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Macfadyen is not only the funniest professor I've ever had, but also simply the funniest individual ever. His class was super laid back, but at the same time extremely interesting and engaging. There were no exams (because he doesn't believe in them) and we only had to write a 5 page and 10 page paper. It sounds a little overwhelming, but its not. The 10 pager was totally left up to you to find a topic, which really allowed you to find something interesting to write about. His lectures are really insightful and he displays an impressive knowledge about each writer we went over. Some may complain that he doesn't really focus bit by bit on the texts, but this is what made the class interesting. It was the fact that he would talk about the history of each writer, their own individual style and ideas, and would leave the interpretations and the discovery of that material within the text entirely up to you. I ended up with an A- in the class, by just putting a some effort into the work, and discovered a new interest for Russian Literature. I only wish he taught all my classes every quarter.
The class was interesting. I liked the pieces that we read. Basically all your grade consists of are two papers: the midterm and the final. He's funny and seems to go off in tangeants but overall the class is nice. He discussed the readings during the first half of class and during the second half it was movie time. He also has lots of witty things to say. His accent is cool too. I have no idea how he grades the papers because what I thought was a crappy paper turned out to be a good one to him. So its not a stressful class and its relatively easy since you only have to write two papers. I reccommend this class.
This class is OK...the readings were pretty good but you didn't even have to read them all for the purposes of the class. There is a midterm paper (5 pages) and a final research paper (10 pages). Even though it sounds difficult, that's all the class really is, so it doesn't take up much of your time. The class itself is entertaining...D-Mac is probably the funniest and wittiest professor I've had so far. It pretty much consists of 45 minutes of lecture on what ever reading you are supposed to do, then random Russian movies for the remainder of class time. Even though it sounds like a waste, its worth going to lecture as much as possible, since he discusses the papers and attendance is supposedly part of the grade. Overall, not too bad of a GE if you want one less final to study for during finals wA40Aand don't mind writing a little bit.
One of my favorite classes I've taken at UCLA. I don't know what all of the people above are talking about...he's a great lecturer because he's entertaining to watch and listen to. If you're the type of person who gets all in a huff because your notes aren't perfectly in order and you hate drawing arrows all over your paper, then this isn't your class. It doesn't matter because he posts notes online, anyhow. He's the kind of prof. who goes off on tangents all of the time because he finds them interesting, which shows his enthusiasm for his subject. I was a big fan of this class...although some of the movies were a bit of a stretch. If you have any kind of interest in literature at all, even if you have never heard Russian spoken before in your life. I hadn't, and I got a lot out of the course.
I really appreciated the tangents! Venturing into the world of the Russian Lit. minor was not an easy task for me, but the professor made the experience much more comfortable. As far as lectures go, well you're reading a novel, so there are man ways to interpret it. I didn't always agree with him, and I didn't take notes really, but I liked his insights, and when I expressed my own in the papers, he appreciated them as well. I liked the readings. The professor was passionate about everything...this is obvious if you visited him in his office. Overall, a really nice and well-informed guy. I'm taking Tolstoy with him in the Fall.
Definetely one of the funniest professors I've ever had, he is simply hilarious. The drawback to that is that the whole class is spent being funny and going off on tangents and actual substantial lecture lasts only about 1/3 of the class time. We only had one short paper and a research paper, which makes the class seem easy, but how they were graded was obscure and you never quite knew why you got the grade you did (which for me was lower that expected). The class itself was pretty disorganized and hard to follow. I ddin't really feel like I learned anything...but he was funny.