Professor

Stephen Dickey

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Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
Overall Rating 4.7
Easiness 3.5 / 5
Clarity 4.5 / 5
Workload 3.2 / 5
Helpfulness 4.5 / 5
Most Helpful Review
OVERALL: Professor Dickey’s Introduction to Poetry (ENGL 91A) was an enjoyable, rewarding class. The course overviewed various forms, functions, and techniques of English poetry. Course readings range from poems many centuries old to contemporary poetry. The class is not hard, but it takes some work. STRUCTURE: The lectures were roughly structured as follows. Professor Dickey provided a list with assigned readings for each class, organized by themes (e.g., sonnets, elegies, or love poetry). The reading was not long—maybe ten to fifteen poems per class—and the time it takes to complete them depends on how much one would like to analyze the poems. In class, Professor Dickey would typically begin with a introduction to the day’s theme and then go on to create a class discussion in analyzing one or a few poems. His introductions were insightful, organized, and well thought out. The discussions were a pretty interesting experience. The room is filled with about one-hundred fifty smart people and anyone can raise a hand and contribute an understanding to the poem under discussion, which was deconstructed line by line. In my experience, sometimes this was fun and sometimes it was dragged out. GRADES: Midterm, essay, discussion, and final. - Discussion work is not stressful. My TA, Miss Tally Ravid, was an incredible person and teacher. Her sections were enjoyable. Both the TA’s for this class were great people. - The midterm was pretty similar to what was in the test bank—includes some vocabulary, scansion for two poems, and a free response essay. Makes up a nice chunk of your grade, so do or die. It’s not hard if you put in an adequate amount of work. - The essay was pretty open to however you approached it. Professor Dickey gave a couple of topics and you can choose to write about any poem in the Norton Anthology of Poetry (the class text). If you are a good writer and put in the time, you will do well. -The final was similar to the midterm, but with two free-response questions. -There were two ungraded assignments: a poetry reading in front of the class by heart and a poem that you write yourself. Could be horrible or wonderful. It’s truly ungraded. ADVICE: - Go to the test bank and get the old tests. - The class textbook is available as a torrent if you’re into thievery. - Do the readings to make the most of the class. Try to engage with them when you have free time. The texts are popular and you’ll encounter them later in life. If you want to really walk out of this class gaining a lot, you will have to be proactive. - Know how to write before you take this class. - Use Quizlet to learn the poem identifications he puts on the exams. Just search for his class and there are a bunch of sets already made. - Consider taking this class during your freshman year, especially if you are a premed student. Getting the A is not difficult, and the style of the class is conducive to making new friends. I took it as a freshman in fall of 2013 and it definitely helped me transition into college. The instructors were really nice, too, and will give you good feedback if you pursue it.
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Easiness 3.0 / 5
Clarity 5.0 / 5
Workload 3.0 / 5
Helpfulness 5.0 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2022 - Dickey is old-fashioned. No slides, no lecture outline, he just starts talking and jumps from subject to subject within the plays. Lectures are informative but very laid back. He draws really great character diagrams on the chalkboard, will play Elizabethan-era music, and has really good ideas. Early plays is a great course, you learn to enjoy the Shakespearian English, everyone in your class is super smart, and it's a fun time — the group performances especially. The reading is a lot but I liked the quizzes and the final, I thought they were good tests of our knowledge, he's a fair grader as well. My number one recommendation to you is to ask questions during class. The man is a Shakespeare encyclopedia and it's all off the top of his dome. My most memorable moment in class was when I asked, "How did Shakespeare even come up with this genius plot conflict of a pound-of-flesh bond?" and he replied, "The answer is he didn't." That really blew my mind, and he proceeded on a really interesting tangent about the Italian short stories Shakespeare had read that influenced him and how he took some elements of their plots which make up many of the plot points in the Merchant of Venice. I would have loved more tangents like this from him, he's very clever and very witty. My consensus is Dickey is best for the comedies and Prof. Watson is best for the tragedies. Dickey loves the histories, but not many of the students care for them. I will give the disclaimer that people on Bruinwalk hail him as an extremely engaging lecturer, and that's not what I got in my experience, sometimes class could be boring, but point-blank he's an interesting guy and he's great to learn from. As I said, feel free to ask away about a text or really anything Shakespeare-related, he'll make it informative and a good part of the class. He teaches his special topics on Shakespeare adaptations, which I've heard is very good, I might take that with him as an elective. If you are interested, there's a great resource called, Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare and I think it's fantastic when it comes to the crazy amounts of Greek mythology referenced in Shakespeare's plays. (http://library.lol/main/5A63C986FAB1EC1CB8FBCDFA157CB3AD) — you can get it there if you're interested or borrow it from the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/asimovsguidetosh00asim/page/n7/mode/2uphttps://archive.org/details/asimovsguidetosh00asim/page/n7/mode/2up) for some nice analog yellow-colored pages instead of hideous white pdf ones. Finding a text with good footnotes is hard and expensive, I recommend using libgen.is to get the Cliffs full-text version of the play, which has in-line footnotes as opposed to the bottom of the page in cramped print. But some folks really like a paperback so go with what you're comfortable with.
Easiness 3.0 / 5
Clarity 5.0 / 5
Workload 3.0 / 5
Helpfulness 5.0 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2022 - Dickey is old-fashioned. No slides, no lecture outline, he just starts talking and jumps from subject to subject within the plays. Lectures are informative but very laid back. He draws really great character diagrams on the chalkboard, will play Elizabethan-era music, and has really good ideas. Early plays is a great course, you learn to enjoy the Shakespearian English, everyone in your class is super smart, and it's a fun time — the group performances especially. The reading is a lot but I liked the quizzes and the final, I thought they were good tests of our knowledge, he's a fair grader as well. My number one recommendation to you is to ask questions during class. The man is a Shakespeare encyclopedia. My most memorable moment in class was when I asked, "How did Shakespeare even come up with this genius plot conflict of a pound-of-flesh bond?" and he replied, "The answer is he didn't." That really blew my mind, and he proceeded on a really interesting tangent about the Italian short stories Shakespeare had read that influenced him and how he took some elements of their plots which make up many of the plot points in the Merchant of Venice. I would have loved more tangents like this from him, he's very clever and very witty. My consensus is Dickey is best for the comedies and Prof. Watson is best for the tragedies. Dickey loves the histories, but not many of the students care for them. I will give the disclaimer that people on Bruinwalk hail him as an extremely engaging lecturer, and that's not what I got in my experience, sometimes class could be boring, but point-blank he's an interesting guy and he's great to learn from. As I said, feel free to ask away about a text or really anything Shakespeare-related, he'll make it informative and a good part of the class. He teaches his special topics on Shakespeare adaptations, which I've heard is very good, I might take that with him as an elective. If you are interested, there's a great resource called, Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare and I think it's fantastic when it comes to the crazy amounts of Greek mythology referenced in Shakespeare's plays. (http://library.lol/main/5A63C986FAB1EC1CB8FBCDFA157CB3AD) — you can get it there if you're interested or borrow it from the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/asimovsguidetosh00asim/page/n7/mode/2uphttps://archive.org/details/asimovsguidetosh00asim/page/n7/mode/2up) for some nice analog yellow-colored pages instead of hideous white pdf ones. Finding a text with good footnotes is hard and expensive, I recommend using libgen.is to get the Cliffs full-text version of the play, which has in-line footnotes as opposed to the bottom of the page in cramped print. But some folks really like a paperback so go with what you're comfortable with.
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