Discovering Greeks

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Knowledge of Greek not required. Study of Greek life and culture from age of Homer to Roman conquest. Readings focus on selections from works of ancient authors in translation. Lectures illustrated with images of art, architecture, and material culture. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 4.8
Easiness 2.4/ 5
Clarity 4.6/ 5
Workload 2.2/ 5
Helpfulness 4.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I initially didn't have any interest in Greek civilization, but I took the class because I heard classics 10 is pretty easy. After taking the class I definitely have a much greater appreciation and interest in Greek civilization. Ellis' interest and passion in the subject make his lectures much more interesting. He's also very nice, which helps too. Class structure: Discussion: 15% Three quizzes (lowest score dropped): 20% Two response papers (2 pages each): 15% Paper (6 pages): 20% Final: 30% Studying: You HAVE to go to lecture in order to know what's important about certain quotes, images, etc. I recommend bringing a laptop just because you can take notes faster. His lectures are very well organized, so it's not too difficult to figure out what's important. There aren't any previous exams at the test bank except for maybe the short quizzes because there's no midterm and people don't usually get the final back. The exams are all writing, so if you're a fan of multiple choice, this probably isn't your kind of class. Ellis said the final should only take 1.5 hours, but I was writing for 2.5 hours straight lol. My wrist cried. :( :( I'll admit the exam was pretty difficult and there were definitely parts that I didn't know what to write (even though I did well on quizzes and prepared pretty well). But there's a very generous curve. The final was out of 92 points or some weird number in the 90s...There was a total of 250 points on the exam, so I don't know how that worked. Either way, with the curve I ended up getting over 100% on the final. So yeah...go to class, put in the effort, and you'll probably do much better than most of the class lol. Overall: If you're going to take classics 10 and plan to put in the effort (just do the readings and pay attention in lecture), take this class with Ellis. He makes the stuff seem very interesting!
Overall Rating 4.6
Easiness 3.9/ 5
Clarity 4.8/ 5
Workload 3.4/ 5
Helpfulness 4.9/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2019 - Firstly, Kirkland is a great professor. His lectures are very theatrical and he makes them very interesting. You can tell the dude is really passionate about what he's teaching and genuinely cares. That being said, I never actually found the content of this class to be especially interesting (it mostly covers technical, mundane stuff like the architecture/ size of ancient buildings, memorizing Greek words, describing pottery etc.). Also, it seemed like everyone who took this class seemed to have an extreme interest in this stuff and a pretty solid background knowledge. I was kind of taken aback by this as this is supposed to be an intro course, and other people I talked to felt the same way. The professor and my TA would casually through around references to the Iliad, Odyssey, or Plato or something and and most people would nod in agreement, or entire discussions would be based on them and I'd get lost (I've read the Percy Jackson books and that's kinda it for my background knowledge). The lectures are also pretty fast paced, and he uses a very complex, academic vernacular, which made it hard to take notes on his slides. So overall, my main qualm with the class was it seemed like it wasn't very introductory or accessible, as it seemed like a lot of students in the class (or maybe more like a few, outspoken students) had a lot of background knowledge, and that the TAs and the Professor would cater to those students and assume everyone knew everything, rather than describing in plain terms who Penelope was, what the Parthenon was etc. That being said, the class is manageable. My TA was a fairly easy grader and the two papers weren't too difficult. Both the mid term and the final were purely based on you ability to memorize passages, pictures, and define words-- so if you study a few nights and advance you should do well on them (I'd recommend using quizelts and taking notes on his slides to study). Workload wasn't terrible. You can get away with not reading the textbook (McInerny, about 3 chapters per week), but you should read the weekly short (usually not-so-short) stories for section. If you can't understand them or if you're in a time crunch you can use spark notes for most of them.
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