Professor Smithsimon is very excited about his course and the material, however his lectures were increasingly boring as the semester went on. He began to give summaries of the readings, and no longer brought new or interesting ideas to the table. There was a lot of lecturing in this course, and not very much discussion. Some of the readings such as Streetwise were interesting, but many were repetitive and hard to force yourself to get through. The two assignments--both requiring interviews and research--were all right, but the grading rubric was pretty vague and unexplained. Your grade in this course really depends on which TA you get. This semester one TA was far more lenient and generous with grades while the other gave no reasons for his grading, but simply docked points. Overall this class is pretty boring if you aren't planning on becoming an Urban Studies major, but Professor Smithsimon makes a good effort, although unsuccessful in my case, to make you as interested in this course as he is.
Professor Smithsimon is one of the best professors I've had here. He is smart, funny and engaging. The reviewers who said he was unorganized must rely too much on conventional teaching styles. He challenges the boundaries of society and invites the class to do so as well. Even in a 100 person lecture, he manages to involve every student. Some of the readings can be dense, but he reviews them in class, challenging the author's views. This is definitely a great class, and Smithsimon is a phenomenal professor.
This professor was disorganized, ill-informed narrow-minded and self-congratulatory. He knows he has all the right answers and is just waiting for the rest of us to figure it out. Good professors may guide you to answers, but Smithsimon does nothing short of drag you to his personal favorites. There are some arguments not worth having, but there are some that are, and Smithsimon is not interested in having them. The reading material for the class was very interesting, but the coverage of it in class was rough. Frequently had the impression he had no more knowledge of the subject than the reading he'd assigned.
Greg is a great professor. I'd encourage anyone to take his class. He is young, energetic, and knowledgeable. He has a lot of credibility because he does research in the fields that he teaches. He is friendly and easy to find outside of class. Assignments are interesting and easy to do because you want to be prepared for class.
I'm the only person who's gonna give him a negative comment, but i didn't enjoy this class. I get the feeling that he didn't really master the material too well, and was teaching really random stuff that didn't relate to the readings too directly. also, i'm the kind of person who doesn't enjoy discussions in a lecture class of a couple hundred, so i didn't like the way he opened up the floor for everyone to speak so often. i wish he were a more structured lecturer instead of a teacher who just kept babbling on about this then that then this again.