Thursday, January 21

Today is Thursday of WEEK 1. The Orientation assignments for today are about getting into the content of the class! All the Orientation Week assignments are here: Orientation Week.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Blog Directory. Thanks to everybody's great work this week, there is a Blog Directory for both classes now. This will allow me to set up blog groups today, which means the actual blog commenting assignment will be ready tomorrow, Friday. Getting to meet the other people in class by visiting their blogs is one of the most fun parts of this class, and that will start to happen on Friday!

Your Schedule. There were so many different schedules that people proposed for this class, but they ALL work. I've replied to everyone's proposed schedule with details about the Week 2 assignments, and I've recorded the day when Week 2 starts, based on your schedule, in the D2L Gradebook; you'll see that up at the top of the Gradebook page. Of course you can adjust your schedule in whatever way you want. Just make sure that you have some kind of plan for how you will do the assignments each week, based on your best available time!

Please ask questions! I'm really grateful when people let me know about something that is not clear, a link that is not working, etc. When you email me, be as specific as you can about the problem. If there is a problem with a webpage, include the address of the webpage in your email. That will be a big help!

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Phonetically Defined. English words do not always mean what they sound like they mean! :-)

Indian Words in English: Today's word from India in English is MANTRA, which is a Sanskrit word that means "a thought" or "an instrument for thinking." For details, see this blog post. This is the Sanskrit spelling of OM, a very famous mantra, and you can listen to an ancient mantra in the video below:

Featured Storybook: The Aviarium. You have entered into a mysterious museum known as The Aviarium... and now you are wondering if you will manage to make it out of there alive!

Free Book Online: Tin Woodman of Oz by Frank Baum. This blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book, which is just one of many books about Oz by Frank Baum that you can find online for free!

India Featured Book: Rama: Retold from the Ramayana. This blog post provides additional information about this reading option for Indian Epics. This comic book is one of the shortest versions of the Ramayana that you can find, and it makes a great way to review the story after you have read one of the longer versions! It is available on Reserve in Bizzell Library.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is The snake goes crookedly, yet it arrives straight within its hole (a Kashmiri proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. In other words: as long as you get there, it's all good!

Today's Video: Mangalam. This is a Vedic chant from Ravi Shankar's Chants of India. Listen for the OM. If you are curious, you can learn more here: Chants of India. I'll be sharing more of these Ravi Shankar videos throughout the semester.

Growth Mindset: Today's growth mindset cat is about social learning: Learn, and then share what you learned. Details at the blog. I hope you will enjoy learning about growth mindset at the end of this Orientation Week!

Event on Campus: At 7PM in the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art there will be a lecture — Drawing on Galileo: Art, Astronomy, and Appropriation — by Eileen Reeves, with a public reception at 8PM (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

January 21: George Orwell. Today, January 21, marks the anniversary of the death of the English writer, George Orwell, in the year 1950 (he was born in 1903). He is the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and also of Animal Farm, both of which are amazing novels. I make sure to re-read them every few years or so, and I always notice something new each time. The image below is a poster advertising a movie version of Animal Farm from 1954:

Note: You can page back through the 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.