SOSC bird courses
SOSC 1000 9.00 Introduction to Social Science
Semester Taken: Fall-Winter 2013-2014
Professor: Terry Conlin (TA: Farhia)
Breakdown: 20% Tutorial Participation, 20% First Essay, 20% Midterm, 20% Final Essay, 20% Final Exam
Comments: I dropped this course after the fall semester, but have decided to review it anyway because it’s the least I can do after spending thousands of dollars and a few months on it. The material we had to read was dry but not impossible to understand. Terry Conlin is an old-fashioned professor who doesn’t like to use technology; he used overheads, showed a bunch of old films in lecture that didn’t seem relevant to the course material, and has only recently started using a microphone. His lectures are rambling, difficult to understand, and even more difficult to take notes from; I gave up trying to take notes after the first month. This could have been manageable if I had a good TA, but my TA was even worse. She didn’t understand the readings, didn’t properly explain assignments, and was very rude to me when I tried to talk about my mark on the first essay with her. I had misunderstood the assignment instructions due to her failure to explain the assignment properly and had gotten a bad mark; she refused to admit that she wasn’t doing her job properly and told me to go to the professor when she was the one who had marked my work and who was responsible for ensuring that her students understood what her expectations were. The professor was nicer to me than I expected when I discussed my essay with him, but he seemed to have unrealistic expectations of first-year university students and generally seemed to be a pretty volatile individual.
I was discussing my experience with a friend of mine who stayed in the course, and she had a few things to add. Her main point is that the tutorials actually got worse after I left. The TA continued not explaining anything and being utterly unhelpful. There were times when she didn’t go to lecture or arrived late and missed things. Instead of being responsible and asking a fellow TA or the professor what she missed, this TA asked her students what she missed in lecture during her tutorials. She didn’t teach students anything and actually expected them to clarify the material for her; I experienced this myself when dealing with her and it was incredibly frustrating.
Recommend?: No, absolutely not. Your experience may be better if you have a different TA, but I wouldn’t take this particular course unless you can be sure that you have a good TA. The professor himself said that a lot of people drop the course after the first semester and he implied that these people drop because they can’t handle the workload or are just lazy; I can attest to the fact that a lot of people drop this course because it just sucks. There are easier and more enjoyable social science courses to take.
“I took that course with Prof. Jay Goulding, was a challenging course. It was pure philosophy. I learned about Greek Philosophy, Ancient China, Hermeneutics. I took the course during the Winter term. Four books to read but I didn’t read the last one because you had an option to choose what topic to write your essay on. There are three exams and you have to write two essays for each exam.”
“EASY COURSE WITH GOULDING BUT MY GOODNESS, MIND NUMBING. SIMPLY MIND NUMBING. ”
“I took it with Prof. Terry Conlin. Overall, a good prof, explains the concepts well.”
“I had it with Conlin. He’s fantastic. He lectures really well and knows all the concepts inside and out. Just sit in the front section because he doesn’t use a mic. I also found him fast, but just pay attention and you’ll be fine. If you have a laptop, record the lectures as you type. It helps tremendously when it comes close to exams.”
“I wouldn’t say its an easy A, but it depends. If you are good with essays and/or Social Science concepts then it shouldn’t be too hard. My TA was the prof himself and he was a overall a good TA.”
“I took it in my first year, and i disliked it, it was a lot of readings and my ta was extremely difficult. I did end up with a good mark but it was a horribly dry class.”
“Take SOSC 1000 in winter with Prof Jay Goulding — he gives you three tests and the test questions ahead of time. Easiest class ever.”
“Terry Conlin also gives the essay questions for the exam ahead of time as well.. but the class is super boring, I’m taking it over the summer now.. and there is a lot of readings and the books are really expensive.”
“It was easy, but really boring! lol”
“So there were two essays to do, one in the fall and one in the winter term, and when my prof, Terry Conlin spoke in the lectures, he didn’t like to use a mic. So 90% of the students in the huge lecture hall couldn’t hear him. Also, 90% of students would say that going to his lectures are pointless..which is true..
There were weekly readings, and a good amount of them, since this is a 9 credit course, but as long as you skimmed through them, highlighted the IMP parts and participated in tutorial, you’ll get that full 20% tutorial mark. It’s really really easy to get that.
Also, we had a midterm and final, and this course actually got over march 28 which was pretty cool. For both the midterms and final, we had to explain the terms given to easy plus we had essay questions. There were a variety to pick form and you only had to do one essay question and like pick 6 out of the 10 words given. Also the prof gave us the exact question sheet a week before the midterm and final. You didn’t know which out of the 20 words were coming…10 would come, you had to pick 6 or so..but at least you were prepared a week ago..”
SOSC 1200 9.00 Canadian Problems
“Its not an easy 9 credit course. There are lots of reading and 2 essays one essay is a topic discussed in class & the other one is a research paper. There is a midterm and final. The prof is Terry Conlin and the ta I had was Janet she was a good teacher compared to the rest. Cuz terry does not use a microphone. So she explains the lectures better. Over all the course was interesting but not easy. You have to work hard for an A.”
“I had it last semester. It’s a lot of work and really hard. I personally wouldn’t recommend it.”
SOSC 1350 9.00 Gender and the Law
“With Prof. Dowsett. I had her as a TA for tutorial. Finished with a B+. It’s a lot of work and reading, but it isn’t anything to hard, just tedious. I would do it all over again to be honest lol.”
SOSC 1430 9.00 Introduction to International Development Studies
“The Prof was quite a hard marker according to my friend.”
“He’s an amazing Prof. he knows his stuff but if you come late even by 5 minutes he will embarrass you if you try to enter the lecture room. 2 tests and 3 essays (same essay topics each year)”
SOSC 1510 9.00 The Future of Work
“Prof. David Langille, he was a awesome. Wrote one essay on what you wanna be when you grow up, and another on interviewing a person of their job i picked a teacher then writing assignments like 1-2 pages worth like 25% in fall term and winter term. Finally, exams were in class only 10% and he gave exam questions in advance.”
“An interesting course and its not fairly hard you have a book/film review, tutorial attendance, a midterm, weekly questions that he posts and you answer 4 per term and an essay on your future career and a final test. Seems like a lot but compared to other SOSC courses its easy and interesting.”
“So easy and the prof is awesome! Its an easy A if you work hard and do your work!”
SOSC 1700 6.00 Women in Canada
“One of my favorite courses. Make sure Prof. Elizabeth Brule is teaching it and if possible get Naomi as your T.A. B/B+ if you just pass by and not really engage yourself otherwise A/A+.”
“Interesting concepts learned and great breakdown of tests/essays. Brule , if still the prof, really engages her students and the ta’s especially naomi are extremely helpful. You have a say on what your test is on. Recommended”
SOSC 1720 6.00 Social, Political and Economic Themes in Western Civilization(cross listed to HREQ 1720) * approved general education course
I took this course with Prof. Marc Weinstein.
Course Breakdown: 2 essays and a final exam.
I had mixed feelings for this course. Some of the course material was interesting, but there was LOTS of history (so this is a good course if you’re interested in economic history). You MUST go to his lectures because he does not use powerpoint slides or post notes on moodle( but he does use moodle for course announcements). His lectures can be a bit confusing and overwhelming for a first year student. As for the essays they are straight forward and he gives good advice on how to write them.
SOSC 1800 6.00 Childhood and Society
“I thought child and society was a pretty good course and the material was fairly easy
I took it with Prof. Naomi Couto and she was a great lecturer but her tests which were both m/c i found pretty difficult because the answers were very specific
the break down was:
20% 1st test
20% group presentation
20% 2nd test
What the presentation entailed depended on your TA, but for my tutorial we had to pick a chapter from one of the two assigned texts in the course and basically highlight the important details and just overall give the class a better understanding of the concepts involved in that chapter .. most people used powerpoints and the presentation was a group mark
As for the essay i believe it was between 6-8 pages and you could choose to either write on the topic given by the prof or create your own topic, you just have to run it by your TA”
SOSC 1801 6.0 Health Controversies
“2 tests each worth 15%, tutorial is 20%, research evaluation for essay is 15%, essay first draft 15%, and final draft is 20%. Looks like a lot but it really isn’t. The essay parts are all a build-up to the final draft so it actually makes it better that they ask for it in parts. The tests are writing/essay format but also not difficult and because it’s writing on the spot and a first year social science they don’t even expect you writing to be that good yet. – with Prof. Jon Johnson”
“Really easy. The midterm and final are easy, and you work on 1 assignment the whole year.”
“Has 1 essay and 2 midterms. The whole course is pretty much about understanding different health controversies and being able to explain what makes them a controversy. If you put in work, you can easily get an A.”
“Easy course. Hope you get Adrienne Shnier as your TA.”
“I took SOSC 1801 in 2011-2012. Amazing course. If Jon Johnson is teaching that, go for it! Seriously I love that prof! I don’t know what to recommend for the other general education courses, because one of them isn’t offered anymore and the other one I didn’t like because it was extremely disorganized.” “Jon Johnson is the professor, and I have to say he is a pretty incredible lecturer. If you’re interested in your own health, and what may be affecting it, this is definitely a course to take! The best part is that you work on producing one good final university essay throughout the year, on a health controversy topic of your choice (it could be pretty much anything that is debatable)! I recommend that if you find Jon Johnson leading tutorials, that you pick him! I was with Kelly Fritsch in the tutorials, and while she was away for half the year due to family emergencies, Jon did an awesome job leading us as well! Very dedicated, sweet, friendly person! Plus you can always go to him for explanations on your grades, and he’ll often agree to bump your grade up if he agrees that your mark isn’t fair compared to what the comments suggest.Okay, for the assignment portion: there are four assignments throughout the year. The first one is due near the end of October, and it’s a proposal for the topic that you chose. It’s simply talking with your TA about what the topic is, and a chance for you to ask any questions you might have. There is no grade given to this, but it must be approved before you start the next part.The second assignment is a research journal, due in mid-November. You are asked to briefly give details about your research process, and cite at least 4 well-accredited academic sources as well as to describe the main viewpoints and to assess the credibility of these sources. Lastly, you need to put them into discussion with one another (i.e. explain one view, from one author, and compare/contrast it to other author’s views, whether they agree or disagree, or have a different approach to the same topic). This one takes a while – you should not plan on cramming it. I’d advise you to work on one section of the journal at a time, and revise often. This assignment is worth 15% of your final grade.The third assignment is a first draft of the essay that you are going to write. This is due late in January. Even if you didn’t work on this during your winter break, you still have plenty of time to get it done. You are asked to complete only 1/3 of the final essay, and for the other 2/3, elaborate on your plan on completing the remaining parts. This assignment is worth 15%. Upon marking, your TA should provide you with additional feedback, which you must incorporate in your final essay.The fourth assignment, of course, is the final essay, consisting of 8-10 pages of written material. 25% of the essay grade comes from your ability to incorporate your TA’s feedback into the final piece. Accordingly, you must hand in the third assignment and the feedback sheet along with the final essay, to get that 25%. The final essay is worth 20% of your grade. This is not nearly as difficult as it sounds! You already have 1/3 of your essay finished and most of your outlining done. If you just follow what your TA tells you to do, and have done a reasonably good job with grammar and structuring, you can do very well! My final essay was an A+.
So from that assignment portion, you get 50% of your grade. There are two term tests, at the last class (week 12) of both the fall and winter terms, out of 100. (60 Marks) You are asked to define 4 out of the 8 given terms and explain why each is term relates to a health controversy; use examples from both the lectures and the readings to support your viewpoints (no name/date memorization necessary, only a few examples that you wish to use). (40 Marks) Select one of three long-answer questions, and answer it using examples. Follow instructions as given. They may ask you, for instance, to list 4 ways in which the food industry deceives consumers, and then list 6 ways consumers are affected. That means you should write ten paragraphs for this question. Each term test is worth 15%, for 30% total.
The remaining 20% comes from tutorial participation. Attend weekly tutorials, receive attendance, and you have them free!
I’ll discuss a bit about what the lectures cover. In the fall term, you are introduced to health controversies, and the general conflict that arises between different stakeholders (e.g. doctors, government, citizens, companies, regulatory bodies), and what creates the controversies. You then discuss food and body image for the remainder of the fall term. In the winter term, you move on to topics such as workplace safety/hazards, private and public health care, and debates about pharmaceutical industries, drugs, IVF, etc. Very fun course overall. I hope you like the lectures as much as I have, if you decide to take this course. :)”
SOSC 1910 6.00 The Global South, Human Rights, and Development
“Professor Antonio Torres-Ruiz can be a bit boring at times since it is a 3 hour lecture, but overall, it’s an amazing course! Very friendly! The class I had consisted of about 40 students MAX. Course Breakdown… you do a discussion paper on one of the selected books and why it interests you, your midterm and the final, and in February after reading week, there is a book review due (as a continuation off of the discussion paper). The midterm and final were easy, basically discussing issues around colonialism, globalization, inequalities between the Global North and South and the importance of Human Rights! I would recommend it as an easy bird course :)”
SOSC 1920 6.00 Male-Female Relationships
“It’s definitely a listed bird course. But there isn’t much info about the Sexuality, Gender & Society course in terms of assignments, tests or exams.”
SOSC 1930 6.00 Health and Equity
“LOTS of readings for a first year class. On average 50 pages/week. 2 tests worth 25% each and they were marked hard. Concepts are easy but lectures are extremely boring. Kine 1000 was only interesting because Hernan is an amazing prof, so imagine similar concepts with a boring prof. If you decide to take it get Penny as a TA. She marks easy. Risky bc other TAs like Stephen mark very hard. I wouldn’t recommend this class unless you LOVED Kine 1000..and not many Kine students did.”
“It’s a interesting course!…if you’ve taken kine 1000, it’s kinda the same thing. Prof’s exams as based on lecture notes so it’s super easy. Easy 90s. You’ll have to write a couple things like proposals, letters, and essays. Those marks will depend on the TA’s marking. But overall, good course! hope that helps! :)”
SOSC 1950 6.00 Prospects and Perils in the 21st Century
“Take it with with Prof. Walter Perchal, he will be the most amazing prof you’ve ever had in university! Trust me. You don’t need to buy any of the books. He usually just talks.. and there’s about 2-3 essays in the class.. topic could be your choice I believe. I’m not good at essays so I didn’t do too well.. but if you can write a half decent essay you’re good to go! You were allowed to pick any topic he discusses. I picked global warming lol. It was one short essay, and then the 2nd essay was on the same topic but longer. The final exam was an essay in class.. he gave out the topic ahead of time.”
“No mandatory readings. Write 2 essays for the entire year based on topics discussed in class. The final essay as an exam. Great prof. Learned a lot.”
“The easiest social science course ever..only 2 essays! No mid or final…I took it in my first year though ! Easy A.”
SOSC 2110 6.00 Critical Study of Health and Society
“There are 2 essays and 1 mid term and 1 final. The tests are essay based. Not a lot of readings and its so easy to understand. – with Prof. Megan Davies”
SOSC 2350 6.00 Law and Society
“Class was mostly theories and concepts. breakdown was one exam and two essays (one was 4-5pg, the other 12-14pg). It was very boring in my opinion and not exactly a bird course because of all the concepts and legal cases you have to read, but you can definitely do good if you show that you do the readings and understand the theories.”
“There was the two essays plus two quizzes and a final exam. quizzes were easy though. My T.A. was Matthew Mcmanus and hes awesome, if hes teaching the course again I would definitely recommend you be in his tutorial.”
SOSC 2600 9.00 Introduction to World Religions
“Took it, hated it. Had my tutorial with Tony Michael and I wanted to shoot myself. Very critical and expected a lot from first year students. Prof didn’t allow laptops and she spoke so fast and lectures for full 2 hours. Lotssss of readings/2 essays/couple of journals and exams were hard. Course material was interesting if you’re into religion studies.”