Review Comment

[URBS V1515] Introduction to Urban Studies

January 04, 2019

Passell, Aaron Silver_nugget
[URBS V1515] Introduction to Urban Studies

It was a big class but he engages with the audience so its more of a large class discussion (no required participation). It was good that people would participate, or it probably would've been an awkward 75 minutes. The readings were sometimes dense, but he goes over the readings in the lecture. I remember the first reading being really long (Jacobs), but there were only about a few that size throughout the semester. We were constantly referring back to different authors and their reasoning, so I do recommend at least skimming the reading beforehand.

I agree with another post, if you're genuinely interested in cities, you should really take the class.

Workload:

two short papers, midterm and final (not cumulative)
For the papers, I think the TAs were pretty harsh graders, so I'd recommend seeing them before you submit. One was a photo essay and both papers required referencing authors.The questions for the midterm and final were given before hand. They each consisted of IDs from our readings and different essay questions.

December 04, 2018

Passell, Aaron Silver_nugget
[URBS V1515] Introduction to Urban Studies

It's 12/4 (second to last lecture and he holds a "virtual meeting" but created a quiz" and I'm just over this man's shit!!!!! But anyways, this man is on CRACK. He's a mess, his lectures are pointless if you do the readings for the midterm and final (he gives you reviews on the information and will select 10 IDs and 5 essays. FUCK THIS MAN AND HIS BS. Anyways, there are two small essays on top of the exams that he gives vague instructions on and tells his TAs that they can only give a certain amount of As. If you're not an urban studies major and don't need this class for the major, DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS to fulfill your requirements. Save yourself from frustration and unnecessary stress from Aaron Passell!! Doing well in the class because I've experienced 10000000 mental breakdowns due to this class since I'm a junior urban studies major, studying abroad next semester. I REPEAT. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. SAVE YOUR SOUL!!!

Workload:

2 small essays. 1 short paper on street observations (good intentions, but TAs are harsh graders) and then a photo essay on NY's branding. Midterm and final. Readings you should do if you want to do well.

June 12, 2017

Passell, Aaron Silver_nugget
[URBS V1515] Introduction to Urban Studies

If you're someone who loves learning about cities, this class is great for you. The readings can be dense but they cover a variety of topics and you'll leave the class with a strong basis of urban studies classics and knowledge. However, many people hate this class because they show up and realize urban studies isn't for them. If you don't find reading about sidewalks cool, don't take this class.
As far as the class structure itself, every lecture is spent going over the readings which is nice. It's a large lecture class and Professor Passell tries to make it more discussion based by asking questions and listening and responding to students' opinions. Some people didn't like this teaching style but I think it makes the class a lot more interesting. Also, questions he asks during class appear on the midterm and final so pay attention to discussions on them.
The midterm and final are IDs and essay questions that are pretty easy so long as you do the reading. The other assignments are essays that Professor Passell grades kind of harshly, and if I were to take the class again I would definitely take advantage of office hours to talk to him before turning in papers.

Workload:

two papers, midterm + final

January 19, 2015

Johnson, Kimberley
[URBS V1515] Introduction to Urban Studies

I took Professor Kimberley Johnson for URBS V1515, Introduction to Urban Studies. Professor Johnson is the chair of the interdisciplinary Urban Studies program (hosted at Barnard, but open to all Columbia College and General Studies undergrads as well), and is very knowledgeable on the subject. She kept lectures interesting with multimedia presentations, guest speakers, and a personal interest in the topic. At times the reading seemed overwhelming, but some of the readings were removed as the course progressed. Also, Professor Johnson was very good at succinctly reviewing the readings, so if there is something you didn't understand or get to, the lecture will fill in the blanks. There were around 50 students in the class, so the discussion was limited, but Professor Johnson was always available after class or during office hours to discuss anything from the coursework to what other classes to take to pursuing Urban Studies as a major. Professor Johnson is not an easy grader (she apologized to the class for making the midterm more difficult than she had planned, then gave a final which was just as difficult), but there were opportunities for extra credit.

Workload:

One group project which included a group presentation and a 4-page individual report, one 4-page paper, in-class midterm, and in-class final, both of which will take the entire time to complete. 100-200 pages of reading per week.

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