All Ratings and Reviews for Michael J Hackett
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!!
At first, I thought he was a great lecturer.... however, when the class went on, he became more intimidating. When students asked questions, he would answer in a condescending manner. He seems very cocky and expects a lot from his students. on the exams, make sure to make connections with as many things possible.
Personally, i thought professor Hackett was a great lecturer, he was always informative and interesting to listen to, but one on one you get the feeling he thinks you're a total moron. even when we went to the getty and he asked us what we thought of a certain painting (a totally subjective question) he would disagree if you said something he didn't think was right. he is very dedicated to the cluster and he really puts alot into it, but it was hard because of the huge time commitment he demanded of his students. word of warning: don't get him in a bad mood, he's quite remperamental. he's not as bad as some people would have you believe though, and i did enjoy his classes and lectures very much.
He is a great professor. His lectures are really good and he's probably one of the most passionate professors I've had. He really likes doing what he does and he also encourages you to be passionate and creative. He's always available at office hours and he's willing to help you with any difficulties. He's very honest in his criticism, but I found that to be very constructive. I enjoyed the performances we attended and the videos we watched in class (from Butoh to Maria Callas) because they were so different from what we are used to seeing. I feel that I've learnt a lot not only at an academic level, but also at how to look at things and think in different ways. The class is challenging, but it's also very, very interesting.
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! He is a very hard grader, most of what he says is b.s., he is not very easy to talk to during office hours, and if you say somethting that he disagrees with he either ignores you or puts you down in front of the class. Also, the performances we attended were boring and we were required to go to all seven of them while he missed almost all of them. He tells you to give answers that are obvious on the exams and essays but what he thinks is obvious is not obvious. If he really his the best professorrs in the theater department as someone said earlier, I am definitely not taking any more theater classes at UCLA.
this guy babbles like you would not believe, and he acts like his students entire lives revolve around him and his class. Don't piss him off, although it is almost impossible not to. Don't take him at all if you don't like to be pushed around; he's an ass.
This class may seem crazy at times (espeically since it's so early in the morning and right after Tai Chi) and some days you will be so tired and often you will delve into the relm of the bizzare which you have never before seen BUT as strange as it is, I ended up enjoying this class overall. Of course, it's required but I would say it is definately worth it. The performance projects are very fun. Professor Hackett is quite a character, talk with him about ANYTHING and you can be sure to be entertained. He says the funniest, strangest things. That man. Theater 12 really did open my mind up to what theater can be. Some of the things we studied were too far from me and I knew I would probably never do anything like that... but the class really did expand my mind and help break down some walls about what theater is. Some things we do in the class are ridiculous and stupid - sometimes fun and great class bonding, sometimes not - but just be open, and embrace it with a smile and hopefully you will have some good experiences bonding with your new classmates. This is a class where it is VERY true that what you put into it is what you will get out of it. "Can you imagine...????"
I highly recommend Professor Hackett. He pushes the buttons that need to be pushed to incite growth-- that's his job and he does it well. There are six 2-page papers on performances you must see, and one final performance. The papers are rather easy (depending on your TA) to ace. He is fun, he is all about releasing inhibitions and just pushing boundaries, if you are open to just going crazy and learning about a world of wild theater, you will enjoy this class. It definitely pushes boundaries bc it shows types of theater that many modern people would not consider art. But by learning about such a vast variety of performance, your ideas a performer, artist, or audience member are broadened
Professor Hackett is someone that everyone likes to talk about. For me i found i couldnt help but like him, even if i disagreed with his teaching methods or what he says. Like everyone says he knows his stuff that is clear. The classes were often very fun, and also very interesting. We watched several films on different types of theatre most of which was very strange, but also kind of exciting. He obviously cares for his students, which was demonstrated to me through his one on one meetings.
The thing about the class which i felt was ridiculus was this game he seemed to be playing with the class, where he told us all he was nervous about our lack of interest and enthusiasm, and then by the end he was giving us all of these compliments. Our class however, didnt have any of the problems he would discuss and it just seemed like a way to get us to work hard. however in doing this he made a lot of people upset and stressed over the class. i would say take the class for sure, just be aware that he might try and make you feel like your doing something wrong, ur not.
Did this review contain...
Thank you for the report!
We'll look into this shortly.