Monday, September 8

Today is Monday. Week 3 is now over... and Week 4 has begun. Monday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you did not finish any of the assignments that were due on Friday or over the weekend. This week's topic in the Myth-Folklore class is the Middle East and India, and in Indian Epics you will be starting Buck's Ramayana. I hope you will enjoy the readings!

Class Procedures and Reminders

Storybook stack. As always on Monday, I will have a HUGE bunch of assignments in the Storybook stack that were turned in over the weekend or on Monday morning. The first thing I will do on Monday morning when I get to work is to update the list of items in the Storybook stack. So, after 9AM or so on Monday, you will be able to check the contents of the stack to make sure I received your assignment. Please do not go on to the Week 4 Storybook assignment until you get Week 3 comments back from me. I will get back to you as quickly as I can!

Grading Chart. The class is now 20% over, so you might want to use this Grading Chart to see how you are doing. The chart lets you see the point totals week by week so you can gauge whether you are on track for the grade you want to receive in the class (remember that you might not have your Week 3 Storybook points in the Gradebook yet). If you are not on track, just make sure you do more of the assigned work along with some extra credit to make up any assignments you might have missed over these first three weeks.

Myth-Folklore Reading. (repeat announcement) Thanks again to everybody for all the great feedback last week, and I've written up a report summarizing the responses: Un-Textbook Report for Week 3. It is so useful for me to get this week by week input on how I can keep on improving the Un-Textbook: I really appreciate it! Based on this round of feedback, I've added some more information about story length to the reading unit overviews for the Middle Eastern and Indian units. There is also information there about the Reading Diary posts — the key thing being not to get bogged down in your notetaking. Focus on your favorites!

Indian Epics Reading. (repeat announcement) For Weeks 4-7, you will be reading William Buck's English version of Valmiki's Ramayana, and right from the start you will see that it is much more complete and detailed than Narayan's version. So with Buck's version, it is even more important not to get bogged down in summarizing the plot in your Reading Diary; instead, focus on what really grabs your attention while you are doing the reading (more tips here). And now that you have chosen your Storybook topic, you can also use your Reading Diary to take notes related to that topic!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Inspiration: Genius Is.... Grant Snider is one of my favorite cartoonists, and here is his take on the famous statement that genius is "1% inspiration, 99% inspiration."

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

Featured Storybook: Alexander the Great, Reborn! Alexander the Great lamented that he had only one world to conquer... but imagine Alexander in outer space, with one planet after another that can be his. This Storybook tells the adventures of Xander Mace, whose adventures in outer space are strangely reminiscent of the victories of the ancient Alexander.

FREE Kindle eBook: Myths of Babylonia and Assyria by Donald A. MacKenzie. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book, which includes the story of Gilgamesh, along with Ishtar and Tammuz, and many more myths and legends.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is The darkest hour is just before the dawn (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. It may not be literally true, but this proverb has a lot of metaphorical power.

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Ravana, the ten-headed king of the rakshasas. The artist has indeed managed to include all ten heads!

September 8 Event on Campus: There will be a brown bag lunch talk by Joshua Landis, one of the most amazing people you can meet at OU, on "Syria, The Rise of the Islamic State, and US Policy" in Hester Hall 145 at noon (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

September 8: Star Trek begins. Yes, today is a great day in the history of television — it marks the broadcast of the first episode of the original Star Trek series in 1966 (yes, 48 years ago!); the original series then ran for three seasons until June 3, 1969. My devotion to Star Trek began in 1972, when the show was in reruns and I was able to watch every afternoon when I came home from school (I was in third grade). I have never lost my love of that show!

Note: You can page back through older blog posts to see any announcements you might have missed, and you can check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day.