Thursday, January 17

Today is Thursday of WEEK 1 of class. Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday. You must complete the Week 1 Wednesday assignments if you want to remain in this class, so please make sure you finish up all your Wednesday assignments by noon today at the latest!

Ning FAQs and Tips. I want to call your attention to the list of Ning FAQs and Tips at the class wiki. You will find information there about managing your Ning blog and also about your profile page. If there is something you want to find out which is not answered there already, please let me know and I'll add to the list of tips!

Grace period. Please try not to treat the "grace period" as the due date for your assignments. Here's the problem: if you treat the Grace period as the deadline, then you won't have any Grace period left for an emergency. The Grace period is there for real emergencies, totally random things that happen which unexpectedly prevent you from finishing your work on the day that it is due. If something is due on Thursday, it really is due ON THURSDAY - which means you should finish that assignment on Thursday. Or, even better, finish the assignments several days before they are due, so you are not having to stress about the deadline at all!

2 classes = 1 Ning. As you have noticed, both of the online courses I teach are combined into one Ning. There are a couple reasons why I did that. One reason is very practical: I am paying out of my pocket to have the Ning be ad-free, so I prefer to pay just once, instead of having to pay for multiple Nings. The other reason is that later on in the semester you will be looking at the Storybooks for the students in the other class, so you need a shared space where you can interact. Starting tomorrow, Friday, you'll be able to do the Read & Respond assignment, reading and responding to the blog posts of people in your class (more about that in tomorrow's announcements) - in the meantime, feel free to leave comments on anything at the Ning that happens to get your attention!

Thursday Events on Campus. The opening reception for the Art/Landscape Exhibit in the Lightwell Gallery will begin at 6PM (time/location/details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

January 17: Benjamin Franklin. Today is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, polymath and politician, who was born in 1706. I find Franklin to be a fascinating character and there is plenty of wonderful reading in this long Wikipedia article about his life and various careers. In particular, it includes words written by Franklin when he was only 22 years old, pondering what he would like to see as the epitaph written on his tombstone: The Body of B. Franklin Printer; Like the Cover of an old Book, Its Contents torn out, And stript of its Lettering and Gilding, Lies here, Food for Worms. But the Work shall not be wholly lost: For it will, as he believ'd, appear once more, In a new & more perfect Edition, Corrected and Amended By the Author. There is also a wonderful Latin verse composed in Franklin's honor by the French statesman Turgot: Eripuit caelo fulmen, sceptrumque tyrannis, "He ripped the lightning from the sky, and the sceptre from the tyrants." You can see the verse included in the portrait of Franklin below: