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(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!
I strongly recommend that only 4th year/seniors take Colacurcio. He has dry wit and biting humor; he cusses in class and makes fun of himself, the authors, the students and anyone else under the sun. He does care about his students and he loves his job please be warned: THIS IS NOT AN EASY CLASS. He gives out "shitty little quizzes" (his term), essays, midterm, final and extra reading essay. The reading load is so overwhelming, you will feel like you're back in the 10-series. It's VERY DIFFICULT TO PULL OFF AN A.
I think everyone should take at least professor like Cola before they graduate (especially if ENGL is your major/minor) but I can't imagine a first/second year surviving through his course without wrecking his/her GPA.
Enjoy! He's a blast :)
Spent about thirty minutes lecturing on a poem he did not assign nor provide in the course reader, the class being half empty didn't notice it either until the person in the front row said something. this should be an obvious choice for you.
Professor Colacurcio has been a personal favorite of mine for the two classes I took with him (171A and 171B). Here is a man passionate about American literature. He is very knowledgable about American scholarship and points you to a lot of different options, and his own work is pretty insightful. With that, his lecture style might be considered tangential or difficult, but I appreciated having a professor that treats you like a UCLA English major, not a high school student. This man taught me to appreciate Moby-Dick--that alone should be worth praise. The reading is demanding, but if you do it and go to class, you should get a good grade.
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