Thursday, February 04, 2010

History 710 Urbanism in Antiquity

The course Urbanism in Antiquity deals with ancient cities of Greece and Roman only. I should realize this early because the concept of ancient history is very different between American’s and mine. From Western point of view, ancient history refers ancient Greece and Roman, which are the direct source of modern Western civilization. Indian or Chinese ancient history would not be called ancient history but be categorized to Indian or Chinese history. Thus, my dream to study Indus cities or Chinese medieval city Chang’an in this course became in vain.

Greek and Roman history is completely new subject for me. When I mentioned this in the self-introduction in the first class, the professor asked if anybody else has never studied ancient history either. The result is that around one third people in the class is in the same boat with me. Although I must need to spend a lot time to get into this new and broad topic, I feel it is interesting and have the confidence to do well.

I got a sense that Professor Allen must be a very understanding person from a small thing in the first class. Unlike most professors, who usually expect student participating as more as possible, Professor Allen said that somebody likes talk, but somebody likes study quietly; it is nothing wrong with somebody doesn’t talk in the class because everybody has his or her own way to study. Thus, instead of class participation, deportment occupies 10% of a student’s final grade in this class. I appreciate it.


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