Spring 2021: ready to go if you are!

Welcome to the SPRING SEMESTER, everybody! Classes begin officially on Monday, January 25 — and if you want a head start on the semester, the classes are up and running now. As last semester showed, the pandemic makes everything harder and more complicated, so I hope the flexibility of this online class will help you to cope with that. Flexible time scheduling, and being able to start early, is a big plus for online courses, and even more so in the pandemic.

Getting Started. To begin, click this Orientation link where you will find the list of assignments for Week 1. You will start by designing your class schedule, and then you will create your blog. I hope you will have fun with all of that, and if you run into any problems or have questions, let me know. I'm very grateful when people start early because you can alert me to anything I might need to fix before the official start of the semester. :-)

Contact. You can contact me via email anytime (laura-gibbs@ou.edu), and you can also send me Canvas messages. If you write me Monday-Friday, I will get back to you that day — probably pretty quickly! I check email less often in the evenings and weekends, but especially at the beginning of the semester I try to check more often so that I can answer any questions that come up as you get started.

Please call me Laura! I will be on a first-name basis with all of you, and I hope you will feel comfortable just calling me Laura. In fact, we are going to be students together this semester, since in addition to being the instructor, I enroll myself in the courses and participate as a student too. (I'm going to be a student in the Myth-Folklore class this semester.)

Daily Announcements. Starting on the official first day of classes (January 25), I'll be updating these announcements every day. If you want to subscribe by email, use the "subscribe" box in the sidebar of this blog. Type in the email address you prefer and follow the instructions to confirm your subscription. Then, when the daily announcements begin, you'll receive them by email each morning.

CAS Orientation. You will probably be getting an email from the College of Arts and Sciences Online office about their online orientation, but you do NOT need to do that orientation for this class. Instead, you will be doing the Orientation Week that relates specifically to this class.

Majors in the class. While setting up the course rosters, I realized I could download a spreadsheet that shows the majors of students enrolled in both classes. I thought that was pretty cool! Here is a word cloud showing the majors from the spreadsheet:

Twitter. Although there won't be new announcements until the semester officially begins, there will be new Twitter items which you can see in the sidebar of the blog or at Twitter: @OnlineMythIndia. Twitter is a great place to connect with writers, storytellers, and musicians, along with museums and libraries; I find new things to share at Twitter every day, and I hope you will enjoy learning from Twitter as part of this class.

And to finish up these early announcements, here is a video I never get tired of — a Mister Rogers remix called Garden of Your Mind. I grew up watching Mister Rogers, and it's been very gratifying to see Mister Rogers' legacy honored in recent years like in the "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" documentary and in the recent Tom Hanks film. As you get started with this class, you will see that Mister Rogers' curiosity-driven approach to learning and sharing is a big part of how this class works.