May 2006

As someonewho went into the primates class very excited to be in the class, I was constantly let down by prof. Valderrama. When it comes down to it, she is simply A) a bad teacher, B) a bad lecturer, C) doesn't know enough to be teaching, and D) even if she did, she would still do a bad job presenting it. All of her lectures are just read to the class verbatim from her slides, and the slides themselves are incredibly disorganized and lacking information. Alot of what she puts on the slides is lifted straight from the book. The readings are good, and she never assigns more than 10 pages a night or so. It's good if you want to do no work, but it's terrible if you want to get anything out of the class. The sections are all primate movies. I didn't miss one, and they were all fascinating. Her class however, I only went the days we had quizes. Overall, the movies and readings are good, but the class could be taught in, literally, 1/3 the time by a good teacher. Oh, and by the end of the course, you will hate wedge-capped capuchins. HATE them.

May 2004

You can get a good idea about the class itself from the other reviews: decent lectures, if you like blue monkeys, all together not a horrible way to get through the science requirement, but go for Human Species if you want a really good course. The problem is that the E3B department is so diverse in terms of grad students that the TAs this semester study elephant genetics (no, I'm not kidding) and fungi or something like that. They know less about monkeys than I do, which is saying something. They tried to help, but when they're reading the stuff along with you, they can't answer any real questions, and are completely unhelpful. I talked to my friend who'd taken the class last year, and she was more helpful. Get a clue E3B: use undergrad TAs, or get a lot more grad students interested in monkey sex. You're doing a disservice to the students otherwise.