Friday, April 3 - Sunday, April 5

HAPPY WEEKEND! You have reached the end of Week 10! The Week 10 Read and Respond assignment (blog commenting) is available now, and the remaining Week 10 assignments are due on Friday or on Saturday or Sunday - please make sure you get started on those assignments soon. Also, Friday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Thursday.

Storybook Stack. I'm still working my way through the stack of Storybook assignments that people have turned in. I've read and replied to all the Week 9 assignments turned in on time, but if you turned in a late Week 9 assignment, or an early assignment for Week 10, 11 or 12, it may still be in the stack. My goal is to get comments back to everyone by the end of the day Friday for assignments turned in before Friday at noon. If you want to check and make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here.

Storybooks: CHOOSING to Stop with Three Stories. (repeat announcement) There is nothing sacred about having four stories in a Storybook. Some of you may have missed two weeks' worth of assignments earlier in the semester, so you already know you will have just three stories total. Others of you may CHOOSE to finish with just three stories. So, think about that when you go to add the new story to your Storybook for Week 10. If you do not need the 20 points for adding the fourth story and revising it (Week 12 and Week 13 assignments), you can choose to conclude your Storybook with just three stories in it, making this third story (Week 10) your final story. Quite a few students choose to do this every semester, and it is fine with me! If you decide to finish with just three stories, here is what you will do: Week 10 Third Story; Week 11 Revise Third Story; (skip Week 12 and Week 13); Week 14 Revise Introduction; Week 15 Final Revisions. It's up to you, based on your personal preferences and the number of points you will be needing to get the grade you want (410 total for an A, 360 total for a B, 320 total for a C).

Week 10 Internet assignment. (repeat announcement) The Week 10 Internet assignment is available now! This is basically like the Week 9 assignment, where you will be reading three Storybooks, but there is something different this week. You have only one assigned Storybook, and two free choices this week - one of those free choices should be a Storybook that is new to you, and the other free choice should be a repeat visit. That is, you should go back to a Storybook you have visited before and read a NEW story at that Storybook (either the second or third or fourth story - any story, so long as you have already read at least one story at that Storybook before, and there is a new story for you to read). There are detailed instructions at the Week 10 Storybook assignment page; I hope that makes sense - if you have any questions about this new twist on the assignment, let me know.

Saturday April 4: Qingming Festival. The Qingming Festival - the "Clear and Bright" Festival - is celebrated in China and other Asian countries approximately two weeks after the Spring Equinox, and in 2009 that means the Qingming Festival will take place on April 4. It is a holiday for celebrating in the out of doors, and also for the cleaning and decorating of ancestral graves. For this reason it is sometimes called "Tomb Sweeping Day." The image below shows a man painting a gravestone at the Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing for the Qingming holiday; you can read more about the holiday in this Wikipedia article.