Thursday, January 30

Today is Thursday of WEEK 3. If you have not turned in your Week 2 Storybook assignment yet, you have until noon today to turn that in for partial credit. Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you did not complete any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday.

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Storybook Stack. I'm still working my way through the large stack of Storybook assignments that people have turned in. If you turned in a Storybook assignment before 10PM on Sunday, you should have comments back from me. If you turned in something later on Sunday or on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, it is probably still in the stack (contents of the stack). Please check to make sure! As you can see, it takes me a while to get through all the assignments that people turn in on Sunday, so if you want comments back sooner rather than later, turn in your Storybook on Saturday — don't wait until Sunday! Meanwhile, I'll be sure to reply on or before Friday to any assignment that is in the stack now, along with anything that comes in today.

Week 3 Read and Respond assignment. The Week 3 blog commenting assignment is not available yet; it is available each week starting on Friday. The blog commenting assignment is the only assignment you cannot complete early because people will still be adding posts to their blog today, Thursday. So please wait until midnight tonight when people should have finished their Week 3 blog posts tonight (Thursday), and then on Friday (starting tonight at midnight tonight if you want), you can do the Read and Respond assignment. It's available all day Friday and also over the weekend (with the usual grace period on Monday morning).

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writer's Advice: This advice comes from the great Ray Bradbury: You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

Writing Resource: Quoted Speech. Quoted speech and quoted thoughts are one of the best ways to add life to your story, and this page reviews the rules for quoted statements, questions, and exclamations.

Foreign Words in English: Today's foreign word in English is raj which comes to us from Hindi. For details, see this blog post. You may have seen the television miniseries The Jewel in the Crown which is based on the four-volume novel series known as The Raj Quartet; The Jewel in the Crown is title of the first novel in the Raj Quartet series.

Featured Storybook: CI: The Goddess Files. Detective Sara Rivers works for the Point Pleasant Police Department, but she is struggling to understand some very unpleasant crimes - crimes which strangely echo the events of the Indian epics.

FREE Kindle eBook: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is probably the most famous mongoose in literary history!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Without people even paradise gets boring (a Polish proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. The Polish version rhymes: Bez LUDZI i raj siÄ™ ZNUDZI.

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Vali and Sugriva in their final fight; you can see Rama off to the right.

Thursday Event on Campus: There will be free massages and haircuts as part of the Treat You Self event in the Union first floor lobby, 11:30AM - 12:30PM (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

January 30: Assassination of Gandhi. On January 30 in 1948, Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated. The image below shows the memorial in New Delhi where Gandhi's body was cremated. If you look closely at the photograph, you will see some words written in Devanagari script, gold letters on the black stone, just behind the burning stick of incense: the words are "Hey Ram" (Oh Rama!), which were reportedly the words Gandhi uttered as he was shot. Gandhi's invocation of the god Rama will definitely mean something to the students in the Indian Epics class. Although it is a matter of some controversy as to whether those were Gandhi's last words, here is something he wrote in December 1947, just weeks before his assassination: "In the end it will be as Rama commands me. Thus I dance as He pulls the strings. I am in His hands and so I am experiencing ineffable peace."

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