Tuesday, October 13

Today is Tuesday, the first day of WEEK 8 of the class. Yes, this means the semester is one-half over! (In the Indian Epics class, you will see it is a review week before you start the Mahabharata in Week 9.) If you have not turned in your Week 7 Storybook assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit.

NEW GROUPS. As I explained in the announcements from yesterday, for the second half of the semester you have been put in NEW GROUPS for the Blog Responding assignment, and you will also be reading Storybooks from people in your group, in addition to the random Storybooks and the Storybooks you choose from the whole class. The Week 8 Internet assignment is available starting today, Tuesday, so make sure you check to see who is in your group before you start reading the Storybooks for that assignment.

OU-Texas weekend. Although Friday is not an official holiday on the academic calendar, I know many of you will be out of town. So, this week only, the Blog Responding assignment will become available on Thursday. That way, if you are planning to be out of town on Friday, you can get your assignments done before you leave, including the Responding assignment. It may be that quite a few people will not have posted their Week 8 blog posts (since those are not due until Thursday), but that's okay - you have new people in your blog groups, so you can read their Week 7 story and essay even if they have not yet posted anything for Week 8. So, when you do the Week 8 Blog Responding assignment, make sure you check to see what your new group assignment is!

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 before 4PM on Saturday, you should have comments back from me already. If you turned something in later on Saturday or 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.

Storybooks this week: Wednesday noon. (repeat announcement) Because this week is shortened, the deadline for getting a Storybook in order to get comments back from me this week is Wednesday at noon. So, if you want comments back before the weekend, make sure you get it turned in by Wednesday at noon, and I'll be sure to get comments to you before the weekend. If you need to turn in a late Week 7 Storybook assignment for partial credit, you can still do that up to Thursday at noon, but you will not get comments back until Monday of next week. So, be warned: if you turn in a Storybook after noon on Wednesday, you will not get comments back until next week.

October 13: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Monday, October 13, marks the birthday in 1948 of the great Pakistani qawwali singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Sadly, he died in 1997, but he left behind an amazing musical career with many beautiful recordings. You can read more about his musical career and legacy in this Wikipedia article. I was lucky enough to hear him perform in 1994, and it was one of the most marvelous concerts I have ever attended. Qawwali is a musical style traditionally associated with Sufism (that should mean something to those of you in World Literature, and also to those of you in Myth-Folklore who read about Rumi back in Week 6). There are some wonderful concert recordings at YouTube - and here is a picture that give you a sense of what his ecstatic concert performances looked like: