If you are seeing a lot of annoying markings on this web page (empty boxes, or black diamonds containing question marks), please go to the “view” menu of your browser, select “character/text encoding,” and then chose “Western (Windows)” and this page miraculously will look nice and neat. If you do not have “Western (Windows)” as an option, any other “Western” setting will be much better than the default “Unicode” (although I recommend switching back to “Unicode” after leaving this page-- since leaving it at a “Western” setting supposedly weakens the security of your browser).
If you ever tried to send me messages to firstname.lastname@example.org, I am unlikely to have read them. That address tends to fill with spam, and it freezes up when it gets overfull. If you have any questions about this course, please e-mail me at email@example.com instead. Although, I do sometimes find important messages from my students in my spam folder for that address too, so it’s not perfect either. #sigh# Lately, I have been attempting to use a new account ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) exclusively for communicating with students and other faculty and staff here at CCSF, but I admit that I only check that address every few days.
I do not require students to check in when they register. You do not have to email me before the semester starts, but please feel free to ask a question.
The textbook for the course is the 6th edition of “The Essential Cosmic Perspective” (not the full length version that lacks the word “essential” in the title, and not any of the five earlier editions of the same name), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit (ISBN # 978-0-32-171536-4). It is available in a cheaper loose leaf binder version as well as regular paperback, and it is cheapest and most efficient to purchase an electronic copy.
I will hold two optional but highly recommended orientations in Rosenberg Library Room 414:
Wednesday, January 14th, from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, and
Saturday, January 17th, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 PM
Simply joining the class without any orientation is okay, but a majority of students do experience problems or suffer confusion-- especially regarding the course structure and expectations-- that an in-person orientation would reduce. (An uncomfortably large number of students who miss orientation discover that they are doing things wrongly or inefficiently only long after the course begins. I have considered making orientation an absolute requirement because of this, but I know that not all students can make it to campus that day. But please attend if you can.)
As soon as the new semester starts, you may begin the course on your own, regardless of whether you plan to attend the optional orientation. You will be emailed instructions how to login to CCSF’s new Insight system. If you have not received these instructions by Monday, January 12th, you most likely are not checking the account that CCSF has on file as your email address. Unless you have set it up otherwise, the default is the “mail.ccsf.edu” address assigned to you by the college, so please be sure to check that for messages. I also often will use your CCSF email address for sending important announcements to the class, and for communicating with individual students.
If you are waitlisted:
If the class already has started and you want to add it late: With the notable exception of Fall 2014, this class usually starts off absolutely full and with a very long official wait list. But if CCSF continues to suffer from low enrollment, then openings may appear during the add/drop period. Please wait until after January 17th to email me at my preferred email address (see above), and I can let you know your prospects. Given how many no-shows and drops normally occur right off the bat, I’m usually able to find room for everyone who is willing to wait patiently for space to open. My only concern-- and, after two weeks, this becomes a very big concern-- is that you’d be getting a late start to fast-paced course.
I look forward to meeting everyone-- either on line or in person-- as this course takes off!
Claia (rhymes with "hi ya!") Bryja (pronouncing the “y” like a long-I the same as the “ai” diphthong in my first name, and pronouncing the "j" in the usual English way)
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Here is a link to a great resource of other links to anything and everything you can think of about astronomy. I encourage you to browse.
AstroPlace (unfortunately, this seems to be defunct, so I will need to replace this link with something comparable sometime soon)
Finally, here’s my favorite webpage of all: