Tuesday, January 17: Spring semester begins!

Today is Tuesday of WEEK 1, and that means the Tuesday Orientation assignments are due today. I hope you will have fun setting up your blog! Here is a link to the Orientation assignments which will help you get ready for the kinds of work you will be doing each week in this class starting with the regular weekly assignments in Week 2.

Class Procedures and Reminders

Daily Announcements. Starting today, there will be new announcements each day here. There will be information about assignments and due dates at the top, and then items of general interest below. You will see these announcements as the homepage when you log on to the course at Canvas, and you can also subscribe by email if you want; see the sidebar of the blog for the email subscription sign-up.

Two Classes | One Set of Announcements. These Announcements are for BOTH the Myth-Folklore class AND the Indian Epics class (those are the two classes that I teach). Although each class has its own reading materials, the weekly assignments are the same, and both classes are all about stories and storytelling, so it makes sense to share the same announcements with both classes. Plus, it's a way for those of you in Myth-Folklore to learn more about India (a great land of stories!), and also for the people in the Indian Epics class to learn about other storytelling traditions around the world.

Blogs and Comments. By the end of the day today, everybody will be blogging in their own blogs! My goal this week is to read and comment on all the Introduction posts, and I will also try to comment on other posts too, based on how much time I have (this week will be pretty hectic with just four days of class). On Thursday afternoon, I'll be putting everybody into blog groups so that you can start reading and commenting on each other's blog posts. There will be new random blog groups each week, and that way you will get to meet a lot of people in the class as the semester unfolds.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

OU Libraries. This animated gif shows you a series of cool things you can find at the OU Libraries. To see the individual slides, visit this blog post.

So You Can Blog. As you'll quickly find out in this class, I am a big believer in the power of blogging.

Words from India. There are quite a few words we use in English that come from India... and some of them may surprise you, like today's work: TANK. The image below shows a temple tank at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India:

Featured Storybook. Each day I'll feature a Storybook project from a previous class, and today's project is from last semester's Indian Epics class: Barney's Blog. Barney Stinson's been on a brocation in India! Read his Findings, and then check out the Playbook along with Barney's Mail Sack, all filled with Barney's advice to his lovelorn and fashion-conscious fans.

Free Book Online: I'll also feature a free book online each day, and today's featured book is The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum. See the Freebookapalooza blog for links and the table of contents. The illustrations are by Willy Pogany, one of my favorite book illustrators:

Words of Wisdom: I am a huge fan of the proverbs of the world, and I will be featuring a proverb in each day's announcements. Today's saying is An untouched drum does not speak (a Liberian proverb). Find out more at the Proverb Lab. I say: let all the drums speak!

Video: I'll also be featuring a video each day, and today I wanted to share a music video from my favorite musical group in India, Maati Baani: Rang Rangiya. You can find out more about this India-Pakistani collaborative project at this blog post.

Growth Mindset: You'll be learning more about "growth mindset" later this week, and each day you'll see a growth mindset cat in the announcements. Today's growth mindset cat has curiosity: the will to explore. You can find out more at the Growth Mindset blog.

Event on Campus: There are all kinds of Winter Welcome activities this week, including Laser Tag in the Union tonight from 6PM to 9PM (details at the OU Daily). Find out more about this and other events at the Campus Calendar online.

January 17: Franklin. Today is the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, polymath and politician, who was born in 1706. For more about his remarkable life and accomplishments, see this Wikipedia article. There is also a delightful bit of Latin verse in Franklin's honor: Eripuit caelo fulmen, sceptrumque tyrannis, "He ripped the lightning from the sky, and the sceptre from the tyrants." The painting below is by Benjamin West:

Check out the Twitter stream for information and fun stuff during the day, or click here for past announcements.