Wallace, J on Ninja Courses

Average Ratings based on 42 ratings

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 68 75 75 83

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Instructor Ratings

EA LANG 105 (Summer 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
91 50 82 92 100

EA LANG 105 (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: love the lectures, the reading wasnt that bad. great class. very fun to talk about romance. dont stress over the paper

EA LANG 109 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
68 83 49 50 76

Comment: While the course was certainly promising based on the title, I must admit I was rather disappointed by it. While the professor tried to make everything really organized, he just ended up making the course more confusing. Seemed to spend more time on his J7A students than on our course, but I do understand that he does not have GSIs to help him with grading or coursework. Learned how to brew pretty good tea after the first few weeks of the course, but the latter half was definitely more heavy on the history. Overall a pretty fun class if you need some more units and have time to kill, but wouldn't say it changed my life or seriously inspired me in any way.

EA LANG 109 (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 77 71 94 100

Comment: Amazing professor--he has such an enthusiasm for what he's teaching, I think he's excited just being able to share what he knows with everyone. Makes for a really enjoyable class!! The class starts off very lax, BUT the readings get very lengthy and pretty tough after the first midterm, so don't take this class lightly. Rather than just teaching facts, this class is also focused on learning how to think (contextually, "bigger picture"-y, analytically), so don't spend all your time memorizing little details (though those can help to a certain extent). Two midterms, one final. The stats from first midterm usually end up as a reverse bell curve, but as long as you take this class with enthusiasm and interest, you'll be just fine. Prof. Wallace is a really cool guy, but he takes his teaching seriously! Work hard, have fun--basically.

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
62 50 80 77 75

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
92 54 74 100 70

Comment: Pretty hard to get an A. Prof is good though. But before taking it you have to make sure you like pre-modern stuff....

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 77 77 100 100

Comment: Professor Wallace is THE cool guy. He's super enthusiastic about the subject matter, very knowledgeable, and altogether fun to listen to. I would highly recommend his classes to anyone with even the slightest interest in Japanese literature and culture. The only problem with his class is that sometimes his assignments and exams feel as though they're graded based purely on his whims. All in all, very fair, fun class. Very good professor.

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
91 72 81 79 87

Comment: Professor Wallace is very passionate about what he is doing. You can't really BS in his class because he will know! Listen to his lectures and take notes! It will help as a reference to your exams.

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
89 89 76 86 93

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 82 82 100 100

Comment: Very helpful and nice professor. He made me determined to major in Japanese

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
84 81 86 77 100

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
65 77 70 47 59

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
87 76 86 80 76

Comment: As someone new to pre-modern Japanese culture, I found this course very interesting. Wallace knows the material extremely well! There is a research paper. The tests require you to pay attention to the lectures.

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
85 65 64 74 100

Comment: Really passionate about Japanese literature and culture. Very sharp and gets to know most of the classes' names. Has a really particular way of doing assignments and papers, so just follow the way he wants it and you'll be fine. Tons of reading though, but he does a good job summarizing it in lecture.

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: great professor, he's able to know your name by the end of the second week even if you've never talked to him before. notes are very important. he lectures pretty quickly

JAPAN 7A (Fall 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 32 81 51 86

Comment: For my semester, he was quite enthusiastic. He had great stories and was very knowledgeable about pre-modern Japanese literature. He especially liked poetry and really tried to help students understand the Japanese aesthetic value. His exams were really easy. So long as you read or paid attention in lecture you were pretty much set for exams. The only problem were the assignments. We were expected to read 300 incredibly dense, slow, and pretty boring pages in two days. It sucked. Best piece of advice, I know it sucks, but just read and you'll do great.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2015)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
71 40 73 79 100

Comment: Overall, a pretty good professor. Wallace is passionate and very understanding of his students. He's often willing to make time for students who have questions about the material, issues to sort out, or simply are just interested in knowing more. A couple of times, I submitted assignments late or left out a couple of slight details here and there, and he let me go. He makes it a point that his job is only to ding students only when absolutely necessary, and feeling I got from him is that he tries to give you the best grade possible, and that I shouldn't have to worry about my grade at all if I'm a student who does the work. His in-class exercises are very engaging. His mastery over the material and his experience in teaching are both clearly demonstrated in his teaching: he can tailor a great variety of exercises, which can be unusual at times (such as "you are a professional literary critic. Give a two-sentence blurb for a book"). They do, however, bring the most interesting out of the books. Speaking of his books, some of them are lovely, while others are at times, needlessly philosophical, don't-know-the-hell-what-they-mean and unbelievably boring. On top of that, he has a very nerdy, strange sense of humor that can be intimidating at first. Halfway through the semester though, you'll start treating his quirks as an integral part of the course. His quirkiness isn't completely a good thing though. He wants his students to check his bcourse page a couple times a day because sometimes he only releases material quizzed or assignments due the following day. That as a whole is OK, but sometimes he does that at 10PM, barely 12 hours from his 11AM class the next day. I think that is very inconsiderate for people like me, who to sleep around that time because I have schedules packed from 8AM to 11AM. I have absolutely no time to do his assignments if they're issued that close to the deadline. A couple of times he said there was stuff we needed to read/do/watch, but he released that stuff so late that I thought he had forgotten about it, so I slept...just to get dinged in class with a surprise question or assignment that I couldn't prepare for. Another main caveat is his organization. Wallace has a lot of rules and regulations about everything, to a borderline annoying point. Once or twice during the semester, reading the assignment's instructions took as long as the assignment itself. For papers, he had required his own version of MLA with add-ons here and there...such as 14-point font, distorted spacing, bibliography annotated in his own form, and in-page citations that were linked to footnotes telling exactly how (as in which page, which paragraph, which sentence) you used your source when quoting. And that's just one example. Of course, he has his reasons for everything, but I've also seen teachers who have way less rules teach just as well, and the numerous little things here always make me wonder if their presence is necessary. Still, if you are OK with everything I wrote, he's a professor for whom the work is worth it.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 73 86 80 84

Comment: I love Wallace! He isn't always the most organized of teachers, but he knows what he's talking about and gets very involved. He'll get offended if he doesn't think his students are getting engaged in the books we're supposed to be reading, but he's very understanding if you don't like the books. He doesn't like half of them either. I must say there were books I loved and some I found very dull, but Wallace is very understanding of that and he still managed to make class interesting even if the novel we were reading was not. He uses a lot of media in his lectures which helps keep your attention and interest. He'll stray off topic sometimes and we'll just end up watching Japanese news or talking about Japan in general, but that isn't a bad thing. He's very good at globalizing what we're reading and applying it to current issues, especially at the end of the course when the literature is closer to the 1950's and 60's. It isn't a history course so he deliberately strays away from teaching about WWII or asking if the bombings in Japan were "justified", but we do read several novels dealing with the a-bombs and so sometimes he'll make comments, but for the most part he tries to avoid explaining what happened. You can sort of tell that modern literature isn't his favorite (I hear 7A with him is amazing because he loves pre-modern) but he is definitely still passionate and isn't afraid to explain why he doesn't like modern or certain novels if you ask. He gives a lot of opportunities for extra credit, too, which is awesome. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. His grading system is very weird (everything is graded from 0-12 - 12=A, 11=A-, 10=B+, etc). At the end he rounds your total score. Normally he round up at the .5, but if you have a decent amount of extra credit he'll round up from .4 or even a .3 (example: if you had a 10.3 you could still get an A-). His midterms weren't very difficult (half was writing facts about a novel or two that you chose - author, title, year, historical context, main characters, intellectual context, etc) and the second half was writing an essay using that novel in reply to a prompt. Both midterms were this layout, only with different prompts. The final was to design a course schedule for two semesters of one class. You had to choose what the "theme" of your class was and what you wanted the students to learn and then choose novels for the class to read and for how long. You then explained why you chose the novels you did, why you read them in that order, and why they were the best choice. You also wrote a couple essay prompts that had to do with your theme. It took maybe an hour and a half to two hours for most people. not too difficult, just a bit time consuming because you really had to think out what you wanted as a theme and what books would show off your theme the best. Overall, it was a fun class and I'm now VERY stoked to take 7A with Wallace in the fall! It's a very interesting class and I'd take it again in a heartbeat.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
82 71 73 73 84

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
75 81 82 89 77

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
76 72 75 32 63

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2012)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
93 89 71 86 90

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
34 35 33 37 20

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
83 72 60 75 100

Comment: One of the best professors I've had at Berkeley. Wallace is extremely enthusiastic about what he teaches, making lectures very interesting to listen to. The reading and writing assignments were appropriate both in terms of amount and content.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
89 77 70 81 84

Comment: This class will survey the 1800's to contemporary time. However, this class is a bit subjective, but as long as you show effort and try your best, he will recognize your effort. Don't slack off in this class but an A is attainable.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
70 66 60 57 83

Comment: Wallace is a great professor and he know what he's talking about. He knows people by name, which is both good and bad, depending on who you are. He's a stickler for following rules and strict procedures, in hw, tests, submissions, grades, reading, etc. / Class topics were chronological, which was not difficult to follow, but he does not give much direction in class about what themes to follow for each book, which meant trying to not pull too much external bs about the world into Japanese culture and cap it as Japanese. Tests were about these themes, which makes it hard to guess where he goes, but think abstract concepts. Not too difficult if you read the books and remember names/ideas. / Writing process was a killer for me. I started late. If you take this class, start it early, and talk to Wallace to narrow down the topic, and look for a FEW good sources. / Reading for class was do-able, but takes a lot of time, if other classes are also important. No electronic rule.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2011)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: Fun Class :D. I learn a lot about Japanese modern literature. But lots of reading, so try and keep up.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
67 50 50 50 50

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 50 50

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
29 33 46 31 75

Comment: He's enthusiastic about the material but very scatter-brained. Reading responses for each reading assignment and every time I went to office hours to ask how to improve my score he would give me a tip, I would follow and still get a sub-par score. It's a lit class, it's going to be subjective

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
86 90 90 88 89

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
92 84 83 70 83

Comment: Nothing too difficult about this class, reading sometimes gets to be a hassle largely because of some of the writing styles of the authors but most of the books were interesting. Really easy to not pay attention in lecture though...just something about his voice.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 100 100 100 100

Comment: highly recommend doing the reading even though there is a lot. pay attention in class. dont procrastinate on the paper. read all of his instructions twice

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
94 64 83 97 91

Comment: Wallace was awesome; always willing to help and definitely knew his stuff. There was a decent amount of reading assigned - I would estimate it at a book every week and a half - but that's to be expected in a class like this. Everything he wanted was clearly defined either in the syllabus or on his website. Also, he owned up to his mistakes - they were rare but when it happened he would admit that it was his fault - and did not take it out on the students (which was really awesome). Both tests and quizzes were a combination of questions from required reading and topics covered in class; while a few might throw you the grading system is a little forgiving, he doesn't expect you to be perfect just to be attentive and actually try. In the end, a great teacher who really knows his stuff I would definitely recommend taking a class with him.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2010)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
82 38 92 80 81

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
50 50 50 67 50

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
0 0 69 0 77

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 98 99 98 99

Comment: This was one of the best classes by far here at Berkeley. I just took it because it sounded interesting and came out loving it. He is a very nice professor who knows a lot and is very helpful and enthusiastic. The lectures are very engaging and he implements a lot of media. He has changed the way he has done j7b these days. When I took it, there was much more work like quizes and RPs and I believe he threw them out. Now its just lectures and readings and midterms. Midterms are very fair and no curve balls or out of the blue where did this come from kind of thing. :)

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
79 73 84 80 100

Comment: This great class is getting bigger and bigger each year, so if you would like to learn about Japanese literature, take the class early or suffer from stricter policies in the future.

JAPAN 7B (Spring 2009)

Overall Assignments Exams Helpfulness Enthusiasm
100 75 71 99 100

Comment: Professor Wallace is amazing! I can't recommend him enough!