Q Guide Roundup

By Trula J. Rael

Ahh, yes. Now that fall semester’s kicking into full gear, assignments are getting harder, lectures are getting longer, and productivity levels are decreasing rapidly. Curious about what exactly you’ve gotten yourself into? Why not take a quick look at some of the Fall 2018 Q Guide comments students had on the classes you’re taking this semester? (Caution: Yes, these are real comments, but maybe do some of your own investigative work before making any judgements. Except for Ec10a, of course.)

Music 97L: Critical Listening

Faculty Reply to Q Guide comments: “To characterize this course as "extremely narrow" is beyond incorrect; it is itself an "egregious" and "disingenuous" mischaracterization of the course, bent solely on torpedoing my reputation. In other words, it is trolling. Reader, I hope you will take the person's counterfactual diatribes with a grain of salt.”

This is the first faculty reply to Q Guide comments we’ve come across, and to say that we are intrigued would be an understatement.

Math 18A: Multivariable Calculus for Social Sciences

“An unequivocally torturous venture that manages to wring out every last ounce of intellectual curiosity one might still possess. Only take if regular dips into the well of misery are all that you live for. A truly harrowing experience.”

We’re sure Math 18a isn’t all that horrible, but we sympathize with this tortured soul and appreciate the vivid description.

LIFESCI 1A: An Integrated Introduction to the Life Sciences: Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology

“Thought you were good at chemistry? Thought you liked biology? Were you thinking of concentrating in the hard sciences? This course will change all of that. The first few lectures are fine, but after a couple weeks this course will make you doubt your admission to Harvard. It will crush your self-confidence and make you feel like the dumbest person in the entire world...”

LS1a is truly a unique experience that prepares you for many other life science classes here at Harvard, but we understand the struggle this student felt. Remember though, office hours are key and there are resources to help you through academics and other challenges!

ECON10A: Principles of Economics

“I never feel worse about myself or a test than I do when I walk out of the science center after an ec exam.”

Oh, you thought we would stop at one comment?

“Not that hard. Do not fall for the hype. P sets suck up a lot of time but it’s sorta nice to do them with everyone night before its [sic] due. Tests are easy. Unit review is clutch.”

Okay, is this the same Ec10a we took?

“Taking this course was the worst mistake of my entire life, and I have had 18 years of questionable decision making.”

Hm, that’s more like it. And, finally, just for kicks...

“I can unironically say that I would have preferred to have been beaten to a bloody pulp than take this class. The beating is a once-off incident, whereas the trauma from this course will haunt me until the day I die.”

With this true range of responses, it seems that Ec10a has lived up to its hype. Who knows what this year’s new version of the class will bring.

However you feel about the classes you’re taking this fall, just remember: Your responses to the Q Guide will live in infamy. And hey, if the promise of getting to rant/gush at the end of the year is the only thing keeping you going, at least you know that someone will read it.

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