By: Jimmy Osburn
Journalism 21B has had some high points as well some low points for the Winter 2013 quarter. The work itself has not been too difficult, but the pace at which the course moves can prove difficult for a student who cannot devote 100% of their time to schoolwork.
As someone with a full course schedule as well as a 50+ hour work week, I am always grateful to courses that allow for a little wiggle room and flexibility. You won’t find that in this course.
The exercises are without question useful to garnering the skills you need to make it as a successful feature writer. From critiquing professionally written articles to lead writing and checking for APA errors in the weekly quiz, this course will arm you with the essentials.
One of the more disconcerting areas of the course is the idea that it will be run more as a democracy and that if something isn’t working, the class should talk about it and see if there is a compromise. This is what Professor Farideh Dada explains to the students on the first day. This does not hold up to be true.
For example, it is forbidden to use laptops or tablets or any electronic devices in order to take notes (and there are a lot of notes). Everything must be completed by hand.
If you’re like me, you’re in a world of trouble. Some people just lack the ability to write quickly or in legible shorthand notes. When it was brought up in class that some students need to be able take notes using computers, it was shot down without much of a discussion. The reason being that some people may use it to play video games or surf the web.
The question is “so?” I think it’s important to remember that we’re here because we want to be here; because we’re paying to be here. I am almost 30 years old, I’m not going to a community college to play video games.
There is a lot of material packed into each hour and fifteen minute session, so be prepared to take no more than 12-15 minutes per assignment (excluding quizzes which are generally 20 minutes), meaning you must work quickly.
Papers are due every Tuesday and Thursday and late work is accepted at the cost of a lower grade, naturally.
The course is useful. Professor Dada is kind and pleasant, but some flexibility in the work and rules is needed in order to maximize the chances of success for all students enrolled. Not just the ones with plenty of time on their hands.
If I am grading, Journalism 21B receives a solid C+.