European History Since 1789 (Barnard)

Jun 2013

This class was one of the most unenjoyable experiences. The first class, I wasn't thrilled, but I was intrigued to see how the Professor would break down and disseminate all of the information (It is a huge amount of time to cover). The second class left me feeling that all too familiar, "maybe I should shop around the course catalog," but instead, I ignored my initial reaction, and stuck with the class. Though I wish this was one of those stories where I go on to tell you how happy I am to have stuck with it, and how rewarding the class turned out to be, that definitely was Not the case. This was the only class where I had to force myself to keep my eyes open, and please, do not mistake me for a student who sleeps in class, because that is not the case. She rambled on and on about such minute facts, yet sped through significant, monumental events in history. History is not my major, but after having taken an Amazing American History course the previous semester, I felt inspired and I desired to become more acquainted with European history. Well, the only time I learned anything of significance was before studying for the exam, and it was not enjoyable, nor enriching. With that being said, exams are fair, and a study guide is handed out a week before, but you are at the mercy of a TA who grades all of your work (unless you end up in Tiersten's section for discussion). My TA was not pleasant, no rude, just blah and while trying to be helpful, just added more jumble to the mixture. Another note...people remark about how quickly she speaks and this is 100% on point. It was tedious taking notes in her class and difficult to follow along. Just thoroughly unenjoyable. I am not one to write reviews, but I just wanted to forewarn anyone else who might find the subject intriguing, sit in the first class feeling mixed, and tell them to go find a different class!!! It's not hard, just a waste of time.

May 2003

This was a survey course, which makes it easy to just skim over topics, but Prof. Plaa was engaging throughout the course. He packed a lot into his lectures, which were helped by the outlines he gives out at the beginning of class. Reading the textbook isn't absolutely necessary to understand the lectures, but it will definitely help on the exams, and one of the papers is entirely about the supplemental texts. Grading is fair, but the TAs optional discussion sections are pretty much a waste except for right before tests and papers. This class was a great introduction to a history that affects us every day, and Prof. Plaa made it seem that way, that it applied to current affairs and politics.