Lawrence Besserman

Apr 2004

It is true that, unlike other classes, where you really have to work to NOT get an A, in this class, a lot of work is required for it, but the class is also unique in that you leave each session knowing a hell of a lot more than you came in knowing. It is true as well that Besserman does most of the talking, but what's the gripe there? His brain, I promise, is the fullest. Now, I confess that I am old-fashioned in certain respects, but it seems to me that one ought to judge the value of a course on the amount and quality of knowledge one takes away from it, not on the perceived fairness of the grade conferred. It also seems to me that the proper response to a professor who covers a lot, rather than a little, would be gratitude, not indignation. Would you prefer to know less? If so, maybe Besserman's not the guy for you, but note: that's YOUR problem, not his. As to factual inaccuracies in other reviews: <br>*You don't read, and are not expected to memorize the whole bible nor thousands of pages. You will have to be able to recognize somewhat random passages and explain them. <br>*You don't have to be a jesus-freak to be able to keep up (I, for example, am enthusiastic atheist - please appreciate the pun here - and was not very familiar with the book before I took the class). You do have to take what you're doing seriously. <br>*It is not impossible and there is, in fact, "enough time in the day to thoughtfully read" the assigned material. I took this class while I had a full time job and kept up ok, but only because I busted my ass. <br>*We did discuss minor works of poetry inspired by or related to the assigned portions of scripture, and the student presentations all dealt with other literary works.

Apr 2004

I completely agree with the previous reviewer-- This class was really torture. Absolutely don't take it unless you have spent a large portion of your life studying Bible verses. In a six week course, you are expected to not only read the Bible, but be able to identify random verses for the midterm and final exam, which is completely impossible, not only because the Bible is so repetitive, but also because thousands of exhausting pages are covered in less than six weeks. There is not enough time in the day to thoughtfully read the amount of pages given for homework if you haven't studied it once before, and Besserman is not at all a compassionate grader. If this class were really an English class, the class could have been really cool. But in addition to Besserman's incessant preaching, I never understood how memorizing Bible versus had anything to do with English literature. Do we memorize Dickens passages for a 19th century class? Totally outrageous. In fact, it should be picked up in the religion department, but if it were, I still wouldn't take it. I was in this Bible study last summer- It is now the following spring and I am still bent-out-of-shape by the whole experience. STAY AWAY!

Sep 2003

The was hardly an english class and definately not a good choice for a summer class. The reading was very heavy and you are basically expected to memorize the bible in six weeks. His exams consist of identifying passages and quotations of his choice from the old and new testament and apocrypha, which is completely absurd. He has a seminary approach, so this class was not really an english lit class at all (im an english minor and was very disappointed). I don't recommend the class unless you enjoy being clubbed with bible passages for three hours.