Mary McCarthy

Jun 2004

OK, Mary is not the most inspiring TA and she doesn't lead a great discussion, but she's not as awful as the other reviewer seems to suggest. She leads an amazing review session for the exam, which definitely saved me on the exams and she is willing to meet with you when you ask. She also has us each do a summary of the readings which is priceless seeing us I didn't actually do almost any of them.

Dec 2002

If you ever take any Political Science classes and you can choose among more than one TA and Mary McCarthy is one of them, go with the other, even if you have to rearrange your entire schedule to do so. I don't think MM has had an original idea in the last 6 months -- based on her silly questions and blank stares until SOMEONE said SOMETHING, ANYTHING in section, she might not have had ANY ideas in the last 6 months. Her comments on our paper proposals were singularly unhelpful (in my case, she reworded the same criticism of my project that I had already expressed). She displayed less insight and understanding of the readings than we did, and most of us didn't read. Sections were often more confusing than enlightening -- each hour spent in her attendance-required discussion section is a lost hour. Eventually, most of us read, watched the sun set, thought about all the places we'd rather be, came 10, 15, 20, 40 minutes late and wished we'd skipped altogether. To be charitable: it must be the case that MM is good at something. Everyone is. In MM's case, whatever it is has nothing to do with comparative politics, might have nothing to do with politics at all, and has no place leading a discussion section for an otherwise OK class.