Wedesday, November 5

Today is Wednesday of WEEK 12. If you have not turned in your Week 11 Storybook/Portfolio assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit, and Wednesday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you did not finish the Reading Diary that was due on Tuesday — and if you missed them yesterday, here's a link to Tuesday's announcements.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Portfolio/Storybook stack. If you turned in an assignment before 6PM on Sunday, you should have comments back from me and points recorded in the Gradebook. If you turned something in later on Sunday, or on Monday or Tuesday, it is probably still in the stack. You can check the contents of the stack to make sure I received your assignment.

Week 15 available. (repeat announcement) As you reach the end of the class, I hope you will include doing the Week 15 assignments as part of your "finishing up" plan. Like in Week 8, Week 15 is a review week with no new reading, and for the blog posts I'm looking for feedback and suggestions to improve the reading and writing activities in these classes next semester. Any ideas you have would be very welcome! So, as you get close to the end, you can do those Week 15 assignments; there's a link to the Week 15 assignments on the regular assignments page now. Thanks in advance for your input!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Are You Too Busy? How to Know Your Limits. Finding that "sweet spot" where you are leading an exciting life — not too boring, not too busy — can be a real challenge. You might find some good advice in this article from the Wall Street Journal: Are You Too Busy? How to Know Your Limits by Sue Shellenbarger.

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

Featured Storybook: Jason and the Argonauts' Quest. You may be familiar with the story of Jason and the Argonauts, but you have probably not heard the story told this way, in the form of Jason's own diary, capturing his thoughts and fears at the bizarre events which take place on his journey to seek the Golden Fleece.

FREE Kindle eBook: The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book. This is Lang's first of the "fairy book" series and it contains many fairy tales whose titles you will recognize!

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer (a Norwegian proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. This is a good proverb as we approach the end of the semester!

Mahabharata Image: Today's Mahabharata image is Damayanti and Nala. This is the moment when Nala is about to leave Damayanti in the forest.

Wednesday Event on Campus: Michael Sulick, the former Director of the National Clandestine Service at the Central Intelligence Agency, will discuss the history of espionage in the United States, 12PM-1PM in 142 Hester Hall (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

November 5: Guy Fawkes Night. In England, the night of November 5 is celebrated as Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, commemorating the occasion when the so-called Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was prevented. So, even though the holiday is named after Guy Fawkes, the holiday is not in his honor: Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, was involved in a plot to blow up the House of Parliament in England as a protest against the Protestant government's persecution of Catholics. The plot was discovered, and Guy Fawkes, along with the other conspirators, was condemned to death. In the celebrations of Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes is often burned in effigy; those of you who have read T.S. Eliot's poem The Hollow Men may remember the line, "A penny for the old Guy" - and the origin of our English word "guy" actually goes back to this use of the word. The film V for Vendetta made the Guy Fawkes mask familiar to many of you, I am sure!

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.