Student Comments on ECO357L
- Political Economy of International Crisis-
Spring 2010

These are all the written comments made by students in their course evaluations: the good, the bad and the ugly.

"I am so fortunate. If I go astray, others are certain to notice it." - Confucius

Section One:

Very challenging, and as such a demanding course. It is refreshing to take a course that clearly values education as an activity and not a formality. Lots of reading and critical thinking are required for this course, but it gives you a better understanding of the world and the crises that seem to become more and more an integral part of our globalized and globalizing society.

Very interesting and non-traditional, the type of analysis one is treated with in this class is unlike anything else at the university.

Professor Cleaver was an excellent professor. He truly is interested in his students. I came to see him during office hours and he was extremely willing to help me. At first, I was scared that because I was one of the youngest people in the class, but Dr. Cleaver quelled my fear and I have excelled in this class.

In my independent study of economics I have learned a lot that contradicted what Prof. Cleaver was saying, but I was a little apprehensive to give a dissenting viewpoint. Maybe Prof. Cleaver could be a little more willing to hear these dissenting opinions.

The course was interesting, but could use clearer guidance as far as the readings and materials are concerned. It is often times difficult to discern whether or not the correct assignments have been completed week by week.

More/Work Assignments

An eye-opening course. Exposure to the stories behind ďthe big storyĒ of every crisis was very valuable. The power points allowed for better understanding of class lectures and readings.

I really enjoyed taking the class. Although there was a lot read everything was very interesting. The professor is excellent!

I really enjoyed this class and all the diverse topics we discussed. My only issue would be that the exams have such broad subject material. I wish we would have been given more specific topics of discussion to study in preparation for exams.

Excellent prof.! Easy to approach!

If scientists ever master the cloning process, they should consider cloning more Harry Cleaverís.

Loved this course. If you like politics and economics you should take this course. You have to read a lot, but it is worth it, if you enjoy it.

Overall I have enjoyed this class. It is one of the few opportunities within the economics department which escapes the monotony of microeconomic analysis and neoliberal theory. The reading assignments can be rather lengthy but they all contribute to the topics covered in the lectures. I would have preferred to have been graded on papers written throughout the semester rather than the in-class essay exams. The time constraint made it difficult to write the essays in any detailed manner.

Great, but really hard for me. But I did my best.

Great class! Learned a lot. Started thinking about a lot more.

Awesome & interesting class!

Although I enjoyed the topics in the class, the sheer amount of reading deterred to fully invest into the class. I found that this class needs more structures, especially pertaining to lectures. As much as I enjoyed Dr. Cleaverís passionate side tangents, it made hard to follow the outline for the course and to study. The format of the class is open-ended and material is online but broken links, multiple pages and sites deterred from cohesion of class material and lectures. By improving on organization and links that donít work would make the reading load not so intimidating. [Response: the on-line material for this course, indeed for all my courses, was forcibly transferred by the university ITS from one server to another Ė a process which broke almost all of the links and for which there was no simple cure. I am STILL (months later) going through literally hundreds of links, one by one, to re-establish them.]

Professor Cleaver will allow you to see the light. Before this class, I was blind to all the corruption and cruelty that has and still is taking place in the world. I love that he is opinionated and that he doesnít force you to agree with his views. This has been my favorite class throughout my 3 year college career. If you want to learn and not just be lectured to, take this course. If you want to change the world we live in, take this course. It will show you the mistakes from the past that current governments around the world are still making. After this class, I have been more inspired to chase my dream of making a difference in society.

-This is hands down the best class I have ever taken in 5yrs in college.
-I would suggest that anyone presented with the opportunity to take this class should do so.
-If this class were offered for 3 hrs a day 7 days a week I would be there 99.99% of the time.
-Never have I been blessed with so much TRUTHFULL information.
-Thank Prof. Cleaver for helping me to see how the world is really corrupt & the need for social changes in order to drastically change society. Everything we see today is 90% lies and 10% truth. You have to be able to discern the lies from the truth. This class has given me the tools to be able to go about my life thinking clearly and understanding what is happening before I act. It helps me make much wiser decisions.
-BEST CLASS EVER, TAKE IT IF YOU CAN!!!!

I wish I would have taken this course when I had more time to dedicate to it, so I could truly appreciate it. I plan on revisiting materials at a later time to get an even deeper understanding. Cleaver is an amazing professor and extremely intelligent and I plan to take more courses offered by him.

Cleaver is very passionate about his subject. He is unlike any other professor. He relates everything to real life situations you never think about.

Cleaverís class contains quite a lot of reading but his original teaching style is a breath of fresh air that is sure to teach you valuable things.

Very comprehensive look at international issues which war relevant to everyone. Lots of reading, but mostly worthwhile. I wish we had more time to look at issues more in-depth. Overall, best econ class Iíve taken (econ major).

There were too many readings, that had the effect of discouraging me from doing them. If there were one per class, I probably would have done more. The open discussion format where lots of questions were asked made this course much more interesting.

This was probably the most interesting course I have taken so far in my 2 year college career. The information provided for this course almost seems neverending, but all of it is valuable for eco majors. Great course!

Too much reading. Need to go with the slides.

This is one, if not, the best course and professor Iíve taken at UT in my 4 years here. Iíve never sat in any other class with a professor like Dr. Cleaver. From my career-decisions to how I view the world, everything has been changed by him. There is very little technical economics required for this class, so there is no need to not take this class. Highly recommended.

Some times hard to follow, but very interesting course. Energy argument (Maxwellís daemon) is just plain bad, and clearly doesnít what entropy is.

Professor Cleaver might be the most knowledgeable prof. I have had. He is extremely intelligent and makes you really think about the subject. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the class because it is not that organized.

Iím from the Insitute of Latin American Studies. I felt that my view was too limited within Latin America so I chose your course, in order to seek a broader perspective on the world as a whole. And your course relly brought a helpful framework where I began to focus on the common points of Latin America and the world. I really appreciate it.

This class was highly enjoyable. The only improvements I could recommend are pared down reading assignments and greater understanding and explanations of economic topics for non-econ majors.

Section Two:

Dr. Cleaver is a brilliant professor! Whether you agree or disagree with certain views expressed in the course, you will definitely become more knowledgeable within the scope of macroeconomics. Also, Dr. Cleaver has a rational and fair approach to grading. I highly recommend this course!

Third time with Cleaver. The material in this class has been the most interesting.

The material presented is very interesting but you should use more intonation. You kind of speak in monotone. (Besides this I really like you.) Curse more; have more outbursts.

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and found professor Cleaverís lectures very interesting and interactive. The work load was not too heavy and I recommend this course as most of the material is pretty interesting.

Interesting viewpoints. However, slide structure was very random and confusing.

Excellent professor, great teacher. Really knows his stuff, and I like that he assigns primary sources to read. The course could be improved by maybe incorporating other teaching methods, not just a bunch of lectures and then a test. Maybe videos? Overall, a very rewarding course with a very knowledgeable professor.

I enjoyed taking this class. The only problem was that there was too much information to be covered in this course. I wish we could spend more time talking about each different topic.

This course was a real value to me. It showed the application of the macroeconomic theories I learned in my first two years of university in France. It was really interesting and I discovered a lot of new crises that I never knew about, like the Mexican peso crisis and the diplomatic crises.

This class will be of value to me in the future.

More elaborated instructions on exams. Questions are too complex, not very good to answer in 60 min.

I donít think Iím exaggerating when I say that I think Iíve learned more in this course than the rest of my time at UT. The work load is really high, there is a lot of reading, but I think itís all been beneficial to me. Dr. Cleaver is an excellent professor, and while I donít agree with many of his political stances, I think that he has really broadened my scope of knowledge, especially in economics. This class is really hard, but Iím really glad I took it.

Like how passionate the instructor was about course material. Kept the material interesting!

This was a very interesting course. The materials and lectures were very interesting. The tests were pretty straightforward. There was just a lot of readings. A sour point in the class, for this semester at least, were students who woujld go to office hours just to talk, and talk about nothing relevant to the course.

I really enjoyed this class. Your teaching style is more conducive to learning than many of my other classes. In order to take the tests I had to gain a thorough understanding of the material.

Lectures are never boring. I enjoyed going to class and the class discussions.

Add more things to the course. One more exam and drop one. Add homework, quizzes, group projects. Three tests and that is not good.

The course was a great learning experience. Thank you.

I absolutely loved this course and your teaching approach. I have learned a lot & appreciate the relativity of each topic discussed along with your straightforward & honest delivery. I respect all of your arguments & feel inspired to question my circumstances more so than before. This was a real eye-opener!

ďTo make an omelet, you must break some eggs.Ē Ė Lenin

Coming to class is not required. However, I came to all the lectures to hear his crazy, Marxist opinions of the world. His experiences and resume more than qualify him to teach this class and support his ďout thereĒ views. This class has been so entertaining and informative that I already signed up for another one of his classes next semester.

This class has been very interesting and valuable. However, the number of readings was excessive (I mean not only the required readings but material available on the web in general.)

This course was a very worthwhile experience for an exchange student like me. It was very insightful, and taught me a lot of American history and the various correlations between events. I like the fact that lectures are really opened to discussion. The slides made it great to follow the overall structure. Without it, I must admit that I would feel a little lost! The readings were really interesting, although it clearly is impossible to read them all, unless itís your only class. The instructor is one of the best Iíve ever had, and I enjoyed his way of teaching which made it really engaging. An ďA+Ē for Mr. Cleaver and his class!