Student Comments*

304L Introduction to Macroeconomics, Spring 2001

I thought the way you included social/political/historical factors in your teaching was excellent!  It really broadens the student’s understanding to a higher level.  Too many courses are too narrow in focus, failing to at least relate it to a world view.  Plus the social/historical/political perspective helps incredibly in cementing the economics of the situations.  Your lectures were great – one of the few large classes that is always able to keep my attention.  I loved the essay tests!  I know I had more to say but I forgot – basically all good things though.  I never thought I would enjoy intro to macroeconomics so much – thanks!

I like Cleaver but I hate economics. If you read and do his assignments you should do well.  I didn’t, because I hate eco, so I sucked. But Cleaver is cool.  Hard class, but if you want to actually learn, take Cleaver.

He was interesting. His comparisons of economics and U.S. History helped me understand what macroeconomics was all about.

Cleaver is the most impressive Prof. I’ve meet yet.

I enjoyed most of this class.  I really liked the material that showed the human aspect of economic issues (ex. The Great Depression).  However, the constant mathematical models & graphs were not interesting & seem like something completely distant that in no way effects peoples lives.  Thus, in the future the focus should rest more on the “human” aspects of economics.  Now, as for the professor. Mr. Cleaver is an intelligent, interesting guy who, for the most part offered a unique view economics.  I enjoyed seeing his passion about the subject expressed through his lectures.  Even though some of the content covered was rather dry, he tried to make it interesting.  I’ve never met somebody so thrilled, so interested in economics. Ceteris Paribus is Cleaver’s favorite word.

Professor Cleaver is really smart & knows his shite.  This can be a bit intimidating at the beginning, but when you ask questions, he’s good about explaining until you understand.  Ceterus Peribus, Cleaver, vis a vis big words, is an Econ genius.

The lectures were always full of information that is relevant to the economic world.  He provided a good historical perspective for economics.  Sometimes the lectures are difficult to follow but I found if I was more familiar with the slides I understood the lectures better.

Dr. Cleaver throws out so much information that it is hard to absorb the entire gist of what he is trying to say.  I know this is an introductory course but I feel I could have learned more if the material would have been more centralized.  There were times where my brain hurt from trying to sift through all the material he threw out overall though, I did gain some unique insight into the world of economics.

Cleaver, although very opinionated when explaining the nature and source of Eco, is an awesome prof. I believe that he really expresses the insight needed to open the minds of the class and lay the foundation for many other courses as UT.

Dr. Cleaver, despite his socialist views, is a great professor. I do not agree with much of his opinions, but I have learned to be tolerant of him.  I think he is a great professor.  This is valuable for this university.  He made it fun to come to class.

This is the most difficult, but also the most rewarding class I have ever taken.  It is extremely frustrating to know the material and then not have enough time on the tests to prove what you know.  I am hoping for a very generous curve.

I would have to say that this is one of the hardest classes I have ever taken.  I feel as though we were expected to be economic geniuses on the level of Prof. Cleaver.  Clearly as the test grades show we are not , and it might help if the material in the future reflected that.  Students should be given a better idea before hand that the opinions expresses in Case and Fair do not matter in this class, all that matters is Dr. Cleavers opinion.  Also try and make the test manageable in the amount of time available.  To say that the 2nd test was made for an hour and a half class and expect us to finish in the allotted time even with good test taking skills is ridiculous.  You are intelligent, so I will give you that.

The course overall was a good course and I enjoyed listening to lectures.  Even so, the tests weren’t over anything in lecture, I think in the future it needs a mandatory section where the economic models are applied mathematically.  I am not really completely sure what I learned just yet.  The professor was very knowledgeable and articulate, but the grading system was unjust.  Even though I will probably get an A I really don’t think it is fair to test over something that isn’t taught.

I like the lectures because they give good background for the material that is on the test.

It was ok.

Your course was good because you related economics to everyday situations.  However, it was a bit confusing at first and the tests were way too difficult. Getting a 50 or above is estatic.

My only complaint is the lack of time on tests.  I feel that they were way too long to do well in 50inutes.

I liked this class a lot more than micro.  I found the different Macro economic theories very interesting.  Lectures were a bit confusing.  Being able to use online resources and SI helped me to understand the lectures.  Tests also need to be a little shorter for the amount of time given, Great Job.

Economics still doesn’t appeal much to me but I attended class just to hear Cleaver’s thoughts on various subjects.  Analyzing the newspaper and Bush’s policies were two of my favorite subjects.  Most importantly, Cleaver changed my thinking about the University education, work, and the business world.  While these paradigm shifts were not exactly comfortable, I have gained a new way of thinking.  Please consider making a list of videos to view available on the web! (suggested during class)

Professor Cleaver made learning economics interesting and even fun, by providing a historical context for economic theory and lecturing in a unique way (even quoting Elvis Costello in class one day!)  The Cleaver packet materials for the first test made it much easier for me to understand the material.  I wish that there had been more in the Cleaver packet for the rest of the course.  I really enjoyed this course and I hope to take another course with Cleaver.

Prof. Cleaver’s enthusiasm and understanding of history and economic theory was outstanding.  I appreciate the detail Prof. Cleaver included pertaining to economics and political interaction on an international level.  The material assigned for reading and studying was not alight load.  But I feel that it was a level appropriate for meeting the interest of more economics focused students.

The subject of macroeconomics is a complex one and the amount of opportunities is a complex one and the amount of opportunities that one has to prove they have learned is few in Cleaver’s class.  I think that more assignments should be given rather than basing the entire course grade on 3 tests.

The course was very interesting although tough.  No matter what my grade was, I am still glad I took it.

Professor Cleaver is an entertaining lecturer.  He also looks like Veego from Ghostbusters II.  I learned much more in this class then Eco 304K.

Professor Cleaver was a very interesting teacher who both conveyed the information effectively and made it somewhat fun to learn.  He did a much better job of keeping my (and others’) attention in class than the microeconomics teacher I had last semester.

The instruction was good, but I didn’t like the essay tests.

Professor Cleaver was very interesting.  I feel the information will be very helpful.  He related economics to the world.  Even though my test grades are low  I feel I have learned a lot of information.  Essays are much different than other test taking and don’t really allow me to show my knowledge in the time frame provided.

I believe I could have done better had concrete examples been used when professor Cleaver was teaching various multipliers in class.  Although the workshops provided on the web practice in solving the problems they did not go into enough detail to show how correct answer was reached.  Knowing that AE = Y+C+I+G+(x-m) does not help if you can not see the numbers or work practice problems in class so you can ask questions.

Professor Cleaver is very knowledgeable about the material in the course and the only area for improvement would be to make the power point presentations a bit clearer as to the objective of the lesson.

I think that it would be better to have more tests so each test is not worth as much as the normal tests are.  Also I think we should have more time to solve the tests, or the tests should be a bit shorter.

Cleaver is very knowledgeable of the material and the slides are great; but the information was never taught!  When I come to class.  I get lost and see myself wondering how anything that he is saying could be on the test.  There was never enough time to take the test and they were unreasonably graded.

Excellent social commentary, Dr. Clever has an astounding, mature insight and I thank him for this class.  He articulated that which I have felt and lacked the foundation to express.  Macroeconomics should be as required as mathematics for any degree.  I anticipate pursuing Cleaver’s teaching further with his Marxist economy class.  (Also the supplemented reading material, which he authored is amazing!) Thanks Dr. Cleaver!!!

Awesome lecturer, hard grading, really learn A LOT. I loved this class! But my grade sucks!

I very much enjoyed Dr. Cleaver and his teachings.  My only complaint would be his tests.  The test required too much in not enough time.  Whether I knew the answer very well, it was an issue of fitting it all in a short amount of time, or not very well, it had very little time to formulate any reasonable answer.

I think slowly and explaining certain points more clearly would make the class better.

Most of what Cleaver taught went straight over my head, and from talking with others, straight over theirs too.  His tests were too long to take in the given time period.  His explanations were useless and only further confused me.  I feel this class has been a waste of time and I wish I would have known how bad of a professor Cleaver was before I signed up.

The way the class was organized, it was hard for me to follow.  I thoroughly enjoyed some of the opinionated discussions we had, but overall I feel that the class moved at a faster pace then I could handle.

Dr. Cleaver is an extremely smart man, possibly way too smart to teach an introductory class.  I have attended every class and I am still wondering why I come to class.  Mainly because of his sense of humor.  I enjoyed about 5 lectures the entire year.  I would love to have him as a professor in another subject that I enjoy.  He is very passionate and definitely knows the subject manner. I hope to get a B.

I felt the exams did not fully reflect the students knowledge gained in the course.  Hopefully the curve will be fair.  Overall, it was a good course.  With much emphasis on the course material and not on the grades.  Although it could mean that students learned a lot but did not get a good grade.

Cleaver is a great prof.  His class was very interesting and his test were challenging.  Now that the year has ended I wish I would have come to his class more often.

The tests were a bit long at times, but were probably beneficial because they demand complete knowledge of the material being covered.  Lectures were very informative and left little use for the book.

I think that Cleaver was good about listening to students and their concerns and working with them.  Still, there was so much information, much of which was not communicated effectively.  The test were long and very frustrating.

Enjoyed coming to class.  Test were very tough.  Related subject to real life and made it make sense.  Most interesting teacher I’ve ever had.

This is considered as a pretty hard class for me at first. Though with the information that you provided in class and outside of class, my grades have improved greatly.  Once again I think all the information that you posted online are really helpful.  One thing that I want to emphasize is your test, it’s very challenging so maybe be a bit more lenient.

The class (tests) were very hard and difficult to finish in the allotted time period.  I really appreciated all of the online resources that were made available.

Overall the course was very interesting but there was always a temptation to skip.  Not all classes give you this temptation & maybe if there were something more … entertaining or a dif. way of presenting the information there would be higher attendance.  I definitely liked how all materials were provided elsewhere, thus missing a class would not kill you.  Giving us the slides online was also very useful.  Maybe before tests, give a general review so that students have a more specific idea of what to expect.

I like the way the class is organized and I like the way the tests are set up. Prof Cleaver is a good professor & really knows how to lecture & speak to the students.  This class was extremely informative but I did think the tests were hard and there was not enough time for the length of the tests.

Teacher lectures too much about history and current issues that may have to do with the subject at hand, yet teach us nothing about macroeconomics.  I hardly learned any thing about macro this semester from the Case and Fair book, because Cleaver never talked about it.

The tests are extremely too difficult & long. Class average on tests were always failing, then curved.

The lecture and course notes were helpful, but what we were expected to know & what we talked about in class were very different from each other.

I found the testing to be indeed one of the most interesting methods I have seen in my entire career so far, but the length should be made so the students aren’t pressed for time.  The lectures were also very interesting and helpful but some of the slides should be altered to better go along with the lecture and explain the models better.  Not all, mind you, because most of the slides were very useful.

I had omitted feelings about this course.  While Cleaver’s lectures are most of the time entertaining and informative, I often felt they did not relate to the course material.  The exams are too difficult & if you are looking to make a good grade on the test class is not helpful.  Writing four insightful essays in 45 minutes is too hard.

I liked how professor Cleaver includes what’s going on currently to teach Eco.  I don’t think the book helped at all.

I think that Cleaver did a very good job on explaining the course material.  He made the “history of macroeconomics” interesting & also voiced his opinion.

I feel the Harry Cleaver is a very good professor who is very well educated in the field of economics.  I also feel that he is somewhat intimidating and his tests are too long.

Prof Cleaver is an interesting person and a good teacher but the class is hard and it seems as if he expects too much from us for the introductory class.

This is a tough class but Cleaver is very interesting and teaches the stuff well and won’t hesitate to go into detail to help you understand.  If I wasn’t so lazy I would have taken a lot more away from the class. Thanks, I enjoyed it.

Good Professor, class was boring at times, made it hard to focus.  Too much information to put into a test with too little time for the tests, we needed more time for the test or shorter exams.

Cleaver’s class is difficult but he makes folks think by themselves, which is something that few other teachers encourage.

Professor Cleaver is a well-organized teacher who knows economics.  People say he’s hard.  Yes he is hard; he gives hard tests, but it helps me in the long run.  Essay tests are good tests, and Cleavers tests, test out knowledge fully.

The tests were very difficult and there was not enough time allowed to answer the questions thouroughly.  I think students would have done better on the exams if more time or less questions was allotted to tests.

The teacher & course was great.  But my grade is ambiguous to my knowledge of Economics.  I believe that the tests need to be geared more to ones knowledge of the subject, rather then trying to trick the student.

Brilliant man, hard to understand at times.  Speaks to us like were also economic professors, but overall, I’ve learned a lot in here.

I liked the class; you are an excellent instructor, very interesting.  However the course load or the amt. of information relayed in the lecture was very overwhelming and hard to explain on test in such a short time.

I appreciate the challenging aspect of this class.

This class was allright.  I guess I need to show up more … maybe that will help.

This is a very interesting class and I like it.

Very interesting professor, well organized and I learned a lot from him.

Prof Cleaver demonstrates a clear knowledge of and enthusiasm for his work.  More students – involved lectured might draw more attendance in class.  Also, consider more sources and activities which go beyond the classroom.  Videos easily grab attention of larger groups.

More stories, less graphs.  Stories are remembered dialogues about what happened to cause things like “the peso crisis” will be remembered much longer then the ISLM model.  Also don’t make m/c essay tests, they don’t fit the format you teach in, but that’s only my humble opinion.

I thought the overhead slides ere very helpful during the lecture, both in case I missed class, or if I was unsure about what notes to take down.  The best part of the class was the way history was incorporated into the teachings of the models, which made them much easier to understand, and also made the class itself more interesting.

I loved the class! You did a great job of making the material interesting and teaching people how to think/analyze “outside the box.”  The historical aspect of the class was fascinating.  The class was tough but very rewarding.  Best class I’ve ever had!  Look forward to taking your Marxist Economics class.

The professor is an excellent teacher who knows his material; however, considering this is a freshman survey course.  I believe that the tests were too long.  Notice, the material covered on the test was definitely a good measure of how well learned the material.  Prof, there is just not enough time in 45-50 minutes to write more then 3 debated well thought out essays.

More time on the tests would have helped a lot.

Tests very extensive.

The lectures were very good, I actually enjoyed attending most of them.  Thank you.  For students considering this class, I recommend Cleaver, but take it pass/fail if possible because the tests are hard.

Many lectures I found difficult to understand and follow.  Sometimes if things were just repeated once, I could have had a better grasp of it, but instead I ended up teaching myself some topics out of the book.  Overall, this was a challenging course and one of my hardest to prepare for.  Cleaver had interesting ideas and criticisms of theories and the textbook.

Tough but challenging course.  The tests are not as hard as every one say!  They are but  time is a big factor (need more of it).

Exams are a bit long for the allotted time.  Good incorporation of tech resources (web site, etc.), makes keeping up easier.

All in all I though Professor Cleaver was great.  He related the info we were learning to the present and gave example for just about everything.  He made class interesting.

Prof Cleaver is so knowledgeable about what he teaches.  Although I didn’t understand some of the material, it is still amazes me how much he knows.  He’s very good at getting his point across to students. Very, Very good professor!!  He’s hard, but some one has to make you think while we’re here.

This course made me think about a lot of things differently and form my own opinions.  I found the lectures very interesting.  The tests would not be so bad if we were given more time to complete them.

I loved the lectures – you make a normally dry subject interesting. I didn’t think there was enough time to take the tests though.  For me, there was barely enough time to finish, let alone look over it & revise before turning it in.

Despite how much I learned, I do not feel I am in a position to tell you how to improve what you’ve been doing all along for the last million or so year … old man. J/k

Very knowledgeable and eloquent speaker, my most enjoyable course so far.

*Included here are ALL the written comments made by students. The only changes made are trivial things like the capitalization. The original handwritten versions are available to anyone who might want to consult them.