Friday, May 25, 2007

Celebrating baby blogs and a newborn wiki! :-)

Hello all!

Finally, a new entry in my blog! Yay!! :-) I bet most of you had given up on me by now! I know I had! ;-)

Still, I hope you will feel that it was worth the long wait after seeing the newborn weblogs of my Essay Writing Class at Al-Zahra (a.k.a. Azzahra) University. My girls have done a good job, if I say so myself. This year we have gone a step further and have created a classroom wiki, as well! I hope you'll have time to drop by and leave a few comments. I'm sure it will give the class more incentive to continue working on their blogs even now that the term is ending. Thanks! :-)

The classroom wiki:

My girls' new weblogs:


Friday, July 14, 2006

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, dedicated to Crusader George

WAR AGAINST TERRORISM, dedicated to “Crusader” George

Lips gray-blue, nose still running, streaking his face
A grimy white bandage
hugging his baby fat
His dark wide eyes stare accusingly into mine
thru the camera lens
Sweet little three-year-old
How can I possibly make you see
the soldiers only want to set you free?
How to help you understand
they merely want to save you from yourself
by beating the “terrorism” out of your filthy Muslim blood?
Alas! You are yet too young
or you would now know
what your teenage sister will never forget
The precious price of “democracy.”
* * * *
Lovely little darling with those curly long lashes
look the other way, please.
They are coming again
and it’s time to "turn the other cheek."

By (Seyyedeh) Susan Marandi

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A big 'thank you' and an even bigger apology!

Hello all!

Just wanted to say thanks so much, those of you who spent time on my blog and my students' blogs. They were really thrilled at receiving your kind comments and it made them take their work so much more seriously! Thank you all soooo much! :-) I should also apologize for not replying to your comments; I know this excuse is inadmissible and doesn't lessen my rudeness in not replying, but I have truly been overwhelmed by trying to keep up with my girls' blogs! Nevertheless, I am really ashamed of myself for not being as good a friend for you as you have been to me. :-(

I also owe a big 'thank you' to my dear students, whose enthusiasm was inspiring. I can now safely say that I have reached the 'no-return' point with Computer-Assisted Language Learning, because despite all the difficulties, it has been truly rewarding. Actually, I had been avoiding writing classes for a few terms, because of all the extra work it adds to my already overburdened schedule, but now I know that I'll definitely be back next year and next Essay Writing class with more blogging and more ideas.

Thanks all of those dear Webheads who taught me how much fun and F.U.N. this stuff can be, and for teaching me how to do it, and thanks my dear students for getting me hooked! I love you all! :-)

Susan @>---;-

P.S. I'll try to upload some photos of my students soon -- well, maybe not *that* soon ... ;-)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My BA students' blogs

Hello all,

I finally started using blogs for my BA students' Essay Writing Class! It is a new experience for us all, so bear with us while we blunder thru, but I may add that I'm proud of the efforts my students have put in, and I hope you feel moved to visit several of their blogs and honor us with your comments. I'm sure they will be delighted to have visitors!

The URLs follow below (not all of them, but those who have already posted to their blogs; the rest will follow shortly, I hope). Hopefully, the English and typing mistakes will lessen after more experience, but since they are mostly new to typing (not to mention blogging!) and they are only sophomore students of English, I think they are doing pretty well. I should also mention that some of them have been guilty of plagiarism without knowing how serious an offense it is (they mostly think of it as sharing something worth sharing, and don't mean to abuse other people), but we're working on that, too. As a starter, I've taught them how they can add a link to the site they have 'picked up' the stuff from, so they can acknowledge using it.

Anyway, all comments/suggestions/etc. are most welcome, and please pass on the word to anyone you think might be interested.

Here goes then:

Looking forward to hearing from you on this! :-)

P.S. Bee wanted to know more about this class, so she could include info about it in the Dekita Exchange. (Thanks so much, Bee, and thanks also for commenting on my students' blogs; they were delighted!) Anyway, here goes: This is a class of sophomores of English Literature at Al-Zahra (aka Azzahra) University in Tehran, Iran. They are all girls, aged around 20-25, and the blogs are for their Essay Writing Class. They are only in their fourth term of English (as a foreign, not second language). The class will officially end the middle of June, but I don't know if they will continue blogging after May, since they will be busy getting ready for end-of-term finals, projects, etc.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tomb of Hafiz, the celebrated Iranian poet

This is the tomb of Hafiz, a celebrated Iranian poet. His full name was Khaje Shams ud-Din Hafiz-i Shirazi, and he lived from 1326-1390.

After the Holy Koran and Islamic prayer books, Hafiz's collection of poems is probably the most popular book in Iran. (I can hardly imagine an Iranian household not having a copy, so you can guess how popular he is!)

Khaju Bridge, Isfahan

Here's another historical site to visit if you come to Iran: Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, which was built around in the year 1650. Like Shiraz, Isfahan has many places worth seeing. For more info on Isfahan, you might want to take a look at Wikipedia. Although it's not always accurate with regard to Iran's modern history, it can give you an idea of the more ancient history, at least with regard to architecture.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Perspolis (Shiraz, Iran)

This is a photo of Perspolis, capital of Achaemenid Empire 500 BC. It is located in Shiraz in Fars province in Iran.

The stone engravings are unbelievable!

Those of you who haven't seen it don't know what you're missing! :-)

My blog reincarnated!

Reincarnation, resuscitation, renovation, or maybe just face-lifting! Whatever you call it, it looks like my blog and I are back again!

(Whew! Long story; I'll tell you later ...)

Finally I can relax!

Susan :-)


Looks like my blog has just disappeared!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Another useful tip: Adding your tags to your blog template

For those of you who want to add your tags to your sidebar; check it out!

Collaborative blogging: Adding your tags to your blog template#links

Tutorial on how to start blogging

Hi, all! For those of you who intend to use blogs for your classroom, Jane Petring provides the following easy-to-follow tutorial in her blog (English CEF Blog), and I've borrowed this with her permission. Enjoy! :-)

English CEF Blog: "Creating Your Blog"
Here we go Future Bloggers.... First go to the Blogger site.

Click on the orange arrow to create your blog now.

Username: this is not as easy as it looks because you must select a unique name that no other blogger is using. You may have to try a few times before it is accepted. When it is accepted, write it down immediately because you will probably forget next week.

Password: please choose a password that you don't mind sharing with me (I don't want to know any of your secrets). After the first few weeks you can change your password, but in the beginning it is helpful if I can get into your account when you are having difficulty.

Display Name: This is the name that shows up when you leave a comment. Most people use their first name, but you can decide for yourself.

Email address: This is important to verify your account.

Once your username and password have been accepted, you will need to name your blog and give it an address. You will also be asked to type in some letters--this is to assure that you are a human being and not a computer. Click the orange arrow to continue.

Now you will need to choose a template. There are not many choices here, but once your blog is created you will have more choices and you can change it. Click the orange arrow and then click the tab that says Template. Choose the template you like and then SAVE the changes. You will also need to Republish your blog. Every time you make a change in your blog you must save and republish the changes.

To avoid spammers from leaving comments on your blog do this: Click on Comments and then scroll down to where it asks about word verification. Click YES. Now, only human beings can leave comments and not computer-generated spammers. Remember to SAVE this before moving to another page.

Now you are ready to make your first Post. Write in the title of today's post. Type in your information in the big box. You can make links by clicking the icon of a link over a green earth. Upload pictures by clicking on the little square picture. Explore the tools and be are now a blogger!