Tuesday, September 2

Today is Tuesday of WEEK 2 of the class. For those of you who are working ahead, Weeks 3 and 4 are also available!

Ning Comments. Thanks for the great job you all did with the comments on the Ning blogs! Each week, you will be assigned different blogs to read and comment on. I hope this will be a good way for you to get to know the other students in the class. Later on, you will also be reading each other's Storybook projects, in addition to reading each other's blog posts. (The first Storybook commenting assignment will come in Week 5, after everyone has had a chance to start publishing pages of their Storybook online.)

Storybook Stack. A very large number of Storybook assignments came in over the weekend. Tuesday morning I will start reading through those assignments in the order in which they were turned in. If you want to check and make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here.

Myth-Folklore: Gilgamesh OR Egypt. Those of you who are in the Myth-Folklore class will have a choice of readings each week. This week, the choice is between Gilgamesh OR Egypt. You will do only one set of readings, and take the background quiz and reading quiz based on your choice Gilgamesh OR Egypt. This means that will end up with some blank items in the Gradebook; please don't worry about that. Your goal is to get 30 points per week, and if you do the quizzes for just one of the reading selections, you will end up with the points you need.

Publishing Your First Webpages. This week, your Internet assignment will be to publish your first webpages. Although this assignment is not due until the weekend, I hope you will get started on it early. I am available during the week to help you if you run into any snags as you create and publish your first pages, but I am not as easy to reach over the weekend. So, especially if this is the first time you have published webpages in your OU webspace (as it is for most of you!), please get started on this assignment now if possible, and don't put it off until the last minute.

September 2: Death of J. R. R. Tolkien. Today, September 2, marks the death in 1973 of the great English author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, who is best known for creating the marvelous fantasy world of Middle Earth, in which he set his novel The Hobbit and the trilogy known as Lord of the Rings. I first encountered Tolkien when my fourth-grade teacher read The Hobbit to us in class, and I spent all of junior high reading and re-reading The Lord of the Rings. The recent films by Peter Jackson brought a whole new audience to these books, and I am very curious what the forthcoming film of The Hobbit directed by Guillermo del Toro will be like! You can read about Tolkien's life and career in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for this drawing which shows Tolkien's own design for the covers of The Lord of the Rings trilogy: