Week 5 Untextbook Report

Here is a report on the UnTextbook reading selections people made in Week 4 and Week 5 of the class, with people choosing between the Middle Eastern and Indian units. I was surprised that the Middle Eastern units proved so much more the Indian units, but I am glad people wanted to spend two weeks on the Middle East. The Indian units will get a second chance in the Indian Epics class, since during Weeks 11-14 of the semester, students in that class can use the UnTextbook if they want too!

First, here are the number of ratings and the average of those ratings — with so few ratings, though, I wouldn't make too much of the averages, but over time this is going to be incredibly helpful to me as I learn more about which units are proving more successful, which units need improvement, etc. So, 5 is "excellent," 4 is "very good," 3 is "good," 2 is "okay," 1 is "did not enjoy."

Middle Eastern units: 63 total

4.5 (19 ratings)Arabian Nights
4.5 (11 ratings)Persian Tales
4.1 (10 ratings)Sindbad
4.0 (3 ratings)Holy Land
4.0 (1 rating)Georgia
3.6 (8 ratings)Turkish
3.4 (8 ratings)Egypt
3.0 (3 ratings)Parrot Tales

Indian units: 29 total

5.0 (1 rating)Ramayana
4.4 (5 ratings)Buddha
4.3 (3 ratings)Jataka Shedlock
4.3 (13 ratings)Goblins
4.0 (1 rating)Bengali
4.0 (1 rating)Khasi
4.0 (1 rating)Raja Rasalu
3.8 (4 ratings)Indian (Jacobs)

Below are some responses to the comments people made, and I am SO GRATEFUL for all this feedback. Because the comments you make in the Google Form are anonymous, I cannot reply to people individually, and I'm thinking these replies might be of general interest anyway — and you might want to check out my replies to previous comments too. There were not a lot of new types of comments different from last week's comments, but a few stood out:

Arabian Nights. I need to add a note to the ending that is found in some versions of the book about Scheherazade having babies along the way and living "happily ever after" with the Sultan!

Egypt. This unit had the widest range of reactions of any unit so far, all the way from "Excellent" to "I did not like it" ... so, for some reason or other, it does provoke strong reactions! Two people were really unhappy this unit, but when I checked the unit overview and the story titles, I could not figure out what to change. I will just keep hoping that people will explore a little bit before making a choice, and maybe glancing at some of the stories to see what they think of the language used so that you can see if it is going to be a good choice or not.

Indian Fairy Tales (Jacobs). I need to read through this unit to find the Hindi words in order to provide more notes explaining anything unusual!

Raja Rasalu. I should write up some more notes about how to play chaupur and pachisi!

(Shiva and Parvati playing chaupur)