Coming into the class I was very interested in linguistics, but for some reason this class was just very boring for me. Professor Stevens is a nice guy and enthusiastic, but the way he presents the material is somewhat somniferous...I also disliked the videos he showed. The material in the reader is interesting, but the presentation was only okay.
I took German M70, Origin of Language with him during Winter 2011. He was alright. The subject was a blend of science and humanities. I enjoyed learning about medical conditions like aphasia and split brain patients. But memorizing the phonetic stuff towards the end was tedious. There was a good amount of evolution and history. Had to memorize the different periods and dates. That was probably the hardest part of the class. But that was nothing compared to what anyone from South Campus would have to memorize for LS1. There were a few writing assignments. Ended up with B+. Not a super easy class but definitely not the hardest. Obviously I am a little biased because I want to sell the course reader! Text 4156528315 for the course reader and I will see if I can dig up the graded papers too.
I took German 141 with Stevens, which I think is the new number for this course. I took it as part of the Vienna, Munich, Berlin travel study program, which is really a great experience. You can take German language and linguistics classes with Stevens, and also GE classes in English with the other professor, who we call Toko. Stevens is quite a character - we started keeping a book of weird things he said (like: "When I get migrainy, I can get real bitchy"), and he'll tell you everything about his family life; but he also loves the German language and will help you learn all about it, if you want. That's the key, you have to want to learn from him and keep asking him stuff, and he'll review it with you, give you language drills, tell you what's going to be on the tests, and everything. He says it's fine because he just wants students to learn. Anyway, he also comes on all of the city tours that Tokofsky leads, and then they usually go to a pub with any students who want to. So if you want the real German experience, I recommend this travel study program.