I honestly don't know why he has a silver nugget. I'd say he's mediocre. his lectures aren't very organized, he kind of rambles and focuses in on things too much. he's a fair grader, and is pleasant. but i think that his personal life gets in the way of his teaching sometimes - he will bring up marriage and divorce a lot in class...
This class was a bit scattered for my taste. Stephen Scott lectured straight off of written notes, no PowerPoint slides or real outlines to back him up, so it was often hard to figure out what to take notes on. A lot of times, I just found myself trying to type down literally everything he said, just to be safe (and because this classâ€™ grades were pretty much all for essays, it was helpful later to have as much material to quote as possible). For an intro class, this class used a good bit of technical jargon (that Scott seemed to think was pretty much common knowledge) that I found a little hard to follow at times. But you kind of get used to it, and you can google what you don't understand in class later and figure everything out. The readings were a little long at times and pretty boring, but if you wanted to know vaguely what was going on in lecture and also have something to write about for the midterm and final, you needed to read most of it eventually. Stephen Scott, though, is brilliant and really a genuinely interesting guy. Itâ€™s fascinating to hear him talk about the anthropological research he does in South America and some of the Indiana Jones-like adventures heâ€™s had while doing it (no joke). He also totally dresses the part of an anthropology professor (so to revise my earlier statement, he pretty much is Indiana Jones). He was really helpful when I went to his office hours to talk to him about one of the written assignments, helping me to focus my idea for an anthropological interview and to brainstorm questions to ask my interviewee. My TA (Anschaire Aveved), however, was actually awful. I could sit through an entire 50-minute discussion section and come out with no notes because I hadnâ€™t understood a word he said in his thick accent. He also never (never) covered anything that was actually part of the class in his teaching, usually talking about something that had absolutely nothing to do with what was being talked about in lecture. So if you take this class, make sure you get a good TA (one that you donâ€™t have to define English words for because he doesnâ€™t understand what youâ€™re asking him) so that you can get something out of it. I was really surprised when I got an A- in this class. I was convinced that I would get no better than a B in the class, so I was quite pleasantly surprised with my final grade. To be honest, Iâ€™m actually not sure what did it for me in the grades department, but I guess if you keep on top of the reading and take good time with the midterm and final, you can come out well in the class.
Although interesting, I would not recommend taking this course if you have any love for your GPA. According to Professor Scott, the baseline grade is a B, a B+ is very, very good, and an A- is simply amazing. It's just not worth the extreme amount of effort without the guarantee of getting into the A/A- range. Professor Scott also talks extremely quickly and in a very complicated manner, so it is often difficult to synthesize what he is saying into a clear and concise summary for your notes.
Stephen Scott is an awesome professor. He organizes this course in a very unique way, which makes it exciting to learn the material (We read one ethnography the entire semester, and read different theory along the way as the ethnography references it). He does a great job explaining concepts, and unlike Anthro Theory I (which I took with a different professor), I came out of the class feeling like I really understood the material rather than being more confused about the material. It doesn't hurt that he has a great sense of humor and is just a fun guy to be around. He's the type of professor that you'll want to do well for.
This guy is awesome. He has an amazing way of summarizing all of the readings into great bullet points. In many classes it can be difficult to weave through what is important to take notes on and what isn't, but he routinely reiterates what he wants you to take away from every section. Dr. Scott also has a great sense of humor, which goes a long way when you are dissecting foreign cultures. He is also awesome in office hours if you want to talk about Anthropology in general or go over what has been covered.
Professor Scott is not a great professor. There was a lot of really interesting things to read but we never got to them in class because Scott is really bad at organizing the class. We probably spent about a third of class time with Scott not being able to control the class and getting into fights with students about whether or not they knew who Kurt Cobain or Barney was. It's also never a good idea to star a class with "I was really surprised because I thought these papers were going to be better, no one seems to have understood the topic" the topic being a page-long prompt in which he indicated that there was no set topic and no right or wrong argument. The only thing that saved this class was the TA Christina who held three discussion sections in the last two weeks of the semester. It would have been better if we had more of them.
Professor Scott was a quirky and enthusiastic teacher. His lectures, although sometimes a bit scattered, were extremely interesting and entertaining. His anecdotes were relevant examples and usually very funny. This class was a great introduction to the anthropology department. The readings, especially "Travesti" was engaging and controversial. It sparked a lot of discussion and gave me a new perspective on gender roles. Papers were very open ended, and really allowed the students to explore their own interests as far as anthropological studies go. Some thought his lectures were too scattered, I suppose it is a personal preference. I highly recommend this class, especially if you are already interested in anthropology.