happy labor day weekend, and congratulations on your first week of the school year. without a doubt, this has been the best first week of my eight years at hammond. thanks for making it enjoyable. i've been particularly impressed at how involved so many of you have been in our discussions.

u.s. history
as you know, each of the u.s. history classes has a quiz on tuesday. we will meet in the classroom, and then we will go to the computer lab to get set up on blackboard.com. please be patient as we get everybody set up. the quiz will be a very minor part of your long term grade for first quarter, and is focused on the information presented the first week. this week, we will add to that knowledge with the actual policies and vision behind reconstruction and analyze how effective the implementation of those policies were. we will also take a look at the election of 1876 and see how similar it was to the 2000 election.

world religions
although the class is much larger than i would like, you all seem to be doing a good job of handling the conversations. i will most likely continue to utilize more small group discussions before the larger discussions unfold to get more of you talking about your ideas. if you are confused about the readings or anything else during the class, please don't hesitate to ask. it's very easy to think everyone else but you understands, but trust me, these ideas are not easy to get the first time around, and there are plenty of people in the class who are probably thinking just like you. so ask questions. lots of questions. i hope you all enjoyed your introduction to the course and the first few topics. this week, we will explore more creation stories, such as the homework chapters of marduk/tiamat, and adam/eve. but also the big bang theory, evolution, and other explanations of how the world began. your first paper is due tuesday, september 14. i will explain more about how to do the papers this week, but basically, your chief job is to answer the question, "how did we get here?" i don't put length requirements on papers, but typically, thoughtful, well-explained answers to this question are between 1-2 pages typed single space. i also don't have a requirement for spacing, but don't try to trick me with margin changes or font sizes to make your paper seem bigger. i'm too savvy for that. also, you must bring in a printed copy for the first three papers so we can workshop them in class. but if you can, send the paper to me via email, as a word file attachment if possible, and i can send you the comments and grade for it typed. my handwriting is not the best in the world, and i type a lot faster for the comments, so i usually have more to say to help you out.

this post has become entirely too long and boring, but i hope all this is being read by all of you. i've been loading all your information to mygradebook.com and blackboard.com throughout the weekend, so you should be able to use that by tomorrow afternoon.

enjoy the break!

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