All Ratings and Reviews for Michael J Hackett
He bangs the drum like no other. Hackett is a wonderful and entertaining professor. He knows his theater - and theater students. He is by far the best professor I have encountered in the theater department.
I took Hackett's Theatre 160 (intro to directing), which was a great course. He organizes the class into different focuses, so students can take the class from an angle that interests them. This quarter, students took the class as directors, actors, dramaturgs and as "mixed" (direct one scene and give an oral presentation about a famous director). Hackett has a definite passion for directing, especially in regards to classics like Shakespeare.n His lectures tend to get wordy, but his critiques for the scenes (though very blunt) are highly insightful and helpful.
He is alright. I only stayed first quarter. Class was interesting but we didnt learn very much material. We learned the background of about 4 cultures and how they related to each other. Just take notes on all the similaries of these cultures. I did well on tests and on essay he graded, but Nikki ruined the course for me. Stay away from her
Always prepared, ready to spring in with opinions when the other professors are lecturing and over the top humour but often sounds full of himself and can be anal about things like people going to the bathroom, arriving a minute late or too many people asking questions. He wants you to make connections and rewards some of the most rediculous ideas and encourages people to participate.
Had a ball with Prof. Hackett at the Getty. He really knows his stuff and knows how to encourage integrative thinking. You'll learn a LOT about art, theater, history, music, politics, and how to look at/listen to/integrate/write very well about all of them. Plus the man sings a wicked Bacchic hymn! Admittedly not the easiest grader (it's an Honors course, yes?), but he does accept revisions and revisions make you a better writer/thinker. Hats off!
He is a cool and humorous professor! He is knowledgeable in the area. He is also very helpful to the students in the group project. He gave students a lot of resources and flexibility in the project. He is just cool!
This man really tries to be informative and insightful in his lectures, but he ends up putting you to sleep instead! His midterm is nothing to freak out about if you have a pretty good grasp of the concepts he is talking about, so don't worry if you skip a reading. If he weren't so snubby, maybe he'd make himself more accessible to talk to , but expect to skip this guy's office hours, cuz he's an ice man. Unlike Winter (the other guy he taught with), if your answers are crap expect to be made a fool of.
i think professor hackett is one of the most talented and thought provoking professors on campus. he's so amazingly smart and his lectures are great. some people may think that he doesnt want to talk to anyone, but he's exactly the opposite. once you start talking to him, he's a really friendly and nice! for incoming freshman taking this course, its great! if you love the arts and want to learn more about it, this class is for you. you might get a little discouraged by the midterm, but dont worry, keep calm and everythingll work out fine. by the end of the two quarters, youll have thought that it went by too soon. :)
Truth is, you either really love or really hate the guy. One the one hand, he's an extremely knowledgeable professor who often has very interesting things to say in class. On the other hand, he can be condescending at times--every so often he would reprimand the class as a whole for being tardy or "not taking the class seriously enough." He and the dance professor who teaches with him believe that the whole class is made up of math and science majors who don't know how to learn in a fashion that isn't linear. The fact that he has to remind us of how he doesn't have faith in our abilities to learn to analyze performace do have a very discouraging effect.
In addition, he does like to ramble on and on about his subject matter--I guess he does try to make it seem interesting, and more often than not, he succeeds, but sometimes he doesn't, leaving you aching for the class to be over. One of his quirks would be mentioning some random concept about the material and saying, "Isn't that fascinating?" though inside every student's mind the answer is "er...yeah."
On the positive side, he's not a bad guy to talk to in person, though one can't help but get the feeling that he has a certain disdain for you because you chose some other field of study than the arts (if indeed you did). A lot of the time, he really is very lively, and encourages class participation--not just raising hands and talking, but actually getting up on stage and demonstrating some aspect of theater with you. He does love to make the students laugh and I do have to admit he did make the class rather funny and amusing at times.
Sadly, his negative qualities dominate over his positive ones, and I think the overall morale of the class would be improved if he didn't keep telling the class that we don't know how to learn the material he's teaching us, because really, what good does that do?
As for grades, he has little control over them--the TA's are responsible for most of your grade. Section attendance is absolutely a must, as participation is 20-25% of the whole grade (perhaps the part of your grade you have the most control over). I would recommend using the TA's office hours more than the professors' for that reason, although the professors do aid in grading the midterms and finals. Speaking of those, the tests are extremely long and tedious--not only are there about 6 ID's that you have to write but also two to three full essays covering topics discussed in class. Expect to take the whole 3 hours allotted toward them. There's a ton of reading--the course readers are some of the thickest I've ever seen exist--one can get by with just skimming the material, however, as everything's you need to know is covered in class. If anything, the fact that both the lectures and the sections are two hours long (for a total of six hours a week) is really good for training freshmen to endure long classes.
This class should really be renamed "The History of Dance and Theater...ohh and a smidgin of music too"--expect to be making a lot of connections, it's the core skill of the class. The papers we had to write about the Getty Museum did seem pretty random since they had nothing to do with performance, though I guess the skills of analysis are used there too. Expect to take time out of your schedule to visit the Getty for that purpose.
I've gone through the whole cluster and I guess it was worth it to get 3 GE's out of the way and Writing II credit on top of it all, though I could never manage to get an A in any of the quarters. I guess the biggest benefit you can get out of this class is having a strong background on the origins of theater and dance, which allows you to enjoy performances a lot more the next time you see them. The performances that we had to watch would have been more enjoyable if we didn't have to write about them later--I think it made them less fun, but I guess they were all right.
Take it fall quarter and see if you like it--at least you can drop it after that and get GE credit for one quarter.
I had very mixed feelings about Hackett - he is always prepared with good lectures, and is knowledgeable about the material. However, I found his personality very disagreeable - he is condescending, your answers are never quite to his liking, and he shows no sympathy towards grading. Disliking a professor's personality usually does not distract me from learning, but I found that my annoyance with him was so great that I resented listening to him lecture by the second quarter. Be warned!!
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