Cutting-out Clothing
Moving Households
Patterning Hair
Physician Visits
Opening Markets
Trade and Commerce
Repairing and Constructing
Moving Soil
Raising Beams
Stove Work
Boring Wells
Setting-up Industry

Upper Amputee

Baleful Astral Influences
Lunar Taboo
Five Separations
Mutual Repression
Rollicking Braggadocio

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
Bifurcation
———— 

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Activities
爐 門 占
Furnace, Gate, Divination