Thursday, August 28

Today is Thursday of WEEK 1 of class. Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday.

Ning FAQs and Tips. I want to call your attention to the list of Ning FAQs and Tips which you will find in the left-hand column of the Ning's main page. You will find information there about managing your Ning blog and also about your profile page. If there is something you want to find out which is not answered there already, please let me know and I'll add to the list of tips!

Labor Day weekend
. Several people have written to ask me about the Labor Day holiday and how it affects the schedule of this class. Since you do not have any assignments that are actually due on Monday, there is no change in schedule. There are some Week 1 assignments that are due on Friday or over the weekend (on Saturday or on Sunday, if that is more convenient for you than Friday). So, for those Friday/weekend assignments, there is a grace period on Monday morning, until noon, just in case you forget to do a Gradebook Declaration. This does not mean the assignments are due on Monday! They are due on Friday OR over the weekend (if I said the assignments were due on Friday, that would be really hard for people who do most of their class work over the weekend). So, please make sure you think about these as Friday/weekend assignments - do not think about them as Monday assignments, or you will really get yourself into a terrible time crunch on Monday morning.

3 classes = 1 Ning
. As you have noticed, all three of the online courses I teach are combined into one Ning. There are a couple reasons why I did that. One reason is very practical: I am paying out of my pocket to have the Ning be ad-free, so I preferred to pay just once, instead of three times. But the more important reason is that I wanted to be able to let people interact among all three classes. You will ALL be doing Storybooks this semester - and you might have some good ideas to share with each other as you go about creating your Storybook webpages. Meanwhile, if you want to see just who is in your specific class, go to your class website, and then click on the Storybook Projects link you see there on the main page - that will take you to a page listing all the people in your class, with links to their blogs (and eventually you will find links to their Storybooks there, too).

August 28: Birthday of Goethe. Today, August 28, marks the birthday in 1749 of the great German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. For those of you in the World Lit class, you might be interested to know that Goethe was one of the early proponents of the study of Weltliteratur ("world literature") - meaning not just the literature of Europe, but also of non-European cultures. His contributions to German literature are enormous, and he is probably most famous for his play Faust, the story of a scholar who makes a bargain with the devil in exchange for knowledge. The story of Faust was an old German legend which Goethe adapted for his own purposes, just as you will be adapting old legends and stories for your own Storybooks. You can read more about Goethe in this detailed Wikipedia article. Goethe was very interested in botany; below you can see a poem Goethe wrote about the Gingko plant (here's an English translation), and he illustrated the poem with pressed leaves from the plant!