middCourses
with Natalie Chwalisz6 months ago

It is important to understand that this Professor does not put forth arguments herself, and instead turns targeted questions into class discussions every class period. This can at times be interesting, but often means you understand your peers' views far more than you understand how the field of Political Science would respond to your question. So, it is unlikely you will get a clear answer to the things you ask. There is not an objective or outline of learning within every class, and we repeated discussions on democracy vs authoritarianism as well as what constitutes a state every week until the course ended. I did not learn anything new in this class. That said, the Professor is a kind person and seemed willing to provide extensions if told ahead of time. I would not take an intro course with her- classes based on her research on Illicit Economies may have learning objectives (she is definitely smart). I am not sure what she intended we gain from this class, since the content could have been taught much more directly, clearly, and productively.

It is important to understand that this Professor does not put forth arguments herself, and instead turns targeted questions into class discussions every class period. This can at times be interesting, but often means you understand your peers' views far more than you understand how the field of Political Science would respond to you …Read more

Constant ReadingTough GradingProject Exams
4hrs / week Average difficulty Low value Would not take again
with Natalie Chwalisz5 months ago

This class was pretty relaxed and very clear in its expectations: show up, participate, put some effort into the papers and leave with an A. The class was very heavily discussed based and you heard more of your peers' voices than the professor's. Interesting but perhaps not the best tack in an intro class where most people no idea what they are talking about. We also spent like 8 weeks talking about authoritarianism and by the end of the unit I was thoroughly over that topic.

This class was pretty relaxed and very clear in its expectations: show up, participate, put some effort into the papers and leave with an A. The class was very heavily discussed based and you heard more of your peers' voices than the professor's. Interesting but perhaps not the best tack in an intro class where most people no idea wh …Read more

Fair GradingNo Exams
5hrs / week Low difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Natalie Chwalisz8 months ago

The class is interesting, but kind of incoherent. Discussions can be interesting, and class lectures too (although Prof Chwalisz goes through them too fast to take any useful notes) but I don't really see an end-goal in the class, and the content along with the discussions are kind of all over the place.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingTough Grading
2hrs / week Some difficulty Above average value Would not take again
with Erik Bleich4 months ago

This was a decent course. We had different themes throughout the semester, like authoritarianism, democratization, identity politics, etc. and had to do quite a bit of reading prior to each lecture. Then the lectures consisted of Professor Bleich going over the most important points in the reading during class, following along with his presentation, and then having some kind of small group discussions toward the end. I really liked that each student had the opportunity to select any three countries from different regions of the world and to carry out comparisons between them in relation to each theme throughout the semester. The exams for this course were all essay based. If I recall, there was one at-home essay and then two in-class, timed essays for the midterm and the final. It seemed that Professor Bleich liked active participation and engagement from his students, so I think our quiet morning class kind of threw him off. But, the course was ok overall.

This was a decent course. We had different themes throughout the semester, like authoritarianism, democratization, identity politics, etc. and had to do quite a bit of reading prior to each lecture. Then the lectures consisted of Professor Bleich going over the most important points in the reading during class, following along with h …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingTough Grading
4hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu8 months ago

Loved her class overall! Very clear in teaching and very passionate about it. The course was a nice environment where we could talk to each other for help. I think she did a great job in creating that kind of environment as well. The amount of reading was decent for a 103 class, and a lot of them were easy to understand and informative. She is also considerate about the student's well-being as well. She sometimes seemed busy, so the grading was not as responsive as much as other professors, but it was still ok. The same goes for emails, so when something is urgent, you might not get the quickest response. Better to talk to her face-to-face.

Loved her class overall! Very clear in teaching and very passionate about it. The course was a nice environment where we could talk to each other for help. I think she did a great job in creating that kind of environment as well. The amount of reading was decent for a 103 class, and a lot of them were easy to understand and informati …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
2hrs / week Very low difficulty Average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu7 months ago

The professor seemed passionate about the topic but graded things months after the fact; I got my grade back for the first essay 15 mins before the deadline for the second essay (each essay is worth about 30% of your grade and she's not an easy grader) Also she never put any of the slides on canvas and would give instructions for the essays in class that she never put online. Homework varies from a single 7 page reading to multiple 25+ page readings and hour-long videos that never come up in class. This class was boring and stressful, avoid if you can

The professor seemed passionate about the topic but graded things months after the fact; I got my grade back for the first essay 15 mins before the deadline for the second essay (each essay is worth about 30% of your grade and she's not an easy grader) Also she never put any of the slides on canvas and would give instructions for the …Read more

Tough GradingNo Exams
3hrs / week Average difficulty Low value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu3 months ago

This class is a requirement for my major IP&E and taking it with professor Gumuscu was definitely the right choice. Her discussions are interesting and fun. The essays are not easy but she is very open to meeting with students in office hours and giving personalized advice.

Fast-PacedFair GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Some difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz4 months ago

This class was incredibly easy. As all the other reviews say, lectures are incredibly disorganized and virtually the entire class is discussion based. Readings were very good. I got a 100 on every single assignment. Go to class do the readings write the paper.

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
5hrs / week Low difficulty Average value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz3 months ago

Her lecture style was very disorganized and she's not very friendly. Sometimes asking her to explain something to you will leave you feeling more confused than before. Very reading intensive course.

Fast-PacedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Average difficulty Very low value Would not take again
with Erik Bleich10 months ago

Prof Bleich was an extremely good lecturer and very helpful if you are having trouble understanding the material. The class itself was not too hard but the way Bleich structured the exams (as timed research papers with a randomly selected prompt) was a little stressful at times. Overall a great class.

Fair GradingConstant Reading
4hrs / week Some difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu8 months ago

This class has a lot of readings, but you didn't really need to do them in Sebnem's class. There are pop quizzes that are infrequent and low stakes, but she's looking for specific information on each one. Most of the grade is from three essays. The best part of this class is Sebnem's passion. She gets you excited to learn about whatever she's teaching.

No Exams
2hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu5 months ago

I enjoyed taking comparative politics with Professor Gumuscu! Her lectures were very interesting, especially because she was very passionate about the topics. She was approachable and willing to answer any questions I had about the lectures. Most of the grade comes from 3 essays. As long as you incorporate the lecture information and do research, I found it easy to get As on the essays.

I enjoyed taking comparative politics with Professor Gumuscu! Her lectures were very interesting, especially because she was very passionate about the topics. She was approachable and willing to answer any questions I had about the lectures. Most of the grade comes from 3 essays. As long as you incorporate the lecture information and …Read more

Fair GradingEasy ExamsConstant Reading
5hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

This class was awesome. Sebnem is awesome. Everything is awesome. Due to the nature of it being an intro class it's a little boring at first, but give it time and it will get really interesting. Sebnem is a great professor. Not only does she care about her student's well-being (very understanding with extensions) but you can tell she has a passion for this the minute she walks into the room. The class consists of 2 lectures a week 1 discussion section; some reading quizzes (but if you pay at least 70% attention you'll ace them); 3 essays (6 pages, 8 pages, 10 pages); one end-of-year reflection assessment type. Such a good class.

This class was awesome. Sebnem is awesome. Everything is awesome. Due to the nature of it being an intro class it's a little boring at first, but give it time and it will get really interesting. Sebnem is a great professor. Not only does she care about her student's well-being (very understanding with extensions) but you can tell she …Read more

Chill and RelaxedFair GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Low difficulty Extremely high value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz7 months ago

Natalie Chwalisz is a good professor and if you turn things in on time and attend most classes, you will get an A. She doesn't really fit into what you might consider the typical Middlebury Poli-Sci professor as she is very straightforward and objective, but this is a holistic class that gets its main ideas across - you will learn something and the foundational ideas are there. The discussion section often seemed a little pointless, but it was only 50 minutes.

Natalie Chwalisz is a good professor and if you turn things in on time and attend most classes, you will get an A. She doesn't really fit into what you might consider the typical Middlebury Poli-Sci professor as she is very straightforward and objective, but this is a holistic class that gets its main ideas across - you will learn so …Read more

Constant ReadingEasy GradingNo Exams
1hrs / week Low difficulty Low value Would take again
with Erik Bleich8 months ago

I really enjoyed this class with Bleich. He was very enthusiastic and was very knowledgeable about politics. There were a lot of readings, but that is the case for most poli sci classes here. I was not a big fan of his exam style, but I thought his grading was fair.

Constant ReadingFair GradingDifficult Exams
4hrs / week Average difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz8 months ago

This class is mostly filled with people filling pre-reqs for IP&E and Poly Sci majors so its mostly people who are interested in the topics covered. The class pacing and assignment difficulty is pretty chill as there is only one major essay in the class. The discussions are free for alls at times but overall everything pretty reasonable and doable.

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Low difficulty Average value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz8 months ago

the class material itself is pretty boring and Professor Natalie is not the most eloquent person when it comes to teaching. the grading is not hard and there is only one paper, but wow this class is boring and really poorly taught. I feel like im not really learning. it is ALL discussion based and the lectures seem useless. I feel like this class is a waste of time but I need it for my major

the class material itself is pretty boring and Professor Natalie is not the most eloquent person when it comes to teaching. the grading is not hard and there is only one paper, but wow this class is boring and really poorly taught. I feel like im not really learning. it is ALL discussion based and the lectures seem useless. I feel li …Read more

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
3hrs / week Low difficulty Very low value Would not take again
with Ajay Verghese2 years ago

Professor Verghese is a great, understanding professor. He made taking this course a great experience for me. The readings and lectures were interesting and light. There were only 2 short papers that you could choose the topic of and were graded very fairly. I highly recommend this course (it is a gem)!

No ExamsFair GradingChill and Relaxed
3hrs / week Very low difficulty High value Would take again
with Ajay Vergheselast year

Honestly, this course is very chill, with about two 15-page readings a week, no exam, and just two 4-page papers in the entire year with quite generous grading. Professor Verghese is very nice and extremely accommodating (you can pretty much automatically get an extension if you ask for it, I literally send my second paper after Christmas). We mostly just discuss our readings in class, even in lectures. Professor Verghese is quite good at facilitating them, even though my feeling is that he lacks a bit of input, and the actual substance of what you will learn is not very significant. However, the readings he chose were great, he knows what will feel engaging to students, and it really makes his class worth it. If you are just looking for a chill fun class with lots of discussions, or if you have to take the class for your major, you probably won't regret going with Professor Verghese.

Honestly, this course is very chill, with about two 15-page readings a week, no exam, and just two 4-page papers in the entire year with quite generous grading. Professor Verghese is very nice and extremely accommodating (you can pretty much automatically get an extension if you ask for it, I literally send my second paper after Chri …Read more

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
3hrs / week Low difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz9 months ago

the course explain the requirements for the start-up learner's needs for political science, Prof. Natalie is very nice and kind. She always give high scores to students and encourage students' talk during classes

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingEasy Grading
3hrs / week Low difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz2 months ago

Materials studied in this class were not suitable for intro courses and at times were a bit too chaotic. The readings were mostly boring and the professor was just reading off of her slides instead of actively engaging with the class.

Slow-PacedConstant ReadingNo Exams
3hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Ajay Verghese2 years ago

This course is very reading based. Expect 2-3 30ish page articles each week. Prof. Verghese goes over the documents in class though so you can get away with not super deep reading but I still recommend at least skimming so you can do well in the discussions. The papers are also nice because it's open ended and opinion based prompts. Prof. Verghese is also very accommodating. He helped me catch up if I missed a class and even let me switch discussion times without hesitation when I couldn't make my original one. Highly recommend!

This course is very reading based. Expect 2-3 30ish page articles each week. Prof. Verghese goes over the documents in class though so you can get away with not super deep reading but I still recommend at least skimming so you can do well in the discussions. The papers are also nice because it's open ended and opinion based prompts. …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Very low difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz3 months ago

This course was so boring to take. I didn't feel like I learned much and the proposed readings were not the greatest. As somebody who already has experience in Comparative Politics, I believe the order in which the readings were assigned was bad and caters to a very specific demographic, that being people who think int'l politics is all about who has the biggest and strongest army.

Easy GradingNo Exams
3hrs / week Very low difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu8 months ago

I thought the class was interesting, and Prof Gumuscu was brilliant. Clearly had a lot of passion and was very accommodating. There is a lot of reading, but it is interesting, and you can largely skim it. Papers were not terribly difficult. Interesting discussions

Fast-PacedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Average difficulty High value Would take again
with Erik Bleich5 months ago

I did not like this course. It had a lot of reading which often felt useless. I don't think the concepts were explained well and the readings were often hard to understand. The exams were in class essays which were not very difficult. The professor was nice and therefore times we had interesting discussions in class, but overall, I don't think it was a very engaging class.

Fast-PacedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Some difficulty Low value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumusculast year

Loved taking this class with Sebnem! Confirmed my interest in majoring in IP&E. Lectures and discussion with a few essays during the semester. While some of the content was a bit boring she is extremely engaging and a fairly relaxed grader (I think I received a 93 on every paper).

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingEasy Grading
3hrs / week Low difficulty Above average value Would take again
with Erik Bleich2 years ago

While this is an intro political science course and is therefore pretty general, I thought that we went into sufficient detail in each topic, which helped me select areas of interest that I explored in the final paper. Professor Bleich is a very clear lecturer and a fair grader. He also makes himself very available for extra help, and is intentional about creating discussion sections in which everyone feels like they can contribute to the conversation. Every political science major should take this course.

While this is an intro political science course and is therefore pretty general, I thought that we went into sufficient detail in each topic, which helped me select areas of interest that I explored in the final paper. Professor Bleich is a very clear lecturer and a fair grader. He also makes himself very available for extra help, an …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
3hrs / week Low difficulty High value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

This class was very interesting, and I'm very happy I took it with Prof.Sebnem. She makes the lectures interesting and you can tell that she knows the topic really well. Sometimes, I found the reading a bit much, but the assignments were pretty spaced out. We had to do 3 papers and some short discussion posts. Sebnem is also very understanding and will help you if you ask for it. Would definitely recommend.

This class was very interesting, and I'm very happy I took it with Prof.Sebnem. She makes the lectures interesting and you can tell that she knows the topic really well. Sometimes, I found the reading a bit much, but the assignments were pretty spaced out. We had to do 3 papers and some short discussion posts. Sebnem is also very und …Read more

Constant ReadingFair GradingNo Exams
4hrs / week Some difficulty Very high value Would take again
with Ajay Verghese2 years ago

This class was not difficult and enjoyable to take. Professor Verghese's lectures are interesting and thought provoking, and he is very approachable with any questions or comments. The only assignments were 2 three page reading response papers that could be at any point of the semester. Definitely an easy class, especially if you get ahead and do the papers early.

Chill and RelaxedFair GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Low difficulty Above average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

Professor Gumuscu is an excellent professor, and does a great job of condensing political science material into easy-to-follow, digestible lectures. She is very flexible and accommodating to students, and is very enthusiastic in teaching. I have nothing but good things to say about her. For anyone looking to gain a better understanding into politics, this is a great place to start.

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Low difficulty Above average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumusculast year

I loved this course. Gumuscu is a great prof, and her lectures were easy to follow and not too dull. There is the occasional pop quiz, (which she warns you about), but they are quite easy if you have listened to the very broadest of her lecture points. The grading is easy and the reading load is completely manageable. This course is perfect in my opinion, as it gives you an important baseline of Political Science knowledge and is very interesting while also being easy to succeed in.

I loved this course. Gumuscu is a great prof, and her lectures were easy to follow and not too dull. There is the occasional pop quiz, (which she warns you about), but they are quite easy if you have listened to the very broadest of her lecture points. The grading is easy and the reading load is completely manageable. This course is …Read more

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingConstant Reading
5hrs / week Low difficulty Very high value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumusculast year

Although lectures could get a little monotonous, it was fairly easy to grasp the material through discussions. The papers always connected directly to readings and the instructions were direct enough to understand what Professor Gumuscu was looking for. There were multiple readings, but it wasn't too bad and they were all pretty helpful in understanding concepts.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Average difficulty Very high value Would take again
with Erik Bleichlast year

I took this class with Bleich and overall had a great experience. While the class was low commitment and fairly easy by nature of barely having any outside work and only minimal weekly readings, it was very interesting content-wise and Bleich is a great lecturer. Further, there is only one 1000 word paper across the whole semester and two exams where you get the question a week ahead of time.

I took this class with Bleich and overall had a great experience. While the class was low commitment and fairly easy by nature of barely having any outside work and only minimal weekly readings, it was very interesting content-wise and Bleich is a great lecturer. Further, there is only one 1000 word paper across the whole semester a …Read more

Chill and RelaxedEasy Exams
1hrs / week Low difficulty High value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumusculast year

Absolutely loved taking this class with Professor Gumuscu. She's clearly passionate about the topic and that translates through to lectures. She outlines what she expects from you and gives ample amount of time for essays. As long as you do the reading and show up to lectures you can leave the class feeling satisfied.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Average difficulty Very high value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumusculast year

Sebnem is an excellent instructor. While her lectures were sometimes repetitive and often repeated what we had just gone over in our homework readings, she is an excellent discussion leader. She always had time for students to answer questions and the class was super interesting like 90-95% of the time. Great introduction to comparative politics and helped contextualize how the world works. Disclaimer: IP&E major not Poli Sci.

Sebnem is an excellent instructor. While her lectures were sometimes repetitive and often repeated what we had just gone over in our homework readings, she is an excellent discussion leader. She always had time for students to answer questions and the class was super interesting like 90-95% of the time. Great introduction to comparat …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingEasy Grading
2hrs / week Low difficulty Average value Would take again
with Erik Bleichlast year

Professor Bleich is a very clear lecturer and assigns readings that he really explores and evaluates in class. He also provides his presentation slides after class so you can refer back to the lecture. Exams are essays, and you are given a few possible essay questions before exam day, so you can prepare outlines for each one before you learn which you are assigned. I really like this structure.

Professor Bleich is a very clear lecturer and assigns readings that he really explores and evaluates in class. He also provides his presentation slides after class so you can refer back to the lecture. Exams are essays, and you are given a few possible essay questions before exam day, so you can prepare outlines for each one before y …Read more

Constant ReadingFair Grading
2hrs / week Average difficulty Above average value Would take again
with Erik Bleichlast year

I love international politics so I chose to take this class. I want to major in political science. This class was a good introduction to the field of political science. I learned that political science is as much a social science as it is a study of current events and history. Professor Bleich assigned 30 to 60 pages of reading from academic journals per class. However, during class he reviewed all of the important points during class.

I love international politics so I chose to take this class. I want to major in political science. This class was a good introduction to the field of political science. I learned that political science is as much a social science as it is a study of current events and history. Professor Bleich assigned 30 to 60 pages of reading from …Read more

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
5hrs / week Average difficulty High value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

Incredible professor, incredible discussions. felt as though I actually gained something from the class. I enjoyed the peer review for essays, and thought that I was able to grow my writing skills. Would love to take more classes with sebnam!

Chill and RelaxedFair GradingNo Exams
5hrs / week Average difficulty Above average value Would take again
with Ajay Verghese2 years ago

Ajay was a good professor and I thought the class was really interesting. Its one of those classes where if you skim the reading and participate at least a little in class he will like you. The papers aren't the easiest but if any of the material resonates with you the papers can be pretty fun. I personally really liked this class.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
8hrs / week Average difficulty Above average value Would not take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

It is a lecture class and its an intro class so it is boring at the beginning but it gets better... Sebnem is a great professor and does well with the 'boring' material she is teaching. There isn't that much work, and it fills pre-recs for other cool polysci classes.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingFair Grading
4hrs / week Low difficulty Low value Would take again
with Ajay Vergheselast year

I really enjoyed this class with Professor Verghese! The class format is highly lecture-based during the class period and then he will have students bring questions for the discussion sections - super easy and chill grader.

Chill and RelaxedEasy GradingNo Exams
3hrs / week Low difficulty Average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

the class is great as an introduction class to political science. Sebnem is a great professor and she is very understanding of her students. Her grading is very fair. She is always open to students coming to discuss upcoming essays.

Chill and RelaxedFair Grading
6hrs / week Average difficulty High value Would take again
with Natalie Chwalisz3 months ago

Her teaching was a bit disorganized, and I think I would have gained more from this class if I had taken it with a different professor. Overall, the class was easy, except discussions were not properly facilitated.

Chill and Relaxed
5hrs / week Average difficulty Low value Would not take again
with Erik Bleich6 months ago

the course was well taught and very easy to follow. Readings weren't crazy long. Exams were pretty easy since it was questions that were given before hand so you could prep for them easily. Grading on the harsher side and not much feedback.

Tough GradingConstant ReadingDifficult Exams
4hrs / week Some difficulty High value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu9 months ago

Sebum is super sweet and really is a great teacher! She gave great great lectures and there was not much homework beyond readings. Readings could be long and tedious and sometimes there were pop-quizzes in the class.

Chill and RelaxedConstant ReadingEasy Grading
8hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would take again
with Erik Bleich8 months ago

Honestly, I would recommend taking this course with a different professor. I liked the content of the course and think its a good background in comparison, but Professor Bleich lectured in a pretty traditional and not super exciting way.

Fair Grading
5hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would not take again
with Natalie Chwalisz8 months ago

This class requires weekly readings and discussion posts with some dense language - overall chill, easy class - but often does require some background information on global politics to be an active participant in lectures/discussions

Constant ReadingEasy GradingNo Exams
4hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would take again
with Sebnem Gumuscu2 years ago

Sebnum does a great way at being enthusiastic while teaching and tries to relate it back to current events to keep students engaged. The three essays required for the semester parent too challenging and she's always able to help at office hours. Although, there is a decent amount of reading but you don't have exams.

Constant ReadingFair GradingNo Exams
2hrs / week Average difficulty Average value Would take again