Based on 113 Users
I would not recommend this class to others. I personally hated it. The material covered in this class is way too broad-- from several million years ago until now. There was so much material packed into this one course that it was not possible to fully appreciate each society and to go more indepth into it. You basically just have to memorize many things about MANY different things. Her exams (a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-balnk, and short answer questions) consisted of some really trivial multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. She also grades the short answer part of her exams in a very detailed manner so that full marks are difficult to achive. The one part of her class that was relatively simple were the term papers. In addition, her lectures are really boring...so much that I would fall asleep. If you need to fulfill a GE, there are many less painful, less frustrating, and less boring ways of fulfilling it.
I was a first quarter freshman looking for an easy GE, anthro 8 was my answer. The class is about as interesting as a class can get and prof Smith is about as interesting as a teacher as youll get. She has an awesome voice and is a happy woman as far as I can tell and that rubs off a lot on her class lectures, which are interesting enough that I never fell asleep in them. There is reading, but very minimal, two papers a quarter which are "guided" [that means half the research is done for you], and an easy midterm/final if you take halfway decent notes. If you want a good class thats also kick back, anthro 8 with smith is for you.
Monica Smith was a great class for introuductory purposes. Very well structured, very well organized. I did learn lots in this class. However, I do know that this is a hit and miss kind of thing. A lot of people HATED this class, for one reason or another. It could be a little difficult to try and keep up with some of the boring material... but what are you expecting? Her paper was relatively easy and broad. However, I heard that when she graded papers, she tore them apart... She generally splits papers with her TAs, it's random... The final and midterm aren't too hard. A lot of memorizing. Good class though.
Prof Smith's lectures were fairly somewhat slow. It's amazing that she could talk the entire lecture period and not say all that much. That said, I found much of the material interesting, but often very repetitive. I guess that's sort of the nature of the beast when you take lower div classes - their generality leads to heavy repetition. I actually did not do as well as I thought I would in the class, although the effort I put in was fairly minimal. Not a bad teacher for a GE course, but if Anthro is your major you might look for a bigger challenge.
Dr.Smith made extra office hours in the dorms.. she is very concerned and I truly loved her lectures. Her test are very fair despite a few meaningless and trivial multiple choice questions, but otherwise, her class is enjoyable and the work pace is very manageable.
I feel asleep in every class but managed to get a B+. It did help that I had prior knowledge from taking Anthro 7. Also my TA was extremely lenient and easy. Monica, I heard from others, is a difficult grader with the essays.
*Very well-organized lectures and good use of slides
*Well balanced workload
*Extremely straightforward tests
*In upper-divs, expects you to know a lot
*In lower-divs, assignments are repetitive
Overall: Worth taking her classes. She puts in a lot of effort, has a lot of time in office hours
It was a pretty laid back fiat lux since your grade is just based on class attendance. Some of the readings were interesting while others were a bore. Professor Smith is nice although she's not the best discussion facilitator.
I have taken three courses with Professor Smith now (Anthro 8, 116, and 119P) and I completely adore her. She is one of the most excellent and interesting professors in Anthro that won't blow your brain up with readings that, frankly, have no clout in the class except for the professor finding them "interesting". She is a real life archaeologist in South Asia and often uses her own work as an example for the class. My advice for students thinking about enrolling in any class Professor Smith offers is GO FOR IT!!! She is exciting, funny and gave me the rare will *trust me I usually do not have time to * to go to her office hours. Okay, well enough of oozing my love for her all over Bruinwalk---class breakdown
Anthro 8: I took this bad boy a while ago, it is not hard to get an A in this class from what I can remember...just know the sites presented...and attend lecture
Anthro 116/119P: Smith is so knowledgeable on these two topics. Once again, if you attend lecture and DO THE READINGS these should not be bad at all. In addition, make sure you do know details to add to written statements such as essays...they really help to boost the paper overall
South Asian archaeology is her area of specialty and it definitely shows through in this class. Her lectures are full of interesting facts about ancient India. Pay attention to everything, because most of the material for the tests come from her lectures, though you'll find a few questions that can only be found in the text. Her tests are tough, but not impossible and consist of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions that force you to really show your knowledge. She's more than happy to help her students with any questions, even adjusting her office hours to work with various students schedules before the test. Overall she's a great speaker, enthusiastic about the class, and always willing to expand on ideas in class.
Not an easy A, but you'll find the class interesting and fun!