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I'm not a big fan of his grading system either. If you get perfect scores on all the quizzes and he likes you, you'll get an A and exempted from the final. A classmate was 1/2 pt. off being perfect, didn't do as well on the final, and got a B. Go figure. Weird grading system.
Anyway, he's entertaining, funny, and gets to know pretty much anyone who cares to participate. I wasn't interested in the subject matter in the slightest, and still am not interested, but it wasn't too terrible.
Professor Gardner is EXTREMELY politically incorrect. It's hilarious in class, and he's a talkative, funny, very knowledgeable, and entertaining guy. He's not as old as he'd like to make you think he is.
He tends to go fast in lecture-- words and names that you know you need to write down become difficult to write down at times. Lecture notes are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL in his class-- take very, very, very comprehensive ones. It's scary how much Professor Gardner knows, and scary how much you cover.
Lots of pop quizzes, but they were all open note (no text in the class); that meant that with good notes you were great, without good notes you were screwed. What really turned me off in the class was HOW MUCH there was to know-- it was scary when he handed out the final review worksheet (something like 150 shows and people) and how much of it was on the final.
If you're not familiar with Theater, expect to do a lot of memorization in this class. If you are a theater or music major, either you seem to know it already (granted some non-majors are like this too), and the Professor probably knows you by first name already-- that was also really scary, because the class was supposedly a GE class with "mostly non-Theater majors" yet in class he knew everyone's name.
It's fun class, but when it comes down to the final it's a lot of work and a lot of stress. The final is *extremely* difficult. Don't take this class if you have classes with important finals the same quarter, the final will slaughter you.
Gary is a very entertaining lecturer and his an overall nice man. HOWEVER, his class is not all that easy - there are lots of dates (mainly just years), plays, actors, directors and plots to understand and memeorize. Although I enjoyed his class, I feel it is mainly geared towards Theater majors, or at least those who are VERY familiar with theater. If you are niether one of these, don't expect to get an A in this class unless you plan to put some effort into it - and take REALLY good notes... this is key!