Winter 2022 - If you have the chance to take this class definitely go for it! You have four meetings with a survivor of the Holocaust and you are given the chance to ask questions and learn from them. It's an incredibly meaningful class, even when it's online. It's pass/no pass, and there is a three paged, double spaced reflection due finals week, so not a hard class by any means. I loved this class, definitely take it if you can.
Winter 2022 - I expected this class to be a walk in the park, as Bruinwalk suggested. However, I was so very wrong. Professor was alright, but literally we could not go a lecture without TA Anna Brungardt interrupting to make a “point of privilege.” For example, in Week 3, she made a whole deal about avoiding the words “insane” and “crazy” in our weekly 2-page reflections because using those words are “ableist and appropriate the real lived experiences of someone with mania or hysteria.” I am not even kidding; this was said in class. I got points taken off of my reflections for writing “It is insane to me when I fathom how many lives 6 million lives is.” I was docked so many points for not being the most PC person in the class. I tried but I can never be as woke as the TA, and when I voiced my concerns that I don’t understand how she would like for assignments to be done, she corrected me on my privilege. It was week 8 at this point, so it was too late to drop or P/NP. There was A LOT of readings and movies to watch: like 3-5 hours a week every week. The final was 3 hours long and 9 pages of intense writing about close readings of a graphic novel character’s costume or a close reading of why a 2 degree angle is vitally important in preserving memory. If Anna Brungardt is your TA, run for the hills b/c Todd Presner will enable her behavior and do little to assist you in being successful in the class.
I took this class spring quarter and it was interesting. He had podcasts and while listening to them when I was reviewing for the final, you can hear the enthusiasm he has for this subject. Web designing is an important part of the class but the discussions teach you how to create one. It is easy to get an A, the assignements are pretty easy but the final was long. Just budget your time on the final and you should do fine. It's too bad he won't be back until fall 2007.
Fall 2019 - Dr. Presner is very knowledgeable and engaging. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and gained a lot from it. That being said, I felt that the group projects were mostly a waste of time. People mostly seemed to just throw their presentations together, which meant that about 30 minutes of class every week felt pretty arbitrary; I didn't learn very much from my peers. The responses (which we had to do only 3 of the whole quarter) were very straightforward. I think that Dr. Presner really wants you to do well in this class, so the grading seemed pretty lenient -- he seemed to be willing to work with students as best as he could. This seems like a class that you could either get a lot out of or get nothing out of (depending on how much attention you paid). To be honest, a lot of people in this class seemed like they just didn't want to be there/do the readings (there was this big group of people in this class that seemed more interested in browsing IG than listening, which was a real bummer because I think this class had very important things to say). I would not recommend taking this class if you're just going to be a waste of space, because engagement is really integral to how this class operates. The readings were very enjoyable, and Presner seems like he put a lot of effort into curating this class. He was very humble and pleasant (despite the double PhD?!) and seemed genuinely interested in how we, as students, engaged with the material. The final was pretty easy (take home). If you are genuinely interested in this class, I'd definitely recommend it. Presner really ensures that you'll get a lot out of this class without being burdensome. If you are just looking for a filler class, maybe look somewhere else.
Wow, it seems like the Holocaust class was great. Unfortunately, German 112 was boring. Only a few texts were good and many students in the class did outside work while Presner was lecturing. He didn't bring anything new and interesting to our discussions and as a literature major, I was very dissapointed. I think that it's funny that someone talked about his looks. Okay, not the best judge of a person's abilities, and in my opinion he would have to look like George Clooney to make his class interesting...Overall, I wasn't impressed and I wouldn't take another class with him.