Wednesday, February 4

Today is Wednesday of WEEK 4. If you have not turned in your Week 3 Project 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

Project Stack. I'm still working my way through the enormous stack of Project assignments that people have turned in. If you turned in an assignment on Sunday before 2PM, you should have comments back from me now. If you turned something in later on Sunday or on Monday or Tuesday, it is probably still in the stack, waiting for me to get to it. Since I was out of the office on Tuesday morning, I'm running behind, but I'll try to get caught up on Wednesday. To check to make sure your assignment is in the stack, you can see the contents of the stack here. Please wait to get my comments before you go on to the next Project assignment — although you can certainly keep working ahead on other assignments in the class! The Project assignment is the only item each week where you need to wait for my comments back to you.

Your announcements. If you are involved in any campus or local event that you would like me to include in the announcements, please let me know — I will be glad to do that! Send an email with details, along with a link to additional information online and/or a publicity poster. There is so much going on that does not show up in the OU Calendar, so I'm glad to know about any good events coming up that might be of interest to people in these classes!

You really can call me Laura! (repeat announcement) As I mentioned before, you really can call me Laura. No need to be formal and call me Dr. Gibbs, and since I'm not a professor, that title is actually not correct (more about that here). In any case, since I'm on a first-name basis with all of you, please do the same and just call me Laura! :-)

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Mythical Lake Monsters. Representing the state of Oklahoma on this map is the giant octopus that is supposed to live in Lake Thunderbird!

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

Featured Storybook: Creatures of Irish Lore. Seeking shelter from the rain, some American tourists stumble into an Irish pub where they hear first-hand stories about banshees, leprechauns, merrows and fairies too, of course.

FREE eBook: The Adventures of the Punjab Hero Raja Rasalu by Charles Swynnerton. This blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book which focuses on the legends of King Rasalu, along with other folktales from the Punjab. This is part of one of the India reading units in Myth-Folklore this week, and it's also a reading option later on in Indian Epics.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is No one will bell the cat (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. This is inspired by the Aesop's fable about the mice who cannot find a mouse willing to put the bell on the cat.

Ramayana Image: Today's Ramayana image is Maricha and Subahu. The illustration is from the Mughal dynasty period (late 16th century).

Wednesday Event on Campus: Professor Janet Ward of the History department will present a talk in 109 Gittinger at 12PM: “Lublin, Poland: The Final Solution’s Administrative Center” (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

February 3-4: Tu B'shvat. Today is the Jewish holiday of Tu B'shvat, the "Fifteenth (day) in (the month of) Shevat," also known as the "New Year of the Trees," a holiday that falls in either January or February of each year, depending on the Jewish calendar. This year it falls on February 4 (from dusk on the evening of February 3 until the dusk of February 4). In Israel, the date is especially associated with the flowering of the almond trees, which you can see in the image below. On this holiday, people eat dried fruits and nuts, and they also plant new trees, something like our "Arbor Day" holiday. You can read more about the holiday at Wikipedia, which is also the source for this image showing an almond tree in bloom in Israel:

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.