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professor simonowitz is amazing. very concerned with the students' learning and understanding. he is super amicable and very knowledgeable. Meet with him. Even if you have nothing to talk about. he always has something fun to say and is a very interesting man. and you will leave his office happy. the course itself is all about islamic calligraphy, which i didn't expect when i signed up for an islamic art class. but it goes more into islamic culture, which was my interest rather than the calligraphy itself. and we wrote 18 two-page summaries of articles (2/week) and read about 3-4 articles/week, plus a four page research paper due finals week, so it definitely keeps you on your toes. but if you do these works and participate in class, you are guaranteed an A. i strongly recommend the class. i think i've learned more than i have in any of my classes because of the readings and discussions, and, although a moderately obscure topic, it is cool to know so much about when no one else does.