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Halfway through the summer

We're about halfway through the summer (or a little more), and if you are just joining us, I hope you've had a good vacation so far. 

It wasn't quite what we expected. I hope you have been able to navigate around the quarantines, etc., and find some space to relax and have some fun.

I put this blog together to help you get ready for English 100, and to cut down on the "FUD Factor" (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).

A few details about our course

English 100 will be a hybrid course this Fall. That means you will be in class one day every week, and doing the equivalent of two days per week (plus homework time) as a distance education course. Watch your email to learn which day is your class day—oddly, there will never be a time when you actually see all the other members of our class. Your daily cohort will be about six people.

We are doing everything we can to minimize the risk from Covid-19, and one strategy is to keep people in small groups, all wearing masks. Another strategy is to keep our people from traveling to distant places and coming back (with a virus). Once you arrive on campus (dormitory students), we are going to encourage you to stay on campus. No routine weekend escapes to your parents' home.

Beginning in August, this blog will give you a lot of information about getting ready for school, so keep coming back every few days.

A few details about this blog

The blogger software always puts the most recent material at the top. Here is how to see previous items:
  1. Click MORE POSTS at the bottom right of the screen. You can work your way back through time and read all the way to the beginning of the blog.
  2. In the upper right of your screen, you will see a set of three white lines (which look like this ☰). If you click those, you get to a side menu of useful links.
    • If you click the down arrow (looks like a shallow V) beside Archive, you will see the whole history of the blog, arranged by month and year.
    • If you click the down arrow beside Labels, you can look at all the posts of a particular type (all the material about computers, for example).

The blog schedule

  • The early part (May and early June) had a lot about preparing your computer for school this fall.
  • Late June and July is more relaxed. Personal information and some summer reading recommendations.
  • Beginning in August, lots of specific "nuts and bolts" information about getting ready for school.
  • After the term begins, there will be announcements and a lot of "How to student" information.


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Getting Ready to Launch

Hello and welcome to Ashland University English 100.

I am writing this on the last day of Spring semester final exam week, looking forward to a full summer and getting ready for the fall. Even in ordinary times, the summer between high school and college was confusing, frightening, and a little sad. After all, you have to leave a whole lifestyle behind and try to figure out how to become something (and someone) rather new. If you are uncertain whether it will all work, you're not alone.

The whole business with the coronavirus Covid-19 has made things even more strange and uncertain. The last day I saw my students was the day before Spring Break (March 6, 2020). We did the second half of the semester as a distance education course, with nobody on campus. I couldn't even visit my office to retrieve supplies. We really have no way of predicting how things will be in 3½ months—will we be together in class or not? I am just much in the dark as you are. So here is how we will deal w…

Summer Reading I

Summer is a time for some relaxed reading—even more this year than normal because a lot of the typical summer things won't work this year. Hang out with friends? Go to the movies? Swimming pool? Shoot a few hoops? Expedition to the mall? Not going to happen this year. There's just so much Facebook and Twitter that a brain can stand, and the evening news is plain depressing.

I'm going to suggest a few books to read. I assume that your local library and bookstore are closed at the moment, so these are all computer downloads, and they are all free. These are all from Project Gutenberg, which is the home of an incredible number of great books, all free and legal.

Onward we go, in no particular order (these are just a few titles that came to mind as I threw this item together—I'm certain I will think of others later):
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (The original murder mystery author)Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Long before there was …

Late Preparations

During this last month Look carefully at your class schedule. Mistakes happen, and you will find it much easier to correct them in the week or two before classes start. Do a campus walk-through. We are a small campus, but we are still big enough to be confusing. Some buildings are known by more than one name (a great example is the building our class is in: commonly called Dauch, it's also called COBE, which stands for the College of Business and Economics). Your Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule is different from your Tuesday-Thursday schedule. Walk both of them and actually find the rooms.Get an eye exam. Don't laugh. At least one student in every section I teach sits in the back, squinting and struggling to see the board. If you need glasses, get them. Wear them. They don't look weird.Go shopping. I assume you'll buy new clothes and such, but don't go overboard. What you wore in high school will probably work in college. Do be aware, though, that your class sched…