Classical Myth

Dec 2010

Wonderful class. I am a first year engineering student who was absolutely terrified of joining this class. Interested in the material, but worried about the difficulty of the class based on previous reviewers. But grading was extremely lenient, and I got an A. That is not to say, however, that the class was a breeze. We covered a large amount of literature over the semester, all of which had to be known for the exams. The way that the class worked was that every lecture was split in half, covering a certain mythological character. For the first half, Professor Steiner would talk about the literary portrayals of the character/family, then Professor De Angelis would take over and speak about visual sources. Both professors were always well-prepared and gave very fascinating and accessible interpretations of the myths. For someone like me, with no previous knowledge of classical mythology, I was still able to grasp the lectures without a problem. I came out of the class feeling like I've learned so much about mythology, and still feeling like there is so much to be explored that I want to learn about classical mythology. I mean, what more is a class supposed to do?

Feb 2010

Prof. Steiner has a wealth of knowledge of all things Classical. Her lectures were always interesting, because she never failed to teach things most people do not know. She is a harsh grader; she always dropped the grade the TA gave by a full letter or more. Prof. Steiner was receptive to questions and comments in class; she was particularly good at politely ending conversations that were wrong or irrelevant and engaging ones that were interesting. The lectures were generally a pleasure. The exam, on the other hand, was unfair. We were told to memorize more than two hundred pieces of Greek art only a week before the exam. Often the questions on the exam were esoteric and confusing. Compounded with her harsh grading this made it almost impossible to do well in the class. I would recommend this class to students who want to learn and don't care much what grade they end up with.

Apr 2005

It wasn't the best class ever and definitely not what I expected from classical mythology, but well worth it. Yes, Professor Said's lateness, random absences, deadline changes etc. were extremely frustrating but I had no problem doing well in the class. Do the reading (which is extensive, but mostly interesting), come to class, take notes. Regurgitate lecture notes on test. There were no surprises in the questions asked. The having to go to the office thing was kinda frustrating and awkward since her comments really made no sense. I really cared more about the grade than the comments, so i disregarded them. And, yes, I was extremely frustrating that I had no grade til like February.

Jan 2005

The WORST professor I have EVER had. If you have the opportunity, take Elizabeth Scharffenberger for this class; she subbed for Professor Said for a few days and not only was amazing but proved to me that I was correct in thinking that we were learning absolutely nothing when Scharffenberger kept referring to texts and myths we should have but had never actually heard of. Professor Said is infuriating. Her lectures are awful - she basically restates what texts we were assigned to read. Class is a snooze. Her grading is inconsistent; many of us in the class received As on the exam with Cs on our papers or vice versa. She also REQUIRED us to meet with her to discuss our writing on our exam essay and papers, which is ridiculous in a course that is not writing intensive or the like. Our exam essays seemed "hurried" and were less organized that she thought they should have been. Ya think??? It's an exam for god's sake - there's not much time to concentrate on writing technique when you are trying to get everything you can remember down on paper. Her problems with our papers seemed to be that she really didn't read them thoroughly. The course itself is not work-heavy, and the exams are easy. You will get good grades in them if you go to her office hours and argue with her, but I happen to believe that this shouldn't be necessary and that she would get it right the first time if she were any kind of good professor. Also, beware of makeup classes or office hours she reschedules. Two of the times she did this she was 20-30 minutes late, and one other time we had to call her at home to ask her if she was coming she was so late. She also moved our final with only two weeks notice to the Wednesday of reading week (one week earlier than it was scheduled) because she had jury duty. She is extremely disorganized. None of us have even received our grades yet, and it is a few days into the spring semester. BEWARE!

Jan 2005

Professor's Said French accent is a little hard at first, but you get used to it. No class participation, almost. Just do your readings and write down anything she says. Her exams are straight forward. Sometimes we had pop quizzes to check that we did the reading. She's very passionate and very knowlegeable. She helps you out with your papers, allowing you to hand in rough drafts for review, checks them, and then has one-on-one conferences with you. I liked that especially, because you never know exactly how each professor wants you to write.