Web page for CCSF Astronomy 1 Online, Fall 2018

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 cbryja@ccsf.edu, 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 claia@phch.org 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 ( claia.bryja@mail.ccsf.edu ) 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. 


Important Notice #1:  This course requires a mid-term exam and a final exam that must be taken in person at the CCSF main campus.  (Multiple times for taking these exams will be offered, so personal scheduling is not likely to be a concern as long as you are in the Bay Area during the mid-term and finals weeks.)  Please do not enroll in this course if you cannot attend exams in mid-October and mid-December.


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.


Important Notice #2:  This course is “front loaded” in the sense that students are expected to work hard right away, but not so much in the last week of the semester (which is the opposite of most college courses).  We will begin at a fast pace, from which it will be difficult to catch up if you start the class more than a few days late.  Because of this, and because I often have a very long list of additional students waiting to get in if space is available, I may drop you from the course if you do not access the class and begin work within the first five days.


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.

Late adders must wait for me to email them an add code, and will need to check their email inboxes regularly.  When you receive your four digit code, you will have 48 hours to use the code to register for the course through Web4.  Within hours of registering, you should be able access the class on Canvas.  Note, however, that if the class remains full or nearly full, I will un-enroll any late adding student who takes more than three days to log in to the course from the day that they register.


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:

Astronomy Picture of the Day