Tuesday, March 3

Today is Tuesday, the first day of WEEK 7 of the class. For those of you who are working ahead, Weeks 8 and 9 are also available! If you have not turned in your Week 6 Storybook assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit.

Week 7 Internet assignment. For the Week 7 Internet assignment, which is available now, you will be reading Storybook Introductions AND a story from each Storybook. Since you have more reading to do this time, you will have just THREE Storybooks that you comment on - two which are assigned, and one which is your choice. As I've mentioned before, people will be writing and re-writing their Storybook pages all semester long, so specific feedback is really valuable. It's nice to get compliments, but it is also really good to get feedback about what things need to be fixed. Every semester, students tell me that they wish they had received more actual feedback on their Storybooks, rather than just compliments. So definitely give compliments about things you like, but please try to provide detailed feedback about the actual writing, too. All writing can be improved - bad writing can become good, and good writing can become excellent - but writers need detailed, specific feedback from their readers to do that!

Storybook Stack. As usual at the beginning of the week, there are still LOTS of Storybook assignments in the stack. If you turned something in on Saturday, you should have comments back from me already. If you turned something in later on Sunday or Monday, it is probably still in the stack. If you want to check and make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here. Also, because of the Desire2Learn outage on Monday evening, I had to record the points separately from returning comments on the assignments; I think I have gotten all the points recorded now, but if you got back comments and do not have points in the Gradebook, please let me know.

Desire2Learn outage: Monday. While IT was doing maintenance on Desire2Learn on Monday evening, it was not available. I am hoping that since there was not an actual deadline on Monday evening, this was not a big inconvenience for people. If it did interfere with your ability to complete a Week 7 assignment on time because of the constraints of your schedule, please let me know. I hope this will be the last of the Desire2Learn outages that we experience this semester... fingers crossed!

March 3: Hinamatsuri. Today, March 3, is the Hinamatsuri holiday in Japan, the "Doll Festival," which is a festival of good luck for young girls. You can read more about the holiday in this Wikipedia article, or in this article at About.com. There are special dolls which are displayed for the festival, often decorated with peach blossoms. This image shows a Hinamatsuri doll displayed at the festival in 2005 in the city of Kounos, near Tokyo: