SC1101E Making Sense of Society

Module code & title: SC1101E Making Sense of Society

Grading: 15% Class Participation, 1 short paper (15%), midterms 20%, finals 50%

Lecturer & tutor:
Lecturer: Dr George Baylon Radics/Dr Lou Antolihao
Tutor: Rafael

It’s my favourite Prof Radics again!!!!(okay I admit I’m a fan.) I love his teaching style and he’s engaging and interesting and approachable. Weeks 1-6 was Dr Radics and the next 7 weeks were Dr Antolihao. Im not a fan of the latter.

What it’s about: everything you ever need/want to know in a soci intro module. It covers broad spectrum. A lot of brainless content really. and it sounds common sense. But it’s not the details that are important as much as the concepts.

Assignment workload: Do the readings. And actually a whole load of being able to score for the module is to INTEGRATE concepts. In soci mods like this and SC3101 you need to learn to think how to integrate concepts as seen in real life. So that’s how to work for the A grade, everyone can write but not everyone can get the A. Lectures aren’t webcasted but read the textbook, and all the secondary readings (if you plan to skip lectures).

Thoughts about the tutor: –

Project workload & question/theme –

Readings: Textbook: slightly brainless, dry and a lot of boredom. that. The articles for secondary reading were interesting, and short.

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): okay for the midterm – they combine topics and ask interesting questions – like what qualities do you want to see in a country leader and why? or why did X author say this and do you agree with him? it’s about taking the concepts and spinning it to fit your situation/argument. Final exam –  first part is 30 MCQ questions. this one you cannot escape doing readings, it’s factual. The second part of the exam is where there’s one big macro question and you use whatever relevant concepts you think you should use to answer it. We either answered – what do we think of the CMIO quota housing policy OR what has the invention of the automobile done to change family society and economic dynamics of the world. Both were interesting 🙂

Recommended if…you need to take the module for soci major or you’re just looking for a level 1 accessible module to chill and study basic soci concepts.

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 3/5/5

Expected grade: A+

 

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TS2239: Major Playwrights of the 20th Century

Module code & title: TS2239: Major Playwrights of the 20th Century

Grading: 20% Class Participation, 2 papers (20% each), finals 40%

Lecturer: Dr Graham Wolfe

One of the more fun, chill and enjoyable modules I have done in Literature/Theatre. This module gave me back what the perfect balance of difficulty and yet accessibility should be. Not every professor can challenge you without making it too incomprehensible that you give up because you can’t be bothered to try anymore. He’s found the balance. I actually want to come for his 9am classes on Friday morning. It’s a great representation of what a level 2k module should be. Prof is approachable, extremely amusing and very relatable.

What it’s about: Plays and more plays. Plays and movements. You cover things like – existentialism, symbolism, naturalism, absurdism, metatheatre, there’s also topics like class, race, ethics etc. Very well balanced

Assignment workload: Readings (primary and secondary). Midterm and Final essay. Midterm essay is for you to sort of gauge where you are and what his standard is. He gives questions and/or you can create your own topic. Final essays – some people did play adaptations and scored well too, so if you don’t want to write, you can just do a play adaptation, whatever floats your boat. 🙂

Project workload & question/theme – 5 min presentation basically a short wikipedia/googling on the topic you choose is enough. You can do it alone or with a partner. Then there’s this thing he does called ‘Expert Days’ where you just need to know more than anyone else about the topic you choose (again, based on your interest) and then contribute and talk more for the day. Just be proactive and throw your ideas out, he doesn’t shut anyone down.

Readings: Very manageable.  Almost one play a week. Plus secondary readings. Secondary readings are short and worth to read. Presentation is short and he does his best to reduce pressure on us which was really nice and refreshing and made me want to study more.

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): 40% weightage. 3 parts – first part is where you identify excerpts and write where they came from and what they talk about relating to other themes of the play, close reading and interpretation basically. Second part is like explain terms briefly and show how they’re used in two plays. Third part is a longer essay.
Okay frankly the final exam is quite exhausting. I am better at exams than essay writing and yet this tired me out immensely. He gives you an idea of what to expect and how to write or think for the exam and even then the bar is quite high. He doesn’t want you to repeat what you wrote for your essays in the final exam. Meaning that you have to plan before the exam how you’re gonna write. He gives ample clues and his paper is quite late, so you should have a little more time (unlike me with 5 papers).

Recommended if…you are a major in lit or theatre. Worth it. It was such a great module. and he lets you explore new things which I totally loved.

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 5/5

Expected grade: A

GEH1067 Superhero Entertainments

Module code & title: GEH1067 Superhero Entertainments

Grading: Discussion Group participation 20%, 2 short essays (750 words) 20% each, finals 40%

Lecturer & tutor:
Lecturer: Dr Ian Gordon
Tutor: I can’t remember his name but he wont be there again, he changed department (LOL)

Okay so HEADS UP this module is taught part virtually over webcast and partly over lectures. But the lectures are basiclaly clip screenings and nothing substantial so frankly, it’s pretty useless to say the least. The content is delivered over weekly webcast where the professor rambles off content that you could read yourself, so I still find that the lectures whether virtually or not were pretty much meh. It didn’t feel very analytical or anything, like it was throwing a whole ton of dates and events at me. okay I guess. it’s a level 1 gem I expected a little too much. but other than that it is very straightforward.

What it’s about: it’s about the history of superheroes. It brings you through the comic book era to the tv series and the movies era. There’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (yes for those who were waiting to see this, I was, too.)

Assignment workload: mainly readings and the two essays.. Chunks of them. way too much for a 1k module. Only do them if you want to use them for essays. But yes okay if you’re like me, a Marvel researcher and obsessive then by all means go ahead and bury yourself in these things. I had a lot of fun because I love superheroes.

there’s two essays, 750 words each. Okay there are two possible problems you can encounter with them… 1) you have too much to write because there is an overload of content and you aren’t sure what on earth exactly to say…and you have 2 pages A4 basically to squeeze everything in. No worries, the questions are straightforward, it’s this or that, so just pick a side (or no side, if you’re that type) and then form an argument. You can PM me if you really need help, I scored A+ for both essays. 2) you have no idea where to start. okay so go do some readings and then look at the question again and decide if the readings prompt you to either side and then choose one and argue for it. Just use the readings, don’t need to try and be creative he’s not too particular on that.
whether you’re 1 or 2, PLEASE QUOTE readings. Prof Gordon likes that.

Thoughts about the tutor: MAN, I HAVE NO IDEA what happened all semester long. Tutorials were too large with a too small venue, ridiculously awkward and the tutor was just…odd and I’m not particularly sure what I learnt all semester. Just do your own readings, really.

Project workload & question/theme –

Readings: mentioned above

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): INTERESTING. coolest exam I ever did. and I had a darn good time. So he tells us before the exam that he wanted us to be familiar with a Cinematic Universe/Character/production company. So I chose Marvel (DUH, why DC? (no offense)) and a character. Exam paper – two parts. First part – you pick a character you’d like to re vamp and come up with a backstory for them and then say why it’s gonna work out. Second part of the paper – you decide and explain marketing/branding strategies and how it will survive the test of time. (it’s like writing fanfiction and marketing your fanfiction)

Recommended if…you are obsessive with superheroes, love comics, willing to go headfirst deep into a module you need to kinda study on your own without much help cause there’s not much help. if you can write essays you can boss the bell curve for the two essays which makes up 40% and even better if you can answer well in class that’s already 60% owned.

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 5/5 (the content), 1/5 (the teaching)

Expected grade: A+

(another post here has one of my essays 😉

EN3263: Singapore Literature in Context

Module code & title: EN3263: Singapore Literature in Context

Grading:

25% close reading assignment
35% research essay
15% book review
15% 5 minute presentation on a selected singapore literature text from 2012-2017
10% class participation (yes he actually likes it a lot a lot when people talk, he asks questions)

Lecturer: Dr Philip J Holden

He’s a really kind professor, some have described him as a kind uncle. He’s the most conscientious professor in the literature department I’ve ever met besides Dr Yeoh. He creates a lesson plan on IVLE, linking all worksheets/slides/secondary readings and everything really, it’s quite astounding considering most professors don’t actually do that.

What it’s about: It’s a singapore literature module. You study Alfian Sa’at and other related authors, mainly from the Anthology of Singapore literature. You go through the history of Singapore and some of the controversial times/texts that our nation has seen. it opens your eyes to things in literature you haven’t seen before, and the discussions are enlightening.

Assignment workload: Reading of primary texts and weekly forum posts. Weekly forum posts are how he notes and starts class participation because he discusses the opinions that you posited on the forum posts. Anyway forum postings are good because you have to read the texts to post on the forum.

Thoughts about the tutor: –

Project workload & question/theme –

Readings: See above

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): It’s a lot of work though, many small components. But manageable.

Recommended if…You’re interesting in singlit. You should check it out.

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 3.5/5

 

EN2201: Backgrounds to Literature

Taken in AY16/17 Sem 2, (posting this late, but realised it was worth writing!)

Module code & title: EN2201: Backgrounds to Literature

Grading:

70% CA – made up of:
1. Midterm essay (20%)
2. Final essay (30%)
3. Class Participation (20%)
30% final exam (YES this module has finals!)

Lecturer: Dr Gilbert Yeoh (he’s the best!!)

Dr Yeoh gives you everything. Like he prints a course package for you and he has soooo many slides because every possible thing he wants you to learn for the module is smacked on it. His lectures are funny, sometimes information overload. The seminar is made up of a lecture for an hour and a half then a discussion segment. There’s a break in between those segments. He is open to controversial ideas and opinions. He wants originality in your essays which to be very honest can be tough given that he spoon feeds almost everything. But it is very interesting and he’s super kind and generous to always help/open for consults so please go for consults.

What it’s about: It’s a classics module. You study Homer’s Odyssey, Sophocles’ Oedipus and the books of Genesis and John from the Bible. Reason for these texts being that they are argued to be the earliest written texts in Western civilization and their themes are foundational for the writing and creation of Western literature. (therefore the title of the mod)

Assignment workload: READINGS. Many readings for a 2k module, but it is doable. Speak up in lectures, and you’ll do okay. Go through the tutorial question list at least, skim through it once before you come into the seminar.

Thoughts about the tutor: –

Project workload & question/theme –

Readings: See above

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): It’s an interesting paper, he’s not so much looking for originality as much as argument and your opinion so just state your opinion. Most people pick their favourite text and write on it.

Recommended if…You love Dr Yeoh (!!woo!!)

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 5/5

 

EN2275: Writing About Literature

Module code & title: EN2275

Grading: FULLY CA
10% class part,
20% Summary
25% Essay 1
25% Essay 2
10% Final Portfolio/Reflection

Lecturer & tutor:
Dr Aparna Shukla

Dr Shukla created this module newly, hence being the first iteration a lot of things would be new and in incipient stages. Lectures could be draggy until you realise what the focus of the module is and that actually lectures are not as good as tutorials. Tutorials are more helpful because mostly students take this module with the idea that they want to improve on their writing and generally people improve in smaller groups because there’s more attention on the individual student so that’s the thing about her tutorials, they’re small and super helpful.

What it’s about: how to write. properly. You start with learning summaries and interpretation skills which seem lame until you realise you cannot actually do it properly. Then you learn how to think and write a clear proper introduction and you move on to the essay itself… She uses the topic of trauma to give us a platform to write.

Assignment workload: Not much work. One reading can be covered over the first 6 weeks. Then the second half is a film/text. There are secondary readings but they are as per needed (if you write the essay then you read that reading)

Thoughts about the tutor: –

Project workload & question/theme –

Readings: Barely any, really.

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): No exams. 3 assignments through the semester, all of which you can bring in and consult her. And you should. It’ll help tremendously

Recommended if…you are a literature major who needs to learn how to write properly.l

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 4/5

Expected grade: A-

Actual grade

SC3101: Social Thought and Social Theory

Module code & title: SC3101 Social Thought and Social Theory

Grading: 10% Class Participation, 3 short papers (40%, each 13.3%), finals 50%

Lecturer & tutor:
Lecturer: Dr George Baylon Radics
Tutor: Jamie/Prof Radics

Prof Radics is wonderful. Have I ever mentioned how amazing he is? He’s patient, answers every email sent to him (with a whole host of explanations, sometimes), and is always ever ready for consultations despite his busy schedule. I appreciate his teaching style, as he incorporates examples relevant to the world and to us in his lectures.

Tutorials under him are great, he explains the questions in the tutorial worksheet and gets us to give and find out the answers complete with the page number so that not just us but everyone benefits. Furthermore, if the answers given are either too soft or unclear he will repeat and elaborate on it so everyone gets it.

What it’s about: the three main thinkers of sociology, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber – their perspectives with regard to society, economy and religion. It’s very factual and you get to go a step further to compare them to each other (if you wish). You also note the relevance to the contemporary society

Assignment workload: Readings mainly. One assignment per each third of the sem – week 3, 7, 10. Finals is a huge percentage

Thoughts about the tutor: – 

Project workload & question/theme – 

Readings: A lot, kind of was okay for me as I am a literature major. But for those not accustomed to readings this would be quite a killer. It’s not so much the length which is hard to get by but on top of that it is not easy to understand, especially Marx.

Exam (briefly format and difficulty): 50% weightage. The paper has section 1 and 2, section 1 is a compulsory analytical question worth 40% of the overall, 2 questions choose 1 to compare all three thinkers. Section 2 (60% of the paper) has 9 questions choose 3, shorter answer (I wrote 1-1.5 pages), more factual and less evaluative and opinion based. Not very tough, if you studied you can answer

Recommended if…you are a major in soci this is a compulsory module. Or if you’re interested in the theories and concepts behind social theory. It’s a theory module not an application module for you soci-interested people looking for application mods.

Rating (in terms of how much you enjoyed it) – 5/5

Expected grade: A-

Actual grade

GEH1061: Representation and Media

Taken in:
AY16/17 Semester 2

Lecturer/Tutor:
Ms Sofia Morales

What the module is about, briefly:
So this module comes from CNM (Communications and New Media) department. It begins with the basic theories of representation and media – ideas of signifier, signified, semiotics, creation of social constructs etc… (i.e. Foucault, Barthes, Butler…). These theories are then applied to real life contexts – Bollywood, KPop, Celebrity, Identity Politics etc. (There’s quite a fair bit of theory to be memorised)

Texts:
Mostly pdfs that are available on the IVLE site, works from Stuart Hall, Judith Butler, Foucault, and other short articles and stuff. Manageable.

Workload:
Do show up for class. Slides are like just a dump for random words, and quotes from the readings. But if you don’t go for class or do the readings you’d be quite lost. If you don’t do the readings like consistently, you’d be swamped at the end, because…(read next section)

Format of assessment:
So her midterms and finals, there’s both…

Tutorial participation 15%
Midterms 20%
Group Project 30%
Final exam 35%

Project/Presentation:

 

  1. you’d be writing a 5000-6000 word report on any topic you choose
  2. in groups of 4-5, assigned by tutorial.
  3. if you’re fortunate, you’d get a good group. I sincerely wish you would, ’cause mine was literally amazing, super efficient, on the ball, and hardworking
  4. Start early, like week 6 or 7. Give yourself 4-5 weeks. GIVE TIME FOR EDITING. Most groups do like each person writes like 1.2k words and then everyone’s writing style is different so what happens is that you’ll need to edit it so it has some form of uniformity (not so obvious differences in writing style), although you can never fully make each part exactly the same.
  5. Choose something interesting. My group chose Arrow the TV series and wrote about the different kinds of stereotypes that were present in this case study – eg. superheroes, women, asians, etc.

Lecturer/Tutor

 

She loves to tell her own stories, sometimes it is useful to the topic other times not so much. Go for lectures, they’re useful. She’s friendly and approachable, marked group project leniently. But I don’t really like the format of the exams personally. (More in the next section)

Tutorials are an hour long and slightly pointless.

Exam difficulty:

For midterms and finals, it feels like she wanted you to memorise the reading. It’s like extremely factual, I personally regret not studying harder (studying as in not just understanding concepts but also figuring out who says what and in what context). The exam is broken into MCQ, short answer and one longer answer (half a page). The first two sections are factual (that’s like 70% of the paper) and the last 30% is a short 10m essay question that’s ALSO (argh!) factual and barely analytical, which was the thing I couldn’t deal with.

 

Recommended:

 

Content heavy module. Wasn’t really what it said it would be, well yes in that it is still very very factual but little analysis and thought needed, just absorption power.

Overall rating (/10):

5/10

 

EN3221: The English Renaissance

Taken in:
AY16/17 Semester 2

Lecturer:
Dr Walter Lim

What the module is about, briefly:
Renaissance texts and concerns, covering a selection of plays and prose. This module familiarizes one with the historical and political context of the Renaissance and allows you to read the texts in the light of that context. Themes that are covered are like: Protestantism vs Catholicism, authority, The Great Chain of Being, traditional gender roles, man’s relationship to God, sexual desire and prohibitions, etc

Texts:
William Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Andrew Marvell’s Sonnets
Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus
Ben Jonson’s Volpone
John Milton’s Poetry
John Donne’s Devotional Lyrics and Love Poetry

Workload:
Readings, well mainly the text, if you can even keep up with that. There’s secondary readings that are non-compulsory, however, there are select authors which he often refers to which would be good if you know about. My biggest tip for dealing with this module is that – there is much breadth covered, but the amount of depth which you would want to go into is really up to you, and I chose a certain topic and then researched more on it, so it is really up to you. I did so, so that I would get a chance to explore one topic I really liked and go deep into it. (Also it means you’d have less worries about listening to the rest of the topics/authors).

Format of assessment:

1 short midterm essay 15% (600-800 words)
1 Review Essay 15% (review of an article, pick 1 of 4, some can be longer than others, but pick it based on your interest, each one is a different topic, 500-600 words)
1 Final Essay 40% (includes annotated Biblio and abstract)
Forum Participation 10%
Tutorial Presentation & Class discussion 15% (1 Project Presentation (!!) tutorials will be listening to different presentation, my advice is to sign up super early and get it done/out of the way asap)

(yeah so it’s a somewhat exhausting workload, but it’s kinda spaced out nicely so no last min work)

Project/Presentation:
You’ll be presenting on a particular text, there will be guiding question(s) given at the start of the sem/first tutorial. You’d probably have to come up with a 1/2 an hour presentation, and anything you do not know, learn to direct it to the floor, deflect questions like a boss (no, seriously, if you do not know something, ask the class for answers, people should talk, and if they don’t, Dr. Lim will cover it well. 

Lecturer/Tutor
Some people say this prof has a kinda like ‘one track mind’ and other things, this is not to say it is a bad thing, neither is it altogether a good thing. (Make your own judgments). I really enjoyed the module under him and that’s probably because I got his style. Some people may not and that is fine. His lectures to me are engaging and interesting. He does give lecture notes/slides also so if you’re for any reason unable to make it, it is not too bad. He’s approachable and friendly toward any consultation requests too. 🙂

Exam difficulty:
You pick your own final essay question/there’s a list of like recommended stuff, but you’re free to think of your own topic, just clear it with him.
Article review is not very hard, neither is the presentation etc. Very manageable module.

Recommended:
Yes, it is an essential module that gives foundational understanding for other modules that may have topics that are influenced by Renaissance works.

Overall rating (/10):
8/10

EN3242: History of Film

Taken in:
AY16/17 Semester 2

Lecturer:
A/P Valerie Wee
Tutor: Phoebe Pua

What the module is about, briefly:
History of film. Isn’t it self-explanatory? HAHA. A brief coverage (not in depth) about the different historical backgrounds of film in America, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy. You can choose to focus on any of them later.

Texts:
FILMS* (Ranging from SILENT FILMS to Sound ones),
1. A Trip to the Moon
2. Broken Blossoms
3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
4. Battleship Potempkin
5. Bringing Up Baby
6. The Rules of the Game
7. Sunset Boulevard
8. The Bicycle Thief
9. The 400 Blows
10. Late Spring
11. The Graduate (I think this was changed, I’m not sure, don’t remember)

Workload:
HAHA. I would say it is tiring but interesting. The most tiring part is perhaps keeping up with the movies, because you’ll need to watch them so you can talk in tutorial, and also, the research part for the group/pair report concerning the various topics (pick one). I did Russian cinema: Constructivism, so that was pretty interesting, though energy-sapping. Final essay requires more in depth thought and research, but if you pick something you like, it isn’t too bad 🙂 I did Doctor Strange (and linked it to Film Noir) and I did pretty okay! (YAY).

Format of assessment:
100% CA:
1. Tutorial participation (20%)
2. Tutorial facilitation (10%)
3. Group Written Report (20%)
4. Research paper – Annotated Biblio (10%), Abstract (10%), Essay (30%)

Project/Presentation:
Presentation centers on the movie of your choice, you have to engage the class in a discussion concerning the movie for that week, you can choose to break the class into groups to discuss various topics in the movie. There are guiding questions so you do not have to worry. The group written report will probably be linked to the movie of your choice (or it may not be, as well). 

Comments on lecturer:
Here is where I shall sing the praises of Prof Wee and my tutor.
Prof Wee: she’s extremely approachable and helpful with the topics you choose to write on, comments on essays and reports are constructive. Her lectures are engaging and interesting. And she’s super nice (I can’t even)
Phoebe: She’s kinda like Prof Wee, and since I got her in tutorial, I’ll say she’s very insightful and proffers useful comments and also does this little thing where she contextualises every national cinema and gives you important dates you should know about each cinema. She does this every week. Also, she’s very good with time management so we always end on time and yet there’s a very fruitful discussion, so I appreciate that immensely.

Exam difficulty:
Just workload, no major exams.
It’s spaced out through the semester so requires a fair but of stamina and much less space for last minute work.

Recommended:
YES. If you like film, yes. If you don’t, (like me), you can still listen it is worth listening to, and then pick a topic you like and work on it. I did film noir and Doctor Strange because I happened to really like both. I wanted to do Marvel but I didn’t in the end because there was just a better option (and I changed my topic like last minute after I finished full annotated biblio and abstract and all because I just felt like it, and Prof Wee let me do it, she talked me through changing the topic and everything worked out). So I hope I have successfully convinced you to do it!!!!!!!!

Overall rating (/10):
8/10