Friday, October 15 - Sunday, October 17

HAPPY WEEKEND! You have reached the end of Week 8! The Week 8 Read and Respond assignment (blog commenting) is available now, and the remaining Week 8 assignments are due on Friday or on Saturday or Sunday - please make sure you get started on those assignments soon. Have a great weekend!

Spring 2011 enrollment. (repeat announcement) For those of you who will enrolling for next semester, I wanted to give you a chance to reserve a place in one of the online classes that I teach, if you are interested. The online courses all fill up very fast, but if you let me know BY WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 20 that you would like to take one of these classes in the Spring, I will reserve a space for you. You can get more information about each of the three classes here: 2003 World Literature (lower-div. Gen. Ed. Western), 3043 Myth-Folklore (uper-div. Gen. Ed. Western), and 4993 Indian Epics (upper-div. Gen. Ed. Non-Western). Please make sure you contact me to reserve a space if you think you want to enroll; the Spring semester always has a tidal wave of people looking for Gen. Ed. online classes that they need to graduate. I will gladly reserve a place for anyone who wants one, but you need to let me know BEFORE enrollment starts!

Flexible Storybook Schedule. I'd like to call everybody's attention to the information here about the flexible Storybook schedule; scroll down that page and you will see a description of how the flexible schedule works. Right now, about one-third of the class is either one, two or three weeks off the regular schedule. That is not a problem; you only start to run into real problems if you get four weeks off schedule, and if you become more than five weeks off schedule, things get really serious (you cannot turn in any more Storybook assignments if you are more than five weeks off schedule). If you get off schedule, you cannot make up the missed work (although you can do extra credit to make up for missing points) - but just because you are on a different schedule does not mean you cannot work ahead! So even if you are on a different schedule, you can turn work in early. In fact, that is great - if you have not published a story yet, the sooner you can do that, the better; once you get a story published, you can start getting comments back from other students in the class as part of the Internet assignment.

Writing - Revising. For those of you on the regular Storybook schedule, you will be adding your second story to your Storybook for Week 8. The pattern of the last two weeks - writing, then revising - will repeat for the next six weeks of the semester. In Week 8, Week 10, and Week 12, you will be adding new stories to your Storybook. In Week 9, Week 11, and Week 13, you will be revising, along with some final revision assignments to complete your project in Week 14 and Week 15. I know that for many of you having to do all this revising is something unfamiliar, since in many university courses there is not a lot of emphasis on revising. By including revision - lots of revision - as part of the writing process, I hope everybody will wind up with something they can be really proud of by the end of the semester.

Storybook Stack. I'm still working my way through the stack of Storybook assignments that people have turned in this week, with some early Week 8 and Week 9 assignments still in the stack (on Thursday I finished all the Week 7 assignments, including the late ones). As always, my goal is to return comments to you before the weekend for any assignment submitted before noon on Friday. If you want to check to make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here.

Saturday, October 16: Oscar Wilde. October 16 marks the birthday in the year 1854 of the great Irish writer, Oscar Wilde. You can read more about Oscar Wilde's life and career in this detailed Wikipedia article. Wilde is probably most famous for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest - and also for his conviction in 1895 of "gross indecency" (a.k.a. homosexuality). This seems a very timely event to remember since our society, over hundred years later, still has a LOT to learn about accepting human sexuality (although, as in the title of this great video, It Gets Better). As a result of his conviction on these charges, Wilde spent two years in jail, and died three years after his release from prison, penniless and in self-imposed exile. My favorite works by Oscar Wilde are his fairy tales, which you can read online at SurLaLune. The image below is an illustration by Jessie King for Wilde's fairy tale entitled The Fisherman and His Soul: