I felt like doing a review of the various courses I took this year simply because I know there are some future UBC students out there reading the Blog Squad’s work, and hey, it’s helpful when you know what to expect from courses you may be interested in taking. Before I start, a disclaimer: The opinions expressed below are purely mine. Just because I did well in a course or enjoyed it doesn’t mean that others will, and vice versa. University is an incredibly subjective experience due to the diversity of its population.
Arts One aka ARTS 001B (Hendricks):
I have nothing but good things to say about Arts One. This is a full-year course intended only for first-year Arts students. It’s worth 18 credits (6 each of English, History, and Philosophy) and offers a unique mix between a standard and custom timetable. There are two themes you can pick from each year. I chose Theme B, or the Remake/Remodel theme (now called Repetition Compulsion). Even though I am not taking the Humanities route in my future studies, I definitely don’t regret doing Arts One and I recommend it to all first-years who have an interest in it. I’m planning to do a blog post that will be a sort of “Arts One Survival Guide” so stay tuned for that!
FREN 122 (Scott):
I entered university with the intention of majoring in French. I love the language, the culture, the literature, you name it. I have to admit I didn’t enjoy university French classes as much as previous ones. This course is for students with Grade 12 French. It is taught entirely in French, which some people found a shock, but if you have had a good French education up until this point, you shouldn’t have a problem understanding anything. With two weeks of learning in this environment you likely won’t need to translate in your head anymore. This class is about grammar, with some review depending on your past curriculum, but much more fast-paced. I found it difficult to keep up with the work because it didn’t seem as urgent as work for my other courses. The readings are interesting, but like I said, the class is very fast-paced so you don’t get to fully understand/analyze them before you move on to the next topic. Your writing will improve greatly if you follow your prof’s advice, but don’t expect your oral skills to improve. FREN 215 is a class specifically for oral practice if you wish to improve your speaking.
FREN 123 (Scott):
This is the second part of FREN 122. The class is in the same format and curriculum, and I pretty much had the same feelings about it. I would recommend taking both 122 and 123 in the same year if you plan to study French further.
PSYC 101 (Graf):
I’m going to comment very generally about professors for this course. I, like many other students, used RateMyProf.com when registering for courses. For the most part, the reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt. I went into PSYC 101 expecting a mediocre experience, and it ended up being one of my favourite classes. This course covers the biological and cognitive side of introductory psychology. I found the material incredibly interesting, but there is a LOT of it. People will try to tell you that psychology is super easy and a GPA booster but it really isn’t. If I hadn’t found the class so intriguing I would not have ended up with the mark I did. The tests are difficult, but Dr. Graf also provided us with many opportunities to bring up our mark through iClicker questions, quizzes, and a research report. He definitely does not coddle his students, which I personally found refreshing. He is, however, a clear lecturer and passionate psychologist and he made the class very enjoyable.
PSYC 102 (Klonsky):
PSYC 102 covers the social/developmental/clinical side of introductory psychology. I personally found PSYC 101 more interesting, but I think the general consensus among most students is that PSYC 102 is more interesting. There is less material to know in this course, but the exams are equally difficult. Dr. Klonsky is awesome, funny, clear, and he shows videos and gives excellent examples. He also welcomes questions in class and encourages students to comment on the lecture, which you don’t see often in a class of 250 people. Both PSYC 101 and 102 influenced me to pursue a major in psychology en route to nursing school, and I am considering working with psychiatric patients someday.
Overall, I enjoyed all of my courses (some to greater extent than others). I hope that this review can help at least one new student out! Stay tuned for the “Arts One Survival Guide” that I mentioned above and a post on tips for registration.