Monday, November 17

SNOW DAY. As I'm sure you know already, Monday is a snow day — so stay warm, everybody! Since this is an online class, the campus closing is not the same problem that it is for a classroom-based class, but just in case the snow has disrupted your schedule, I have extended the Monday reading deadline until Tuesday, and I have also extended the Monday grace period until Tuesday noon for any remaining Week 13 assignments. That also means I'll be collecting Storybook/Portfolio nominations until Tuesday noon, with the ballot available for voting on Wednesday and Thursday. Please be aware that the Tuesday reading deadline remains the same; you can see how all that works by looking at the dates in Desire2Learn, and if you have any questions, let me know! And enjoy the early winter adventure!

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Today is Monday. Week 13 is now over... and Week 14 has begun. This is the last week with new readings because Week 15 will be a review week (like Week 8 was). So, I hope you will enjoy the last week of readings!

Class Procedures and Reminders

Storybook/Portfolio stack. As usual on Monday, the stack is big! First thing on Monday morning, I will update the contents of the stack, and I will begin working my way through the stack based on the order in which things were turned in. I'll be at work per usual since I don't want to get behind on the Storybooks this week. In fact, I hope people will want to finish this week so that you can really enjoy the Thanksgiving break (see next item).

Thanksgiving Break. You will be getting a full week off for Thanksgiving in this class. Thanksgiving falls on November 27 this year, which means it is very late in the semester. So, you will have all the regular M-T-W-Th assignments in Week 14 on the regular schedule this week. Then, after the Thursday assignments on November 20, the remaining Week 14 assignments are not due until after Thanksgiving, with the usual grace period on Monday, December 1. I hope that makes sense; if you have any questions, please ask!

Week 13 UnTextbook Report(repeat announcement) Thanks as always to the people who filled out the Google Form with your comments and feedback about the European units, first week. I've written up the results here: Week 13 UnTextbook Report. People seem to be pleased with all their choices, so I am very glad about that!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Resource: Writing Advice. I think this is excellent advice: Write without fear; edit without mercy.

Indian Words in English: Today's Indian word in English is BRAHMIN, which comes to English from Sanskrit brahmana. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: Sita: A Song of Valor. The adventures, both happy and sad, of Sita's exemplary life are told in later years by her own son, Master Lava, the village teacher.

FREE Kindle eBook: Polish Fairy Tales by A. J. Glinski. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. Polish fairy tales are not in the UnTextbook, but here is a lovely book of Polish fairy tales you can read!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is If a string has one end, then it has another end (a Chinese proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. A proverb that is both logical and optimistic!

Mahabharata Image: Today's Mahabharata image is The Battle of Kurukshetra, with the gods watching from on high.

November 17: Birth of "The Mouse." On November 17 in the year 1970, computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart was granted a patent for what would become the "mouse" interface for supplying data, manually, to a computer. In the patent application, he described the wooden box with its two metal wheels as an "X-Y position indicator for a display system," although he nicknamed it the "mouse" because it had a tail coming out one end that connected it to the computer system. Dr. Engelbart did not profit from his invention because the patent ran out in 1987 before the widespread use of personal computers made the mouse ubiquitous (I remember first seeing someone using a mouse in the summer of 1984). You can read more about the history of the mouse in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for this image of Dr. Engelbart's mouse, circa 1970:

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.