Monday, August 18

Today is Monday, August 18, the first official day of classes for Fall 2014! There are ORIENTATION WEEK activities in this class to help you learn your way around this online class, and I hope those activities will be both fun and informative. You will find instructions for getting started below, and if you have any questions that are not answered here in the announcements, just let me know!

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Course Websites. You will find all the information you need about the course assignments at the website for the class you are enrolled in, and you will find links to the course websites in Desire2Learn also:
Please get started on the Orientation Week activities soon because you have some assignments that are already due on Tuesday.

My Schedule. These online classes are my full-time job, and I work pretty much a standard work week, Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 Oklahoma time. You can expect to find me online during those times, and I'll answer emails (and tweets!) promptly during those hours. During the evenings, I do check email occasionally, so if you run into a snag or problem, let me know. If it is something urgent, I will get back to you quickly; otherwise, I will get back to you first thing in the morning. If I will be away from my desk for more than an hour or so during the day, I'll post an update here in the announcements.

Blogs and Comments. One of the first things you will be doing is to create your blog for this class, and then later in the week you will be reading and commenting on each other's blogs. If you are curious about how the commenting works, you can get some information about that here: Blogger Comments. I'll be leaving comments on your blog this week as my time allows. I had so much fun reading and commenting on the blog posts people published last week, and I'm excited to see the rest of the blogs taking shape this week!

About These Announcements. At the top of each day's anouncements, you'll see the announcements that pertain to the actual class activities — deadlines, important information for completing assignments, etc. That will always be at the top, and then below those announcements there will be some more items for fun and exploration. Also, be sure to check out the class Twitter stream for new fun stuff during the day; you can see the Twitter widget in the sidebar of this blog.

Video: Maati Baani with Joy Shanti. This is one of my favorite music videos from India. Enjoy!!!

Words to Watch: I'm a total word nerd, so I'll be sharing word-related items each day in the announcements. Today's item is a pair of words that are easy to confuse: CAPITAL and CAPITOL. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: I'll also be sharing a Storybook from the archives each day in the announcements. Today the Storybook is Hero Academy. Inside the ancient fortress of a remote citadel are the training grounds of the Hero Academy, where future heroes debate the virtues of mythical diplomacy and the role of mankind in a world of many living creatures.

FREE Kindle eBook: I'll also be sharing a FREE Kindle eBook in each day's announcements. Today's book is The Book of Were-Wolves by Sabine Baring-Gould. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. Sabine Baring-Gould is a fascinating fellow in his own right; you can find out more about him at Wikipedia.

Words of Wisdom: Because I love (LOVE) proverbs, each day's announcement's will also contain a proverb. Today's proverb poster is Make hay while the sun shines (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. That's good advice both literally and metaphorically!

Ramayana Image: Each set of announcements will also include an image from the Indian Epics. Today's image is Rama, appropriately enough! This statue is found in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India.

Monday Event on Campus: There is lots going on at OU every day, and I'll pick out some event announcement to share here. If you are in a student group and would like to publicize an event in the class announcements this way, just let me know. Today, Monday, there will be a UPB Prize Wheel Giveaway in the Union First Floor Lobby from 11:30AM - 12:30PM (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

August 18: Edward Norton. Finally, I'll include a calendar event — a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday, etc. — at the end of each day's announcements. Today, August 18, happens to be the birthday of one of my favorite actors, Edward Norton, so... Happy Birthday, Edward Norton! You can read about his life and career in this Wikipedia article. There are so many Edward Norton movies which are on my list of personal favorites that I am not even sure which one to mention here. I guess I will opt for The Illusionist, which you can also read about here at Wikipedia. What a great film!

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