Thursday, January 16

Today is Thursday of Orientation Week. Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday.

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Ning Comments. I'll be responding today to those of you who published your Introduction posts on Wednesday, and I'll also be putting everybody into blog groups so you can respond to each other's Introductions and also to each other's stories. That assignment will be ready at midnight tonight. So, for those of you who are night owls, you can come check back in the wee hours of Friday morning and do that Ning blog responding assignment if you want!

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!

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 pocket for the Ning, 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. Plus, I think it makes the Ning very lively to have the blog posts from both classes popping up, with all the great images and intriguing titles for the stories people are writing and sharing!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Resource: First-Person Storytelling. This page provides all kinds of ideas for those of you who want to explore first-person storytelling styles in the stories you write for this class.

Foreign Words in English: Today's foreign word in English is January, which comes from the name of the Roman god Janus - who is also newly famous on our campus for inspiring the name of the OU learning platform, Janux. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: The Brahmazing Race. Brahma is your host for the "Brahmazing Race" in which Team Dharma (Rama and Sita) and Team Asura (Ravana and Surpanakha) compete for the big prize. The race ranges all over India, with the teams facing geographical challenges and epic tale challenges at each stop.

FREE Kindle eBook: Folklore of Southern India by Georgiana Kingscote and Natesa Sastri. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. It is full of delightful surprises including tigers, mangos and mongooses!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is A penny saved is a penny earned (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. Pennies are not worth what they once were, but the advice is still good!

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Hanuman the monkey god. He always has Sita and Rama in his heart, as you can see:

Thursday Event on Campus: Thanks to Brittany in Myth-Folklore for letting me know about this event! The Lead and Volunteer program is sponsoring "Your Norman Neighborhood in Need: A Showcase of Community Volunteer Opportunities" from 5PM - 6PM today on the second floor of Couch Cafeterias (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

January 16: Tu B'shvat. Today is the Jewish holiday of Tu B'shvat, the "Fifteenth (day) in (the month of) Shevat," also known as the "New Year of the Trees," a holiday that falls in either January or February of each year, depending on the Jewish calendar, coinciding with the full moon. This year it falls on January 16 (from dusk on the evening of January 15 until the dusk of January 16). In Israel, the date is especially associated with the flowering of the almond trees, which you can see in the image below. On this holiday, people eat dried fruits and nuts, and they also plant new trees, something like our "Arbor Day" holiday. You can read more about the holiday at Wikipedia, which is also the source for this image showing an almond tree in bloom in Israel:

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