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Like the review below, Professor Smoak is a really good lecturer and really knows the material very well. The ratings don't really reflect that well, but honestly, his class was pretty easy aside from a writing the essays. The essays were pretty straightforward after getting feedback and help during office hours. The tests were easy-okay.
This was my first GE I ever took and Professor Smoak is a really great lecturer. He talks fast, so I do recommend bringing a laptop and also possibly a voice recorder. His tests are really easy... as long as you've taken good notes you're golden. Also, for this class, you only really have to read the small novel-sized book. His lectures are pretty much taken from that, and the tests asks questions taken from lecture. So seriously, take good notes. And if you study them the test will be a piece of cake. The TAs are pretty good too (Eric Welles especially). I also had Professor Smoak for Jerusalem: the Holy City (a writing II) class and it was just as good. I really like learning about Mesopotamia/Egypt or anything related to the Near East. Jerusalem class gave me a better understanding of the differences between the three religions (Christianity, Islam, Jew). The essays were a bit difficult but just attend office hours to ask for help or to get some feedback before submitting the paper in. Really good class and you get a lot of value from learning this kind of material as it relates back to why we have the conflicts in our modern world today.