Crimean War Images

What excellent timing: after our discussion of the Crimean War yesterday, this morning BibliOdyssey has pictures and maps. It’s worth noting that the Crimean War was a little too early for photography to be used extensively (though they were used, which was new), which is why lithographs were necessary. PK also has links to this short history of the war. Also, I forgot to mention, this was the war in which the Charge Of the Light Brigade took place, inspiring one of the most famous poems of the 19th century.

Homecoming Convocation and Schedule Change, Homework

As you can see from the course schedule page, I have adjusted next week to allow students to participate in the Homecoming Convocation, Wednesday noon. To keep things even, I am also cancelling the 2pm section, and encouraging those students to attend the Convocation, if their noon classes allow.

I have had to shift the schedule a bit to accomodate: most importantly, rather than do a lecture on the Roman Religion questions, I’m going to rely more heavily on the Frontline From Jesus To Christ series that I had assigned. You will now be required to not only watch it, but to write a short (1 page) summary and reaction paper for each of the 3 assigned hours (parts 1, 2 and 3), due by email no later than Friday the 14th.

Live-blogging Grading Test 1

Thought you might like a progress report: Finished page 1!

The hardest question on the page, apparently, was

  1. The Egyptian Pharaohs were
    1. kings who claimed to be the children and descendants of gods
    2. priest-kings who claimed to speak for the gods
    3. kings who worshipped ancestors who could intervene with the gods
    4. kings elected by aristocratic peers to lead religious rituals

There was also some Chinese philosophy guessing and Varna-Veda confusion.

Extra Credit Opportunity: Notes and Notetakers

I haven’t gotten any volunteers yet to share class notes — one of your colleagues needs note-taking assistance — so I thought I would sweeten the pot a little bit with extra credit. I need both notes from the first portion of the course to date, and a reliable volunteer going forward. Those don’t have to be the same person: if you are willing to share your lecture notes so far, but don’t want to commit to the rest of the semester, fine; if you are willing to take notes from here forward, but don’t want to have to do the work of putting your previous notes in a shareable form, that’s fine, too. Contact me, soon: the first test is coming up and we need notes!

Test 5 Results

On the test, as usual, I gave plus and minus grades (A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc) which translate into a 100 point scale in my gradebook (100, 96, 92, 88, 85, 82, etc., down to 55 for F). The high score in the class was 57 out of a possible 59 (I ditched one question as too poorly worded to have a right answer), not counting extra credit: I used 55 as the top again, for simplicity, and the same slightly extended scale for grades. The median score was B+, meaning that about as many people got above a B+ or above as a B or below; the average score was B. The extra credit was worth up to 5 points: Half of the people who attempted extra credit went up one grade level, and most of the rest were not close enough to the next grade to get a benefit. Here’s how the grade scale worked out:

Grade minimum points distribution
A+ 55
A 51 40%
A- 47.5
B+ 45
B 42.5 25%
B- 40
C+ 37.5
C 35 20%
C- 32.5
D+ 30
D 27.5 10%
D- 25
F Below 25 5%

In related news, I’m going to be making a slight adjustment to the test and document assignment grades, in order to de-emphasize your lowest grade on each assignment.

If you want to pick up your test before the Final, I’ll be in my office Monday 10-12:30 and about 2-4. Tuesday I’ll be in 1-3.

Good luck on the Final!