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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

China's Lunar Calendar 2017 09-25

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
10/2...............................................................................................................9/24
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
一期星
Ninth Month, Twenty-Fifth Day
Monday, September 25
————

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
合月
日德
Lunar Virtue
Linked Days

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰
吉中吉
酉己丑
凶凶
戌午寅
吉中吉
亥未卯
吉吉
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 In-Between
9:00-11:00 Inauspicious
11:00-13:00 In-Between
13:00-15:00 Auspicious

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

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) 

穿栽
井種
Planting and Cultivating
Boring Wells

Section Five 
Cosmological Information







Sixth Day (Eighth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: yimao (52/60)
Phase (element): Water
Constellation: Drawn Bow: (21/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Destroy (7/12)
————

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


大歲
耗破
復上
喪兀
————
Appropriate Activities
Destroying Rooms 
Breaking-down Embankments

Baleful Astral Influences
Generational Destruction
Upper Amputee
Great Squander
Repeat Mourning

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
丫 神
Bifurcation, Spirit
———— 

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Activities
門 磨
Pestle
Gate, Mortar

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

All Courses: Tuesday, September 26 Assignment

[a] Your paper (letter), the way you're supposed to start it. RF
This Tuesday, we will turn things a little bit on their heads. There are both practical and pedagogical reasons for doing so...so pay attention here. You see, I really want to make you understand that writing (remember that this is a "W" class) requires a formidable amount of reflection and pre-writing. So that's what you're going to do on Tuesday, September 26 instead of going to class that day.
[b] Sketches, jottings, outlines. Just think about it. RF

First, you will do the quiz, which you will receive from me as a .pdf file no later than Sunday evening (9/24). You may turn in the hard copy (you will need to print it and then write on it) by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26. Please put it in the folder on my office door (MI 206) as a hard copy (along with the materials mentioned below).


Second, you will prepare a one-page outline of your letter. We will discuss this outline in class on Thursday 9/21, and you will come to see that outlines have many forms. No matter what, though, you will turn in your outline. The only score you will receive is either:
                                 Check plus
                                 Check 
or                              Check minus
unless you don't turn it in, in which case you will receive a
                                  Zero.
[c] Pretty problematic, huh (gendered, "objectivist" scientific inquiry)? But, still, there's writin' goin' on. RF
Third, you will turn in a paper copy of the "lead" (we'll discuss this concept later in the term) of your letter assignment. In a nutshell, that means that you will turn in the first 1,000 words (about three pages) of your letter. You will also receive "check grades" (see above) unless you don't turn it in at all (Zero).

All of this is due by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26. My office is MI 206. Don't be late.

What this means is that those of you who are well ahead of the game (so to speak) will have a relatively relaxing Tuesday, having finished all (or most) of the work before the week starts. You might then allow yourselves to sleep in (or do other things) during class time. Those of you who are procrastinating will just have to get started on your work...five days before it is due. And you know what (as we say back home)? That will make you much better writers, and just like people who get paid for their writing...rather than people who are forced to write "assignments." 

Welcome to the wonders (with deadlines, alas) of the real world of writing. If you do this just right, you might make it to the (NYRB) Show.
[d] Sketch outlining and random jotting (highly recommended) RF
It is a Brave New World of possibility that just might change your entire life (unless you are among the eight percent of my students who write naturally and always produce drafts a week ahead of time). You have important work to do. So do it, and then go have a nice lunch.
[e] Now go have lunch (and write the rest of your letter before the weekend). RF

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

China's Lunar Calendar 2017 09-19

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
9/19...........................................................................................................9/12
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
Ninth Month, Nineteenth Day
Tuesday, September 19
————

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
進官
神日
Official Days
Entering Spirits

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰
吉吉吉
酉己丑
中吉
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 Auspicious
9:00-11:00 Auspicious
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

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) 

作動
灶土
Moving Soil
Stove Work

Section Five 
Cosmological Information
廿






Twenty-Ninth Day (Eighth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: jiyou (46/60)
Phase (element): Earth
Constellation: Beak of the Turtle: (20/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Establish (1/12)
————

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









火楊
星忌
土五
府離
————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Going Out (and about)
Completing Clothing
Positioning Graves

Baleful Astral Influences
Poplar Taboo
Five Separations
Fire Star
Earth Palace

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
白 州
White, Landmass
———— 

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Activities
門 大
Divination
Gate, Great