Monday, October 3

Today is Monday. Week 6 is now over... and Week 7 has begun: can you believe it is Week 7 already? The new week's topic in the Myth-Folklore class is African and Asian stories once again, and in Indian Epics, you will get a new take on the Mahabharata (or finish up the Mahabharata you started in Week 5). You can find the week's assignments at the Class Calendar.

Update: The Week 7 Project Feedback groups are available now. :-)

Class Procedures and Reminders

Project stack. As always on Monday, I will have a huge bunch of assignments in the Project 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 stack. Then, you will be able to check the stack to make sure I received your assignment.

Week 8 Review. This week (Week 7) is a week on the regular schedule, but Week 8 (next week) will be a review week: instead of new reading and a new story in your blog, you will be looking back at how the semester has gone so far. For those of you who have been working ahead and were waiting on those Week 8 assignments, they are available now!

Spring enrollment. Enrollment will be starting soon for Spring classes, and the online classes fill up really quickly. If any of you would like to enroll in MLLL-3043 Myth-Folklore or MLLL-4993 Indian Epics for this Spring, please let me know either this week or next week, and I will save you a place. Likewise, if you have a friend who would like to take the class, have them contact me now. I can always save a place if someone contacts me before enrollment actually starts.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Spelling. A space makes all the difference: KID NAPPING versus KIDNAPPING.

Reading. I definitely feel this way about reading: Reading is dreaming with open eyes.

Words from India. A "shawl" is woven from the wool of the Kashmiri shawl-goat; compare also the word cashmere. Find out more here: SHAWL.

Featured Storybook. This project is from the Myth-Folklore class: Three Voyages to Utopia. In this Renaissance adventure, our bold travelers visits the land of Cockaigne, the lost city of Langarrow (now lost), and finally the remotest Utopia of all: Shangri-La in China.

Free Book Online: Oral Literature in Africa by Ruth Finnegan. See the Freebookapalooza blog for links and the table of contents. Unlike public domain books that were published before 1923, this is a more recent book (published in 1970) which is available for free thanks to the project which raises funds to buy copyrights and make the books freely available to all.

Words of Wisdom: Today's saying is A watched pot never boils (an English proverb). Find out more at the Proverb Lab. I thought this might be a good proverb to share for anyone who is feeling the mid-semester doldrums. Don't watch the pot... or the clock or the calendar. The future will be here soon enough on its own!

Today's Video: Ravi Shankar at Monterey. Ravi Shankar's sitar performance wowed the audience at Monterey in 1967:

Growth Mindset: Today's growth mindset cat seeks out challenges: I don't do what's easy; I do what's hard. You can find out more at the Growth Mindset blog.

Event on Campus: There will be a Middle East Social Hour from 9:30AM-10:30AM in the Boren Lounge in Farzaneh Hall; it's a chance to meet Jack Tannous, a professor from Princeton who specializes in the history of Syriac Christianity and the Arabic Bible; he is one of the founders of the website (details). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

October 3: Gore Vidal. Today marks the birthday in the year 1925 of the great American author, Gore Vidal (he died just a few years ago, in 2012). You can read more about Gore Vidal's life and career in this Wikipedia article. My favorite of his novels is the historical novel Julian, which is about the 4th-century emperor Julian, nicknamed "Julian the Apostate," the last of the pagan emperors of Rome. Here is the cover of a recent edition of Julian:

Check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day.