Friday drop deadline. Today, Friday, October 2, is the last day to drop the class with an automatic grade of W on your transcript. For more information, see Wednesday's announcements.
Storybook Stack. If you turned in a Week 5 Storybook assignment on time, you should have gotten comments back from me now, with points recorded in the Gradebook. If you turned in a late Week 5 Storybook, or an early Storybook for Week 6 or 7, it is probably still in the stack. My goal is always to get every Storybook returned before the weekend that is turned in before noon on Friday. If you turn something in after noon on Friday, it will go to the top of the stack on Monday morning. For those of you who would like to get comments back sooner rather than later on your Storybook assignment, turn it in on Friday or on Saturday - don't wait until Sunday. About 50-60 students turn in their assignment every Sunday; that's why it can take a while to get comments back to you if you wait until Sunday to do the assignment.
Technology Tips. Technology Tips - along with the Grammar Quizzes - are a great way to earn some extra credit points. Here are some tips I would recommend for your attention if you have not done them already: organizing your Ning page, adding a YouTube video to your Ning page, resizing images with Picnik.com, or using the WordCountPlus plugin for Firefox. For those of you who want to understand more about how web publishing works, the FireFTP tip allows you to use your Firefox browser to inspect all the files you have published in your OU webspace - sometimes seeing all the files you have published helps make it easier to understand what it means to "publish" your files online.
Commenting on Storybooks. (Repeat announcement.) Every week from now through Week 12 of the semester, you will be commenting on people's writing at their Storybooks. During these weeks as you comment on people's Storybooks, please provide as much detailed, specific feedback as possible! 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 could be improved. So, do not hesitate to say when something is confusing, or when something seems repetitious, or if you think something is important is missing. Let people know when they use words that you do not understand, or if there is background information you need - about geography, history, culture, anything at all. Every semester, students tell me that they wish they had received more detailed feedback on their Storybooks, rather than just generic compliments. So definitely give compliments about things you like, but please try to provide detailed feedback about the writing and about the webpage design. Everybody has the rest of the semester to turn their Storybooks into something really great, and your feedback is an important part of that process! Plus, being able to give good feedback is a great skill to have, and it's a skill you can develop through practice. So, try to be a really careful and attentive reader of each Storybook you visit so that you can give detailed, useful feedback in your comments.
October 2: Birthday of Gandhi. The great Indian spiritual and political leader, Mohandas Gandhi, was born on October 2, 1869, 140 years ago. On January 30 in 1948, after having led the fight for India's independence, Gandhi was assassinated. The image below shows the memorial in New Delhi where Gandhi's body was cremated. Written on the stone you can see what were reportedly Gandhi's last words: "Hey Ram" (Oh Rama!) - his invocation of the god Rama will definitely mean something to the students in the Indian Epics class. Although it is a matter of some controversy as to whether those were Gandhi's last words, here is something he wrote in December 1947, just weeks before his assassination: "In the end it will be as Rama commands me. Thus I dance as He pulls the strings. I am in His hands and so I am experiencing ineffable peace." If you look closely at the photograph, you will see the words "Hey Ram" written in Devanagari script, gold letters on the black stone, just behind the burning stick of incense: