Messages - First Semester French - Fall 2003

September October
November December



Iím still waiting for e-mail addresses for most of the class, 
but Iíll try out my group list with this short

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

and go through the various pages found on the ďuseful
pagesĒ .

Regular coursework assignments will begin next week.

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

Any questions to this point?  Just let me know.




Tapes are in the mail.  I sent them priority, so
Christine in 102 Hagener should have them for you
Thursday or maybe Friday. 

I had asked everyone to read through the "useful"
pages, but I have had only one person sumit the
assignment.  Yes, there is an assignment on the
electronic homework delivery page.  This assignment
will acquaint you with the homework delivery process
and the accents that you will be using when you write

Remember that everything I have written in those
"useful" pages becomes the "law of the class", and I
expect you to be aware of it.  I simply don't have
time to send out every little piece of information to
every new class.

Don't hesitate to let me know if you have further
questions or are confused by the process.  It usually
takes a little while to get used to the procedures.
That's why I'm not starting instruction until next
week.  If you wait until then to start learning the
process, you will just be creating problems for



The homework delivery practice documents are starting
to come in, and things are looking pretty good so far.

When I receive your document, I will handle it in the
same way I will handle your homework assignments.

I download the document.
I highlight errors and problem areas.
I make my corrections and editing comments.  (In
the electronic version of my beloved red pen)
I return the corrected document to you.



Bad news on the tapes.  Christine received the French
tapes today, but they were severly damaged in
shipment.  An angry postal worker???

I'll start making more copies this evening and will
get them in the mail as soon as possible, but they
won't be in Havre until next Monday.


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 collection of 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. 

I am allowing a little catch up time, both for students starting late 
and students having problems with the computer aspects of the course. 
I do, however, expect everyone to be caught up in four weeks. 
I'm letting you take the test for Introduction Part 1 on either Oct. 2 
(if you are working on schedule) or Oct. 9 (if you are running a bit behind). 
However, everyone should be ready to take the test for Introduction 
Part 2 by Oct. 16. See the course schedule at

 Following the two introductory lessons, we will start work in our text, 
French in Action. We will have covered much of the material in the 
first few French in Action lessons in my introductory lessons, so I 
plan to move through the text itself rather rapidly. The better you 
earn the introductory lessons, the easier the text will be. 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
put online?

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
study guides.

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.