Messages - First Semester German - Fall 2003
9-8-03 Iím still waiting for e-mail addresses for most of the class, but Iíll try out my group list with this short message. I hope that everyone has received the message by now that this week will be devoted to becoming familiar with my online materials and procedures. You should read carefully the intro to my online course http://www.westenskow.net/langsonline.html and go through the various pages found on the ďuseful pagesĒ http://www.westenskow.net/useful.html . Regular coursework assignments will begin next week. http://www.westenskow.net/germsched_f03_1.html Your first audio tape will be in the mail tomorrow, and you can pick it up from Christine in 102 Hagener Science Center by Thursday or Friday. I will mail tapes directly to those residing outside the Havre area. Any questions to this point? Just let me know? Dave W.
Tapes are in the mail. I
sent them priority, so
Remember that everything I have written in
The homework delivery
practice documents are starting
I have received word from Christine that the tapes arrived today. However, the French tapes were heavily damaged in shipment. She's not sure about the condition of the German tapes. Please pick up your tape and let me know if it's still good or if I'll need to replace it.
This appears to be a normal semester ... unfortunately. Many students contacted me at the beginning of the semester; some are just now showing up. A few have been diligently devouring the course information; others are apparently treating the orientation period as an extension of the summer break. Only a handful have turned in the sample assignment page, so I have no idea whether or not the others are going to be able to submit homework properly this week. Some are asking questions for which the answers are found in the pages that I asked everyone to study; my guess in such instances is that the pages had not been studied. Remember that I expect you to be quite familiar with the pages found on the "useful pages" list.
If you haven't become serious about the course yet, this is a good time to start.
For the benefit of those who are starting late, I have put together a collectionof messages that I have sent out thus far this semester. The following page saves me the time and trouble of re-sending the same information every time someone new adds the course.
We are just starting the course assignments themselves and don't have an exam scheduled for a little over two weeks, so there is time to bear down and catch up if you are off to a late start. Be sure to check the schedule often in order to be aware of what you should be doing.
I will send out messages fairly frequently, so I advise you to check your e-mail daily. You should also send your homework assignments "at least" twice a week. If you send just a few exercises a time, it is easier for me to get your work back to you soon. If you send a whole lesson at once, I might have to spread my corrections and responses over a period of time. I will have over 20 students sending me homework. I can't devote a whole evening to just one student's assignments. Remember that I can't help you if I'm not aware of your problems. Don't hesitate to contact me when you need some help.
If you are doing everything you're supposed to be
doing, you don't need to read
this message ... unless you think you might be amused
by the ravings of an old fart.
Iím kind of curious, so Iíll ask just a few questions
Does anyone read my e-mail messages?
Does anyone read the various information pages I have
Is there a rumor out there that Iím just kidding and
that you donít really have to
do any work for the French and German classes?
If there is such a rumor, forget it. Donít take my
friendly, laid-back approach
as an indication that youíre in for an easy ride. I
have given you a lengthy opportunity to become well
aware of my procedures and requirements before asking
you to actually get down to the language learning.
Well, the time has come to learn some language. If
you havenít started to study the course requirements
and the procedures I want you to follow, you had
better hurry up. The first language assignments were
due this weekend, and I didn't receive very many.
Check out your schedule often.
Several of you have never responded to my initial
e-mail message in which I
asked you to let me know that I got through to you OK.
Are you out there somewhere? Did you actually
receive my info? Iím your language professor; Iím not
some all-knowing deity who is aware of your every
thought and action. I need to be told these things.
Most of you have not done the homework delivery
practice assignment that I
asked for. As a result, more than half of the
homework coming in is in the wrong form. When you
paste your work into your e-mail message box instead
of sending it
as an attachment, it takes me about twice as long to
process it. With 20 students
sending me homework, the extra time can add up in a
hurry. If I end up spending
an extra hour or two each day just marking homework, I
will rapidly become a very
disagreeable person. Believe me, you donít want that.
Some of you are asking about the materials that go
with the tapes. Once again, the study guides are
found in the Plans. The tapes go right along with the
The Plans will tell you which exercises I want you to
send to me, but I have also
put together a special listing of these exercises.
I will bend over backwards to help you with your
language studies, but I canít do anything for you if
you arenít doing your part. I can teach you a whole
lot of French or German if you will just work with me.
I have spent several hundred hours preparing online
materials for you, and I will spend hundreds more
evaluating your homework and your exams, answering
your questions, etc. You're going to have to put in
some time, too, if you are going to succeed in your
language course. I am not your mommy or your
babysitter. I am your professor. This is a university
class, and if you chose to sit on your duff and do
nothing, Iíll certainly let you do it. I am doing
my part. Your part is up to you.