Grading Blogging: Catching Up

The earthquake last night interrupted the grading (and blogging) a bit, but here’s where we are this morning. I have one more page of Multiple Choice to grade, including the extra credit, then it’s off to the essays!

The fourth page question which surprised me the most (aside from the one I gave up on) was:

  1. Under Islamic rule, some other religions were
    1. dharma, considered lower forms of rebirth
    2. dhimmi, acceptable religions with scriptures
    3. dhows, forced to move to new lands
    4. diwali, used as slaves
    5. all of the above

I know foreign language terms can be daunting, but over half missed this, chosing mostly (a), followed by (e) and (d). (d) might almost be reasonable, if the term ‘diwali’ didn’t refer to a Hindu festival of light (and if (b) weren’t an option!).

I was also a bit surprised by how many people (almost 1/3rd) selected the name of a Christian kingdom in Africa as the rulers of the first Islamic empire.


Extra Credit Opportunity: Diwali Night

Namaste and Hello Everyone !!!
The much awaited Diwali Event by the Indian Student Association is almost near.
The Diwali Night would be at the Crimson and Gold Ballroom, on 6th November, 2011 from 05:00 PM until 06:30 PM.
The event would feature Indian cultural events such as Bhangra Dance, Bollywood Songs, Indian Ethnic Fashion Show, Fire Works Show, a delicious mouth watering Indian Cuisine and a lot more to look out for. Come, be part of it, and experience the Indian culture closely.
The tickets for the event would be available at the International Programs and Service Office, 118 Whitesitt Hall.
The tickets would be priced at $ 12.

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.

Extra Credit Op.: PSU Jazz

The 35th Annual PSU Jazz Festival happens Friday March 6th at 7:30 PM  in Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine. Besides hearing the PSU Jazz 1 and our own Todd Hastings (trumpet) you also can hear a great saxophonist, Eric Marienthal.
Eric is a former member of the Grammy Award winning Chick Corea’s Elektric band and the Rippingtons. Currently he is first call L.A. and can be heard on numerous sound tracks as well as with the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band.
Eric records with Peak records and has produced some 11 albums. His sounds have topped the Contemporary Jazz Charts on several occasions.
Tickets for the event are available at the PSU Ticket Office or at the door. The cost is $12.00 adults and $10.00 for those 65 and over or 12 and under.
During the day groups will be performing in McCray, the Student Center, and Memorial Auditorium. These highs school, middle school and community college groups are being judged on their performances. The daytime events are free so step out of your office and catch some great jazz.

Extra Credit Opportunities: Mystical Arts of Tibet – Mandala creation and viewing

At the Crimson and Gold Ballroom in the Student Center this week:

From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. In Tibetan this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor, which literally means “mandala of colored powders.” Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks.

Formed of a traditional prescribed iconography that includes geometric shapes and a multitude of ancient spiritual symbols, the sand-painted mandala is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants.

On previous US tours the lamas have displayed this sacred arts in museums across the country, including the Arthur Sackler Gallery, Washington; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago; Peabody Essex Museum, Salem; the Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, and The Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

The mandala viewing is free and open to the public.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet is part of the PSU Performing Arts & Lecture Series.  For more information visit or contact the PSU Campus Activities Center at 620-235-4795 or

There will be an opening invocation at Noon on Monday, followed by a four day creation process. It will be open to viewing Monday 12-6, Tue and Wed 10-7, Thur 10-3, with a closing ceremony Thursday at 4 and a  lecture on the symbolism Thursday at 7pm (Governor’s Room).

Ramadan Pictures

This year Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer which marks the revelation to Mohammed, covers September, a rare conjunction of the lunar and solar calendars. There’s a lovely photographic chronicle of practices here