Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Professor Cooney was an excellent professor. She is a great lecturer, and also has a very cool, down to earth vibe about her. She does not take herself too seriously and was constantly cracking jokes about Egypt and especially its themes of sexuality. As for difficulty, I can't comment on her grading expectations since all of that was handled by her TA's (who were awesome and incredibly helpful). Her class format was not easy, however. Grades consisted partialy of a midterm and final, both essay format in which two prompts would be selected for in-class responses. The midterm pool of potential essays was 6 which was subsequently narrowed to 5, and the final pool was 4 narrowed to 3. The list of prompts came out 2 weeks in advance which was generous. The process of researching and memorizing up to 5 essays was tedious, but the test day selection process didn't appear to be entirely random, and I would suggest putting more time into the prompts which cover the most significant points of the course material. On top of these exams we also had a 12 page research paper which could be on virtualy any topic regarding the Middle and Old Kingdom of Egypt. Definitely dedicate a sufficient amount of time to this assignment. Many people in the class put it off until the the weekend before its due date (which was Wednesday of finals week), and I'm sure the necessity of finals study combined with the research paper brought them poor grades. A nice boost comes from 10% of your grade being participation and attendance, so definitely show up to compensate for any exam or paper shortcomings. A tip for sucess in this class is to take advantage of the TA's copious office hours. Check in with them frequently, as they will tell you straight up if your paper is up to snuff. I haven't recieved my grade yet, but I am expecting a hard earned A.
Fall 2017 - Prof. Simpson gets a bad rap. Her acumen and mastery of the material show through in her lectures and she inspires a passion in her students, many of them history majors but many of them just genuinely interested in the material. This is a class I believe students get out what they put in. No, this is not a class for people who think Egypt is silly and we will just be learning about mummies the entire time. She really puts a lot of effort into showcasing the intricacies of ancient Egyptian life and this is a valuable lesson because Egyptian civilization is vivid, vibrant, and full of much more than just pyramids and mummies.