I quite enjoyed prof. FNM's lectures, she was always extremely insightful and sensitive when discussing issues in class. However, the bulk of this class experience, for me, was ruined by my TA, Chelsey Saunders. Intro to CSER has a mandatory discussion section that meets once a week, but really besides the 2 lectures/week run by prof. FNM, the whole class experience depends on your TA. The TA grades all your weekly reflections, the midterm, the ethnography/interview project, and the final, on top of many other weekly assigned things. Chelsey was honestly a terrible TA. From the very first discussion section, she decided that we, students, would be teaching/running the weekly discussion sections instead of her. She, the TA, who is qualified to teach and studying at Teacher's College, wants us, the students, to be teaching the class that SHE's in charge of? She essentially pawned off her whole job to us! I also don't think this was very helpful us as students as a method of learning, either, since instead of having a qualified, knowledgeable teacher lead discussions we had a bunch of very simple, superficial discussions every week since all of us students leading the discussions were inexperienced and thus couldn't lead very deep discussions. She was also kind of very mean and a bit oppressive, in my opinion, and even once snapped at a student in the middle of his question to tell him "don't ask me that type of question!" She asked us for feedback on her "teaching" sometime in the middle of the semester, and asked if we wanted her to add anything to the discussion section, and some people suggested that it might be helpful for HER to compile a list of key words covered in the weekly readings to help clarify things for the midterm. So naturally, she pawned off that work on us, and assigned us each one term to define and give context for.

Chelsey's feedback was also minimal, if any, on our weekly responses, midterm, projects, and final. The most I ever got was "good job!!!" or for the most part, just a percentage grade with no comments or feedback whatsoever, which really provided no help for me at all as a student.

Full disclosure, I got in the A range in this class, so this isn't just me being salty because I didn't do well. I genuinely thought it was an interesting class and learned a lot from prof. FNM, but absolutely detested the weekly discussions. I feel like I could've learned a lot more had I had a different TA. I do recommend the class, but strongly suggest that if you end up with Chelsey as your TA, change the heck out of that section!!

Workload:

weekly 500-750 word responses, a take home midterm, weekly discussion posts online, an ethnography/interview project, and a final 10-12 pg paper