Thursday, February 20

Today is Thursday of WEEK 6. If you have not turned in your Week 5 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 finish the assignments that were due on Wednesday.

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Commenting on Storybooks. Every week from now through Week 12 of the semester, you will be commenting on people's writing at their Storybooks. During these weeks as you comment on people's Storybooks, please provide as much detailed, specific feedback as possible! It's nice to get compliments, but it is also really good to get feedback about what things could be improved, especially now, early in the semester. So, do not hesitate to say when something is confusing, or when something seems repetitious, or if you think something is important is missing. Every semester, students tell me that they wish they had received more detailed feedback on their Storybooks, rather than just generic compliments; find out more about Good Feedback: Details, Details, Details!

Storybook Stack
. I'm still working my way through the large stack of Storybook assignments that people have turned in. If you turned in an assignment by 10PM on Sunday, you should have comments back from me now. If you turned in an assignment later on Sunday or on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, your assignment is probably still in the stack, waiting for me to get to it. If you want to check and make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here.

Scheduling: For those of you who are consistently finishing your work during the grace period after the deadline, I would urge you to try to rein in your schedule and work ahead of the deadlines. That way, the grace period will be available for real emergencies. If you treat the grace period as your deadline, that means you won't have room to maneuver if a real emergency does come up. You might find it helpful to review this advice about Creating Your Own Class Schedule.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Resource: Conjunctions. After sharing the video Conjunction Junction earlier this week, today I wanted to share this help page about how to punctuate conjunctions correctly!

Foreign Words in English: Today's foreign word in English is volcano, which comes to use from the Roman god of fire and metallurgy, Vulcan (and yes, he also gave his name to a planet in the Star Trek universe!). For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: Rate My Rishi. If you've ever visited the website for, you'll feel right at home at Rate My Rishi, where the rishis' students, fans, and enemies sing their praises and dish the mythological dirt, too.

FREE Kindle eBook: Songs of Kabir translated by Rabindranath Tagore. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. Kabir was one of the great mystical poets of India, revered by both Hindus and Muslims.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is If you climb up a tree, you must climb down the same tree (a proverb from Sierra Leona). Details at the Proverb Lab. This is something like an outdoor version of "As you make your bed, so you must lie on it."

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Hanuman battling the sea monster. If you look closely, you can see Hanuman disappearing down the throat of the monster, preparing to destroy it from the inside out! You can then see Hanuman emerging victorious at the far right.

Thursday Event on Campus: David Pogue will be speaking about STEM Education at 1:30PM in Meacham (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

February 20: Frederick Douglass. Today marks the anniversary of the death of the American abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass. Douglass died on February 20 in 1895; as he was born in slavery, he did not know with certainty the day or year of his birth - he guessed he was born around 1818 and he chose to celebrate February 14 as his birthday. Among his written works, his autobiography is the most famous, and justifiably so; if you have not read it, I would highly (HIGHLY) recommend that you do so: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Douglass published The Narrative in 1845 (after having escaped to freedom in 1838); this photograph shows Douglass circa 1850:

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