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.
I do not require students to check in when they register, so please don’t send me e-mail unless you have a question that needs answering.
The textbook for the course will be the 8th edition of “The Essential Cosmic Perspective” (not the full length version that lacks the word “essential” in the title, and not any of the editions of the same name), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider, and Voit. It is expected to 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 at least one optional but highly recommended orientation in Rosenberg Library Room 414:
Saturday, August 25th, from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
(a 2nd orientation on Wednesday, August 26th, might also be possible, but cannot be scheduled this far in advance)
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. Indeed, every semester has at least a couple of students who, as a consequence of skipping the orientation, miss some very significant part or aspect of the class. These students usually drop when finally, months later, they realize their mistake. Most of what I say at the orientation will be repeated in online text-based announcements, but it’s much more effective to hear it from me personally.
As soon as the new semester starts, you may begin the course on your own, regardless of whether you plan to attend one of the optional orientations. You will be emailed instructions how to login to CCSF’s Canvas system. If you have not received these instructions by Tuesday, August 21st, 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: Until 2014, this class always started off absolutely full and with a very long official wait list. Then CCSF suffered a significant drop in enrollments, and adding a few days late became easy. However, high enrollment is back, and I am unsure how many openings will appear during the add/drop period. Please wait until after August 20th to email me at one of my preferred email addresses (see above), and I can let you know your prospects. Given how many no-shows and drops normally occur right off the bat, I will be surprised if I cannot 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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Finally, here’s my favorite webpage of all: