Sunday, January 19

Today is Sunday of Orientation Week (Week 1). The Read and Respond assignment and the other end-of-Week-1 assignments are due today. So, if you have not finished those up already, now is the time!

Class Procedures and Reminders:

My Weekend Schedule. (repeat announcement) I try not to do schoolwork on weekends, but I do check my email occasionally. So, if you have any questions or problems, definitely let me know, and if it's something urgent, I will get back to you as soon as I check my email. If you want to be sure I received an assignment you turned in by email, you can check the stack.

Martin Luther King Day. (repeat announcement) As you may have already noticed in this class, no assignments are due on Friday or on Monday. (That is because I am personally a big fan of long weekends for people who have the option of arranging their schedule in that way!) So, there are no changes to the class schedule because of the Monday holiday. Week 2 begins on Tuesday, and the week always begins on Tuesday; to see again how that works, here is the Class Calendar for this semester.

Get ahead this weekend! (repeat announcement) This weekend is the absolute best time to get ahead in this class, before things really get busy in your other classes. If you can do all the Week 2 assignments over this weekend, that will give you a cushion of extra time that will make the whole semester much easier for you in this class. Plus, the Early Bird extra credit is the easiest extra credit you can get. To take these extra credit points, you don't have to do any extra work - you just have to be on your own schedule, one week (or more) ahead of the class deadlines. Believe me: you will enjoy this class so much more if you set your own schedule, based on what is truly convenient for you, rather than having me set the deadlines.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Stories Online. I wanted to share here one of my very favorite story sources online: Dan Ashliman's Folktexts. As you can see in this screenshot, Professor Ashliman's website collects stories of different tale-types and puts them together side by side so that you can compare the different versions of the "same" stories. It's fascinating!

Book Recommendation. I have a book to recommend which is about reading books: The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs. This is one of the best books that I read last year, and even if you do not read the book, you can get a great sense of what it is about from this NPR interview with the author and/or from this video lecture by the author which you can watch online.

Foreign Words in English: Today's foreign word in English is mandala, a Sanskrit word that we use in English. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: Lost in the Woods: A Search Party in Peril. For those of you interested in the idea of a quest or mystery type of Storybook, this is a great project to look at, drawing on stories from around the world while building up a mystery of its own.

FREE Kindle eBook: Polish Fairy Tales by A. J. Glinski. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. As I was a Polish major in college, I naturally have a fondness for Polish fairy tales!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Dig a well before you are thirsty (a Chinese proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. As often with proverbs, the statement is literally true, with many powerful metaphorical applications too!

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is the Dasavatara, the ten avatars of Vishnu, which include the epic heroes Rama (third from top on left) and Krishna (third from top on right).

January 19: Edgar Allan Poe. Today, January 19, marks the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe in the year 1809, just over 200 years ago. You can read more about Poe's remarkable and tragic life in this detailed Wikipedia article, and the Penn Online Books page contains a list of his books which are available online. Below is an image of the cover designed by the famous illustrator Gustave Dore for Poe's famous poem, The Raven:

Note: You can page back through older blog posts to see any announcements you might have missed.