Monday, August 19

Hello everybody, and welcome to FALL SEMESTER 2013. I hope that you had a great summer break and that you will have an exciting semester ahead! In this online course, you have a week of orientation activities to help you get acquainted with the tools and resources you will be using this semester. Please get started on the activities soon because you have some assignments that are already DUE ON TUESDAY. Here is how to get started:

Course websites. You will find all the information you need about the course assignments at the website for the class you are enrolled in. Just click on the website for the course you are enrolled in, and then click on the Week 1 Orientation link to find the list of assignments along with detailed instructions:
You will see all fifteen weeks of the semester listed on the homepage of each course website, and you are welcome to work as far ahead as you want. So, if you have some free time now before the work really begins in your other classes, you could get a good head start on the class. Some students are already working on Week 2! GO SOONERS!

Assignment Stack. Each week there will be something you turn in to me via email, which I will then read and comment on. In the first week, for example, you will turn in a Proofreading Practice assignment. As you turn those assignments in, I list them in the Stack. You can always check the stack to make sure I have received your assignment. I work through the stack in the order that the items were turned in; I will try to get each assignment back to you within 48 hours (not counting the weekend), but if there are a lot of items in the stack, it can sometimes take longer. If you have turned something in and do not see it listed in the stack, please contact me so that we can track down the missing email!

Questions...? The first week's Orientation activities are designed to introduce you to all the class activities and procedures, so don't worry: everything will become a lot more clear as you work your way through the Orientation assignments. Meanwhile, feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the class that are not answered at the course website. 

My question for you: D2L Calendar. There is a real dilemma with the Calendar in the new version of Desire2Learn that was installed in May. Given how dysfunctional the calendar is (the biggest problem is that even after you complete an item, you cannot remove it from the calendar), I am thinking that it might be best for me to remove the items for this class from the D2L Calendar, but I am really not sure what to do. You can read about the problem in this Ning Discussion Board (that will make sense after you create your Ning account), and if you have an opinion about this, please vote! I will go with what the majority decides on this one.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Featured Resource: Five Tips to Improve Writing in College. There is some good down-to-earth advice in this column from USA Today (written by a friend of mine) that certainly applies to this class, and I would guess it could apply to any class you are taking with a writing component.

Featured Storybook: Tales of Ganesha. This is a Storybook from the Indian Epics class in which the god Ganesha pays a visit to Norman, Oklahoma. Finding a way to weave the University of Oklahoma into the stories you might be writing for this class is always a fun option!

FREE Kindle eBook: Legends of the Rhine by Wilhelm Ruland. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the legends that are included. There are famous legends like the Lorelei and Lohengrin, along with many other German legends, each associated with a specific place.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Make hay while the sun shines (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. This is a favorite proverb of mine; it is like "Carpe diem! Seize the day!" - along with a dose of Protestant work ethic. I guess you could say: Seize the day... and make hay!

Monday Event on Campus: There will be a school supplies free give-away from 11:30AM - 12:30PM in the Will Rogers Food Court of the Union (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

August 19: Gene Roddenberry. On this day in 1921, Gene Roddenberry, the visionary creator of Star Trek, was born. As a lifelong Star Trek fan (I started watching the original series in third grade and then the animated series in fourth grade), I am very happy to celebrate Roddenberry's birthday, and I hope that some cosmic event has transported him in time and space to another great adventure (he left this life in 1991). You can read more about Roddenberry's life and many accomplishments in this Wikipedia article. Roddenberry is third from the right in this photo (to the left of Leonard Nimoy), watching the Space Shuttle Enterprise rolling out of the Palmdale manufacturing plant in 1976 (image source).