Q. & A.

These are real student questions (made anonymous) and my real answers.  I may send you a link to this page instead of writing you a nearly identical answer to a similar question!

Q31: I was wondering if it was alright if we post the article we want to use before we post the blog itself?

A31:  Ah. You’re worried about the calling ‘dibs’ on material, thus making it more challenging for you to find your own article. I see your concern and also the other student’s desire to know that their piece will be valid after they’ve finished writing it.

I think I’m going to allow the reserving of articles for this assignment this time, as I’ve not specifically forbid it ahead of time. I’d not anticipated this type of behavior. I’ll give some thought to a fair future policy.

Q30: I don’t know what is going on, but, when I type in either “ideal society” or “perfect society” into the database, nothing sees to come up. Do you have any idea as to why that might be? Am I not suppose to get a result?

A30: I’m not sure why you would not get results.  Are you sure you are actually searching the database?  Does it look like this picture.

If not, my best advice is to contact a librarian for help.  Details on how to do this are under Q&A29 below.

Q29:  I’ve been experiencing a lot of difficulties accessing the Lexis Nexis database, I’ve been trying since Saturday and I spoke with a librarian who also said that she could not access the database. I don’t know if anyone else have been experiencing these problems but I don’t know if there is another alternative to getting onto the database.

A29:  Assuming you’ve already worked through these instructions, my next suggestion is to go in person to the library and ask for help at reference desk (first floor, but past the circulation desk!). Or you can call them: 718-951-5628

In addition, if you are having problems using the resource, remember there is 24/7 library help via on-line chat.

However, the best way to ensure access to any database is to work from a library computer. No login is then necessary.

Q28: I have completed my blog post assignment and am currently citing my two articles. However, one of them is unable to be reached from its original site because the site is subscription based. I could reach it fine via the Lexis Nexis but the origin site that I found from Easybib makes is unable to be reached unless I pay. The citing process doesn’t work on Easybib either. In order to accommodate for this, I’ll post the title of the article, the date it was published and the author. If I can, I’ll also post a link to the article on the Lexis Nexis. I greatly apologize for the inconvenience this might cause but this is the only solution I can come up with.

A28:  It took me a while to figure out what the problem was:  You’re worried that you can’t get easybib to AUTOMATICALLY generate your citation for you.  Automated processes aren’t really that great at making citations. It is super easy to manually generate a correctly formatted citation following the templates Easybib gives on its website or those found on may other reference sites.

Q27:  While going over the assignment for tomorrow, obviously we need a physical copy of the reading, but as I’m preparing to print, am I printing the whole 70 pages of Herodotus or am I missing something?

A27:  You may print the whole thing, OR you may just have a digital copy with you downloaded and open in an app/program that allows annotations (highlighting and notes). I optimize readings for digital as in my experience most students choose not to print.

If you choose to print, I recommend printing two pages per sheet and double sided. This will fit the readings on to 18 pieces of paper and still be readable.

Below is a picture of what the print settings should look like in Adobe Reader or Acrobat to make this print correctly.

(Remember you also have 300 pages free printing each semester in the library!)


Q26: How do you comment on other blog posts ? I was trying to comment but I didn’t see a tab for that.

A26:  Directions: https://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/

It would be a kindness to comment on posts that have none yet.

Q25: For the blog post I accidentally made two, but I am not sure how to delete the one that’s the mistake. If it is not any trouble, will you please disregard the post with only a title.

A25: This website will tell you how to delete a post! https://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/edit-posts-screen/

Q24: I posted a comment and it says I posted it on September 5th at 8:03 pm but I just posted it at 4:03, I’m not sure why it did this if you could help I would appreciate it.

A24:  Good catch, thanks!  Wordpress sites default to UTC (~ Greenwich Mean Time).  NYC is -5 off of this.  The tech person who set up the site didn’t change the time setting.  I’ve fixed it now!

Q23: I don’t see the write button at the right hand corner and I accepted the invitation. Can you please help? made an account but it looks like I never received an invite because I don’t see the write button and I can’t comment.

A23: I’m guessing you’re not currently logged in on your browser.  2 ways forward:

1) go to wordpress.com and sign in there and then navigate to the class website.
2) look for a set of three little dots bottom right hand side of the class webpage when you’re scrolled up to the top of the page.  Click this.  Should give you the option to login.

Q22: I still haven’t received the invitation. I tried creating an account. However it says i have to pay in order to open up a blog post.

A22: Invitation resent to this email address.  Confirm receipt and ability to activate. NEVER PAY ANYTHING!

Q21: I commented on two of my classmates’ blog posts, however when I submitted them they disappeared from the page. I commented on Memhet, Team Apollo’s post and Jazmin, Team Demeter’s post.

A21:  This is a glitch in the webpage set up.  It has defaulted to the need for each comment to be moderated and approved.  I’ve written to my tech support person who did the set up and asked them to see if they can adjust the settings.  You should see your comments in the near future (48 hours or so, hopefully sooner)!  [NOW RESOLVED]

Q20: I finished the assignment and i can view my blogpost when im in my wordpress site title but when i look for it with all the other students posts on the actual pastinpresent site i cant find mine.

A20: You may never have accepted an invitation to be an author on the class website.  I’ve resent an invite to this email.  If this doesn’t work, send me your wordpress name

Q19: I found a NY Times review of an adaptation of “[One of the Plays We Read]” revolving around contemporary [Some Place Else]. The review (and the play itself), however, are from 200X, more than 10 years ago. Could I still write about this, or is it too far from the present to be considered “contemporary” or “modern?”

A19:  This is absolutely fine, if you’ve not already made a different choice of topic.

Q18: At the end of my blog I tagged my blog with the correct hashtags, but I am not sure if that is the correct way to tag the blogs.  If you could tell me whether or not this is correct and if not, what would be correct, it would be very much appreciated. In addition, I was trying to have a video clip attached to my blog, when I inserted the link, the video popped up but when I posted the blog, only the link to the video and not the video itself showed up.  I have been unable to get the video clip to pop up again, and I am worried if this will affect my grade, if it will could you tell me directions as to how to have the video clip show up?


These websites should help.
I found these websites by putting the same keywords as you used in your email into google.

Q17: How do you know that a student has completed their blog post? I have just posted mine, and I’m not so sure as of how youd recognize me… and other students..

A17: Ideally you’d sign your post this way,

– Memhet, Team Apollo (using your real name and real team obviously!)
you can also use TeamApollo as a tag! (using your real team obviously!)

Q16: I’m having some trouble putting up the blog post to the pastinpresenttense blog. When I posted it I think it got posted on my own personal blog on WordPress. Do you know how I can post it to the class blog?

A16:  1) Try this: https://wordpress.com/sites; from this website you should be able to select the class website.

2) Or, when you click on the write button it should give you the option of which site you want to publish it on.
3) When you’re working on the draft of the post in a browser it should say the name of the site to which it will be published in the up left above the post title.

Q15: Before I make the appointment I would like to know how long the video chat will be and how long the meeting in person will be on Friday so I don’t miss my other classes.

A15: All individual office hour appointments are 15 minutes.  When I’m meeting with more than one student, I try to block out 30 minutes or more for a join session.

Q14: I’m really confused on how exactly to post the blog. Is there a specific place to do so? Where, is there a group i’m supposed to be in? If I don’t post by 7 pm today can I have an extra day to so?

A14: I can see you’ve already accepted the invitation to be an author:


Q13a: I am trying to get started on the blog post for classical cultures and I understand that we have to use the prompts from either the first or second classes, but I don’t understand how we have to write about them. Do we summarize it? Or do we do our opinions on it? Etc.

A13a: Can you be more specific about your question? Which prompt are you planning to follow? Which number in the directions are you finding confusing?

Q13b: I am writing specifically on Drama, I just don’t know what to write about it.

A13b:  on the webpage please re-read the options under blog prompts.  Choose either ‘Old Stories Made New’ or ‘Long, Long Ago, Far, Far Away’ or ‘Still on Stage. Still relevant?’  Then follow the steps.  If you find a specific step confusing or unclear tell me which one.

Q12: Do we have RAT tests in your class? Also on the blog post is it if the contents we learned that first class and does it have to be in the area? Also could it be art in [Another Place, NOT NYC] if I went there recently and have some photos?

A12:  Nope. No RATs in Classics.  All graded elements of the course can be found here.

Yes.  You may substitute [Another Place, NOT NYC] for NYC for either blog prompt given for 1: Aphrodite.  But be careful, don’t force an old pic that doesn’t quite fit the assignment into a post, when you could snap one that fits the assignment better just about anywhere in your own neighborhood.

Q11: I just finished my blog for class 1, I didn’t post it out now because I desire to hear some suggestion from you first. The attachment below is my work, can you take a time to look at it, and then give me some suggestions back to make it better?

A11: Alas, I cannot pre-read each student’s submission! I just have too many students to be able to do this.   However, if you wish to meet to discuss your writing with me, please make an appointment.

My job will be to help you with course specific aspects of your writing.  BUT if you’re concerned about improving your writing for college more generally, I strongly encourage you to use the Learning Center!  You can even commit to a weekly writing tutorial to get one-on-one help with writing in all your classes.

Q10: Here’s my answer to that learn more e.c. opportunity you mentioned in class!

A10: Great job!  Now Put this up on the class blog!   There are e.c. specific directions
and for help on how to start posting, see Q7&A7 below.

Q9: What’s the password?  Isn’t XXXXXXX?

A9: Professor Simon and I have different passwords!  If you have a note taking assistance sheet for class no. 1 (Aphrodite), you’ll find mine there.  If not, text a teammate.   Still no luck?  Email me.

Q8a: Could you direct me to where the homework can be found on the website for future references, it would much appreciated?

A8a: Look at the part of the syllabus with the course schedule.  Now notice on the drop down menu for Classics 1110 that there are 10 content pages (1: Aphrodite – 10: Religion and Politics).  Each of those content pages corresponds to everything you need for each of our 10 content classes.

Q8b: Just for clarification sake, the homework is essentially just to read each of the readings before class and have a copy in class to be ready for that class’s lesson, and to be aware of each of the blog post due dates as the semester progresses? On a separate note, I was also wondering if you were going to perhaps go over how to post and comment on blogs at some point in class, as I’m a bit confused on how to do that as well.

A8b:  Yes.  Your basic class prep is to do the readings ahead of each class and do the blogs and blog comments by the due dates.  It is also good practice to review and consolidate your notes from the last class.

We’ll discuss blogging a bit on Friday, but you may also find Q7&A7 and the about blogging page helpful.

Q7: where do we post the blogging, like on wordpress.com or othet places?

A7: Did you receive an email inviting you to be an author on the class blog?  If so, when you are logged into wordpress and are anywhere on the class website all you need to do is click the ‘write’ button in the upper right hand corner!


Q6: I wanted to let you know again that I will be missing your class on September 1st because I will be observing Eid-ul-Adha.  Is there any way I can make-up the work I will be missing?

A6:  Eid Mubarak!  Absolutely.  I’ll know better how to help you make up the work after the class has actually been held, but for starters:

1) Make arrangements for TWO teammates to give you copies of all their notes.  The easiest way to do this is urge them to ‘scan’ the pages with their smart phones–using a scanning app gets FAR BETTER results than just using the camera.

2) Make an appointment to meet with me the following week:

All my office hours are by appointment using the D.A.T.E. System. To sign up, go to WebCentral –> E-Services –> Schedule an Appointment –> Select ‘CLASSICS’ from the drop down menu of departments –> Choose your class section –> update your preferred email and add a note about why you want to meet in the comments field –> select the appointment time that’s most convenient for you!

All appointments that week (other than on Friday Sept 8) are video conference slots.  Once you register for one of the slots, I’ll send you link to the meeting: no special software required, only a device with a camera and microphone.  If you don’t have a smartphone or laptop, the college has a laptop loan program (https://library.brooklyn.cuny.edu/resources/?computing=laptops).

3) Before our appointment read through the class notes from your teammates, do the reading for the class, and make a list of five questions for me based on those notes and your own readings!

Q5: Is the syllabus for Classics 1110 located on your website? If so, where?

A5: Absolutely!  https://pastinpresenttense.wordpress.com/classics-1110/syllabus/
From any website page, you can also find it as the first drop down option under the CLASSICS 1110 menu. AND, the above link was also given at the top of the Note Taking Assistance Sheet given out in Class 1 (Aug 25).

Q4a:  A question about the different of Homeric Hymns and Epic.  I think Homeric Hymns are the part of Epic since the Epic’s background have all the gods in Homeric Hymns but Homeric Hymns is not… What I found in Wikipedia said Homeric Hymns are stories about the Trojan War… From what I understand Epic should be the biggest background of heroes and gods. So I think they should not be the same level…

A4a: So glad you asked!  This is not accurate: “Wikipedia said Homeric Hymns are stories about the Trojan War”.  If you have a link to the page with this bad information send it to me (but don’t waste time re finding it!).  To improve your understanding read the introduction to Homeric Hymns that comes before the 2 versions of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.  This is good, accurate information.  If you find parts of this confusing write me again!

Q4b: Where I found “Wikipedia said Homeric Hymns are stories about the Trojan War” was from [a foreign language] version Wikipedia, now I looked through it again and I understand that Ilias is stories of Trojan War and Odyssey is stories about Odysseus coming back to Ithaca after the war. I have read the introduction of Homeric Hymns and understand that the Homeric hymns are all the hymns on God and Heros, but I’m still confused about the differences between the epic and Homeric Hymns, which one comes first and which one use the background of another? Maybe I need some clear definition of the word Epic…

A4b: Do you have the note taking assistance sheet?  Did you fill in all the blanks?  If not, ask a teammate to share their notes with you.

The Brooklyn College library has many resources available for you to look up information that are superior to wikipedia.  For this course I recommend the Oxford Reference Library and Brill’s New Pauly.  To access these resources from off campus you’ll need log-in using your BC email name and password.

Below I give a definition of epic from Oxford Reference so you can see the value of these resources.  [then follows first two paragraphs of  “epic.” The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Ed. Howatson, M. C.. : Oxford University Press, 2011. Oxford Reference. 2011. Date Accessed 28 Aug. 2017 <http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199548545.001.0001/acref-9780199548545-e-1169&gt;. ]


Q3: Hi, Ms.Yarrow, Do we need to finish all of the Blog Post from one unit on due day, or just pick one of them? For example, you assigned that we need to do at least 2 blog posts from class1/2 on 9/11, so do we need to finish just 2 blog posts, and then we make the rest up after, or finish only 2 from those two classes?

A3: [In college address everyone as Prof., not Mr. or Ms.!]  You only need to choose 1 prompt from any one class. Over the course of the semester you need to have written blog posts for seven classes. Or, to put it another way, you can skip writing blogs for three classes, as long as you’ve done enough posts by any one of the writing deadlines.

Q2:  For the first blog post you want us to take a picture of Aphrodite, I do not have a working phone camera and I was wondering if it is okay if I use a polaroid and scan it.


A2: You could absolutely use a Polaroid and scan it.  But Polaroids are expensive.
Other alternatives:
1) chose the other blog topic about translation!
2) chose your Aphrodite image and ask a friend to snap a pic and email it to you.
3) chose an image of Aphrodite in NYC that is SO famous you can find an image online and use that, just be clear in your write up you spotted it in person.
4) There is a laptop loan program (https://library.brooklyn.cuny.edu/resources/?computing=laptops) that also has in the past loaned ipads/tablets that had cameras.  I need to double check to be sure this service is on going, but it would also give you access to digital camera for a period of time to complete the assignment!

Q1: any specific requirements for the username you had for us or if were allowed to make them anything we please?

A1:  You may use what you like! My recommendation is to always choose something that your grandchildren won’t find embarrassing to come across when they do a school project researching the digital legacy of their grandparents! And especially avoid anything that  might make a potential employer think twice about hiring you!

Examples of fine online IDs for blogging:


Examples of bad online IDs: