Review Comment

[MDES W1710] Elementary Persian I

May 14, 2014

Hussein, Hassan
[MDES W1710] Elementary Persian I

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Persian with Hassan is a great overall experience. He is unorthodox, and he challenges his students, but he is extremely fair and he will work with you after class and in office hours until you understand whatever material may be confusing you. He is interested in seeing his students succeed with their Persian pursuits, and attempts to cater to the broad variety of interests students have for studying Persian. He may seem imposing at first, but has a terrific sense of humor.

Class usually begins with Hassan greeting the class, then elaborating on questions he receives. He may follow tangents of thought regarding Persian in the beginning of class, but that is his way of exposing his students to the Persian language. He makes it a point to expose his students to both formal Persian and colloquial Persian, as well as Persian poetry, stories, and music. He will always make it very clear what students are responsible for homework and "exams".

Workload:

The workload can be formidable, but that should be expected in any of the MESAAS language classes. Homework will often consist of assignments from the book, as well as worksheets Hassan assigns. The "exams" in this class are more like long quizzes. There are four or five of these quizzes - Hassan uses these to prepare you for the final. After two semesters, I can say that the department's finals consistently feel easier than some of Hassan's quizzes. I guess his strategy works.
Homework Assignments ~ 30%
"Exams" ~ 35%
Cultural Project/Presentation ~ 5%
Media Worksheets ~ 10%
Final ~ 20%

January 02, 2011

Dabiri, Ghazzal
[MDES W1710] Elementary Persian I

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

The class starts pretty manageably but gets rather hard after mid-semester. You'll definitely get a hang of the written language if you practice enough and do the homework. Ghazzal is sweet deep down, but likes to seem like a hard ass. But to some students in the class, she *is* a hard ass.

Right before the final, she basically told us we had to know Chapter 9 and 10 (although she told us to know the Vocab earlier on), the way it unfolded was just abominable. The amount of new material -- not just vocab -- but actual grammar, was rather unfair as I saw many students suffer because of it. I don't think she gives out A+s, since I had ~98 average score and got an A. It's a smaller department and thus probably a little more subjective / BS. Some people who clearly didn't do as well got As. It's how much effort you "look" like you're putting in, I guess.

Overall, she's a good pedagogue. Tells it like it is and is straightforward. You'll have to try to decipher her handwriting sometimes, but it's her way of pushing you to read carefully and it'll only benefit you in the end. Most of the heritage speakers can't read or write, so don't worry about them making you look bad. They speak and understand relatively well, of course. But then again, most of it is more formal Persian which they don't commonly use. In other words, you'll be fine if you've never said a word in Persian before.

Workload:

3-4 quizzes. HW every lesson. Hard final.

June 27, 2010

Dabiri, Ghazzal
[MDES W1710] Elementary Persian I

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Dr. Dabiri is a very dedicated instructor, but there were a lot of structural problems with her class. It only met twice a week, which is really unusual for a language class and meant that each class session was a bit too long to be as useful as one might hope. We spent the first hour with a grammar book learning how to translate back and forth between English and Persian and then we took a break and reconvened to spend an hour reading dialogs to each other out of a book that we didn't use for anything else. We never practiced forming new sentences or having simple conversations; we just read canned phrases to each other for an hour every Monday and Wednesday.

Everyone in the class did seem to get a handle on reading the script and translating basic sentences, neither of which is an easy thing to do or teach. But nobody (with the exception of the native speakers who were there to learn how to read and write) walked out of that classroom with the ability to express a simple thought in Persian. We may as well have been learning Latin instead of living language.

Workload:

A light amount of homework and really basic tests. There was a lot of busywork, though.

December 27, 2005

Kasheff, Manouchehr
[MDES W1710] Elementary Persian I

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

So I went into this class believing that there was some way to get a decent grade by doing my homework, studying, and participating. Well....honestly, there is no way. Kasheff's class is filled with mostly tangential material and he expects you to remember much of the useless crap he tells you. The grading is pretty much completely arbitrary....he says you grade yourself, but at the end he pretty much gives you whatever he thinks you deserve. There's absolutely no structure or indication of how you are graded. The notion of homework is very nebulous as is the notion of tests. The class is filled with random pop quizzes and its unclear whether they are graded. He doesn't remember anyone's name, so its obvious he doesn't keep track of homework. Even if you have a genuine interest in learning the language, such as I did, it is disheartening to not be able to do anything to get the grade you deserve. Kasheff is not a bad man, or mean spirited as other reviews state; he simply is very set in his ways and opinions. Beware to anyone who gets in his way! If any notion of gpa has no meaning to you, then by all means take this class, its slightly entertaining but also slightly terrifying, since he enjoys embarrassing people openly in class.

Workload:

whatever you want it to be

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I 2012 Fall TR / 9:00-10:50 AM 2
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Ghazzal Dabiri 2012 Fall MW / 9:00-10:50 AM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Hassan Hussein 2010 Fall MW / 9:00-10:50 AM 2
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Ghazzal Dabiri 2010 Fall MW / 11:00-12:50 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Ghazzal Dabiri 2009 Fall MW / 11:00-12:50 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Ghazzal Dabiri 2008 Fall MW / 11:00-12:50 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Manouchehr Kasheff 2006 Fall MWR / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Manouchehr Kasheff 2005 Fall MWR / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Manouchehr Kasheff 2004 Fall MWR / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Manouchehr Kasheff 2003 Fall MWR / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1
MELC / MDES MELC MDES W1710: Elementary Persian I Manouchehr Kasheff 2002 Fall MWR / 6:10- 8:00 PM 1