May 07, 2009

Saliba, George
[ASCM V2008] Contemporary Islamic Civilization

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

I'm torn between disgust and pity for Saliba. The first day of class, he revealed that attendance was mandatory. He them gave a ten minute scare speech about how he would know if we signed someone else's name on the attendance sheet. He's so naive. He's also baised...very baised. Though the readings present both sides of the issue, his commentary is mostly just his unsupported view of what's right and what's wrong. He just stands at his podium, king of the lecture hall. Sometimes, he stops mid-sentence because someone has made too much noise talking to his friend, or because someone has, after signing the attendnace sheet, made a break for the exit.

Saliba has these power point slides that are written in the same full sentence, choppy english that he speaks in. It's as if someone recorded him speak, and then typed up his words exactly. People copy down his slides word for word--Saliba hates this. At least once a class, he stops to chastise students--he claims it won't help on the midterm, which primarily consists of a few quotes from the reading that students must "comment" on. Despite Saliba's insistence to the contrary, notes on his power point slides are UNBELIEVABLY USEFUL for the midterm.

Perhaps the most absurd thing about this course, and what attracted me most to it, is that there is no final.. As someone who hates to work and loves an easy A, I thought this would be perfect for me. But, mandatory attendance + no incentive to pay attention + Saliba's empty threats --> my boredom/pity > pleasure from easy A/no work.

Workload: reading necessary if you copy down the slides exactly. Final paper (8-10). Sooooo littttle.