WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK! I've included some information below that might be useful to those of you doing some schoolwork over the break, but I know many of you are out of town... and I wish you happy and safe travels! These announcements will stay up until Saturday, March 22, when I'll start posting daily announcements again as usual.

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Finishing Week 9. If you did not finish up the Week 9 assignments on the Friday before break, you can finish Week 9 at your convenience now. There will be a grace period as usual on Monday morning, March 24, after the break is over, so that is when you have to make sure you have finished all the Week 9 assignments. Week 10 will start on Tuesday, March 25.

Spring Break email. I will be checking email intermittently over the Spring Break although I may be out of town for a few days. If you have questions or problems, send me a note and I'll get back to you as soon as I am online again.

Storybook Stack. I have a few Storybooks in the stack still as of Saturday morning, March 15, and I will get those cleared out as soon as I can on Saturday. Anything that came in on Friday, March 14 or during Spring Break will go into the stack for Monday, March 24, when I will start reading and replying to the assignments people have turned in. I'll update the contents of the stack periodically during the break, depending on when I have Internet access.

Working ahead on your Storybook. If you want to work ahead on your Storybook, please do so! You can actually write your remaining stories over Spring Break if you want, and have them all lined up and ready to go. You can only turn in one Storybook assignment at a time, but if you want to get your stories written and ready to go, that's a great strategy for working ahead and dramatically reducing your work load in the final weeks of the semester.

Alternate Storybook schedule. For those of you who are on an alternate Storybook schedule, you can check in Desire2Learn to see just what you have due. There's a "Progress" item in the Gradebook which either says "Storybook on schedule" or which indicates your alternate schedule and what you have due in Week 9. For more information about alternate schedules, see the Storybook Schedule page.

Finishing the class early. If you want to finish the class early, working ahead over Spring Break is a very good way to get ahead. There's one student, in fact, who will probably be finishing up the class completely over Spring Break! For a chart that shows you week by week point totals and other information about the grading system, you can consult this Grading Chart page. When you have reached the the points required for the grade you want to take (410 points for an A, 360 points for A, 320 points for a C), just let me know. As soon as you get the points you need, you are done — you do not need to do any more of the class assignments after you reach your final grade target.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Suggestion Box: You may have already noticed the anonymous Suggestion Box which appears in the blog sidebar here. Please feel free to use that to share with me your comments and suggestions about the class!

Writing Humor: Punctuation Personalities. The graphic asks which punctuation mark matches your personality. I guess I am mostly a semi-colon, with a dash of dash!

Mythology Words in English: Today's mythology word in English is tantalize, from the story of King Tantalus in Greek mythology. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: Heroes Revealed: The Truth. Charon the boatman has ferried many heroes to the shores of the afterlife. So that you can learn just what it means to be a hero, he will take you to meet Heracles, Beowulf, King Arthur and Cleopatra, who will tell you the stories of their own heroic deeds.

FREE Kindle eBook: Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. Some of the titles will be familiar to you - like "The Ugly Duckling" or "The Little Mermaid" - but you will find many other marvelous fairy tales here that are no doubt new to you!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Fall down seven times, get up eight (a Japanese proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. Luckily, when we were babies, we didn't worry about mistakes when we were learning to walk! As adults, we find it harder to take mistakes in stride, but it's important to be able to do just that: making mistakes is the only way to really learn something. :-)

Mahabharata Image: Today's Mahabharata image is Draupadi and the Pandavas. You can see Yudhishthira and Draupadi on the throne, the twins Nakula and Sahadeva standing beside them, with Bhima (note the mace) on the left and Arjuna to the right.

And here's a haiku in honor of Spring Break:


(image from the SpringHaiku Blog)

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