Thursday, December 4

Today is Thursday of WEEK 15. Thursday morning until noon is the grace period if you did not finish the Wednesday work — and if you missed them yesterday, here's a link to Wednesday's announcements.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Class ends on Friday. The class ends tomorrow, Friday, at noon. Here are the Week 15 assignments — and I hope you will finish up today, Thursday, instead of waiting until the last minute on Friday. All the assignments are now available, including the Week 15 blog responding assignment (you will be nicely surprised by that one I think). As you reach the points you need for your final grade — 410 points for an A, 360 points for a B, 320 points for a C — let me know, and I'll record the letter grade for you there in the Desire2Learn Gradebook.

My Thursday Schedule. I'll be out of the office for much of the day today, but I will be sure to reply on Thursday evening at the latest to any Storybook or Portfolio assignments that people turn in during the day today, and that way you will know just where you stand in terms of finishing up the class. You can check the stack to make sure I received your Week 15 assignment, but I probably won't be updating the stack for much of the day on Thursday.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Writing Resource: Are Emoticons the Future of Language?. You all have probably noticed that I use the smiley :-) a lot in when I write. This YouTube video offers some thoughts about emoticons by Ben Zimmer, a linguist and one of my favorite language commentators.

Indian Words in English: Today's Indian words in English are LEMON and LIME, both of which ultimately come from Persian limu and Sanskrit nimbu. For details, see this blog post.

Featured Storybook: The Rumpelstiltskin Show. Rapunzel and her girlfriends have gotten together to watch the Brothers Grimm get skewered on the Rumpelstiltskin Show. It's payback time for the long-suffering characters of the stories told by the Brothers Grimm!

FREE Kindle eBook: The Marvelous Exploits of Paul Bunyan by William B. Laughead. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book; you may be surprised to find out that Paul Bunyan was originally invented as a marketing campaign, kind of like Betty Crocker or Uncle Ben!
Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Different strokes for different folks (an American proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. The image in the poster is from a Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans.

Mahabharata Image: Today's Mahabharata image is Arjuna and Krishna, as Krishna manifests his godhood before the Battle of Kurukshetra.

Thursday Event on Campus: There will be a Percussion Holiday Concert from 1:30PM - 3:00PM in the Gothic Hall of Catlett Music Center (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

December 4: Omar Khayyam. Today marks the death in the year 1122 of the great Persian poet and scholar, Omar Khayyam. He is best known today for his collection of poems called the "Rubaiyat" (quatrains), but in his day he was renowned as a mathematician and also as an astronomer. Here is one of the quatrains in the famous translation by Edward FitzGerald:

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd -
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

You can read more about Omar Khayyam's remarkable life and career in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for this image of Omar Khayam's tomb in Neishapur, Iran.

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.