Fall 2020 - Professor Moudarres is great! This class is engaging and he is a wonderful lecturer. If you come to class and take good notes, you really don't have to do the readings. That being said, if you only do the readings and don't come to class, you can still do really well. Discussion section is mandatory, but it's really helpful (especially if you don't do the readings). There are a lot of readings and sometimes they're a little boring, but a quick skim can guarantee you a high B on a quiz. There are there quizzes and two papers. You don't need to go ham on the papers; the prompts are clear and the TAs are easy graders. This class is DEFINITELY worth it. Each class day comprised of us basically gossiping about old Catholic popes. If you have the option to take this class, first pass it! It's popular. The materials are required (you need them for the essay) but there are PDFs floating around the internet. If you play your cards right, this class should cost you nothing. If Magdalena is still a TA, I recommend her! She's so sweet and works really hard to make discussion section engaging.
Spring 2017 - Easy and fun GE to take. Light readings that don't demand much time. Class has three quizzes for a total of 30%. There are also two essays for a total of 30%. Discussions count for 10%. Final counts for 30%. Exams are quite easy, and essays are graded leniently. Fun lectures with entertaining professor, but not mandatory attendance. Good choice if you want an easy GE for an easy A.
I have mixed feelings about Andrea. I love him and I love his personality, but his style of teaching makes it difficult to do well even if you really do know the material. This is because on the 5 quizzes, he asks you to identify quotes by the person who said it, which canto (like chapter) it is in, and the context of the quote. I knew the material VERY well I mean like I spent a lot of time studying and I knew everything BUT when it came to identifying which canto it is from, it was difficult for me and for other students too. We did not see the relevance of understanding which canto it is from and we felt like we're not really learning the material or the bigger picture of everything Dante teaches us but we're actually just memorizing and cramming material. Other than that, Andrea also grades pretty harshly on his essays. You really should work on them weeks in advance and ask for help in his office. He grades on things like style of your essay as well. The essays are only 4 pages but actually I would rather have a larger limit because I felt like I could not articulate my thoughts enough in only 4 pages. i felt like the class was a memorization. It got interesting at times but it just stressed me out way more than I expected it to. It is not a lot of reading, as each canto is like 5 pages and he usually asks you to read 3 or 4 cantos for each class, but I feel like for what I learned in the class, I could not write a thorough essay. A lot of times he went over little things in the text in class but we never fully reached a point where it was like the meaning of all of these little things. I felt like we were going over all these things in the text but never reached a deeper understanding of theme in Dante. Only at the very last 2 weeks of the class did I feel I was understanding the theme. Overall, Andrea is a tougher grader, but he is a really nice guy OH and he is extremely good looking lol (the italian accent and knowledge of everything adds). I would recommend this class to people, but only if they are willing to work hard. It is not insanely difficult, but it does require effort, especially for the essays and passage identifications. You do not have to really read the material thoroughly to do well in the class, this is because everything he goes over in class is on the quizzes only. He will not surprise you with something he never talked about. Anyway, I ended up with an A.