Friday, August 28 - Sunday, August 30

CONGRATULATIONS! 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. Also, Friday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Thursday.

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! In a new experiment this year, I have put everybody into "blog groups." Each week you will be responding to two people at random your blog group. Hopefully, you will get a chance to know the people in your group by reading each other's blogs from week to week. To find out just what you will do for this assignment and to see which group you are in, visit the Read and Respond assignment page.

Working on the weekend. This course is designed so that you can do all your assignments by working only on the weekends. This weekend, for example, 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. To take these extra credit points, you don't have to do any extra work - you just have to be one week ahead of schedule. 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. The one assignment each week that I will be recording for you in the Gradebook is your Storybook assignment. You will turn in the assignment, and I will send you back comments, and at that time I will also mark the points in the Gradebook for you. As people turn in these assignments, quite a stack of work builds up, and sometimes it takes me a few days to reply to you. If you want to check and make sure I received your assignment, you can find a listing of the assignments received here in the Storybook Stack.

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, I promise!

August 30: Birthday of Mary Shelley. Sunday, August 30, marks the birthday in 1797 of the famous English writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who is best known for her novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818. I'm sure you are all familiar with Frankenstein and his monster; Prometheus, meanwhile, was the Greek Titan who created human beings out of clay (he is also famous for having stolen fire to give it as a gift to humanity). You can read more about Mary Shelley in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for this portrait of Shelley painted in 1840 by Richard Rothwell: