May 06, 2010

Mercer, Christia Silver_nugget
[PHIL V2201] History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant

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

I am in complete agreement with everything the previous reviewer said regarding Prof. Mercer, who is a wonderful and engaging lecturer who made this a fantastic and interesting class.

But the comments about the TAs could not be more wrong. I can't say for sure whether any one of them gave worse grades than the others. Prof. Mercer seemed very concerned about grading standards (she did say usually no more than 1/3 of the class gets an A or A-), so I would assume she would be comparing their averages to keep it consistent. But personally I found Daniel to be a VERY difficult grader, and his comments, while not exactly unkind, were certainly blunt.

I'll be honest and admit I never went to his office hours. Maybe it's unfair to judge by appearances, but he seems completely unapproachable. Have you ever had a graduate student TA who actually wears a jacket and tie to most every class? Me neither. So I went to Mark and Ariadna's office hours instead, a couple times for each of them, and found both to be extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help even though I wasn't in their section. If I would have thought about it ahead of time, I would have switched over at the beginning of the semester. I think I would definitely have come out with better grades if I'd had either of them.

Workload:

Lots of assignments, but many are short. Three 1 page papers, one longer paper, midterm and final. More than average, but not unreasonable.