Tag: CSUF

Bangers and Monster Mash

Welcome to another blog post focused on aesthetic things.

Don’t know why I’ve been doing so many of these recently, but I’ll hedge my bets and blame the new Instagram account and my Visual Comm class for both making me focus on the appearance of things in the world around me.

Today that happened to come into play when I went out for pseudo-lunch/dinner with some members of the Boom crew as a mini-gathering before we host something larger later on in the semester.

Dr. Sexton brought us to a place down by Fullerton College called The Olde Ship.

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If this picture alone doesn’t suggest it, The Olde Ship is essentially a British pub smack dab in the middle of Old West Yankee country. It’s apparently a small chain in Orange County, if you can count two locations as a chain restaurant, but I probably wouldn’t.

Because the place definitely feels like a pub you’d find in some small village in England somewhere.

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Not that I’d know what that feels like to be fair, as I’ve never been to England before. But it seems like exactly what I’d expect based on popular media. Like the Kingsman movies.

We all know that popular media is a good barometer of what things are like in real life, right?

I suppose that’s as much of an interesting observation as any, the fact that I implicitly gauged a location’s authenticity by the aesthetic I’ve noticed in pop culture. But to be frank that’s not what I wanted to touch on with this place.

Nor did I want to touch on the corned beef sandwich I had. Except I will briefly just to say that they made a pretty darn good corned beef sandwich. Not quite as good as my parent’s corned beef and cabbage, but I didn’t want to go down this route in the first place because I’m not fully prepared to tackle the ‘home cooked meal vs. restaurant quality’ debate at 8:45 p.m. on a Monday night. School has me too wiped for that.

Instead I wanted to talk about how bizarre it was seeing that traditionally British-style aesthetic intermingling with, of course, Halloween decorations.

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Yeah the whole place was covered in fake skulls and cobwebs and fancy little pipe cleaner spiders. All of those kitchy Halloween decorations that suburbanites love to coat their houses with as October 31st approaches.

I can’t say it wasn’t cute to see that kind of decor in such an unexpected place. But I do feel like I have to say that it was unexpected to see those two aesthetics clashing together.

Now granted that may, once again, be a problem of my own sheltered sense of scale. Maybe there are tons of pubs over in ye olde England that love to decorate their things with cliché, kitchy Halloween stuff. It’s just not the kind of thing I’ve ever personally heard of in my limited, media-driven understanding of the world.

In a way it’s kind of cool that I got to take that interesting observation out of lunch/dinner. On top of the wonderful company, of course.

But maybe there is some bigger, underlying point about media representation and worldview. I’m just frankly too tired to know whether I should dive into it any further or if I’m just crazy and rambling about nothing.

Which, to be fair, is a very strong possibility.


Before I signed this one-off, I did want to mention that my focus on aesthetics in these last two post was actually for a more substantial purpose than just corruption by my liberal college education or whatever.

While taking pictures for my Visual Comm aesthetics assignment, it really got hammered into my head that iPhone photos are way huger than I thought they were. Which, in turn, led me to realize that the reason why I’m filling up all of my media space here on the blog so quickly is because I almost exclusively use iPhone photos.

So taking pictures of buildings at Pasadena City College yesterday and of this pub today were somewhat underhanded attempts to practice a new form of throwing pictures up on my posts without having them be humongous messes I have to deal with down the line.

If all the pictures I’ve taken seem smaller than usual, that’s why. It’s probably going to be the norm from now on.

Campus Architecture

Campus Architecture

If there was anything I learned while touring college campuses about three years ago, it was to appreciate the architecture that each campus offered.

For me aesthetics were a fairly big driving factor in deciding where I wanted to go to school. It sounds somewhat petty and shallow I know, but I enjoy wandering and taking in sights. So it mattered.

Honestly the look of Cal State Fullerton as a whole was a strong component in why I decided to go there. I love being on campus, and that’s important for someone who’s commuting every day and wouldn’t have a reason to necessarily stay otherwise.

But I’ve come to appreciate campus architecture overall during trips to a number of California universities because of the kind of insight I’ve gathered at CSUF. Namely the idea that the kind of architecture you see is a signifier for what era the buildings were constructed, and as a result you can essentially walk through time and see what became more important for students over the decades or even eons that the campus existed.

Cal State LA and El Camino College were pretty strong examples of the vastly different building styles on different parts of campus from what I recall.

As was UCLA when I went and wandered that campus after a Boom event some years back. But that school is also massive and ancient so it’s a whole other beast in terms of things like structural construction.

Today I found myself at Pasadena City College, where Alyson was auditioning to be a part of the Tournament of Roses Honor Band. If she gets in she’ll be performing at the next Rose Bowl Parade, so… That’s pretty fricken cool if I do say so myself.

However parents and family were not allowed to sit in on the auditions. So my parents and I were sitting out on the campus proper enjoying a slightly overcast afternoon, some clashing musical performances from practicing students all around and absorbing the nervous energy of basically everyone taking their shot.

Delicious, pure nervous energy. It’s kind of nice when you’re not the nervous one.

As my set-up suggests, I decided not to just sit around the entire time perusing Twitter or whatever. Instead I wandered the campus to get a feel for the different pieces of architecture built over time.

Because, as previously suggested, I’m the kind of weirdo that enjoys that sort of thing.

Now I’m certainly not an expert in era-specific architecture by any means, so I can’t personally tell you which buildings are from which time period just by looking at them. I’m more of a fan from an aesthetic perspective, so that’s my main purpose here.


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I’ve always liked buildings where the top portion hangs beyond where the bottom portion ends.


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For some reason there were no sculptures in the sculpture garden…


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I like how the front of the library looks like numerous faces depending on how you look at it. It’s a goof.


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The avian-looking light above the door to E Building gets a thumbs up from me.


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This kind of tree plaza in front of a building seems like something I might build in Minecraft… I’ll have to save that idea for later.


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More trees, this time in pink! With clock towers. And cops.


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This building felt vastly different from the others because it was red, and I have no idea why it was red if nothing else is.


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It’s nice that even the parking structure gets to look cute.


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Obviously the newest-looking building I could find, the performing arts center looks modern as hell. Aly probably hates it from all that associative stress.


But of course, no architectural tour would be complete without also including at least one piece of bizarre modern art.

At PCC, I think this one took the cake.

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It’s just a horse. Made of wood.

The plaque included with the sculpture doesn’t explain anything except who donated the piece and what it’s called. So I have no idea why some artist decided to make a horse out of wood.

I’ll admit it’s impressive and well-constructed.

But just baffling to me.

So yeah. Pasadena City College. Pretty place, bizarre wooden horse. If you’re all curious about how Aly did in her audition, we won’t know until later, this isn’t really the post for that discussion.

Though I guess if you see me talking about the Rose Bowl Parade later, now you’ll know why.

Conflating Art and Reality on… Ethics

Very bizarre premise for a blog post, I know. But that’s kind of what you get when I spend all day doing homework and can’t figure out too much more to write about outside of that homework.

It just so happens that today my homework weirdly connected with outside forces.

I’ve been working on the at-home midterm essay for my Mass Media Ethics class for the past hour or two. The premise of the assignment is simple, we were given four cases of ethical debate and asked to defend one side in one of those debates. A fairly open-ended piece of work meant to show our general understanding of the ethical philosophies and case study analysis methods we’ve been studying this semester.

I decided to write about the case where a reporter in New York was forced to withdraw from a potential candidacy on the city council in his hometown. All things considered a pretty straight-forward argument between conflicts of interest and breaking company policy on one side with a desire to improve the community using a more hands-on approach on the other.

Honestly the paper went far smoother than I expected it to. The vague nature of the assignment was a bit daunting, so the fact that I was able to write it in just a few short hours with a quick seal of approval from the initial parent check was great. I might run over it again before I have to turn it in on Tuesday considering it is a big chunk of my midterm grade, but overall it feels really nice get it off my plate.

Where the art side of the headline up there comes into play only makes sense if you know some context.

Not too long ago, my family started watching NBC’s The Good Place. It wasn’t a show I was interested in watching when it first started to air a few years ago, but after hearing from some friends that it was an amazing piece of television on the eve of season three starting, we decided to pick it up.

Got through season one in a day or two. Still making our way through season two right now.

It. Is. A wonderful show.

Absolutely wonderful.

It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s fresh. I especially adore Ted Danson, though the whole cast makes for a great ensemble. Plus the occasional guest star that slips their way into the cast helps sell it with some stellar comedy.

For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s also essentially a hyper condensed ethics class masking as a comedy. The fact that I happened to start watching the show while taking a Mass Media Ethics class is serendipity to say the least.

The most recent episode we watched focused on the classic trolly problem, for example. A thought experiment so intrinsically linked with Utilitarian arguments that the episode as a whole might as well have been plucked out of my class’s week 3 lecture.

If nothing else, it certainly presents some fun examples of concepts to help remember them for when you have to utilize the ideas in an essay.

So I guess the lesson of the day is that television will help you when you have to do homework.

And also to go watch The Good Place. Because it’s an A+ show in basically every regard.

I just wish I’d known about it way back when I went to Universal Studios earlier this year. Because I would’ve paid way more attention to that soundstage on the Studio Tour if I had.

Who’s that car?

Who’s that car?

It’s been a long time coming.

After months of dealing with a broken rear driver-side window, one that was stuck so wide open that it was hard (if not impossible) to seriously wash my car without flooding the inside, it became a bit of a disgusting mess.

Covered in black grime that came off on your fingers from the rubber around the doors. Coated on the back in old, ratty tape that was used to seal the open window during rainy seasons. Canvased with the remnants of squished bugs and, no joke, the waffling pattern on the bottom of a shoe that hit my side mirror on the freeway one night.

It’s a long story.

But you get the point, my car was a mess. I’m running out of C-word synonyms for covered so I’ll just get to the point.

The point being, if you hadn’t guessed from that featured image, the fact that I finally got my car washed and detailed after literal months of idle care.

Look at how shiny this boy is! I’m so proud of him.

The guys at Redondo Car Wash (shout out to them) even cleaned up the inside. Dusted all of my panels, washed the floor mats. A really stellar job all together.

Now I’ll truly be the talk of the school. Probably.

I’m not sure how much people care about seeing cars go by when it’s a commuter school and nobody pays much attention to anything on campus, but I suppose I’ll find out.

That’s honestly about all I have to say for the day. Now that I’m back home after finishing my last class for the week, I can officially declare the end of my midterm hell week.

It’s a sweet feeling, and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate than finally cleaning my car so I could feel better about myself.

Which is probably kind of sad in hindsight?

But hey. You do you and I’ll do me.

As far as the weekend coming up goes, I have some Gladeo-related responsibilities to attend to. Running a meeting, rescheduling an interview, all that fun stuff.

Plus I have some other school-related business like another exam next week… Because my Comm professors like to stagger things out where my Psych professors made everything happen within three days of each other.

So that’ll be fun.

Oh, and I’m probably going to do an internship application. Somewhere in between the time that I’ll be running around with my family to do some activities for Aly’s band career.

Otherwise, I think I’ll finally have a little time to kick back, play some Monster Hunter with my friends and chill.

Hopefully all of you equally get some much-deserved time to chill, because you certainly deserve it — whether you had a bad week like me or not.

Highlighting Photo Composition

Despite having finally gotten through my major roadblock of the week, the Learning and Memory unit 1 exam (which I aced by the way), I still have just. So much homework to do.

So I’m going to probably do some smaller, passing over-type posts for the next two days or so. After Wednesday I’ll be more free to do whatever, and that will be kicked off by another Fire Emblem Heroes post.

Because yeah. There’s another banner coming.

But this time it’s the Halloween banner.

I’m rather excited about that because Halloween rules. Plus they announced the characters and Myrrh will be there.

That’s quite literally a story for another day, though. About two days from now in fact.

For now I’m just going to do a quick update on a different assignment that’s somewhat more fun.

Remember the other day when I mentioned getting that project in my Visual Comm class that I’ve gotten three times in three different classes now? If not I literally just linked to the post in that sentence.

I’ve been trying to branch out and take photos that aren’t all centered on the Cal State Fullerton campus, which is what I did the other two times I’ve done this. The professor argued that we should be using the project to “look closer and see patterns in the world around us.”

So that’s what I’m doing. Here’s what I’ve done so far:


Vertical Lines

A group of palm trees between the Kinesiology building and the Titan Bookstore. Likely going to be one of my only photos taken on-campus.


Horizontal Lines

A row of televisions set up at my Planet Fitness. Arguably some serious sensory overload, but I just pay attention to things on my phone anyway.


Diagonal Lines

Arguably two things: My household staircase or the ramp beside it. The latter is probably the more prominent element.


Alongside these lines, I also have to nab some pictures of shapes being prominent in pictures, as well as examples of the rule of thirds and of a Z-axis (in other words, something with objects in the foreground and background).

Out of everything I have juggling in my head right now, this assignment is arguably the easiest and most fun. So I figured the process would be worth briefly highlighting.

After all, perhaps it could help you also start to look at the patterns in the world you see every day.

Even though that’s super cheesy.

Forgive the Venting

I was planning on writing a happy little post earlier today about finally getting the rear window fixed in my car. It’s been probably about a year since the window stopped rolling up completely, and ever since it has been a constant struggle to keep it boarded up in case of rain.

Plus, it just got dirtier and dirtier considering I wasn’t able to run it through a car wash or blast the sucker with a hose without tearing the plastic and flooding everything inside.

But then that triumphant moment kind of soured when that minor inconvenience, now fixed, was replaced with a much more serious problem.

The motor that adjusts my steering wheel seems to have died. So now it has sagged to such an awkward place that I can barely drive the thing without knocking my knees into it and blocking its full turning radius.

I was pretty pissed at that, honestly.

So pissed in fact that I wound up burning all my energy on that, writing my Sensation and Perception research paper, and cleaning toilets around the house. Didn’t help that I couldn’t go to the gym like I wanted because of how much of a mess that whole thing became.

Also I’m kind of breaking out in acne again? And that’s honestly the most personal, nit picky part of this whole post. But it’s just on the list of things bugging me.

Part of me didn’t want to just leave another day unwritten here on the blog, but I really don’t have the energy to do anything more serious. So you’ll all just going to get this dumb venting fest for today.

I don’t think I’m going to advertise it that much or put a lot of effort into the appearance. It’s just kind of going to be what it’s going to be.

A placeholder.

Hope you’ll all let it slide, tomorrow I’ll try to throw out something more substantial and less annoyed/exhausted.

But hey – at least one of my two essays for the weekend is done. So there’s always a bright side!

The Benefits to being a Hoarder

The Benefits to being a Hoarder

They called me crazy.

“Why would you keep all of your old binders,” they said.

“You should just throw out/burn all that old stuff,” they said.

“When are you ever going to use your high school notes ever again,” they said.

Well who’s laughing now viewing audience who I’m imagining chastises me for my corner full of old binders on a daily basis. For one of the first times, I had to break out my old AP Psychology binder from about four years ago now (Yikes, I’m getting old) to help fill in a detail for a research paper I’m writing in my Sensation and Perception class.

For context, I’m writing my paper about the way language affects our perceptions of the world around us.

Part of the reason I was interested in grabbing this topic was because it stood out so much to me back in my AP Psych days. My friend Nina, who’s aiming to become a professional interpreter (and is well on her way from what I understand, given that she’s doing a gig translating for the CEO of Sony), made the idea way more tangible at the time by explaining her experiences struggling to translate certain words or emotions between English and Japanese.

Now that I’m writing a paper about that exact topic, I knew I needed to use the general idea we were learning about at the time. Unfortunately… I couldn’t remember the exact term.

My current textbook didn’t exactly provide any useful clues in that department, either.

So it was off to the pile of old binders. Eventually I managed to find the one I needed, and with a cursory search found this:

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Linguistic Determinism 

A range of views in which our thinking (or worldview) is seen as being determined or shaped by language.


That term, coined by Benjamin Lee Whorf, is the crux of my current paper.

And I would not have remembered it if not for this four-year-old binder sitting around idly in the corner of my room. Now I feel completely vindicated for hoarding all of these bulky old documents for as long as I have.

Perhaps I’ll have to go through the pile, clean up the binders and re-organize them one of these days, however. Because these things are dusty as hell and covered in silverfish.

Guess that’s the price I have to pay for just haphazardly throwing them back there after each year/semester when the promise of vacation proves too much for my better judgement to bear.

But anyway, extra special shout outs today to my AP Psych professor, Mrs. Mata, and to my friend Nina for creating such a strong, lasting impression on me that I have the perfect foundation for my big research paper this semester.

Plus that AP Psych class was what drove me to minor in Psychology in the first place so… You know. Just some icing on the cake there.

Repeat Offenders

I’m having a strange sense of déjà vu this semester.

A couple of my class have given me assignments this week that are pretty much identical to other assignments I’ve had in previous courses — one of which I’ve seen at least three times now, in fact.

That third-time returning assignment (the one that I find more interesting right now, considering at this rate I’ll need to develop a punch card) was handed down in my Visual Communications class this afternoon. Essentially I have to take a number of photos over the next two weeks, either on my phone or with a professional camera, that represent major concepts in visual composition.

So a photo that shows a prominent horizontal line, one that shows a good grasp of the rule of thirds, one that displays the difference between the foreground and background, etc.

As an isolated assignment it makes sense. What better way to get kids engaged and learn a variety of terms by making use of that little device in our pockets to actually engage with the work.

The problem comes when, as in my case, you see the same assignment repeatedly. In Comm 202, focused on broadcast journalism basics. In Multimedia Journalism. Now, again, in Visual Communications.

Is there just some unwritten rule that in the 21st century, every visual-focused class will get students to go out and take sample photos with their phones? Was there a college teaching conference that established this staple?

Is it only a California thing or does this happen all across the country?

I’m actually, genuinely curious to know.

My Mass Media Ethics class yesterday also assigned a small project I’ve seen before. For that, we need to spend about a week keeping a media log with all the news we consume so we can reflect on it.

I had to do the exact same thing for my Comm 233 class — the one that I started this blog for.

Back then I was pretty upset with the project. The professor was kind of an old fart and quite literally used the assignment as a way to rub it in our faces that we’re all too addicted to technology.

Like sure we definitely are, but that doesn’t mean you need to be condescending about it dude.

This time around the assignment is focused more on tracing back to the corporations that own each media outlet and deciding how that ownership might create bias.

A more interesting, reasonable through-line in my opinion.

Thinking about it, those two kinds of assignments seem very intrinsically linked to modern-day students. I suppose that’s the reason why they’re showing up repeatedly, for me at least. Whether or not you guess see these particular assignments, or just other projects that multiple teachers have assigned, I guess is up to you all to let me know.

No matter what, I’m just glad neither of these two projects are due next week. Because my two essays for my Psych classes still loom heavy on my mind…


As an aside, while this isn’t related to the overall post I’ve just written, it’s something that stood out to me so much today that I just had to share it.

Over the past few months I’ve been watching a YouTuber named Nando v. Movies rewrite the recent DCEU Justice League film beat-by-beat. It has been fascinating to watch, as one of the reasons I picked up on the guy in the first place was because of his script rewrites. They show a great grasp of the comic book source material and movie structure, so it’s always a joy.

The four-part Justice League series has been especially great, in my opinion. While I enjoyed the original movie, the novel version Nando creates is vastly superior and sets up a much more compelling path for the universe to take.

It’s just too bad he isn’t actually working at DC’s movie division.

The final part of the series just released today, and I would say it’s very worth taking an hour and a half to watch each part in a row. You can check them out here.

Dude deserves the shout out, go see his stuff.

Implicit Exercise

Since I started going to the Gym this summer, I’ve slowly been building up my routine. Early on I just took a light walk on the treadmill for upwards of an hour to start building up my stamina after years of general inactivity.

But since then, I’ve diversified my portfolio a bit. At a much brisker pace, I’m now able to get about two-and-a-half miles in 45 minutes:

Followed by a bit of time lifting weights. Never did too much weight lifting back in high school gym classes because it always felt kind of pointless to me.

But I do want to be able to lift things. So it’s something I’ve picked up on more.

However, once school started up again, I found I wasn’t able to keep up the ‘every other day’ schedule I’d started over the summer. I’m more likely to skip over days when I find myself stuck on campus until 7 p.m. twice a week or doing homework.

Yet it seems as though my more exercise-driven mentality has managed to manifest itself in different places.

Now that I’m thinking about the fact that I’m trying to feel better, I’m taking more implicit exercise opportunities, as I’ve begun thinking about it.

For instance, parking further away from campus.

Parking is always a nightmare at Cal State Fullerton. It’s an unavoidable part of the commuter campus experience.

During the beginning of the semester it’s especially bad. Unless you get to school at 6:00 a.m., but that ain’t me. Everything starts to clear up around week three or four… It’s just that clearing up still means typically parking in the A-G lots on the far end of campus and walking in.

I used to find that to be a bit of a burden, but this semester it’s taken on a different air. The extra walk time back-and-forth feels a little healthier.

On top of that, I’ve also aimed to take the stairs more:

My two earliest classes are on the sixth floor of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. So, every morning from Monday through Thursday I’ve opted to walk up and down the stairs.

It’s still a bit of a drag, but it does feel better in a more cosmic sense than taking the elevator. Plus, it’s arguably a much faster means of travel.

My whole life I’ve been sort of a lazy bum, despite constantly hearing the ever-present cries of ‘diet and exercise’ being thrown around as ways to be healthier. Call it a side effect of my video game-centric lifestyle or what have you.

But I think I’ve finally come to understand what people mean when they talk about small lifestyle changes making a difference.

Even if I don’t actually get healthier from it, at the very least I feel better. That mentality is half the battle I’m sure!

A quick glance at Yoruba Creation Mythology

In what seems to be the growing pattern lately, I’m rather late getting a jump on this post from a combination of going to school, doing homework and helping to straighten the house for my Grandmother coming tomorrow.

Which, looking ahead slightly, will probably give me an easy post for tomorrow. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

For now, I was struggling to decide what I wanted to write about out of a rather mundane day. But then I realized (thanks to a helpful little push from Mom) that there isn’t anything wrong with just regurgitating some information I learned through my studies today as an interesting tidbit to fill a quick-and-dirty blog post.

So that’s precisely what I’m going to do.

As I’m sure some of you remember, I wrote a nice piece the other week about Charles Darwin as I was in the midst of reading his “Origin of Species” for my Honors Evolution and Creation class. Since then we have begun to move out of talking exclusively about the origins of evolution and into some early examples of creation myths.

Soon enough that will evolve into a more Christianity-centric religious creation as the latter half of the class will focus a large chunk of time on the oft cited debates in America, but until then we’ve been reading creation myths from a number of different groups around the world.

My reading tonight featured at least one that had a detail so specific and bizarre, I felt it was worth talking about.

Though for general reference, we’re primarily reading excerpts from “A Dictionary of Creation Myths,” by David Adams Leeming and Margaret Adams Leeming for the assignment I just worked on tonight. If anyone is curious as to where I’m pulling this stuff from.

While the excerpts our professor pulled together were all generally interesting and spoke to varying degrees of shared human thought and experience when crafting their creation stories, the Yoruban creation story out of Africa (specifically the Nigerian region today) in particular, caught my eye.

According to the text (which summarizes the stories more than it does recreate the entirety of the myth), everything began when the supreme deity Olurun (or Olodumare) sent the lesser god Obatala down to the earth.

At that point, the earth was only water and chaos. Obatala brought with him a shell, some iron and a rooster as he descended down a chain which hung over the water from the heavens. He placed the ground-filled shell on top of the iron before letting the rooster spread the land further.

Once there was enough dry land, other gods descended to help create everything else.

As the rest of existence took form, apparently Obatala took control of creating humanity — shaping beings out of earth so Olurun could bestow life upon them. All children born are thereafter shaped by Obatala in their mothers’ wombs.

While the story of creation set up here is fascinating to me in how it differs from so many other myths depicting a complete void from which things emerge, it isn’t entirely novel. Most of the Native American myths we read out of this same collection also depicted beings rising earth out of the waters in a similar fashion.

What makes the Yoruba creation story stand out most to me is a detail that seems pretty insanely specific and unique. I’ll write out what I have here exactly, because I’m not sure I could summarize it any better:

“… one day [Obatala] got drunk and by mistake started making cripples, who are now sacred to Obatala.”

We had to read 15 creation stories for this assignment. On top of that, three stories were read for our assignment due today on Judeo-Christian stories.

Yet between all of those stories and everything else I’ve personally heard before now, not once have I heard of any one society going so far as to explain the existence of cripples.

It’s actually fascinating to think that was a detail they wanted to include. Kind of goes to show that we have a desire to explain everything about the world around us, even if you need to collage a variety of different cultures to get the full picture.