Prof. Hala

  • Nice post. On the Libya piece, you’re right to conclude that many Libyan citizens won’t speak ill of the government out of fear of gvt reprisals, not because they think the country is all that — which is why they’re leaving. However, I wouldn’t assume that the noncitizen guest workers (from places like Bangladesh & […]

  • Those are all helpful comments, Francisco. Thanks. And you’ve hooked into a common theme across many responses: the less straight ‘lecturing,’ the better. This feedback will definitely influence my approach to undergrad courses in the future — move away from lecture towards other modes of delivering course content.

  • Prof. Hala commented on the blog post Extra Credit 6 years, 6 months ago

    I hear you on the preference for small class sizes — believe me, this is one point on which students like you and faculty totally agree. Unfortunately, the way things are going, especially in public colleges, class sizes (i.e., student-teacher ratios) are only increasing. If possible, get into as many of those more intimate classes […]

  • One last thing. A student from another class responded to this, arguing that college is less important to him b/c he plans on attending law school, which had me scratching my head since plans to attend grad school is perhaps the main reason why college matters (he thinks it’s enough to have a decent GPA […]

  • Hmm. You’ve got me scratching my head, Josh. I thought it was conventional wisdom that one’s college record matters if for no other reason than for grad school admission. No doubt LSATs are critical, perhaps the most critical, component of an application. But top tier schools have plenty of high scorers to choose from, so […]

  • Lively post. Just to be clear, as an enlisted soldier in the US Army, Manning is bound by a different set of standards than, for example, a civilian journalist. His defense isn’t likely to hinge on the protections of the 1st amendment. Rather, the case for Manning’s defense will probably be based on the argument […]

  • Yes, I’m coming to see the light on PowerPoints. My previous teaching experience was mostly discussion-focused and I lectured very little. I acted more as a facilitator. I had never used PPT until I came to Queens College. I didn’t rely on it much during my first ‘trial-by-fire’ semester here. But then I got the […]

  • Even with the Powerpoints online and my repetition of definitions and descriptions of key concepts, there are many students who still fail to comprehend the central social research concepts of the course. Sociology has a vocabulary of its own and learning it, like learning a new language, requires a certain amount of (boring) memorization and […]

  • First-years REPRESENT! You seem wise beyond your years in college, Samantha (and have performed at the level of the most advanced students). I think you’re right, and this holds especially for bigger public universities, you get out of college what you put into it. So by the end of four years, I expect you will […]

  • Ah, so now the truth comes out! I appreciate your honesty, Lisa. But I question the assumed link between attendance and learning. Perhaps strict enforcement of class attendance will promote discipline and rule-following. But even this may come at a cost. I do not think that simply attending a class means a student is learning. […]

  • Good insight, Safia, about how both extremes of instruction — too loose and too strict — can be counter-productive. And I’d echo Mike’s points about ‘freedom’ (which I just commented on with regard to Jessica’s post). The kind of ‘freedom’ that comes with living ‘independently’ (meaning away from your parents), not having to work outside […]

  • Congratulations, Jessica! It sounds like you made the right choice in transferring out of ‘Stoneanta’ (I’d never heard that one, too funny). Look at it this way, once you get to move out of your parents,’ you’ll have a real appreciation for freedom. Good luck!

  • Insightful post, David. Your conceptualization of college as a “business” is compelling. I definitely think you’re onto something with your keen observations. Your main argument, linking student outcomes to the quality of instruction, which is shaped by the employment and hiring conditions of instructors, is right on the money, I think. In order…[Read more]

  • A broader sociological observation I meant to make builds on the point about how individual factors (value orientation and starting skills, etc.), individual initiative, and self-reliance increasingly determine learning and post-college success. It seems that college operates increasingly according to a ‘market’ model.

  • Thanks for sharing your insights, Roshnee — this was just the kind of serious, well-considered response I had hoped for. I think the prevailing conditions, especially at public colleges, are such that ‘learning’ (and skills-building) depends increasingly on individual students’ initiative. Resources — for instruction, career or grad school…[Read more]

  • Yes, I’d heard about this — a great case to explore how different norms and rules shape media in different communities, and how secular and religious values can come into conflict.

  • Like Diana and Mike said, great post on an under-discussed issue. Not only does the ‘war’ get less and less attention, there is almost no coverage of ‘life’ in Afghanistan, and how this new ‘democracy’ actually works. The challenges of being a journalist, especially an ‘independent’ one, in such a context are almost unimaginable. Same […]

  • Prof. Hala commented on the blog post Blog 1 6 years, 6 months ago

    Great post, Cynthia. You present persuasive arguments, and use excellent analogies to convey your points. Well done. As you compellingly argue, what’s ‘normal’ and ‘deviant’ (stigmatized, or considered ‘taboo,’ as you put it) — in dress, as well as other modes of expression, public and private behaviors, etc. — varies by culture. Different…[Read more]

  • Nice post, Lisa. Good description and analysis of numerous critical points from the two pieces and the (overlapping) sets of debates they address. On OBL/AQ, indeed, many Americans would be as surprised as you to hear a “more representative sample” of bin Laden’s political claims and stated grievances. Seeing as this figure has been the […]

  • Interesting piece, that looks at the spread of Western clothing styles around the world, from the 19th century to the 1980s! Well done.

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