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 (1,900 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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Accidental Ethnographer—Final Paper Assignment (Spring 2015)

On this date on Round and Square's History 

[a] All the Eggs... RF
The Accidental Ethnographer
HIST 293/ANTH 375
Spring 2015

Final Assignment:
Beguiled Adventure
This is an open-ended assignment designed to let you tailor your study of the William Edgar Geil archive to a question that matters to you. Having spent a semester reading through the archive (as well as a wide array of materials about and by Geil), you have learned a great deal. Now, frame a question, craft a thesis statement, and write an essay.

Get started right away. Please pay attention to the following issues.

1. First, think of a question that interests you. We have discussed your questions in class. You are ready.
2. Second, frame your question into a thesis statement. Write it out (and be prepared to be asked about it on a quiz and even the final examination.

3. Draft a "lead" (think of the openings you read in the New York Review of Books), and make sure that your thesis statement is clearly stated in it (the "lead" can be as long or short as you like (just as you have seen in the NYRB).

4. Outline the rest of your paper, and then start writing.

5. The paper must be at least 5,000 words long, and contain at least some of the "deepening" or "thickening" of analysis that we discussed in class. 7,000 words is preferable.

Voilà you will have something that should (in the spirit of liberal arts education) be both an analysis of Geil's life and larger questions that matter in the world beyond the DHS archive. 

Essays are due (as a .pdf file—please note!)
by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12 (the last minute of finals).

Add the word count to all papers!
[c] Paths to Interpretation RF

China's Lunar Calendar 2015 04-21

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
4/22.......................................................4/19............................Monthly Information
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
(top to bottom; right to left
廿

二期星
Fourth Month, Twenty-First Day
Astral Period Two
Tuesday, April 21
———————————————— 

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
官德天歲
日合月祿
Generational Emolument
Heavenly Lunarity
Virtuous Linkage
Official Days
—————————————————

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰子
中中中
酉己丑
戌午寅
吉吉
亥未卯
吉吉
23:00-01:00 In-Between
01:00-03:00 Inauspicious
03:00-05:00 Auspicious
05:00-07:00 Inauspicious

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

15:00-17:00 In-Between
17:00-19:00 Inauspicious
19:00-21:00 Inauspicious
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) 

進新穿理
水船井髮
Patterning Hair
Boring Wells
New Boats
Entering Water
—————————————————

Section Five 
Cosmological Information 






Third Day (Third Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: dingmao (4/60)
Phase (element): Fire
Constellation: Tail (6/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Closed (12/12)
—————————————————  

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information
(top-to-bottom; right to left)
上開納祭
樑市采祀
安交嫁祈
牀易娶福
作修裁出
灶造衣行
安動移訂
葬土徙婚
將陰
月天血水
害吏支痕
————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
Going Out (and about)
Marriage Engagements
Grain Payments
Marriage Alliances
Cutting-out Clothing
Moving Residences
Opening Markets
Trade and Commerce
Repairing and Building
Moving Soil
Raising Beams
Positioning Beds
Stove Work
Positioning Graves

Yin General

Baleful Astral Influences
Water Scar
Blood Branch
Heavenly Official
Lunar Harm

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars 
丫 山
Bifurcation, Mountain
————

Section Eight
Miscellaneous
門 庫 倉
Gate, Storehouse, Granary

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rewriting Assignment (Spring 2015)

[a] Fire Write RF
This assignment has a number of functions—not the least...that it is required. Beyond that, it is meant to highlight the importance of writing drafts and rewriting as part of the ongoing writing process. Take a look at the assignment and follow the instructions precisely. Please note that this assignment replaces class on Monday, May 4. It does not involve extra work (you get to choose when you do it, as long as it is in before Monday May 4 at noon).

 All Classes
Letter Rewriting Assignment
[1] Make sure you have the following materials. They will be handed out in class on Monday, April 27. 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 address.
          *A blue index card.
          *A paper clip.
          *A copy of John McPhee's New Yorker essay, "Draft No 4."

[2] In place of a class meeting on Monday, May 4, 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.
[3] 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.

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

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

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

[7] Bring the unit to the MI administrative assistant (pass my office door, go to the top of the steps, 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 Monday, May 4.
[c] リライト RF

China's Lunar Calendar 2015 04-20

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
4/22.......................................................4/19............................Monthly Information
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
(top to bottom; right to left


一期星
Fourth Month, Twentieth Day
Astral Period One
Monday, April 20
———————————————— 

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
天生時陽
恩氣德德
Heavenly Kindness
Engendered Vapor
Timely Virtue
Yang Virtue
—————————————————

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰子
凶凶
酉己丑
吉中
戌午寅
吉中
亥未卯
中中吉
23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 Inauspicious
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 Auspicious

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

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

祈祭作修
福祀灶廚
Repairing Kitchens
Stove Work
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
—————————————————

Section Five 
Cosmological Information 






Second Day (Third Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: bingyin (3/60)
Phase (element): Fire
Constellation: Heart-Mind (5/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Open (11/12)
—————————————————  

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information
(top-to-bottom; right to left)
雨穀
分十時十酉
    二四七初
上移嫁入
樑徙娶學
置動納出
產土采行
生始萍
血招厭債
忌搖對不
————
Corn Rain
At the beginning of the you hour: 17:42)
 (the sixth of twenty-four fifteen-day solar periods on the agricultural calendar)

Appropriate Activities
Entering Study
Going Out (and about)
Marriage Alliances
Grain Payments
Moving Residences
Moving Soil
Raising Beams
Setting-up Production

Floating Weeds Appear 
(the sixteenth of seventy-two five-day solar micro-periods on the lunar calendar)

Baleful Astral Influences
Debt Not
Mutual Loathing
Rollicking Braggadocio
Blood Taboo

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars 
白 火
White, Fire
————

Section Eight
Miscellaneous
爐 灶 廚
Furnace, Stove, Kitchen

Sunday, April 19, 2015

China's Lunar Calendar 2015 04-19

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
4/22.......................................................4/19............................Monthly Information
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
(top to bottom; right to left


期星
Fourth Month, Nineteenth Day
Astral Period Sun
Sunday, April 19
———————————————— 

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
合歲
日德
Generational Virtue
Linked Days
—————————————————

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰子
吉中吉
酉己丑
凶凶
戌午寅
中吉
亥未卯
23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 Inauspicious
03:00-05:00 Auspicious
05:00-07:00 Auspicious

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

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

裁栽
衣種
Planting and Cultivating
Cutting-out Clothing
—————————————————

Section Five 
Cosmological Information 






First Day (Third Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: jiazi (2/60)
Phase (element): Metal
Constellation: Edifice (4/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Receive (10/12)
—————————————————  

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

牛歲
口破
長下
星兀
————
Appropriate Activities
Unhitching and Unloading
Sweeping Rooms

Baleful Astral Influences
Generational Destruction
Lower Amputee
Ox Mouth
Long Star

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars 
白 神
White, Spirit
————

Section Eight
Miscellaneous

厠 磨
Pestle
Toilet, Mortar