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I would be one of the aforementioned game players (Resident Evil 4, Command & Conquer, Chess; Internet is limited in the Dodd lecture hall I was in) in the lectures. And sleeper. And yes, what basically kept me going to the lectures were the random attendance checks, aptly called "attendance quizzes"; they were worth 10% of the grade, with around a total of six during the quarter. I had little interest going into the class and came out with the amount of interest.
Breakdown of grade during F08 quarter: 10% - Attendance, 25% - Discussion (further breakdown of that depends on TA), 15% - Midterm, 15% - six-seven page paper, 35% - Final.
Depending on your TA, you could potentially get an easy buffer for your grade with 100% in the first two listed categories (Attendance + Discussion = 35% of total grade). Discussions covered the primary source readings assigned each week; because it's a history class, there's a crapload of "reading." My midterm consisted of one essay (45 points), five lengthy paragraph descriptions for key terms (40 points), and 15 fill-in-the-blanks-without-a-word-bank (15 points); the essay topic, key terms, and word bank is provided beforehand as a study guide. The final is similar but much more tedious. It consisted of FOUR essays (three short ones, meaning approximately two blue book pages, and one long one, meaning talk about as much as you can), six key term paragraphs, and 20 fill-in-the-blanks-without-a-word-bank; again, a similar study guide is provided around a week in advance of the final. During my quarter, the paper was on Oedipus Rex and how one of its themes is related to the society it was written in.
If you pay attention in lecture during the period the paper is assigned, you'll get information about the societal aspect of the comparison for the paper. Attend the discussion to get info on Oedipis and you should be able to pretty much formulate a paper in your head. Failing to pay attention during class or ditching discussion will result in research on the society and Oedipus. If your TA's looking for style in the essay, then it might be troublesome. But if the rubric is straightforward with organization, grammar, thesis, etc., then it should be an easy A/B.
I managed to get an A in the class through much preparation for the midterm and final and a stupendous TA. I probably spent hours to prepare for those tests, but paying attention in class would drastically reduce the amount of study time. For both history fanatics or students forced to take a history class as a GE requirement, the tests cannot be a kick in the balls/ovaries because they're basically the same as the study guides; the difference is that the tests are official and the study guides aren't.
As for Professor Courtenay Raia-Grean, I would say that she's an energetic professor. She's young and she brings in a dog to accompany her. Her voice doesn't bore me; sadly, the subject just wasn't very exciting to me so I slept and/or played games.
All in all, this is an easy class to get a B, and even an A. It should be fairly easy if you're interested in history (this class covered the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Mayans, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks, and Romans), but it requires a substantial amount of memorization for the tests for those who aren't interested or don't pay attention.
This class does NOT fall under the GE category. Why? The final was ridiculous!!!. 4 Essays, 6 ID paragraphs, 20 blanks. On the other hand, if your TA is generous then you might get a descent grade.Still NOT worth it unless you are passionate about history and writing. Good Luck
Professor Raia is a decent professor. I like the dog she brings along with her everywhere.
Prof. Raia is awesome! Her class is easy and she really caters to the students' whims. She makes study guides for the midterms and the final and even provides the essay question in advance. Attendance is worth 35% (which is greater than the weight of the midterm), so its a good cushion (even though you probably wouldnt need it).
And she brings her bulldog to class :)
Take it for an easy GE!!
Where to start? She's not balanced at all, her lectures are very insignificant and a waste of time the only reason i showed up was because she would have random attendance quizzes, waste of paper, most of the class would fall asleep or play on their laptops. The book or her sites don't help at all, it's an easy class but she never gets to teaching the material required. My course was History 20 0-600 A.D and we never even learned about Jesus time which was supposed to be the first assignment. I think I was better of learning with my T.A than with her. She helped out with her study guides though. It just wasn't a challenge.
1. If you are not intersted in studying history, don't take this GE.
2. Her lectures were boring! Some people fall asleep in the first lecture. People gradually move from the middle section seats to the sides (so that they can sleep and/or play games on their laptops).
3. If you don't want to write 4 eassys in your final, this class is then not recommended.
4. Class is doable, but get ready to read a whole bunch of unhelpful primary sources.
5. I regreted of taking this class.
Professor Raia is decent, but it seems she's more into philosophies and religions than the rest of history. The 2 lectures that seemed most in depth were the ones on Confucianism/Daoism, and the one on Christianity. Most of her resources are negligible, but skim them so you have some material for the midterm & final essays. She gave out study guides for midterms & finals, with list of all IDs you need to know, and the essay questions for you to prepare. A day or two of good prepping according to these guides would guarantee A's. Though 4 essays on the final is quite a task (hurt my thumb afterward...) but since you should already know what to write, it does not seem that hard. Her lectures are good for one thing, though: paper. You can just jumble different stuff that she said in lecture into your paper, with some other of your own stuff, and it's an easy paper. Make sure to show up for the lectures in case she have some random attendance quizzes, too. Overall, it was an easy class.
The class required readings from a textbook and the internet. Generally speaking, you can get away without reading much of anything. The lectures follow word to word for what is in the book. She gives attendance quizzes for lectures.
The difficulty level of the course mainly depends on your TA. Midterms and Finals include a lot of writing, but she gives you an all-encompassing study guide beforehand.
The professor was very articulate but allowed little Q&A. She was frequently late but she never ended class late. Her lectures were interesting and the stories that she attached to pictures made class more exciting. The professor was one of my better ones however discussion sections are sometimes quite different from lecture. Her grading is very much in your favor because most people get As without even trying.
The good news: 1) You'll probably get an A in any class she teaches, (I took 20 and 2D and was happy with the results). 2) She often brings her bulldog, Norton von Snorten, to lecture with her and lets him scoot up and down the aisles at will. Sit on the end of your row and it'll pretty much make your day. 3)The midterm and final are both cake, moderate memorization skills required. 4) She podcasts her lectures for your convenience when you're studying the night before the midterm and final. This means you can do whatever tickles your fancy in lecture: facebook, doodles, slumber, writing anonymous love letters to her (she's kind of a fox).
The bad news: 1) You must attend lecture. Well, sort of. She gives "attendance quizzes" which are comprised of writing your name on a piece of paper or checking in with your TA. Look at it this way, it's a hassle free portion of your grade. 2) I'm not a huge fan of her lecture style and you probably won't be either. 3) Your level of enjoyment and possibly your grade depend heavily on your TA. I had a good one and then a bad one, and it made a world of difference. 4) 2-hour long discussions once a week. WTF? Unnecessary. A good TA will let you go early...
That's all I got! Peace!
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