My first task is to actually do the assignment so that I can better answer some of your questions before it's due. This will also make it easier to mark the midterm (and of course the assignment itself). I am still waiting for confirmation about some of the issues you brought up regarding the assignment questions, and when I know more I will post here.
I will be grading the assignment after the midterms, so you probably won't see your mark back for these until the first full week of December or so.
The plan is to have the grades up on WebCT by the end of the day Tuesday November 29, which should be in time to decide to drop the course if needed. Depending on exactly when I finish, you might get the papers back in class Tuesday, or Thursday at the latest.