Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

Michael J Allen

Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales

English department

Michael J Allen

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from 8 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 4.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.9
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.4
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.3
Helpful
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Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again
  • Issues PTEs

Textbooks

Textbook listings are currently unavailable for this course.

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Grades

Winter 2010
27.3%
22.7%
18.2%
13.6%
9.1%
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.

Fall 2006
20.5%
17.1%
13.7%
10.3%
6.8%
3.4%
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: Winter 2016 Submitted March 24, 2016 Grade Received: A

I originally decided to take Chaucer with Allen because of the extremely enthusiastic reviews posted on here. Don't get me wrong, Allen is a great human being, but his lectures definitely disappointed me. Maybe I went in with high expectations, but his lectures often ramble off topic to random (uninteresting) historical tidbits, he repeats himself, and there are many (what I deem significant) parts of the tales we read that he doesn't cover in class.

However, he is extremely, effusively enthusiastic about Chaucer. You can tell he absolutely adores the book, and that he loves every single one of the tales, so much so that he doesn't have a favorite. He is also very helpful during office hours, and willing just to sit and chat. I find him quite adorable, to be honest. I just wish his lectures were as engaging as I hoped they would be.

Overall, in terms of workload: it's doable. But you still have to work for it. As in, you absolutely have to read, you have to keep up and read every week, and reading any online summaries won't help. Why? Because he gives quizzes that test you on the language; you have to "gloss" and translate certain words, and you have to identify which tale they came from. His quizzes are extremely difficult, because he often gives you a max of 2 lines per question to gloss and identify. The lines are completely random, and are often negligible in importance in terms of plot, theme, etc. I often just reread all the tales right before the quiz, so that everything is fresh in my mind. There is no paper, just "paragraphs" you have to turn in by the end of the quarter. You answer 7 questions, 200 words each. As for reciting the first 18 lines of the General Prologue, you recite it only to him during office hours, not in class. I highly recommend going as early as possible to get it out of the way.

I think I would take another class with Allen. Just not Chaucer.

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

Professor Allen is my absolute favorite professor at UCLA. After taking Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with him this summer, I cancelled my enrollment in Shakespeare in Fall so I could wait to take his class in Winter. He is immensely funny, a gifted lecturer, and if you actually pay attention, his tests and papers shouldn't be difficult for you. But, that said, this is not an easy class. He will immerse you in it, and make seemingly dull topics incredibly interesting, but you HAVE to read, or you WILL NOT do well. Middle English is hard to understand, so you really have to make sense of the characters and their plot lines, and pay attention to the footnotes!

He has a lot to say, and its true, its hard to tell what you're going to be tested on, so take notes on everything! If you can't write fast enough to do that, then I suggest recording his lectures, because he is so passionate about these topics that he will give you as much information as he possibly can in a class period. He is very loud, and if you don't like participating in class, then you shouldn't sit in the aisles, but know that if you do participate, he will give you a much better grade. Also, don't be afraid of having to recite the introduction - it seems scary, but he closes his eyes the entire time so its not like a performance, and he will help you along.

The amount of work for any English class can be excessive, but if you take any class with Allen, you will laugh your way through ten weeks of what would otherwise be deemed hell.

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Tags

  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Tough Tests
  • Would Take Again
  • Issues PTEs

Textbooks

Textbook listings are currently unavailable for this course.

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Bruinwalk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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