Fall 2017

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Instructor : Lim Lanyu

Overall LanLan’s class is pretty chill, she mostly reads off her slides so I don’t usually listen much in class since reading the textbook is much more useful (you will find out why later). She also shows a lot of videos in her class which I enjoy, but other than that you can pretty much study this module at home on your own. Basically there are a few assessments in this class, your attendance and participation (10%) counts as the first. She takes attendance every lesson on this sheet where you sign your name so you can pretty much get your friends to sign off for you.

Anyways, LanLan is pretty kind and generous, she has this system of allowing you to take 3 days of “honour” leave for the entire semester aka you can skip class if need be. Just drop her a text first ok? Also you never know whether she’ll give you extra credit just by turning up for certain lectures (hint hint). The other assessments include group presentations (15%), two mid term tests (15% each, total 30%), a research project (20%) and the final examination (25%). The first two mid terms are all tested from the textbook, hence her lectures are merely just summarising whatever is from the text. Just read everything from the text, who coined what and even the minute details. No dates, all names. She made a deal with us on extra credit for the second mid term if we did better than the first (she will award us all the difference in our average scores). HOWEVER, we did poorly for the second mid term compared to the first but she still gave us the credit anyways so you can say she is very generous. A good 3 points extra for my class and 2 points for the other. Hence my second mid term became 27/30.

Research presentation is easy, get in groups (depending on class size could be 5 or more/less) and present on a topic + an article related to that. Then come up with 5 MCQ questions for the class to answer. Easy grade and won’t take you long to finish. She will deduct points for every minute should you exceed the limit, so take note. Our grade for this was 13/15, not sure how she graded it but seems like many got around this grade as the average.

Research Project. Please take this seriously. LanLan is very lenient on many things but she grades the research paper strictly. Note that you might be on a time crunch to complete this, and please pick your group mates properly. LanLan will give you very little direction on how to write this paper and will need to come up with your own question (which I kid you not, is not easy at all). LanLan wants new ideas, but yet she says “uniqueness lies in the mundane”.

My grade for this course: B+


ENG 105 Writing and Rhetoric

Instructor : Gael Lee


Gael made it clear on Day 1 that she rarely gives out As but she did say it is not impossible. There are a lot of things to do for this module, so much so that the weightage distribution does not even seem fair. There are quite a few deadlines to meet every week, and quizzes (only two in the entire semester) here and there. The in class activities are basically just activities like APA formatting and designing inforgraphics, all of which Gael will include in your grade. As for the quiz, it was APA formatting so you need to know the general rules to it. There is nothing to love about this module, it really is just an endless sea of writing every week but I did enjoy it though (contrary to what my other friends feel). Gael is quite strict on her marking and grading as well and she tends to be a bit biased so please don’t get on her bad side.

So for your first draft you would be working on a cause effect essay, Gael will give you some options for the question and then you just pick whichever you prefer. The drafts generally do not need to be complete, basically you only need to write the intro, conclusion and maybe two body paragraphs. After which there will be peer evaluation where she pairs you up with someone else and have them read your work for her. She will not read your draft but will have your partner tell her what they feel is wrong instead and then she will read only that portion. I feel like this arrangement isn’t really the best, maybe because I doubt the judgement of others. Sometimes we can’t really see what is wrong and then we end up not being helpful for others as well. The same goes for the argumentative paper, pick a question and write the draft. Then peer evaluate and submit. All of the drafts go under the informal written homework portion so 10% will come from all your drafts.

The research paper though. NOT EASY. This one was a real burden (10 pages). You have to start early and do a lot of research prior to coming up with your question. After which you have to do an oral presentation on your selected question. Gael also expects you to start early and consult her on the question beforehand, if not you will feel the burn when she critiques you harshly on your oral presentation (especially if she is seeing your question for the first time). Also, your 5 minute oral presentation is 10%. Your first two essays are also 10%. Go figure.

After everything has been submitted, you would need to do an infographic as well. Basically a graphic design of your research question. You can do it on this website called CANVA but it is really annoying to use so please stock up on this virtue called patience.

My grade for this course: A-


PSY 199 UB Seminar

Instructor : Reena

Let me just start off by saying that I love Dr. Reena. For someone who rarely studies, I really enjoy lessons with her and find myself actually wanting to learn more. It is only in her class that I feel like I have learned something. She is really one of a kind, she doesn’t just teach but rather she makes sure you know what you are learning. The first few lessons were a bit intimidating though, she tried to help us open up and be less afraid to speak up and share our thoughts thus she called us up by name to answer her questions. Okay for someone who’s an introvert, this can be scary. I could feel all eyes on me when I had to answer and felt like people were judging me but then in the later weeks Reena said this “Why are you all so afraid? These people will not remember what you have said, you guys do not even know who was the first to answer today. So please, just speak up.” This, I really will not forget. It is something about Dr. Reena that I just cannot describe, so if you have the opportunity just take all her classes lah.

Dr. Reena is all traditional. Notebook and pen. Maybe because this class size was small and not the normal lecture arrangement, we did a lot of discussions in class. Dr. Reena will explain a concept and then we would discuss it, so rest assured that she will call you at least once to answer. Also, class participation is 10%. I honestly find that listening to Dr. Reena will suffice in preparation for your midterms and exams, but read the textbook as well for reinforcement. She will test whatever has been discussed in class for the mid terms and it will not be entirely easy. You really need to read the questions she asks properly so you don’t miss out on anything. Format generally goes like this : 20/25 MCQs, 2 short answers and an essay for all the midterms/final exam. My first two midterms were 24.5/30 and 29/30. I genuinely thought I was going to flunk the first midterm and honestly did not see the second one coming because you know, homegirl rarely studies. On top of the midterms there will be weekly reflections as well and quiz as well (alternating). Your reflections and quiz are 25% while mid terms are 10% each so total 20%.

There will also be a research essay that you would need to write (25%). Questions will be given and you can just select the one you prefer. Not too bad, I think it was a 1.5k word essay which I managed to write in 2 days before the due date even though she gave us like 10 weeks to complete lmao. I got 20.5/25 for this. Getting an A is possible if you do well for everything and study consistently. So basically high mid term grades, score well on your quizzes and full marks for all reflections. I had a good streak on all my papers until the final exam (20%) …

My grade for this course : B+


AHI 101 Survey of Art History: Egypt to Northern Renaissance

Instructor : Cleo Thang

Art History is a very interesting module, also a very easy one. You can do this module if you need to fill up your credits. There are no assignments at all and you only need to listen in class. There are a few parts, basically an in-class assignment (10%), 3 quizzes (30%) , 1 class presentation (15%) and the final exam (35%). Lessons are generally very chill, you learn a lot of new things every lecture and get to watch videos every once in a while. For the assignment it was a fun one where we had to draw something for Cleo and answer a few questions. Easy, 18/20. The class presentation is also very manageable, just present on a topic/question for the class and answer some Q&A afterwards. The questions that Cleo gives can be general and even quirky like “Do aliens exist?”. A lot of groups got an A for this so as long as you are well prepared and able to answer the Q&A you are good. Q&A is also the only time to secure your class participation marks (10%) so just ask a question and make sure Cleo notes it down because she doesn’t take attendance so she probably doesn’t know your name too.

There are 3 quizzes throughout the semester but Cleo will only pick the best 2 for your grades. So you get 3 tries. Very possible to get 90/100 for every quiz, I have seen it before. Cleo will test everything that she says in lecture so just listen. The textbook is very wordy and can be hard to follow so if you want to be quick and efficient just take down everything she says in class. Having said this, although I say you only need to listen in class – the content for this course is heavy. Cleo finishes 1 chapter per lecture and on days she can’t she rushes through like crazy. We had to drop 1 chapter and not learn about it at all because we couldn’t finish it in time for the final exam.

Overall interesting module but homegirl gets bored easily and lost interest after the first month lol. I would have loved this module if I didn’t have to read so much content for the quiz.

My grade for this course : B-