All Ratings and Reviews for Michael J Colacurcio
This class was Sem 1 (Emerson). I thought this class was going to be very hard because of how much I had struggled with Emerson's writing before, but Colacurcio explained in such an elaborate way that I was able to finally understand his writing. Colacurcio is extremely knowledgable in this subject and this seminar highlighted all the information he possessed about Emerson's works. The reading is pretty heavy content-wise, but he analyzes and gives background info about it to help understand the text. Honestly the most intelligent professor I have ever had. He holds very accessible office hours and is always responsive over email. Also, he's pretty funny.
Colacurcio is the best professor I have ever taken at UCLA. He covers so much material in this class and goes through each text thoroughly. If I could take every single class with this man I would. I went to almost all his office hours and learned about Emerson and Thoreau and how to navigate through their difficult writing. Anything I had difficulty with, it was immediately resolved when asking questions during his office hours or class. His lectures are very interesting, but only if you are actually listening and not zoning out (or else you won't know what he's talking about). The quizzes are mostly take home T/F quizzes that are impossible to do unless you listen in class, so I suggest you take notes and there were two papers and a midterm/final where you identify and analyze passages. He is okay with computers and isn't too strict on tardiness but does take roll every class. Overall, he's a very knowledgable professor and there hasn't been a question that was asked in class/review sessions/ office hours that he couldn't thoroughly answer. If you take this class you should take advantage of how much you can learn from him.
(Be aware that this was a summer session)
Professor Colacurcio really grows on you. At first, I thought he was going to be boring and stuffy, but he is actually very entertaining and kooky! He is obviously very intelligent too, but he doesn’t act like he’s better than you for it, which I liked. If you are easily offended or can’t take a joke, be aware of his sarcastic sense of humor.
If you are clever enough, you don’t even have to read the books! You just have to pay attention during lecture…which is actually a challenge at times; he likes to go off on random tangents so it’s easy to zone out. Just make you sure you’re awake for those times he gives useful information and analysis so you know what to write for the midterm/final.
10% Attendance (makes you sign in)
20% Quizzes: True/False (2 out of 3; drops lowest)
20% Take Home Midterm
20% Final Paper
20% ID Final
10% in -class final paper
The quizzes are HARD! I swear, he means for us to fail them! I think since he is such an easy grader, he needs these quizzes to disperse the grades in the class. Luckily, since I took his class during the summer, two of my quizzes were take home! Hopefully you are just as lucky. If I took them in class, I know I would have failed. They are tricky on purpose. My only advice is to second guess every question! If it seems true, it might not be so you have to know the story EXACTLY. Sometimes he’ll mention details in class that he’ll use on the quizzes—you just have to be clever.
The midterm and final are IDs. The passages are easy to identify because he will have mentioned them in class! It’s not the fact that you know what they are that is important—it’s what you say about them. This is why paying attention to lecture is so important. If you don’t want to read, you have to at least pay attention in class because he pretty much gives you the answers and all the analysis. Also, go to the review session—he tells you specific passages to review.
The prompt for the in- class final paper is given to you beforehand, so it should pretty much be written by the time you sit down to the final.
The final paper asks you to write about 4 authors in relation to a theme discussed in class (another reason to pay attention to lecture).
Ultimately, I received an A. I consider myself rather lazy English major too! I didn’t even read any of the books…I just knew the stories very well and read the passages he went over in class. Honestly, such an easy class (in comparison to other UCLA English courses). Even though I didn’t read, Professor’s Colacurio’s lectures were very insightful and I felt like I learned a lot from his course. I say, give him a chance!
Do NOT take classes with Colacurcio. If you can avoid him, do so. The class might as well be called "Emerson's entire collection." If you're into that, congrats. Colacurcio would probably give Emerson a handy if he could. But if you wanted like other authors??like it's not happening. He assigns other readings but doesn't go into as much detail as he does with the Emerson readings - which are pain in the ass.
His quizzes (Three quizzes with average 80+ True/False questions) are hard as shit. He had to make them take-home bc my class was so bad at them, but he usually gives 15-20 mins to answer them in class. His essay prompts are unclear. His syllabus is unclear as hell, you don't know which reader to use, the readings aren't clearly labeled at all, adn sometimes he would assign readings not in the readers and not tell you. He doesn't use slides so you just have to put up with 2 hours of BS being spewed out of a 80 y/o man's mouth and HOPE you don't space out for the 10 minutes in total of actual material. The final for this class was so hard he actually had to drop some of the portions of the test bc everyone failed. Yeah, he's an easy grader but it's only because he knows after one quarter with him he made you suicidal. And even then, like I'm pretty sure my solid B is one of the higher grades in the class and that's because I had a study group of like six people and none of us knew what was going on. Don't take him. Not worth the "easy A"
Prof. Colacurcio is really knowledgable about his field, doubtless, but unless you have an insatiable passion for hundreds of pages of Puritan thoughts on religion, do not take his class. He is one of the driest lecturers I have ever listened to and despite his protests that he has never mumbled a day in his life, there are many things that he says for only his podium to hear. His dry sense of humor does alleviate some of the boredom, though.
If, however, you find yourself stuck taking his class (as I was), it's nothing to be concerned about. You can easily get an A without doing any of the reading if you take thorough notes in lecture. I did. Write down even the random things he says that seem irrelevant, because they sometimes pop up as trick questions on quizzes. His quizzes are fairly easy as long as you write down what he says in class and go to his review sessions. He's a pretty easy grader on the papers and the final.
Professor Colacurcio is the worst professor I have had at UCLA. He is awful in every way possible. This is not an exaggeration, people. Avoid at all costs. Not only are his lectures painfully dry, but they are also impossible to follow. The man is eccentric--not in a fun way, and just babbles about random things for two hours. Seriously, it's bad. To make matters worse, lecture attendance is mandatory. The readings are very dense and lengthy. He makes you read a book outside of class and write an in class essay about it after the final. The final was ten identifications and they were not straight from lecture. They were difficult if you didn't do all of the reading. Also, he failed to submit our grades on time and didn't enter them until the end of week two.
Again, avoid at all costs. He will ruin your quarter.
Assigns optional classes to catch you up on important material.
Gives tricky quizzes, but gives you ample time to prepare for them, or even makes them take-home. Allows two options for your midterm: essay, or ID + commentary.
Great professor who really wants you to get the point of the class, rather than trivial nonsense that most other Eng professors want.
Love this guy. Went in hating/dreading a survey lit class. Came out thoroughly pleased.
*Actually tooke ENG 170A, but it's not a listed course on this eval... dunno why.
The people here trashing Professor Colacurcio are the sort of people who don't actually give two hells about English, and are "simpletons" themselves with no idea of the texture or measure of real learning. Yes, Professor Colacurcio is old, a little scatter-brained, but to call him a bad professor -- you don't deserve to go a school like UCLA saying such a thing, frankly. If you don't want to learn, rot your brain elsewhere. Colacurcio is not the professor for you -- and indeed, UCLA is not the SCHOOL for you.
Professor Colacurcio is difficult professor if 1. you want easy classes and no reading (why you're an English major at all then -- you may want to reconsider); 2. you aren't interested in history; 3. you want a snappy, hip-with-the-times lecturer who speaks the kids' lingo, yo.
When I go to Professor Colacurcio's office hours I don't understand half his remarks, but that's the beauty of it. He knows so much I DON'T know. I don't understand so I ASK, and I LEARN. That's what we're here for, taking upper division classes. Easy GE, fine, but this is the major you're making a living out of, right?
If you CARE about English, about this degree you're paying for, distinguished professors like Colacurcio are a blessing. We are very fortunate to have him. Fly-by-night English majors beware him; lovers of language, of history, or literature, rejoice.
I took English 166B with Professor Colacurcio, and it was hands-down the worst class I've ever taken at UCLA. The reviewer below who refers to everyone who dislikes Colacurcio as simpletons was clearly brainwashed by the professor. Colacurcio took pleasure in mocking UC students, calling them lazy and idiotic on numerous occasions. When a girl answered one of his questions incorrectly, he responded, "No, stupid," and whenever I gave the correct response, he made an uncomfortable show of mock surprise and asked me if I had transferred from an Ivy League school. I take pride in being a Bruin, and have always worked very hard in school, so this offended me immensely. He is outrageously unprofessional and makes inappropriate comments frequently. I'm not being a stick in the mud either -- these aren't those classic English-professor innuendos that are borderline irreverent but all in good fun. He crosses the line with his jokes, which tend to be explicitly sexual. No one wants to hear an old man say, "When I was in eighth grade, spin the bottle involved kissing, but now eighth graders are f*** each other's brains out," or "The problem I had in New York was that I couldn't tell the sex of the prostitute." Also, it was quite evident that he incorporated minority authors into his curriculum because he had to and not because he felt their writing has any merit. His lectures are generally long, rambling affairs, during which he reads from the texts without offering any analysis. The amount of reading is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up with, and the quizzes are definitely "shitty little quizzes," which at least he acknowledges.
The only compliment I will pay him is that his reading of Hawthorne's short stories is impressive and interesting. But by the time he gets to Hawthorne, so many of the students have checked out, because they're fed up with him.
In case anyone should accuse me of bitterness, I feel it is pertinent to share that I got an A+ in his course. In conclusion, just don't take this class. There are so many other more pleasant classes to take at UCLA.
Professor Colacurcio is an outstanding professor. This man is a GRADUATE level professor. The students complaining on this page are just upset that he is not holding their hands every single day. He is very clear and helpful. He is teaching undergraduate level with the excellency of his graduate level knowledge. These 22 year old students just want to be guided because they do not know how to be independent.
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