Richard Strassberg

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CHIN 97
Variable Topics in Chinese Culture Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHIN 97
Variable Topics in Chinese Culture See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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EA STDS 99
Student Research Program See Full Profile

Overall 3.2 Easiness 1.2 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 3.5

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CHINESE 150B & 180

Strassberg is very, very passionate about the material, but this doesn't actually mean his love of Chinese myth and supernatural stories makes his lectures that much more interesting - in fact, they're usually mind-numbingly boring and sometimes quite convoluted. Usually, if you ask him a clarification question during class, he won't really answer but go off on some vague tangent instead, leaving you more confused than enlightened. Aside from how boring he can be, he's very kind and approachable, and almost always willing to talk to people after class. The readings were only sometimes interesting; most of the time, they were quite lengthy and very, very dry.

However, that being said, the rest of the class is relatively easy provided you at least skim the texts. The TA assigned weekly one-page essays based on the readings and/or lecture, which were clearly meant to force us to read at least a little. The midterm and final are exactly the same: 20 multiple choice questions (40% of the total grade) and one 5 page essay (60% of the grade). The midterm for C180 was 30%, and the final was 60% for some absurd reason. The multiple choice section can be tricky sometimes, and it's not unusual for people to miss over half of them, but because it's only 20 questions long, most people leave class within the first half hour. It's very, very easy to get perfect scores on all of the essays, though. As long as you answer the prompt (and not write on something else entirely), Strassberg will give you a full 60/60. He has, however, docked people 5 whole points for block quoting incorrectly.

I put in a lot of effort making study guides for both 150B and 180, and I think that definitely helped, as it forced me to read the material in order to draw up summaries on the text. Most people won't want to try, though, honestly, especially once you see the workload -- in that case, get yourself a nice friend who does those study guides and is willing to share or at least collaborate, because reading is NECESSARY to do at least okay on the exams if you don't care to stay awake through lectures. (FYI, what he bases his exams on differs. Sometimes it's more lecture-based, other times it's more reading-based. The TA will let you know beforehand, though.) Also try to find people willing to split the cost of the reader, as it's usually well over $100. While there's usually a lot of overlap between classes, Strassberg's syllabus is never completely the same. He's also under the impression that $140 for a reader is a bargain, which means he churns them out like crazy.

I took 150B by myself, took extensive lecture notes, and wrote up study guides on my own and got an A. I took 180 with some friends, barely paid attention in class as a result, wrote up the study guides mostly on my own but with some help, and got an A+. I studied and read much, much less and put in significantly less effort the second go-around and did better on both the midterm and final and in the class overall. I don't know if this means 180 was that much easier (I feel that it was about the same as 150B) or if I got smarter about how to deal with Strassberg's teaching methods. Or maybe I was just very lucky.

tl;dr: I'd only strongly recommend taking it with people you can rely on to help you study, otherwise you'll be doing a lot of work by yourself (or for them). If you're fine with lots of reading, or if myths and ghost stories are really interesting to you, by all means, go for it.

(April 2, 2012)
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CHIN 110A
Introduction to Classical Chinese See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 1.4 Workload 1.6 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.7

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Strassberg tries to make teaching 110A as simple as possible. He goes over grammar rules and the chapters and the rest is really up to the students. I guess EFFORT is the key to staying afloat in this class. Strassberg welcomes any and all questions and of course is helpful and overall just a great and genuinely nice man. Personally, I found the TA sections to be extremely useless and it was just a bad utilization of time. Again, just put in some effort into knowing the grammar patterns and you should be fine.

(Nov. 24, 2006)
CHIN 110C
Introduction to Classical Chinese Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHIN 110C
Introduction to Classical Chinese See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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CHIN C138
Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHIN C138
See Full Profile

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CHIN 139
Gardens in China See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 1.2 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.2 Helpfulness 3.8

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I have no real complaints about class with Strassberg. He shows a lot of videos, so prime seating is a must. He is truly passionate about gardens in China, and he will take time to answer any question you may ask. His tests are a bit too easy \361 just a handful of multiple choice questions, and double that quantity for the final. There is also a paper to write along with the final, but as long as you use your imagination and follow the examples in the course material, you\355ll do fine. Questions are mainly taken from the readings and videos, and a little from his own Power Point lectures. Stay awake and take notes, so if you make it a policy to sit in the front every time, you\355ll do great.

(Sept. 7, 2007)
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CHIN 150B
Traditional Narrative and Drama See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 2.0 Workload 1.5 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.5

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i can tell that he loves and understands chinese literature very much!! he concerns about students learning and always gives you chance to make it up! his exams r tough but fair! just go to lectures and take notes! overall he is a responsible professor!

(May 5, 2003)
CHIN 180
Chinese Mythology Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHIN 180
Chinese Mythology See Full Profile

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CHIN 200A
Research Methods in Chinese Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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CHIN 200A
Research Methods in Chinese See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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