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.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Rewriting Assignment (All Classes; Autumn 2018)

[a] Fire Write RF
This special Tuesday-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 by Wednesday afternoon).

 All Classes
Letter Rewriting Assignment

[1] Make sure you have the following materials. They will be handed out in class on Thursday, 11/15. 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 blue index card.
          *A paper clip.
          *A copy of John McPhee's New Yorker essay, "Draft No 4."

[2] Do the assigned reading(s) for Tuesday's session (this is very important). Then do the quiz (this will be sent to you as a .pdf file.

[3] In place of a class meeting on Wednesday 11/20, do the following things.
          *Read John McPhee's essay (about thirty minutes).
          *Think about it; really reflect upon it.
          *Mark up your previous draft—really mark it up.
          *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 blue index card and write out the full address of your reader. Then put your name on the index card, too.

[6] Put the blue 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 (MI 219), go upstairs 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 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21.
[c] リライト RF

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

China's Lunar Calendar 2018 11-14

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs" 
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦
11/20...............................................................................................................11/13
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-solar (or "luni-solar" calendar; I call it the "lunar" calendar in order to distinguish it from the kinds of calendars most Westerners use. It has a basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying 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. You will likely find that several of the translations seem quite "fanciful" in English. I am simply trying to convey that they also sound fairly fanciful in Chinese.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date

三期星
Eleventh Month, Fourteenth Day  
Wednesday, November 14
————

Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
合天
日德
Heavenly Exemplarity
Linked Days

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

戌午寅
吉中
亥未卯
中吉中
23:00-01:00 Inauspicious
01:00-03:00 Auspicious
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 In-Between


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

15:00-17:00 Auspicious

17:00-19:00 In-Between
19:00-21:00 Inauspicious
21:00-23:00 In-Between
 ————

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

作結
灶網
Binding Nets
Stove Work
Section Five 
Cosmological Information







Sixth Day (Tenth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: gengxu (47/60)
Phase (element): Metal
"Constellation Personality" Cycle: Gathering (22/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Closed (12/12)
————

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









火上
星兀
五水
虛痕
 ————
Appropriate Activities
Felling Timber
Seizing and Capturing
Patching Embankments
Plugging Caves

Baleful Asterisms
Upper Amputee
Water Scar
Fire Star
Five Voids
 ————

白 地
White, Earth
 ————

Section Eight 
Miscellaneous Activities

栖 磨
Pestle
Perch, Mortar

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

China's Lunar Calendar 2018 11-13

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs" 
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦
11/20...............................................................................................................11/13
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-solar (or "luni-solar" calendar; I call it the "lunar" calendar in order to distinguish it from the kinds of calendars most Westerners use. It has a basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying 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. You will likely find that several of the translations seem quite "fanciful" in English. I am simply trying to convey that they also sound fairly fanciful in Chinese.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date

二期星
Eleventh Month, Thirteenth Day  
Tuesday, November 13
————

Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
生時合月
氣陽日德
Lunar Exemplarity
Linked Days
Timely Yang
Engendered Vapor

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

酉巳丑
凶凶
戌午寅
中吉中
亥未卯
23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 Inauspicious
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 Inauspicious


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

15:00-17:00 Auspicious

17:00-19:00 In-Between
19:00-21:00 In-Between
21:00-23:00 Inauspicious
 ————

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

塞補田伐
穴垣獵木
Felling Timber
Field Venery (Hunting)
Plugging Caves
Plugging Caves
Section Five 
Cosmological Information







Fifth Day (Tenth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: wushen (45/60)
Phase (element): Earth
"Constellation Personality" Cycle: Beak of the Turtle (21/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Open (11/12)
————

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

上理嫁祭
樑髮娶祀
安開納祈
牀市采福
穿修裁入
井造衣學
置動移出
產土徙行
煞班
陽朱天雞
將雀火口
 ————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
Entering Study
Going Out (and about)
Marriage Alliances
Grain Payments
Cutting-out Clothing
Moving Residences
Patterning Hair (Styling and Haircuts)
Opening Markets 
Trade and Commerce
Moving Soil
Raising Beams
Positioning Beds
Boring Wells
Setting-up Production 
Classified Balefulness

Baleful Asterisms
Fowl Mouth
Heavenly Fire
Vermilion Bird
Yang General
 ————

白 林
White, Copse
 ————

Section Eight 
Miscellaneous Activities
門 大 占
Gate, Great, Divination