Tuesday, November 30

Today is Tuesday of WEEK 14 of the class. That means you are finishing up Buck's Mahabharata in Indian Epics, while it's Charles Dickens in World Literature, and American folklore in the Myth-Folklore class. For those of you who are working ahead, Week 15 is also available! If you have not turned in your Week 13 Storybook assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit.

Storybook Ballots. I've tallied up the nominations that people turned in (thanks to everybody who participated in that part of the process!), and you can see the top nominations for each class here: Storybook Ballot Fall 2010. The ballot contains LINKS to all the Storybooks which you can use to refresh your memory - and also to visit the Storybooks in the other classes, if you are curious. For each class, you will find the actual ballot for voting in Desire2Learn at the top of the quiz list for Week 14. This is just for fun - not for points or a grade or anything. If you have a few minutes to spare, please vote for your own personal favorites! The ballot will be available until 5PM on Thursday and I'll announce the results Friday.

Course evaluation at eval.ou.edu. You all should have received an email from the College of Arts & Sciences about the course evaluations for all your courses available now at the eval.ou.edu website. I hope you will take a few minutes to complete the evaluation - your feedback is incredibly helpful to me in making improvements to these courses, and it is also a big help to the College in general as they continue to develop the online course program. The online course program exists because students find it valuable to be able to take courses online, and any ideas you have for how the program can be improved will be very useful to the College as they continue (hopefully!) to offer these online courses.

Storybook stack. There are still quite a few Storybooks in the stack! This week I get kind of overwhelmed by all the assignments that are coming in as people try to finish up the class early, so please be patient and I'll be sure to get comments back to everybody by the end of the week - meanwhile, you can check the contents of the stack to make sure I have received your assignment. If you turned something in before 8PM on Saturday or earlier, you should have comments back from me by now; if you turned something in later on Saturday or on Sunday or Monday, it is probably still in the stack.

IMPORTANT Week 15 Schedule Note. For those of you who will still be doing classwork during Week 15 (dead week), please be aware that it is on a different schedule: your final Week 15 assignments are due on Friday, December 10, by noon. I would encourage everyone, if possible, to complete your Week 15 assignments now, so that you will not have anything due during dead week. If, however, you will be doing Week 15 work next week, make sure you note the change in schedule: All final Week 15 assignments are due by Friday, December 10, at noon. In addition, your Week 14 Storybook assignment must be turned in by Monday, December 6, at noon (that is, during the Week 14 grace period). No late Week 14 Storybook assignments will be accepted. This way, I can promise to return your Week 14 Storybook assignment to you by Wednesday at noon so that you will have time to complete your Week 15 assignment by Friday at noon.

November 30: Mark Twain. Today, November 30, marks the birthday of Mark Twain in the year 1835. As the author of Huckleberry Finn, Twain is one of the most important authors in the American literary tradition - and also one of the funniest. Twain has been in the news lately because his unexpurgated autobiography (first volume) was recently published - and has instantly become a bestseller! You can read some excerpts from the autobiography online. My favorite of Twain's books is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which you can read online here - with illustrations, too! The image below shows Twain accepting an honorary degree at Oxford University in 1907: