Friday, February 14

HAPPY FRIDAY! You have reached the end of Week 5! The Read and Respond assignment (blog commenting) is available now. Friday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you did not finish the assignments that were due on Thursday.

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Storybook Stack. If you turned in a Week 4 Storybook assignment on Sunday, you should have gotten comments back from me now, with points recorded in the Gradebook. If you turned something in during the grace period on Monday or later in the week, it may still be in the stack. I'm still hoping I will get to the end of the stack today, but if I don't manage to finish everything today, I will get comments back to you on Saturday (anything turned in on Friday will go to the top of the stack for Monday).

Week 5 Responding. For the Responding assignment, you should be looking for the Week 5 essay and story — which means you may need to scroll down if someone in your group is working ahead. There is also an extra credit option where you can read some other students' "Famous Last Words" posts. For more information, see the link in the regular assignment instructions!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Tips. Today's writing tips come from one of my favorite English authors, George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm. Of his six rules for writing, one of the most famous is: "Never use a long word where a short one will do."

Writing Resource: Interjections. Interjections can really bring your writing to life, and if you are not sure how to punctuate a sentence with an interjection, check out the Interjections help page. You might also enjoy this old Grammar Rock video that explains how interjections work:

Words to Watch: Today's words to watch out for are THRONE and THROWN. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: Siren, City in the Clouds. Welcome to the world of Siren, a city in the sky, founded in the year 2433, which hovers on a floating island. It may be far away from the Earth, but the adventures of the city's inhabitants echo the fairy tales of Earth's ages-old storytelling traditions.

FREE Kindle eBook: The Aeneid translated by John Dryden. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the book. John Dryden was one of the great poets of 17th-century England. Here is how he rendered the famous opening lines of the poem: Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate, / And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate / Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Good books are true friends (a quote from Francis Bacon). Details at the Proverb Lab. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was one of the most important figures in the history of science.

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image features Jatayu, shown here with Rama (blue) and his brother Lakshmana.

Friday Event on Campus: There will be a workshop on Inclusivity as part of The Race Card Project at 3:30PM in the Harlow Room of the History of Science Collections in Bizzell Library (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

Valentine's Day: Green M-and-M Legend. In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a Valentine's Day Legend from In 2008, the Mars Candy Company promoted the distribution of packages of all-green M-and-M candies because the green candies are supposedly an aphrodisiac - true or false??? Well, tells us that is true that Mars promoted the green candies for Valentine's Day, but as to whether the green M-and-Ms really are an aphrodisiac, is not saying! Other legends about the candy colors are as follows: orange ones are good luck, brown ones are bad luck, and if you get a red one last out of the bag, you should make a wish and it will come true. As for the green M-and-Ms being an aphrodisiac, no one is quite sure how this rumor got started, but it has been circulating since the 1970s! Happy Valentine's Day!

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