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Professor Sabl's Poli Sci 10 class was a good, straightforward class. He is an extremely droll speaker, and his lectures are very dry and filled with odd jokes that amuse him, and only him, to no end. I found his lectures to be largely useless, and I stopped attending them as soon as I determined that they weren't worthwhile (along with most of the rest of the class, apparently, as he sent out an email partway through the quarter complaining about the poor attendance, and requesting that we start coming to lecture again).
His assigned readings were partly good and partly bad. Partly bad because the material is, unsurprisingly, dry and not as pertinent in our 21st Century society, and partly good because Sabl chooses great translations of these stuffy old politicos. I admittedly did not do all the reading, however I made sure to at least skim each weeks assignment, especially because I had a very good T.A. who made us write a one-page summary of any particular part of the reading that we wanted. This turned out to be a great boon in studying for the final, as I merely reviewed all of my 'favorite bits' from each reading, and was therefore able to expound greatly on what ended up being very broad essay topics, using only a handful of choice examples from each text. The midterm essays also allowed for great freedom, and I chose the topics that pertained to the authors which I found most interesting or, in the case of the second midterm essay, the authors which I had actually skimmed, versus the authors that I had not even picked up. I spent only about 5 hours total on each essay, and received an A grade on both.
Do not be afraid about his final, as many people were, because he builds it up to be a very frightening test (he recommended we bring 2 or 3 Blue Books, in order to write more -- a ridiculous precaution), when it consisted of two short essays that had you to pick 1 out of 3 or 4 very broad topics that allowed you to write only on the two or three authors you knew best. So long as you at least skim a majority of his readings, and you have a T.A. who does a decent job of reviewing each author with you, you should fare very well in his Poli Sci 10 class.
I took pol sci 10 with professor Sabl. This was not an enjoyable experience for me. The class has a LOT of reading so if your going to take this class be prepared. Also I didn't really find the reading all that interesting. I think if I had more of an interest in political theory this class would have been a little better for me. That said Professor Sabl's lectures didn't do that much to help me either. They were dry and most of the time he simply read a print out of his notes with a few awkward pauses thrown in. Whats more he never managed to tie his subject into current political events, but instead focused solely on the theoretical implications of the readings. This was a real shame because I took the class fall quarter 2008 which was arguably one of the most interesting political seasons in american history. The most we got was 10 minutes on election day comparing Barack Obama and John Mccain to the principles of Locke's 2nd Treatise. I felt this was a really wasted potential which could have made the class more interesting. Sabl himself seemed like a really nice person and he was always available to students it's just a shame his teaching methods are so poor.
The class itself can seem pretty intense. Most people didn't really understand the course material and the TA's weren't really able to help us. We had two papers, the 1st worth 20% and the 2nd worth 30%. We were given a list of 5 topics to choose from for each. If you pick a topic that deals with one of the readings that your comfortable with you should do okay,and just have your TA look over it before you turn it in. The final scared all of us. Sabl gets pretty strict about having a traditional essay final (and he sent out quite a few snarky emails explaining why). Whats more he gave no study guide and told us to study everything. Also most of the people were pretty far behind on most of the readings by this point so we were pretty worried. In retrospect that wasn't really so much of a problem as I had thought. I had a decent understanding of about half of the books but only a minimal understanding of the others. However the essay topics on the final were really broad so you were pretty much able to take almost any points you remembered and fit them into your essay. To study I just skimmed over the parts of the readings that I had highlighted and tried to remember a few major points about each author. Honestly if you know the main point and maybe 2 or 3 other points from each book you should be fine. I ended up getting an A- in the class so im not really resentful of the class, its just that the class can be a real headache. I was proud of myself for finishing the class and doing well, but I would deffinately not want to do this again.
I took PS10 with Professor Sabl. There's a considerable amount of reading, but you only have to do two 4-5 page papers and an in-class final. I read many of the works he covered during my Freshman GE Cluster, so it was my second time through many of the readings- so if you're not an English whiz, it might be a little hard to understand the readings the first time through. Still, he managed to elucidate new interpretations and aspects of the readings I had never considered. Be sure to come to lecture! It's definately worth your time and he does a great job of explaining the texts while injecting humor here and there. Highly recommended.
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