This class was a great summer class! He's very good at talking about politics and science in such an entertaining and humorous way, that the whole class was pretty enthralled by his lecturing (which didn't feel like lecturing at all, but rather like a nice long story...about the whole world...) It's very easy to take notes in his class because he outlines everything on the board and follows along perfectly, somehow, as if he had timed it beforehand. He was also very good at leading discussions in the second half of the class, and everyone, even the very quiet people, spoke at least once a day. He asked very thought-provoking questions, and didn't allow the two or three political junkies dominate the class.
Shirkey was an amazing TA in many respects... he was able to present the information in an informative and interesting way, good natured and approachable. His grading policy, however, was stringent and perhaps a little harsh. There were a number of students who had complaints about their grades, don't get me wrong, he's an amazing lecturer, but make sure you are NEVER borderline EVER.
Zach rocked - he is the only reason why I survived this class. His discussion sections were full of additional information, clarification and humor. He's really approachable, intelligent, and funny. When we finished clarifying that week's lectures, we would talk about current politics, which was great. He had a great way of explaining concepts that the Professor failed to teach clearly. Really a cool guy and a great TA.