May 17, 2010

Pedatella, Stefan Silver_nugget
[FYSB BC1156/69] First Year Seminar: Legacy of the Mediterranean I

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I probably agree with everything already written about him, even the conflicting reviews. The bottom line is that Stefan is sort of full-of-himself and definitely picks favorites, but he's really into classic lit and teaches the first semester very well. He makes everything exciting, and studying the Odyssey with him is amazing. Legacy I is great over all.

However, I would advise against taking the second semester with him as he suggests, because it gets old very fast. After a while, you realize that doing well mostly depends on doing two things: sucking up to him and spitting back his ideas in your papers. (Obviously, he is there to teach us and has studied these works extensively, so his ideas will be well-founded. However, this style of teaching leaves little room for independence or growth.)

Also, class environment is key. If there are any annoying love-stuck girls who are trying to show-off to impress him, it is not fun.

Basically: Good for one semester, but wears off fast. Really think about whether or not you want to stick around for a second semester, and definitely check out the reading lists for the different FYE classes as well.

Workload:

First Year Seminar/ Legacy I: 2 5-6 pg. papers and weekly notes about the reading
FYE/ Legacy II: same, but no weekly notes, + 1 8-10 pg. "research" (not really at all) paper for FYE
All papers are rewritten, and the two graded drafts are averaged for the overall grade.
You must meet with him briefly at office hours to discuss each draft. He is either very helpful or extremely annoying- or both. You usually end up incorporating most of his ideas.

Reading assignments start off heavy and get much lighter later on, when you realize that the class is always way behind schedule.
For the most part, he is not a very hard grader. However, you really need to have exactly what he wants to get an A.

Also, he is very flexible with deadlines if you have a valid reason (personal, health, or just a lot going on). This is definitely a point in his favor.