Saturday, December 1, 2018

My Last Famous Last Words

Well, this is it: with this post, I will be all done with the class, having reached 410 points for an A. When I started this semester, I didn't think I would find enough time to do all the work required for an A, but it turned out to be easier than I expected. Writing the stories and doing the project was just total fun, and that's where most of my points came from. Since I was keeping track of all of this by way of spreadsheets instead of the Canvas Gradebook, I thought I would do some charts to show how it all turned out.

Here are the kinds of assignments I did; this pie chart is pretty cool because it shows how basically half my work for the class was reading, stories, and the project, while other assignments of various kinds filled up the other half. That feels about right when I think about it.

I wonder if I will see a different distribution in the class next semester since there probably are some things I will do differently next time, especially in terms of doing more reading for the India class.

This chart shows points per week:

And this chart shows posts per week; you can see a more marked decline here as I focused more and more on just writing my stories and working on my project each week as opposed to writing other blog posts:

I don't consider this "decline" to be a failure at all; that really is how the class is supposed to work. When you have more time and energy at the start of the semester, you can do lots of work; I know that was true for me. Then, as the semester goes on, it gets harder to find time for everything, but that's okay.

In the end, I really needed the structure provided by weeks/points to keep on going when the time pressure got more intense; it wasn't about getting the grade as a grade but instead about having a goal so that I could keep on going week by week by week and reach that goal.

That semester decline is like this horse picture I saw at the OU Linguistics Club Twitter this week that made me laugh so hard I spewed my coffee:

Anyway, despite all the pressures of time and work and travel and all of that, I was still able to finish up at the end of Week 14, even if my horse was looking less like a horse by the end, ha ha. I sure am glad I do not have finals to prepare for during Dead Week. Instead, I can just focus on finishing up reading all the projects and watching as everyone else finishes the class. I hope everybody had as much fun as I did... and I am so excited that I will be taking Indian Epics in the spring. I'm already pondering how my project will work for that class!

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Update. I saw something so funny at Twitter today, kind of like that horse, ha ha. Twitter is a great place to commune with others in the hectic end-of-semester. :-)

Wikipedia Trail: From Giuseppe Pitre to the United States of Europe

I wrote a story this week based on an Italian folktale collected by Giuseppe Pitre, so I thought I would do a Wikipedia Trail about him. I even splurged and finally bought the Kindle edition of The Collected Sicilian Folk and Fairy Tales of Giuseppe PitrĂ©. It was almost $50... but it's over 1000 pages of stories and notes, including notes from Jack Zipes, whom I admire so much. I am really excited about exploring this book over the winter break. Anyway, here is my Wikipedia Trail:

Giuseppe Pitre. He was born in 1841 and died in 1916. I didn't realize that he was also a medical doctor in addition to being a folklorist. He became an honorary member of the American Folklore Society in 1890. Thomas Crane was very much involved in AFS in those early years, so I imagine he probably was the driving force behind that. Here is a photograph, undated:

Petri served as a volunteer in Garibaldi's forces, so that is where I clicked next.

Giuseppe Garibaldi. He was instrumental in the unification of Italy, and he was also a staunch foe of the papacy and the church. Later in life, he was affiliated with the Extreme Left party, so I went there next.

Estrema Sinistra Storica. This party was formed in 1877 to advocate for the separation of church and state and for European Union. It brought together Radicals, Republicans, and Socialists. The article used the term "United States of Europe" so I clicked on that (thinking about Brexit!).

United States of Europe. This was a phrase that Napoleon Bonaparte had already used in the 19th century, as had Giuseppe Mazzini, and also Victor Hugo. This was my favorite part of the article, about Victor Hugo's symbolic tree: "Hugo planted a tree in the grounds of his residence on the Island of Guernsey and was noted in saying that when this tree matured the United States of Europe would have come into being. This tree to this day is still growing in the gardens of Maison de Hauteville, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Victor Hugo's residence during his exile from France." I found a picture of it at this website: Maisons Victor Hugo.