Saturday, August 22: The weekend before it all begins!

Welcome to the FALL SEMESTER, everybody! Classes begin officially on August 24 — and if you want a head start on the semester, the classes are up and running now. People in both classes have already started blogging, so you'll get a chance to see what they have been doing in the past few days as you begin the Orientation Week and create your own blog.

SATURDAY UPDATE: Thanks to everybody who got started last week; it was exciting to see all the stories and other posts! I think I managed to comment on all the posts last week, which was fun for me. Normally, you all will be doing most of the commenting and I focus on helping with your projects, but when people start during "Week Zero," that gives me a chance to read all the blog posts. Over the weekend, I usually don't leave blog comments, but I will be keeping an eye on the email, so if you have hit a snag or have any questions, let me know, and I'll get back to you when I next check my email.

New year, new classes! I've made a lot of changes to both classes this summer, mostly thanks to great suggestions I received from last year's students. If there is anything confusing about the instructions, broken links, something that just doesn't "fit" somehow, please let me know. There might be leftover fragments from old assignments, and the new assignments may have some rough edges that need smoothing. If you notice anything like that, let me know!

Getting Started. To get started, there is an Orientation Week with assignments to introduce you to the class and help you get familiar with the tools and websites you will be using. The Orientation Week is the same for both classes: Myth-Folklore (MLLL-3043) and Indian Epics (MLLL-4993).

D2L. You will be using D2L for recording your points in the Gradebook. For the first assignment in the Orientation Week, you will learn how to "declare" your points for assignments in this class so that they show up in the D2L Gradebook. There was a huge D2L upgrade over the summer, but everything seems to be working fine. Still, keep a lookout for anything weird there, and if you run into any problems, let me know!

These Announcements. Starting on August 24 with the beginning of the semester, I'll be updating the announcements every day. If you want to subscribe by email so that you can get the announcements automatically when new ones arrive, see the "subscribe" box in the sidebar of the blog. Put in the email address you prefer, and then look for the "confirmation" email that you will get; check your spam folder if it does not show up right away (OU for some reason has a tendency to put the confirmation email in the junk folder).

Just for Fun: Here is a video I never get tired of — a Mister Rogers remix called Garden of Your Mind. I grew up watching Mister Rogers; his show started airing in 1968 when I was four years old... and as you get started with this class, you will probably see that the "Mister Rogers" approach to learning and sharing is a big part of who I am today. Enjoy!