Topics in Medieval Literature
I don't know what everyone is talking about. Sounds like some bitter students to me. I thought Blake was awesome. He cared about the subject, the class, and his students. Class was always fun, discussion was interesting, and I really feel like I walked away with some awesome knowledge. If I had any more terms left at UCLA I would totally take more classes with him. One of the best teachers the school has to offer. I'll always remember our class!
Took a seminar on the Beat generation with Professor Dickey. He is a lively, passionate, and enthusiastic speaker, and class was always entertaining. Grade consists of one-page responses to the readings each week, a student-led class discussion based on a reading/theme of your choice, and a final paper. Class was very structured for a seminar and I thoroughly enjoyed this class. Final grade was a B, but the experience was definitely worthwhile. Definitely take him! Looking forward to taking him for Shakespeare B next quarter.
While I've heard decent things about him for 173C, perhaps the seminar setting of 182C is not where his teaching style belongs. That said, I took the 182C seminar on Human Rights Literature, and his conduct of the class was perhaps further skewed by the fact that he was teaching a class he was doing his own research on. As a result, I felt that instead of allowing ample opportunity for the class to make its own discoveries, to cultivate its own interests in the material, he steamrolled us. He definitely had a direction he wanted to steer the class in, and went to great lengths to make sure we spent 3 hours working towards his personal point. To his credit, he did have moments of clarity throughout the quarter in which he made efforts to be more inclusive of what issues we were interested in addressing, but those efforts were short-lived. Throughout the quarter, I couldn't shake the feeling that Huehls is still one of those intellects with some sort of chip on his shoulder, constantly having to prove how smart he is. Overall, though, the class wasn't bad--the material was interesting, the workload a bit heavy (especially if taking other literature courses at the same time). A novel a week in addition to secondary texts, one-page response papers (which he--oddly, IMO--let people turn in up until week 9), all culminating in a final presentation and research paper. It's a bit of work, but as long as you put in a decent amount of effort in and outside of class, you should fare well.
An excerpt on this professor form UCLA's English department website: "Along the way, Professor Maniquis has been a shoe-shine boy, a gang member, a boy scout, a dishwasher, a golf caddie, a bowling alley pinboy, a grave digger, a coffin polisher, a hamburger slinger, an automobile worker, a plumber's assistant a human subject in band-aid experiments, a lab assistant charged with brushing hamster's teeth, an organist in a Baptist church, a truck driver, a foreman on an Oregon blackberry farm, an assistant to a private detective, a dialogue coach for several films, a script doctor, a private tutor to the fabulously rich, a translator, and the producer of orchestral music for a silent film." Unsurprisingly, Professor Maniquis is a mysterious man who makes his free-floating lectures consistently fascinating. The richness of his experience certainly colors the method of his teaching, which can be described as stern but highly constructive. He constantly challenges you intellectually, drawing not just from personal experience but from the absolute breadth of history and culture he has read and watched in his lifetime. I cannot even imagine how vast the extent of his knowledge is. I echo the sentiment of other reviewers, that he is an "old school" professor. If you are like me, and believe the study of literature has been bogged down by increasingly esoteric and politically-charged theoretical approaches, then being "old school," being traditional, is a virtue. Overall, he will deepen your appreciation for literature and increase your curiosity for life and for thought, and I highly recommend his classes.