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April 22, 2009

Course Feedback: Your Thoughts about What You'll Take Away


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Dear Students,

I sincerely hope that you all got something positive or, at least, one useful piece of knowledge or skill that you can . . .

. . . take with you from the course. I know it was tough but most of you persevered and are better-prepared students now than you were at the beginning of the semester. I enjoyed meeting and getting to know you during the short amount of time we spent together through the weeks.

As a closing activity to our course, I’d like to offer each of you the OPTION to leave me a bit of VOLUNTARY feedback. Take a little time, breathe, and, when you have a few minutes to dedicate to this, please drop me a line or two at the blog entry link below and please let me know (Please indicate at the top of your entry by course ID#, etc. which course you are remarking on):

*which readings and/or assignments you liked the most and which you liked the least
*what you enjoyed most from the course, what you enjoyed least from the course
*what activities or assignments were especially enjoyable or useful and which were not.
*Or, just say anything else that you’d like to say, such as what advice you might give another student who might take a course taught by me.

I’m especially interested to know if any of you have gotten inspired to read more (or work more) on something you’ve been exposed to this semester in our class.

I do appreciate it. You will be doing a service for the class that comes after you. I'll try to respond to some of your comments when I get a chance during the break.

If you are leaving after exams, travel safe and enjoy the break.

I’ll see most of you again on campus next semester. Remember to say “hello” when you see (don’t run away!) and, even if you never read anything again like the literature we read for this course, I hope you'll continue to read SOMETHING for the rest of your lives.

Best wishes, as ever,

Dr. Hobbs

P.S. Keep me posted throughout the years on your academic successes. Again, it was a real pleasure to have each of you in my class!


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Posted by lhobbs at April 22, 2009 10:59 AM

Readers' Comments:

Dear Dr. Hobbs,

I really liked the diversity of the authors in this class. They all came from different background and different heritages, which is really what being an American is about. I would have like a little more history or traditional American literature to contrast it with, but I think we just had too much good stuff to fit it.

I picked The Painted Bird as my favorite novel, firstly because it went in chronological order with the plot, so it was easy to understand as far as the actions go, but it also had so many metaphors in it. I loved that every action could be made into a metaphor, like the painted bird being a metaphor for racism or the in-group/out-group mindset that people have. It was fascinating. I also liked the supernatural aspect of the story. I thought it really added some spice and interest to the story without completely taking me out of the modern age. I really connected well to this writing.

As for the theories, I liked the monomyth the best, but I didn’t think it was the most helpful. I loved how the monomyth was transcendental, like it always existed and always would exist, but I didn’t like how different people would match different sections of the monomyth to different parts of the story. It was like it was simple, but tricky at the same time. I felt that the allegory of the cave actually helped me the most in looking at the works, because it forced me to keep in mind where the character was coming from, what frees the character from the darkness, what they are enlightened to, what changes occur in them because of it, and if they can ever return. Instead of saying, “I think it’s here but you think it’s here,” like we were with the monomyth, I could say, “It’s here and here and you see it here so it’s really everywhere.” You could find the allegory everywhere and make different interpretations of it, but with the monomyth it seemed more like a matching game.

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Comments from Instructor:

Thanks for your feedback. I'm curious though. In your opinion, what is "traditional" American literature from the 20th century? All of these are bestsellers, most of them canonical. I do know what you mean about it seeming like there was too much. I did give two weeks per novel---remember, if this were a regular MWF course, you would have had a class meeting on ONE novel six times. We had to squeeze in the time of six classes into two. I also know what you mean about the monomyth not being the same for everyone. It shouldn't be though. Each of our own journeys are unique with unique "meanings" for us. So, we all see different things in these very complicated works. The simpler the work, e.g. "Little Red Riding Hood," the more likely that our interpretations of the monomyth will be more alike. Sounds like you've given it some real thought, thanks!

Posted by: HGeary at April 30, 2008 09:08 PM

Hello Dr. Hobbs,

My favorite literature from this semester in class was The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. What I liked the most about this novel was learning about the “lost generation” and the expatriates. I feel a connection to the way that the characters in the novel lived because my Aunt and Uncle lived in England for four years and traveled all over Europe while they lived there. They have told me many stories about how different the lifestyle is in Europe. They loved to go out and drink and have lunch at the cafes. They have picture books filled with pictures of different places that they visited and buildings and houses that they liked. This gave me a setting that I pictured as I was reading through the book. This novel definitely reinforced my previous idea of the lifestyle in Europe.

Overall, my favorite theory that we learned about this semester in class was the Monomyth by Campbell. I had never heard of it before and I enjoyed applying it to everything. Every time I watch a movie now, I try to apply the Hero’s Journey to it in some way. It always seems to fit in there somewhere, I think it is amazing.

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Comments from Instructor:

I'm glad you got so much out of the course. Will you someday be an *expatriate* too? If so, please keep us posted here on the blog! Maybe you'll be the next expatriate author we'll all read about someday.

Posted by: C. Bell at April 30, 2008 10:34 PM

Dr. Hobbs:

I can honestly say that I was not looking forward to taking this class at all. I do not like to read and knew that I would have to in order to finish this class and do well. I realized that I have never read a whole book in my life. I was assigned books to read in high school, but I always read spark notes. I slacked off and would not take the time to read the books. I did not like to do it and thought it was a waste of my time. This class was the first time that I actually read a book; I finished five over the course of the semester and got a great deal of benefits from this. I enjoyed reading the books that we read.

Johnny Got His Gun was my favorite book from the semester. I really thought I could connect with Joe and could almost feel what he was feeling. I know that you can never put yourself in that place, but there was so much description in the book that it helped so much. Also, I got to see that war really is an inhumane thing. Although it brings a great deal of good to countries at times, it can be so detrimental to the soldiers that have to fight in the war.

I think that learning about the Allegory in the Cave was very interesting. It helped a great deal because it can be related to psychology, which I did not know prior to taking this class. We discussed it in my Abnormal Psychology class the other day. I did not know that this theory could be related to so many things in psychology. I also liked learning about the Monomyth. I did not know about this before taking this course and did not realize that it can be applied to so much. The monomyth can be found in almost every movie and work of literature.

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Comments from Instructor:

Thanks Michelle, I'm happy that you found a way to apply anything you discovered on our journey in this course to your other courses. I'm all about making interdisciplinary connections whenever possible. I hope you will continue to read new books long after this course now!

Posted by: Michelle E. at April 30, 2008 11:44 PM

Professor Hobbs,

Out of all of the books we read this semester my favorite was Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. The main reason I liked this novel is because I like stories that deal with the inner self and an inner monologue. In fact, for my own personal reading I usually pick a memoir, autobiography or biography. In addition, I am a pacifist and human rights advocate so it really hit me as a powerful piece of literary art. I also connected with Joe because my thought process is very similar to his.

I really took a lot from Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth as well. The monomyth made a lot of sense to me since I am an opera singer and the monomyth applies to so many stories used in opera like The Magic Flute and Orpheus in the Underworld. It also helps me to understand the reasons for the hero’s action and helps me with the characterization of different roles.

I would just like to add that I really enjoyed this course. This was something I had to take for education core. I’m a music major and I have a really hard time getting into classes that are not music related, but I really liked this course and got a lot out of it.

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Comments from Instructor:

Thanks Candice. And I like music majors! It was a pleasure to have you as a student in this course.

Posted by: Candice S at April 30, 2008 11:52 PM

Dear Professor,

While considering all of the literature we read throughout this semester I would have to say that I liked Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun the best. I found the tragedy of this novel shocking. I feel that this novel shows the true horror of war and what could potentially occur to soldiers fighting for our Country. Unless you are a member of the armed forces you can’t possible know the true horror they face on a daily basis. This helped to remind me about what today’s soldiers and their families are facing and fighting for.

In addition, this novel helped to reinforce that the human spirit is limitless. The way that Joe overcame his situation and made communication with the world possible is incomprehensible.

I also appreciated the psychological theory the best out of all of the theories discussed in class. I think this is because my major is human services and I plan to go on to be a therapist. I tend to look at the characters in literature and try to locate their inner struggles as opposed to what is openly apparent and readily available to the reader. I enjoy seeing a character overcome a situation or gain the empowerment needed to survive a particular circumstance.

I found this class challenging and at times overwhelming; however, I feel that to know one’s true potential a challenge is necessary. I appreciate all of the time and effort you took as an instructor to share your knowledge with us and push us to achieve our best.

Posted by: T. Wineland at May 1, 2008 11:26 AM

Farewell Dr. Hobbs!

Because I am an English major, I have certain expectations for lit classes when I go into them. I thought this class would be just like all of my other American lit or British lit classes, in that we would be discussing "Classic" literature (otherwise known by most non-English majors as stuffy, old books), but I kind of like that stuff, so I was fine with that. My expectations weren't met, and I'm glad! I really liked the fact that I've only read two other works before this class ("A Jury of Her Peers" and "Fences). I thoroughly enjoyed reading some different, modern material.

Hemingway was my favorite author that we read this semester. I love how literature can take a 21st century girl like myself, and place me back in the "Lost Generation." Learning about that lavish lifestyle was so interesting for me; I kind of wish I was there! It was also interesting to see the effects of life post-war for the characters. I find it fascinating how the insecurity and the issues of masculinity can be traced directly to the war. Brett's strong character also made my inner feminist come out.

The theory that I found most interesting was Campbell's monomyth. It was one of those things that when you hear it, it just clicks! I couldn't help but thinking, "Wow, why haven't I ever realized this before?" I now find myself applying the monomyth to everything that I watch on TV and that I read.

Posted by: Chera P. at May 1, 2008 11:47 AM

Dr. Hobbs-

During class I decided that I liked Dalton Trumbo’s Novel, “Johnny Got His Gun” the best out of any of the other novels or short stories that we read because of the amount of detail in the story and also the amount irony that was entailed in the story. I actually felt bad for the protagonist after reading this story. In addition to Trumbo’s novel, I liked Plato’s Allegory of the Cave because I had never been introduced to this theory before, and after learning and researching it, I really enjoyed learning about it.

Thomas A.

Posted by: Thomas A. at May 1, 2008 02:32 PM

Prof. Hobbs,

I love to read in my free time, however, I realized that I never get around to reading until summer time because school is so demanding. In the summer time, I fly through novels, mostly romance and drama. I was dreading taking this course because I thought the books we would have to read would be boring, confusing, and/or too difficult to comprehend. With taking 16 other credits and working at a 120 hour internship, it was very challenging finding the time to read five novels. However, I managed, and I enjoyed many of the novels that were assigned and I am glad I had the opportunity to read texts I would have never picked up if had they not been required. I enjoyed reading Johnny’s Got His Gun and the Painted Bird the most out of the novels, and I enjoyed reading all of the short stories as well, especially On the Road.

The Painted Bird told a story of events that could have or really did happen during the Holocaust. It was very informative and it tugged on my heart strings. I couldn’t put the text down, because I wanted to know what happened to the little boy next. I was very cinematic to me and the protagonist seemed very real. As a future educator, I plan to educate my students about the Holocaust, but on an elementary level. This book painted a picture to show what it was really like during that time period, so it will only help make me a better history teacher.

For my research paper, I connected two of my favorite texts and one theory together. Those texts were Johnny’s Got His Gun and On the Road, and the theory was the hero’s journey. I enjoyed learning about the monomyth and found it very beneficial to understand the cycle. I will take what I learned from the monomyth cycle on with me as a future educator because it clearly describes a hero’s journey, which may be helpful in teaching it to young children. I sympathized with the protagonists from Johnny’s Got His Gun and On the Road and I admired how strong willed they remained during extreme circumstances. Even though these texts were not bright and happy, they were enjoyable to read.

Posted by: A. Swartz at May 1, 2008 02:36 PM

Dr. Hobbs,

Out of all the books we’ve read, I like Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got His Gun” the most. The book had an interesting plot and was a good read. At first, I didn’t understand that there were flashbacks and after a few chapters it was clear to me. I enjoy reading books on war and the outcome it has on individuals. It touched me at the end when the doctors were unable to give him what he wanted. If that were I, I would not want machines to keep me alive. I couldn’t bear the idea of how that man did it. The book reminded me of courage of one man’s life, struggling to make it under t she circumstances he was put in.

The theory I liked most was the Monomyth by Joseph Campbell. It is an interesting perspective that can be put to any novel, story, etc. With more complex readings, the Monomyth can help you understand more about the protagonist and what they are going through. I enjoyed knowing how the theory works with stories. I liked putting the Monomyth to use within the books and short stories we were reading.

Posted by: Amanda F. at May 1, 2008 04:19 PM

Dear Professor Hobbs:

This class is so interesting, we talked about a lot of books and little stories in the class. Everyone of them have some special meaning and really worth to learn it. I loving reading but before I stat this class before, it’s so hard for me to sit and read a whole book in English because English is my second language. When I try to read a book I always have problem to be focused on it. And now I think I can do it after this class.

My favorite book in this semester we discussed in class is “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, Walker talked about how people changed when they had be influenced by different culture, which is actually similar to me. It is very confused about when all those culture shock and things from other culture come to me. That’s why I like it.

The leaning about the “Allegory in the Cave” is also interesting. I used to know this in the Psychology class, but I didn’t know what exactly it is. This class actually give me some examples when Professor Hobbs asked us to find things linked with it in those books.

Posted by: Yichuan S. at May 1, 2008 09:20 PM

Although I can appreciate each piece of literature in it's own way, my favorite book in this call was The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Perhaps it was because the cast of characters drinking and socializing their lives away reminded me of the people from my early twenties. Or perhaps it was because I could appreciate Lady Brett's style of being who she was without apologizing. But mostly I think it was because I appreciate the style of Hemingway, and his ability to make so many characters important to the story, not just the protagtonist. I still also believe that this is a love story in it's truest form...knowing who you want, but not being able to have them.
The theory of the metaphor "fences" was my favorite theoretical model. The monomyth, although very popular always seems to fit best in science fiction type material. Plato's Allegory of the Cave , while true, is very overdone. I could connect with the idea of tearing down fences to let people in on a very emotional level. I could also connect it to the world today, with countries building fences to keep their people in, and their neighbors out.

Posted by: Jodi S. at May 1, 2008 10:01 PM

Dr. Hobbs . . .

For me, my favorite literature was Hemingway's, "The Sun Also Rises". Within the book were multiple characters and multiple situations in which all the character's drama was intertwined. I have spent many days and night within the Oakland setting. I found, while reading this book, that my Oakland friends and the characters from the novel shared similar characteristics. I feel that this ultimately peaked my initial interest. And, being one of the first novels the class read, really helped keep me the most interested.

The second pick of mine was The Hero's Journey. I tend to be a very audio and visual person. So, for me, knowing about this pattern will help me understand movies and music better. Also, I feel that it will make them, (whether books, movies, or music) more exciting and more interesting to follow. It has more or less increased my critical thinking skills within watching/reading stories.

As someone who really is not a faithful reader and or someone who is not an English person in anyway, I sure did pull a lot out of this class. I was defiantly not looking forward to this course at all and I have never found myself being excited about picking up a book and reading it. I think now though, that I would actually venture out to pursue a novel and enjoy it. On top of that, I see myself thinking critically about each one that I would read. I think the book selections were the best possible, for my situation at least. I feel overall this was a good course for me to take and that you, Dr. Hobbs, were the best instructor choice, for me at least, in this course.

Posted by: Chris K. at May 1, 2008 10:10 PM

Professor Hobbs -- I really enjoyed the diversity of the texts in this class. My favorite example of 20th century American literature was Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated. I think that his style of writing is very refreshing…I didn’t quite know what to expect as I was reading the book and I really enjoyed that. It wasn’t predictable. I was intrigued by the subject matter of this book also. Knowing a little of the author’s history and experiences, I found it very interesting how he approached the subject of Judaism. I feel that perhaps he was struggling with his own feelings on the subject and that it is something the reader gets to share with him as they are reading the book and trying to figure everything out.

I enjoyed all of the theories that we studied but Joseph Campbell’s monomyth really stood out for me. I really enjoyed watching the documentary about him (maybe you could let me know the name of it?). Although it is obviously there, I had never really thought much about it before. I found all of the sub-phases to be really interesting. I found myself thinking about it a lot when I was working on my research paper. It was interesting to see how it existed in Kosinski’s novel and Everything is Illuminated.

This class was very interesting to me and I was grateful for the opportunity to discover some authors I had never heard of before, particularly the authors of the short stories and August Wilson. I was glad that you did include some women authors but I would have really enjoyed reading a novel written by a woman as well. I thought that the theoretical approaches were all valuable. Even though the study of racial/ethnic/gender conflict is sort of a “fallback” as you had said, I was able to pick up on things I hadn’t noticed my first time reading through the text, when we had our discussions about it in class. I think a mixture of whole class discussion and group activities would work better than doing group work the majority of the time. Often it seemed like there were too many activities and I think the review of some of the group work was often cut short because of time issues. I feel that there was a lot of discussion that we missed out on. Aside from that, I really enjoyed the blog and being able to track everything we did over the course of the class. I also thought it was very valuable to have film and other media incorporated into the class. I am a new student in the field of writing/literature and due to family/child commitments I am working through school very slowly. I am open to any texts that you might suggest on literary theory or any great literature that you would highly recommend…thanks!!

Heather S.

Posted by: Heather S. at May 1, 2008 10:11 PM

Hi Dr. Hobbs.

In class we have read many different stories this semester. My all time favorite one would have to be Alice Walker’s Everyday Use. First of all, I liked it because it was a very easy read. It wasn’t too long or too hard to understand. Secondly I loved that little bit of sibling rivalry between Dee and Maggie. Even though they didn’t really argue that much in the story, the reader could still tell that Maggie felt a little inferior to her older sister because of her looks and intelligence. I think that this truly added uniqueness to the story because without it, the story would have been incredibly boring. I also liked the fact that it was so realistic. I think that the sibling rivalry, Dee’s big identity change and mama’s having to make the tough decision were very realistic factors. I am very glad that I got the chance to read this story.

The most interesting thing that we learned in class this semester in the monomyth. I had never heard of this theory until we learned it in class. After I really thought about the concept of it, I realized that every character in the story goes through a journey sort of like the monomyth. Overall I thought this class was a major challenge but in the end it taught about many diverse authors and stories.

Shayla S.

Posted by: Shayla S. at May 1, 2008 11:18 PM

Dr. Hobbs, choosing my favorite reading was difficult. I settled on Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises as my favorite due to the fact that I felt I could relate to the writing. I did find a personal relation with the characters, specifically Brett. This made what I thought would be a completely unpalatable text more enjoyable. After our dissection of the piece, I was able to appreciate Hemingway for the great author he was.

I also felt a personal connection with Fences, relating that piece to my childhood. I also found a correlation of sorts when reading Foer’s novel. My current profession as a writer allowed me to draw inspiration from this amazing work.

I appreciated viewing the texts with a psychologically-based thought process. This allowed me to experience a more personal relationship with the characters.

Vivian C.

Posted by: Vivian C. at May 2, 2008 01:01 AM

My favorite novel out of all the ones we read was Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated. Even though starting out the book was confusing, the way it was set up made it more interesting to pull the whole story together, and is what I liked most about the novel. I found it easy to relate to the novel because of the ages of the two protagonists, Jonathan, and Alex. They are around the same age are as me.

My favorite theory was Plato’s Allegory of the cave. For me it was easy to grasp and put together that light led to truth, and the darkness of the cave was ignorance. I had not been introduced to this theory before this class, and it was interesting to try and think of something like that actually happening somewhere.

I really enjoyed the diversity of books we went over in class, as well as the short stories. I find that with out even realizing it, I’m seeing metaphors and symbolisms everywhere. This class has definitely been an illuminating experience to the works, styles, and structures of literature.

Posted by: Samantha G. at May 2, 2008 02:23 AM

Hello Dr. Hobbs,

I enjoyed your class very much it helped me separate creative writing and academic writing from each other. The overall class was very helpful, but some of my classmates were boring as hell. The majority of them didn't even try to make the class better than it was. Which made me feel bored and tired, which I don't like. thank for your time.

Have a safe a nice winter break.

Dominic H.

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Comments from Professor:

Thanks Dominic. You are right, of course. It is very difficult to make a class dynamic and interesting when you get a group of students who either won't do the readings and/or won't participate in the class discussions. Maybe it was because it was a very early morning class? Not all of my sections are like that--it just happens sometimes. I hope to see you again in one of my future classes. I appreciated your participation!.

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dominic H. at December 11, 2008 12:50 PM

At first I was really worried about your class, Im not going to lie. However, after the first couple of weeks after I realized what you wanted it became easier. I really enjoyed the discussions alot because it gave me a better understanding of the text.

I really enjoyed the tests too because it almost forced me to read even though at times I did not want to. I know that if there was not a test every other day I probably wouldn't have read and got out of the class what you wanted. I really enjoyed all the readings. I have heard of them before but not actually took the time to read them.

Overall, I think that you are a very great teacher and really understood the material well. This filtered over onto us and make me learn a lot more about English literature. I will always be making connections to the Allegory of the Cave and the Monomyth now. Thank you for a very interesting class and the hard work was definitely worth it.

Nichole T.

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Comments from Professor:

Thanks for that Nicole--I'm glad you were able to take away something positive from a course that seemed terrible at first!

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Nichole T. at December 11, 2008 12:59 PM

Dr. Hobbs,

I would have to say that i was definitely challenged in my final literature course of my academic career (knock on wood). Your course not only brought great works to our exposure but it also challenged us to look beyond simple plot points and overviews. From your explanation of dichotomies, to the Monomyth, and even the twist on the Allegory of the Cave. I would have liked to see you focus on Dante's Inferno: The Divine Comedy. I think that would have been very profitable in comparison with Paradise Lost.

The one thing I think you should fix is maybe reducing the amount of time on group questions. Most of the time we never made it through the exercise. I would have to say I enjoyed the group lecture much more. I felt I was able to take much more away from the story.

Thanks for a great experience and I hope you continue to enjoy teaching at Saint Leo.

-PEACE

Joseph S.

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Comments from Professor:

Thanks Joseph for that helpful feedback. You are correct about the discussion time...two factors were against us this time: we had a large class and only 50 minutes for a meeting. That formula will probably work better with a smaller class and a longer class period such as the T/Th. ones.

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Joseph S. at December 11, 2008 01:03 PM

At first the class appeared to be one of which would test my time management, listening skills, and would present itself to be a class where independence would flow. We needed to realize that we can't always have our hand be held for the rest of our lives and with the syllabus leaving us on our own sometime--that was achieved.

The stringency of the grading left myself with a better understanding of academic writing and will help me in all aspects of life. Overall this class was a very stimulating academic experience with no complaints.

Ron C.

Posted by: Ron C. at December 11, 2008 01:37 PM

I liked that you made little jokes here and there to keep the class focused. A lot of the things you did were funny and your style of presentation was enough to keep my attention.

The stories were mostly good. Gilgamesh was very interesting and the assigned readings for the papers were good too. The only thing I didn't like was that cursed Aeneid...the storyline still doesn't make that much sense to me.

Quinten J.

Posted by: Quinten J. at December 11, 2008 01:55 PM

I thought that this class was very useful, and I learned a lot about how to write academically.

Thanks Dr. Hobbs,

Allyn T.

Posted by: Allyn T. at December 11, 2008 03:17 PM

Hey Dr. Hobbs,

I really enjoyed your class and everything that came with it. I was worried in the beginning about what my grade was going to be and how much work had to be done but that fear was gone very soon! I understood very quickly that as long as we work with you, you'll work with us. You are a very fair teacher who makes class interesting but not a joke for people. We had to do a lot of work and be prepared for each class meeting but in the end, it was worth it.

I enjoyed every text and story in this class and with the monomyth, dichotomy and the allegory of the cave I was able to look further into what we were reading and it is also something I will carry on to my future.
I hope there will be another class that I can join in the future with you as an instructor!

Merry Christmas and see you next year,

Anna R.

Posted by: Anna R. at December 12, 2008 10:12 PM

Overall I gained a lot lot of knowledge and English experience from this course. I most enjoyed learning about the older works that I did not know a lot about in the class.

D.J. G.

Posted by: D.J. G. at December 13, 2008 12:08 PM

I stumbled upon your blog, or class blog doing a search one day in seeing if any college courses use blogs in teaching and learning with students. I remember reading this blog through the semester. I found it very interesting to see online interaction between you and your students in your English course. I really look forward to reading more on this blog.

KELVIN

Posted by: KELVIN at December 14, 2008 04:20 AM

Feedback session is now closed. Thanks to all of you who participated!

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at December 15, 2008 10:42 AM

ENG 340: ST: Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

Dr. Hobbs,

One thing that I would have liked to have seen more of is, even though this is a Literature based class, more of the class films that I believe everyone should see. Movies like “Schindler’s List” and “La Bella Vita” movies that aren’t just made for people to see but movies with a purpose to be made. These are movies that have stood the test of time (even though they are both made in the 90’s) but people still talk about them because of the impact that they made. They touched people with what they are saying. They aren’t just telling a story but an actual history lesson in action. I thought that novels that we read were great and very informative of what happened back in those days as well. I think that also maybe if there is time to watch the movies that were presented to class as well to get a well-rounded aspect of what happened. Reading the stories is one way, it also gets the point across because of those who are reading it are using their minds and imagination but when people actually see what happened in front of them it also leaves them with a more power impact and that it really happened. I would recommend this class to a friend, I have already told people about it and they seem very interested in taking it just because it is the Holocaust and we are basically reading peoples lives, answering the questions of what happened to people while they were in there, what they were thinking and also how did those who survive... how did they make it out alive. I will take away everything that we talked about in class. Just hearing peoples different views of the Holocaust and how they saw one of the things that I maybe didn’t see. I thought that it was a great class because of the subject and because it was very small and intimate.

Renee

Posted by: Renee Forero at April 22, 2009 11:29 AM

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Thanks Renee, I'm glad you got so much from the course. I will take what you've said about including more film into consideration.

Hope to see you in more of my courses in the future!

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at April 22, 2009 04:16 PM

ENG 435: Literary Theory

Hey Dr. Hobbs,

Well, thank you for your willingness to tackle a subject like Literary Theory! I enjoyed the class and appreciate the exposure, especially because it appears grad school will be inundated with it. I enjoyed focusing on our 3-4 smaller works where we could apply the theories in an intimate way. I actually enjoyed the conference paper the most out of any assignment, and the handouts you gave were helpful also.

See you in the fall,

Liz

Posted by: Liz H. at April 22, 2009 08:58 PM

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Thanks Liz and I'll look for you too in the Fall. It was a pleasure to have you in my class this Spring

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at April 22, 2009 10:51 PM

ENG 122 CA16: Academic Writing II

Dr. Hobbs,

I thought the reading along with watching the play helped to grasp a better understanding by visualization.

I enjoyed the commitment of the professor the most in working with the students on a professional level.

The peer reviews are always helpful, I would like to have more of them. On the other hand, not as many reading checks.

I would advise future students to keep up from day one and do not lose faith because with Dr. Hobbs you will become a better reader/writer by the end and this is imperative to all educational endeavors. This class is too important to not care. Also keep up on the syllabus, everything is there in black & white. Dr. Hobbs is truly an inspiration and helpmeet, do not let this blessing pass you by.

John Winans

Posted by: John Winans at April 23, 2009 08:45 AM

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Thanks John for that feedback. I think your hard work this semester will pay off in your final score for the course. Good job!

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at April 23, 2009 04:10 PM

ENG 435: Literary Theory

Dr. Hobbs,

I was really impressed with Literary criticism. I have been interested in this topic for a while now. And getting to take a course devoted to it was awesome. I really enjoyed the balance of shorter assignments with longer readings. Also, the conference paper style research assignment was very cool. I spoke with you at the Sandhill readings and expressed my impression of the conference papers. But it is worth reiterating how awesome an experience it was. The postmodern way you run class is also helpful. It provides a level of comfort that is very appreciated.

Thanks again,

Wesley Johnson

Posted by: Wesley J. at April 24, 2009 11:34 AM

ENG 340: ST: Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

Honestly, I found this course to be extremely informative and well-constructed. Although the content matter of the course was emotionally difficult, having the course include more books than movies was a smart choice so that the emotional impact was reasonably distributed. However, seven books I think were too many to include in one semester. After reading the last one, I felt that it began to seem the same as the other books, and all the stories ran together in my head. Thus, I think that fewer books should have been read and more individual looks on movies with subsequent presentations could replace one or two books. Overall, I would definitely recommend this course to a classmate as I feel that it is important to learn about history, so perhaps we can learn from past mistakes, becoming a part in allowing history to not repeat itself.

Posted by: Jessica Pall at April 27, 2009 02:44 PM

ENG 340: ST: Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

I believe this course has enough good things going for it. It is easy enough, the texts were readable (though they were downers), and I ended up learning more about the Holocaust than I had when I began. Although I think making the real class title being clearer when signing up (since I didn’t know it was going to be about the Holocaust when I signed up for it). I liked watching the movies (The Grey Zone and Defiance) and would have liked the movies being more available. I liked going to see Defiance with the class and then talking about the Holocaust in Chic-Fil-A. I also liked meeting some more new people in the classroom and discussing ideas. I would recommend this class to a friend because of the learning experiences.

Posted by: Erin Kollar at April 27, 2009 06:25 PM

ENG 340: ST: Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

Dr. Hobbs,

I enjoyed taking the course. I think that the course went smoothly. I think that more books like Maus should be incorporated in to the class as to give more diversity of the books and to help the students not get so emotionally drained from the subject matter of the course. I also think that showing movies was a good thing because while it was graphic and sometimes hard to see, it gave a realization of to what happened during the Holocaust. I think the class should have been more of an open book club forum in where the students are allowed to talk about how the book made them feel. I will take away more knowledge of the Holocaust. I would recommend this course to a friend because it is a good course with a good content that people need to know more about. I really enjoyed taking this class.

Monefa Furlongue

Posted by: Monefa Furlongue at April 28, 2009 12:28 AM

English 340 - Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

The course, given the subject, should not be scheduled during a three hour long slot. The chance of depression is increased with every hour when discussing this kind of material. The most inconvenient aspect of the class was that laughter to alleviate the tension or darkness of the subject seemed somewhat disrespectful. The topic is a difficult one to handle in the class but, given the conditions, the class was very good.
I would suggest more movies or film clips during the classes to add a visual aspect to the Holocaust literature experience. The movies like The Grey Zone and the clips from Schindler’s List and the other movies that presentations were given on were some of the most engaging material of the class. The texts were more informative and in many instances more interesting but the movies provided a visual context to project the texts onto while reading and discussing them.

Posted by: Jamison Whitney at April 28, 2009 12:47 AM

ENG 340: ST: Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

Dr. Hobbs,

Firstly, I would like to say that I did truly enjoy this course, not due to the graphic and horrific tragedy that happened, but it opened my eyes to a lot of things. To make this course improve, I would have liked to have gotten a better understanding of the Nazi side of things. I want to understand why they thought it was okay to under take these horrific actions. I would have also liked to have learned about a German figure who did not appreciate this act known as the Holocaust and if they did anything to stop it. Maybe every class, present one historic figure, whether for or against the Holocaust, and get some background information on them. I also really would have liked to have gone with the class to the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. That was one thing I was excited about doing, but due to the end of the semester, I understand why we could not go. Definitely for the next Holocaust class, I think you should take them to the Holocaust Museum.

I believe that seven books was a little much for me. I enjoyed all of the books, but after the fifth book, I started confusing other books with the one we were reading. A possible suggestion is have four mandatory books and elaborate on them. I would suggest that the books would be completely different styles or stands from the other ones. This is just a suggestion. In all honest, this class really opened my eyes to the Holocaust and the events that occurred. I have learned more here from a literature class than I have in any of my history books. I will remember all of the books we read and all the discussion we had. The documentaries were amazing, and I would continue that aspect on for future classes.

I would definitely recommend this class to a friend who doesn’t know much about the Holocaust because it truly opened my eyes to almost every area that I was confused on and/or did not understand. The Holocaust survivors are beginning to pass away, and the true tales of this horrific time period are dying out. We must continue to teach what happened to the many thousands of people to help prevent it from happening again. Thank you, Dr. Hobbs, for this course. You truly opened my eyes to a lot of things. I truly appreciate it.

Emily Belvo

Posted by: Emily Belvo at April 28, 2009 12:54 AM

English 340 - Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

I enjoyed this class more than any of my other classes this semester by far. I have very little that I would change about this course to tell the truth. I suppose the only feedback I can give is that I would not have the students create any quiz questions, ever. The only time I did well on the quizzes is when the teacher made them. I do like the students’ presentations and discussions though. So I would recommend maybe keeping the movie presentations, and we watch the movies in class, and have the student discuss the movie in a presentations and talk about the tone and symbols, ect.

J. Merrigan

Posted by: J. Merrigan at April 28, 2009 10:24 AM

English 340 - Imagining the Holocaust in Literature and Film

Dr. Hobbs,

I would like to see writing from the Nazi side of it. Maybe the account of a guard who was there and tried to stop it. Before the class I watched “Valkyrie” and I enjoyed seeing that Hitler’s own men were attempting to stop it. I would definitely recommend this course to friends, along with some of the literature independently of the class. I learned about myself through the literature, for me that was the best experience because it forced me to think what I would do if I was placed in such a situation. It’s not easy to do and it’s still hard to think of.

Lori Perreault

Posted by: Lori Perreault at April 28, 2009 12:53 PM

ENG 435: Literary Theory

Dr. Hobbs,

I thoroughly enjoyed the lit crit course this semester and greatly appreciated the discourse held with you and my fellow students. At first, I was unsure about the effectiveness of the weekly short papers, but looking back, I appreciate this aspect of the course. The short papers forced me to interact with the curriculum frequently, and in a class where difficult material was covered, constant interaction was helpful. I found the theories and texts that we covered over this semester to be extremely fascinating, and I am looking forward to exploring more literary criticism on my own. Also, your style of teaching (I believe previously described as postmodern) kept the class and coursework fresh and interesting.

Thanks for an enjoyable class,
Travis R

Posted by: Travis R at April 28, 2009 02:19 PM

ENG 435 Literary Criticism

Dr. Hobbs,
I really enjoyed taking lit. crit. this semester with you. I felt that your approach to teaching lit. crit. made for a fun and interesting class. I have to say that my favorite part of the course was the conference paper. It was a nice change from the traditional final exam. I believe that many of the theories we covered in class will be useful in my future educational endeavors. I am looking forward to taking Sci-Fi in the fall.

For all future students: Dr. Hobbs has certain expectations and is willing to help as long as you are serious about your education.

Thanks again for all of your help, Dr. Hobbs.
Ava

Posted by: Ava L at April 28, 2009 08:36 PM

ENG 122 CA17: Academic Writing II

Dr. Hobbs,

First, I would like to thank you so much for a wonderful semester. What I enjoyed the most were the weekly short stories and to not only read but getting the opportunity to write about them with our input as well. I will recommend this class to students. I do not believe I have had such a committed teacher before and because of this I have become a better writer. By taking this course, I have become confident and cannot wait to excel in my further English courses.

Katie Ganning

Posted by: Katie Ganning at May 4, 2009 03:42 PM

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