All Ratings and Reviews for Richard E Strassberg
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!
He is a good teacher. Exams are not hard.Usually MC. Just paid attention to class and you will definately get a good grade. He is really knowledgeable about all the materials. His classes are cool, but a bit boring sometimes. Overall, he is worth to take and his selected readings are super interesting if you familier with Chinese culture and literature.
I seriously came into this class thinking that it was going to be such a boring class but I was indeed wrong. The materials that he presented was absolutely fabulous. It's easy reading and very enjoyable. He's a very nice guy and very approachable. I highly recommend him to any student. His grading is very decent and fair. This class really change the way I feel about Chinese literature.
Very knowledgeable professor, but he sometimes is hard to follow. Overall, I think he presents the material well even though it tends to get boring from time to time. He's very fair when it comes to tests and grading.
The class was a lot of reading (pretty interesting, actually) but the lectures tended to be more dry -- oh don't get me wrong, he is extremely knowledgeable and definitely knows what he's talking about, but the atmosphere of the room and the lecture style of the class definitely leads to a tendency toward nodding off.
However, the papers are relatively stimulating and the midterm and final graded fairly. If only there was some way to make lectures more interesting.
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.
Strassberg is a hard professor to rate. If you take his Chinese classes that are taught in Chinese, I would recommend him. They are very interactive and you learn a lot. If you take a lit in translation class, then the way the material is presented is not very interesting. He is very knowledgeable in either situation.
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.
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.
His classes in English are fairly easy. Just go to lecture, take notes and study off the notes. Reading is really minimally required, you can get away with an A without doing it. But that's providing that you don't fall asleep during the lecture and miss notes. The subject matter can get boring, but he does try his best to be witty and entertaining. The tests are m/c, and the class usually entails an essay of some sort. If you're not a good writer, be sure at least to proofread, because he's big on grammaticality.
For his classes taught in Chinese, it's all about the memorization. As long as you attend lecture and take notes on the stuff he says, you can pass the class with an easy A. But be prepared with a translation when you come to class, or else he has been known to chew guys out. Exams are very basic, passage and vocabulary in Chinese, all you have to do is just regurgitate what he said in lecture. The papers will be harder, but he will be more lenient if your attendance in class has been good, or that you've at least grammatically proofread your paper.
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