Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Karen J Cunningham

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

English department

Karen J Cunningham

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.2
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.8
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.4
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.4
Helpful
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Grades

Spring 2010
24.2%
20.2%
16.2%
12.1%
8.1%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2009
26.8%
22.4%
17.9%
13.4%
8.9%
4.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 21, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

Not that bad of a teacher. 8/10.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 21, 2008 Grade Received: N/A

Cunningham was an acquired taste for me, but after the third week of her class I began to really enjoy it. She comes off as pretentious, but because she really does know what she's talking about and she's so receptive to student ideas it isn't bad. Class discussion was stimulating and interesting, but Cunningham kept it in check so we still got to the material.

This class consists of several quizzes (lowest grade drops), a recitation of the first 18 lines in Old English during her office hours, a midterm and a final.

For the quizzes, they are 1/3 translation and 2/3 plot questions. If you get a plot summary and are decent at reading Old English (it gets pretty easy once you actually read one or two of the tales) then you're good to go for the quizzes.

The recitation isn't too bad, and she lets you do it a second time if you need to (and you keep the higher grade).

The midterm and final are 10 character IDs from their general prologue descriptions, 5 term IDs from examples/definitions, the midterm has 5 translations (the final doesn't), and one essay. They require that you've been to a good deal of lectures (there really is no substitute for going to class) and that you STUDY the general prologue like hell to memorize the character portraits (flashcards are good). The essay isn't too bad, as Cunningham spends all of her lectures going over potential topics.

I never read the last 1/3 of the tales (and I got an A). Once you get a hang for Old English you're set for the translations and if you get a plot summary you don't have to do much else. Going to lecture is really important because it makes the class WAY easier. I can't imagine trying to learn the material on my own with no lecture notes (she doesn't give any). This was a good course although it wasn't the easiest.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Oct. 15, 2008 Grade Received: N/A

I'm on my fourth class with Professor Cunningham because I adore her. I will disagree with the person who insisted that teaching Chaucer in Middle English is unnecessary because by like the second week, maybe third, reading it in Middle English is not a big deal. It's how he wrote it why not read it that way? I loved her lectures, and if her humor seems crass it's because (hello?) it's Shakespeare or Chaucer, their kind of humor is kind of raunchy. She is always willing to talk to the students about the reading, whatever they're writing, anything. I've taken her for Milton, Chaucer, and Dept. Honors classes and will agree that the smaller environments are the best to have her in. Milton was a larger lecture class and if you're in the back sometimes it will be difficult to hear since she likes to lower her voice if she's being serious. She recognizes faces so she wants to engage with the people which is harder to do with larger class sizes.
I say take a class with her because I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes I've taken with her. Try her out because you might love her. If you don't enjoy it then don't take her for the others she teaches.

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