All Ratings and Reviews for Rob W Groves
He is such a good teacher! Very good at speaking and is obviously passionate about the class. He is a likeable guy, no accent, and he makes the class fun. I had Caitlin for a TA and she was good, graded extremely fairly/easy. I loved the readings. Attend lecture, read, and you will get an A!
This class was a class worth taking! I really enjoyed the prof's lectures the most though! He does such a good job explaining the readings since the reading he assigns are kind of hard to understand. You can tell that he is very passionate about the subject. Since he posts all the slides online, try to just take notes of what he's saying that are not on the slides. It's really helpful. Although this class had A LOT of reading, you don't have to read every single page of it. For the midterm and final, they are both really similar. It's just a lot of memorizing dates, people, art, etc. Overall, this class certainly demands a lot of time but is certainly worthwhile. It's not too hard since he gives you a study guide.
Professor Groves is very knowledgeable and he is a great lecturer. I really had fun taking this course but I do have to say that the class was not as easy as I thought it would be. There are a lot of reading materials and you have to know them since he puts passage ID's on midterm and final. But you can get away with it if you attend all of his lectures, which is not that hard since they are interesting. However, unless you already took some other Classics course or have interest in the subject, this course could be a bit challenging (based on my friend'd opinion who did not take any Classics course before this). I ended up with A- but only because my TA was picky in essay grading.Overall, it was an was easy ge for me since I took other Classics courses before and knew some stuff and put my effort into it. If you are looking for easy ge that doesn't need any effort, this is not a class for you. But do try to take Grove's class someday; it is worth taking.
I feel like there's two main approaches professors take towards a GE. One, they know you don't care, so they'll lecture and as long as you listen you'll get an A. Two, they assume you do care, so you'll have to put it a little bit more work to get an A. Classics 10 was definitely the latter. Prof. Groves is a great lecturer, and you can tell he's passionate about the subject. What other professor would perform an ancient Greek monologue in mask and cape in front of the class? If you're not interested in Greeks/ history at all, this isn't the GE for you. I listened intently in lecture and took diligent notes, but I still had to put in quite a few hours' studying for the midterm and final. It is by no means a difficult class, but it's not so easy you can take it on top of your 30 other units as a GPA booster.
Professor Groves is a really good professor. He lays out the information very clearly and ties it in well with the readings. I'm a classics minor so I found the material interesting but if you're not into the subject the readings may get a bit tedious, and there's a decent amount of it every week. Don't write the class off as an automatic A though, it does take some effort and studying. I would definitely go to lectures and at least skim the readings.
Lectures: He uses powerpoints that he later uploads online. All of the readings are available via a pdf file. Professor Groves uses the readings as a jumping off point for the history and culture of Greece, and will occasionally refer to popular culture (like with Troy, 300, Bridesmaids, etc). He also utilizes twitter in his lectures, with a few "twitter breaks" to answer questions instead of taking questions throughout the lecture. If you tweet at him at least 10 times throughout the quarter you'll get 1% of extra credit tacked onto your final grade. It is literally the easiest thing you could do to get extra credit, so just do it.
Section: 30% of your grade, based on weekly quizzes, participation, and in class writing assignments (that was just for my TA, some had discussion posts instead of the writing activities). The quizzes were easy, especially if you went to lecture/looked at the powerpoints because they often took questions from things discussed in lecture.
Papers: 30% total, there were two. One was a "micro paper" meant to be 1-2 pages analyzing a specific passage. These were graded pretty difficultly, because they hoped your skills would improve between the first paper and the second. The second was a comparative paper between 2 or more of the readings and was 5-6 pages. Overall really doable.
Exams: midterm 15% and final 25%. Both had maps, key term IDs, picture IDs, and passage IDs, with the final also having a date section and an essay section. The maps featured key places in ancient Greece (Athens, Marathon, Sicily, etc) that he gave you ahead of time so just spend 15 minutes finding them on a map before the test and you'll be good. All of the key terms are in his powerpoints and he gives you a list to study off of as well as the list for the test so spelling isn't an issue. The image IDs were generally of various pots and asking what kind of pot/what was it used for/what time period is it from/etc and occasionally will depict something that ties in with something we either read or discussed, like a famous scene from a play. The passages were all from the readings, but I noticed that a lot of them were also passages that he analyzed in lectures line by line or at least contained a major theme or event from the text that made it easy to recognize. Those questions were broken down into: who wrote it, what's it from, who's talking/to whom, what's the context, what's another major theme/a connection to another work. If you didn't do the readings you might be able to get by just through looking closely at the powerpoints, but I'd recommend the readings anyway just because it cements things in better. The date section was just matching events/people to dates. The essays were given in advance and were meant to incorporate the readings/lectures, but since he goes over pretty much every reading in detail in the lectures anyway you might be able to get by without reading. Take note of major themes throughout the works that he points out and you're golden.
Extra credit: each exam offered a few points of extra credit. He offered EC for visiting the Getty and writing a 1-2 page summary of your visit. There was also the twitter thing.
Overall, I'd say make sure you know the timeline of things. Start with the period (Mycenean->dark->archaic etc), then fit things like pottery styles, wars, people, and literary works into it. It'll really help keep things straight and associations can come in handy if you can't remember the date for something. The readings could occasionally get a bit tedious but if you at least skim them to get the gist you'll do just fine. Would definitely recommend this professor!
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