professor
Katherine Rickus

Aug 2011

Katherine Rickus is as solid a bet for anyone taking CC and who isn't interested in the course load. You'll love her Scottish/British accent. Not only that, she's very well spoken, eloquent, and obviously has great understanding of the course material (especially Freud's works). That said, her lectures are interspersed with humor now and then, but on the whole, it's a little bit dull and monotonous as she mostly lectures with limited student participation (about 20 minutes of student talking time a class, although my class we did have one of those annoying people who wouldn't shut up, so sometimes it was more). She does mostly end class 5-10 minutes late, but that's to cram in all the material, which she puts on the midterms and final. She usually gives a short paragraph answer quiz question at the beginning of the period, which is simply to test whether you read the material or not (and I'm sure you could answer it by reading sparknotes or w/e)...ie: What is the superego in Freud's text? The quiz counts HEAVILY for participation, which is 20% of your grade. My friend in the class who spoke only twice the whole semester got a 92 on participation, while I was one of the medium speakers and got a 93. We both always read the texts and as the quizzes aren't graded but just to see if you read the texts or not, participation is probably 99% based on quizzes. As for her midterms and final, they're both open book (not open notes) and very straightforward. As long as you've taken notes during class you will do well. Everything she tests on she's mentioned/talked about in class. For her, quantity trumps quality as she tells you you're expected to write furiously until the last minute. And generally that is how grades are distributed - those who write more get a very SLIGHTLY higher grade. Why do i say SLIGHTLY higher grade? Because the grade range distribution is EXTREMELY narrow in katherine rickus' class, which is also why I said you should take her class as a safe bet. After 1st semester, on my transcript, it showed that she gave 83% of the class A- or higher. A solid A was probably only given to 1 person in the class, while B+ was probably the lowest grade and the grade that the 17% that didn't get A-, got. To note: She is an intense Feminist and you will read Mary Wolstonecraft (is that how you spell her name) and Simone De Beauvoir which leads to very intense discussions (those are the heaviest discussion classes) where she basically tears you down if you don't say you're a feminist (male or female) as a feminist is someone who believes in equal rights for men and women, so she believes that at least all women should be feminists. She asks people to raise their hands if they're feminists and then proceeds to attack all the girls who didn't raise theirs hands, demanding to know why they don't identify as feminists. She'll also attack everyone who doesn't agree that the plight of women is awful - she makes snide comments like "Thank you for demonstrating the common and ubiquitous misconceptions and flawed arguments about feminism and women that is so widespread in society. You've demonstrated it exceedingly well."

Dec 2010

Let me start off by saying that Katherine Rickus is the most boring professor I've ever had. Classes drag on forever. She lectures way too much and it's really hard to get a comment in to start a discussion. The review below is utter bull... Katherine Rickus IS a hardass. She gave us a fat syllabus and a fat guide on how to format our essays. She'll take off points if you don't remember to single space block quotations and if you aren't consistent with her formatting style. There are two essays and each has to be 7.5 pages long - no more, no less. Katherine Rickus will not read beyond 7.5 pages of text, so you have to be careful. The DAILY quizzes that she gives ask really difficult questions that are hard to answer correctly even if you have done the reading. She says they are only for "impression purposes," but they are heavily weighted in the participation part of your grade. The midterm is very difficult. Katherine Rickus expects her students to be writing right up until she calls time. There are 6 short answer questions and an essay. Katherine Rickus does not believe in choices so you will have to answer everything that is on her test. The short answers are anything but short... they each require so much time that I was barely able to crap out the essay... I'm usually an A student, but Katherine Rickus' class is so boring and she's such an unfair grader that I'm getting a B at best. Do whatever you can to get the hell out of this class. You will thank your lucky stars you did.

Nov 2010

I disagree with the review below. Katherine is actually both an awesome person and a great instructor. She's extremely nice and has a great sense of humor. The first day, she comes off as a hardass when it comes to rules and her syllabus (which is absurdly thorough btw), and we were all quite nervous after the first day. But we had no reason to fear.She is actually very understanding if you are late/have to miss class etc., and she doesn't ask you to do anything more than you can handle. We also have quite a few interesting and relevant tangents in class that just makes everything more fun. She usually begins the class by giving us a small quiz of one question (not exactly graded, but she collects them to make sure you do the reading. Not a big deal, but she does it to, in her words, get a general impression of you and its almost certainly a factor in your class participation grade). She then gives a mini lecture on what we've read and the main points of the reading, which is really helpful because she clearly knows what shes talking about. And then she opens it up for class discussion. The way she runs the class is a little different, but after half a semester in it, I think it works well in helping us know exactly what to talk about and what to take away from each reading. She is also not afraid to give us her opinions on God, social issues, etc., which makes the class far more interesting. Beware, she is very strict about deadlines for papers (she gave us a long lecture on it at the beginning of the year) but she does not grade all that hard and is very fair about these sort of things. A small aside: She is an extremely interesting person who was with Doctors Without Borders and has been everywhere from Afghanistan to Congo. And she is more than willing to talk about those experiences in the context of the book we are reading.

Jan 2009

Professor Rickus... Well. She's a lovely person - very kind, very sweet, with an amusing, dry sense of humour. But as a CC instructor, she is sadly lacking. She had not read or studied many of the texts before this semester (for many of the later works, she read them as we did!), which meant that the study of the material was not in-depth in any way. We failed to discuss many of the "big-picture" themes of the works. The discussions were insipid and uninspired. I was very disappointed.