Monday, February 2

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 Week 3 Friday/weekend assignments. This week's topic in the Myth-Folklore class is the Middle East and/or India, and in Indian Epics you will be starting Buck's Ramayana. I hope you will enjoy the readings!

Class Procedures and Reminders

Project Stack. As always on Monday, I will have a HUGE bunch of assignments in the 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 8AM or so on Monday, you will be able to check the contents of the stack to make sure I received your assignment. I will then start reading the assignments in the order they were turned in. Please do not go on to the Week 4 Project assignment until you get Week 3 comments back from me. I'll be updating the stack as I make my way through the assignments!

Late Storybooks. Each week, the Project assignment is the only assignment that can be turned in late, and that's because I cannot get all the Projects returned immediately. For details about turning in a late Project assignment, see the Project assignments page.

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.

Indian Epics Reading. For Weeks 4-5, 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 Reading Diary tips here). Then, after reading Buck for Weeks 4 and 5, in Week 6 you will decide if you want to carry on with Buck's Ramayana or if you want to do some other Indian story reading in Weeks 6 and 7.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

History of Emoticons. As you have probably figured out by now, I'm very interested in all aspects of language, especially written language, and I thought you might enjoy this video about The History of Emoticons:

Indian Words in English: Today's Indian word in English is TANK, which comes to English via Gujarati tankh. 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, a character strangely reminiscent of the ancient Alexander.

FREE eBook: Myths of Babylonia and Assyria by Donald A. MacKenzie. This blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book, which includes the story of Gilgamesh.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is Beware of Greeks bearing gifts (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. The Greeks built their Trojan Horse out of wood, but I thought this Trojan Horse made of sand was pretty amazing!

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Ravana, the ten-headed king of the rakshasas. You can see all ten heads here, and most of Ravana's twenty arms.

Monday Event on Campus: There will be a talk at 3PM in the Bizzell Library Community Room: "A Conversation with George Henderson." Dr. Henderson will be discussing his book Race and the University: A Memoir. (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

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.