All Ratings and Reviews for Alan Fiske
take this class if: you are here to receive a great education (you'll get it with Fiske); psychology interests you; you're searching for a phenomenal professor who lectures well and tests fairly
You will be blown away by the course material and the efficient, organized way in which it is presented...at least I was! Professor Fiske is a true scholar.
do not take this class if: you are looking for a class you can slide by in
For this class to be truely worth it, I recommend you attend all the lectures and do as many of the readings as you can. Testing is all writing: 3 short papers and 1 longer paper (about 5 pages) so you won't do very well if you haven't heard Fiske's ideas or haven't done the reading.
Professor Fiske was a professor that definitely cared for the material and students he was teaching. I was definitely overwhelmed by the amount of reading we had to do. It was A LOT, but I do not regret taking this class. He is a genuinely nice professor, definitely approachable. I felt that at the end of lectures, he tied things together very well. Things made sense when you thought about and the things he says makes sense in a logical way. Although some topics were broad, in the end, things just came together and made sense. Doing the papers were really fun because they were on interesting topics and definitely let you explore the material. I felt that I learned the most from writing those short papers because it brings together your thoughts and also what Professor Fiske has to say. You definitely apply his lectures to these papers. I went to his last few office hours and they were great. I definitely regret not going to more of his office hours! Overall, great topics discussed, awesome professor, I definitely recommend any class with Fiske
Papers are all 2 pages max, and the final was to edit one of those two-page papers and make it into a 3 page paper. Make sure that you define all key terms you're using in your papers (like relational models or types of memory you are discussing) or you will lose big points (I made that mistake on my first paper). The TAs are VERY hit-or-miss, and having a bad one will make section completely useless.
Fiske spends a lot of time rehashing his own experience with fieldwork and has one of those voices that it's hard to stay focused on, but the class, lecture, and readings are all actually really interesting. Going to lecture is really important if you want to get something out of this class, and you absolutely need to understand memory systems, relational models, and the discussion of emotions for the papers. All in all a very easy and interesting class.
This professor is great. His lecturs ar very straight foreward, he explains everything, will andswer all qestions, and really wants to teach. There are three 2 page essays and one 4 page final. Not difficult if you go to class and pay attention ( and 75% of the class went to every lecture) the class even clapped for him as he was walking out on the last day! There are suplementary ethnographies but the class is based on hs lectures so you must attend.
I really wasnt impressed with Fiske. I was extremley interested in this class before i took it, but i found it to be extremely boring. He just presents random facts, that dont really tie into the readings. His paper topics are super broad, but he only gives you a small word limit to answer them in. A lot of people really felt like there was not enough room in the paper to get yourself an A. I was a psych major, and then switched to anthro, so I thought this would be an easy A. I got B's on the first two papers, and an A on the last one. And finally, for our final, Fiske agreed to give us a larger word limit, and I got an A+. Most people got a much higher grade on the final due to the longer length.
Overall, I really was disappointed with this class. I felt like the whole thing could have been summed up in a 1 hour discovery channel show and been much more interesting. There were to many random facts, with not enough theory or support to back them up.
You MUST go to lecture to get an A (I got an A-). All of the papers demand you to incorporate points from lecture.
Make sure to get a good TA, section is 30% of your grade. My ta only graded on a -,+/-, or + scale, which made it impossible to gauge what your final grade would be. You will have to turn in "questions" on readings every week. Dont bother spending time to think of insightful questions, at least if you get W. Frankenhuis for your ta. The less ammount of time I spent on the questions, and the more simple they were, the better my grade.
In summary: I'd take this class with another professor if you can.
This professor was such a letdown. The readings were all old and boring; stuff most anthropology majors have seen a million times. The lectures didn't connect to the readings, and were extremely repetitive. The essay prompts were ridiculous. The TA's were inconsistent in their grading and Fiske had zero interest in the grading side of things.
Essentially, I felt like I worked my butt off for an A, but didn't learn anything new or worthwhile. I'm not sure if he's just been teaching for way too long or what. I'd avoid this class at all costs, it's a huge waste of time and money.
Fiske is a boring, absent minded sloth... He says the essays are about having fun and learning, yet the experience is anything but! He has no intest in tending to the business of his underling students, and leaves them in the hands of power hungry, incompetent TAs, with no oversight. Avoid.
I took Anthro 135b with Professor Fiske and rarely have I ever regretted any decision more. I'm not an anthro major, which may have been part of the problem. But that class was so incredibly boring, I can't even begin to explain how boring it was. In addition to which fact, lecture was at 8:30 in the morning! So I could hardly stay awake! The problem is that you need the lectures for the writing assignments. The information from the lectures aren't in the readings (which, by the way, were horrible!). You have to turn in weekly questions on the reading (probably because he knows you don't need the readings for the class), but you can just read isolated pages, a few from the end, and a few from the beginning and write questions on that. Cause you just have to get them in, they don't actually count for anything. And the discussion sections are the BIGGEST waste of time ever! The only advantage to the class is that the 4 papers are only two pages each, and there's no exams. So that makes it much easier. But I would still recommend staying far far away from Fiske.
prof fiske is a pretty amiable guy. as for his course, the lectures are extremely important and the readings, not. lecture and readings are two completely separate things that have only a very vague connection at best. the four papers are based entirely on what is said in class, and i found they were the most annoying part of hte class. the topics are extremely vague and confusing, and so broad that you can write about a whole mess of things, but he expects you to know what he is thinking and pinpoint the exact points he was talking about. but in general the prof was a nice guy, probably knew his stuff, but i wish his class had been more organized.
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