ENGL 166

20th-Century British Fiction

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Michael Colacurcio See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 2.1 Workload 2.1 Clarity 3.9 Helpfulness 3.7

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Prof. Colacurcio is really knowledgable about his field, doubtless, but unless you have an insatiable passion for hundreds of pages of Puritan thoughts on religion, do not take his class. He is one of the driest lecturers I have ever listened to and despite his protests that he has never mumbled a day in his life, there are many things that he says for only his podium to hear. His dry sense of humor does alleviate some of the boredom, though.

If, however, you find yourself stuck taking his class (as I was), it's nothing to be concerned about. You can easily get an A without doing any of the reading if you take thorough notes in lecture. I did. Write down even the random things he says that seem irrelevant, because they sometimes pop up as trick questions on quizzes. His quizzes are fairly easy as long as you write down what he says in class and go to his review sessions. He's a pretty easy grader on the papers and the final.

Dec. 29, 2011
Alli Johnson Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Alli Johnson See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Gwin Jack Kolb See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.5

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After taking Professor Kolb, I can say that there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to his teaching style and the way in which his course was run.

He had a lot of health problems, so several classes were cancelled, sometimes without notice. Although it was a nice surprise to show up to the door and suddenly have a free 2 hours, some might view this as a liability. The department eventually enlisted another teacher, Professor Beesmeyer to help him teach the course.

After learning from both Professor Kolb and Beesemeyer, I can honestly say that Kolb is one of the more brilliant professors that I have ever had at UCLA. Rather than giving us a traditional read of the texts, he really dug deep and found a lot of insightful and original things to say about the texts that he was actually able to substantiate with evidence (unlike some professors, who throw out a lot of baseless theories that make no sense). The downside to this is that often lecture consisted of him simply talking for two hours straight (which he is able to do, and do well) without following any kind of clear structure.

Despite his brilliant capacity to lecture, I found that none of it helped whatsoever on the midterm, which was just a simple exam in which we answered factual questions about the texts without having to explicate them in any way. The midterm was incredibly easy, as we only needed to answer 20 out of 42 (!) questions. The final consisted of a 4-page take home paper (the prompts were quite difficult) and explicating 5 out of 18 quotations in class. We also had a paper to do, but it was cancelled because of his absences.

Overall, I disagree with many raters saying that he is the best professor at UCLA, but Kolb is definitely worth taking - his class is straightforward, not stressful, and he's a charming and witty guy.

Dec. 10, 2006
Christopher Looby See Full Profile

Overall 2.5 Easiness 2.8 Workload 2.8 Clarity 2.5 Helpfulness 2.5

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Professor Looby was once of my favorite Professors at UCLA.

He is such a great guy. He is very interesting and engaged with the material that he teaches. I learned so much from his lectures. He is very very very well-spoken (seriously, I loved that) and I always found myself considering new ideas that I never would have otherwise having not taken several of his courses.

Oh, and he picks great literature to read! My only regret is that I never went to office hours and got to know such a cool dude.

Thanks Professor.

Aug. 2, 2012
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