Friday, January 23 - Sunday, January 25

HAPPY WEEKEND! You have reached the end of Week 1! The Week 1 Read and Respond assignment (blog commenting) is available now, and all remaining Week 1 assignments are due on Friday or on Saturday or Sunday - please make sure you get started on those assignments soon.

Read and Respond blog comments. Now that everybody has had a chance to finish their blog posts for the week, the Read and Respond assignment for Week 1 is now available! You have been assigned two blogs to read at random. For detailed instructions and links to your assigned blogs, visit the Read and Respond assignment page, which also has a link to the page which lists your specific blog assignments.

Working on the weekend. This course is designed so that you can do all your assignments by working only on the weekends. If you want to do most/all of the work over the weekend here is what you need to do. This weekend, you would need to finish up the Week 1 assignments AND you would also need to do the reading, quizzes and blog posts for Week 2. You will then be free all week, Monday through Friday. Next weekend, you will finish up Week 2 and start on Week 3. The weekend after that, you will finish up Week 3 and start on Week 4, and so on. If you plan your schedule to do all your work on the weekends, you can manage to have absolutely nothing due for this class from Monday through Friday, leaving you free during those days to attend to your regular classes and other responsibilities. Plus, following this "weekend-only" strategy will earn you some Early Bird extra credit (see below).

Early Bird extra credit. The Early Bird extra credit is the easiest extra credit you can get: it involves no extra work - it just involves working ahead. If you are one week ahead on the reading-quizzes-blogging, you can take an extra point each week. If you are one week head on your Storybook assignments, you can take an extra point each week. You can do either or both of these Early Bird options for one or two points of extra credit every week - and while it may not seem like much, those points add up fast! Those extra points can help you to finish the class even earlier, or make up for some assignments you might miss along the way.

Storybook Stack. Some of you are already working ahead and turning in Storybook assignments that I need to read and comment on for you. If you want to check and make sure that I received your assignment, I keep a list of assignments in the Stack, which I've received but have not read yet. So, if you want to make sure that I received your assignment in the email, just take a look there and you should see your name listed. If not, please check with me! I do not update the stack or do schoolwork over the weekend. So, if you want comments from me about a Storybook assignment before the weekend, please turn it in by noon on Friday. I always do my best to read and reply on Friday afternoon to all the assignments turned in before noon.

Email over the weekend. I check email occasionally over the weekend, and I will do my best to respond promptly to any urgent problems or questions that come up. In general, though, any email that you send to me over the weekend will wait until Monday morning, when I get back to work. So, please be patient: if you do not get an answer from me during the weekend, I will get back to you promptly on Monday morning, I promise!

Sunday, January 25: Burns Night. Every year, on January 25, the great Scottish poet is celebrated by people all over the world, gathering together to drink and toast one another and to read some of Burns's marvelous poetry! You can read about the tradition of the "Burns Night" or "Burns Supper" in this Wikipedia article. I love to celebrate Burns Night... but we do not have a haggis at our house! (Those of you who have had haggis may understand why: here is what a haggis is). You can find the poetry of Robert Burns online at the website. He is most famous as the author of the words to "Auld Lang Syne" - and the famous phrase "of mice and men" comes from his marvelous poem, "To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough." You can read more about Robert Burns in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for his portrait shown here: