Ruen-Chuan Ma

Sep 2012

Overall, I truly believe Mr. Ma meant well. A nice guy, Ruen-Chuan Ma would bring in tea and speak to our class at length about his graduate studies in Medieval Literature. Ruen-Chuan tried his best, but his best, ultimately, proved not even remotely good. As a lecturer, he is a little difficult to hear and comprehend. His circuitous explanations make it very difficult to understand what he wants while his drawn-out, ambiguous answers to questions cause far more confusion than clarity and further obfuscate his initial explanations of the material. His awful handwriting does not help either. Mr. Ma does look over students' rough drafts; however, it appeared he used a rake more often than a fine-toothed comb. Each rough draft contained few suggestions for improvement. Following those vague suggestions will lead to virtually no gain in final grade. Such a system would surely lead an intelligent student to submit an intermediate draft. Don't worry. Doing so makes no difference. Mr. Ma will pull out his rake and after five minutes may give you one more suggestion. Interestingly, the final draft will have many corrections along with a paragraph describing every flaw in the paper in detail. However, it does take Mr. Ma about half of the semester to grade the first progression essay as he is very busy. If you want to score in the "A" range, Mr. Ma, a University of Chicago alumnus, teaches directly (as directly as he is capable) out of Turabian's Guide to Writing College Papers, yet he never bothers to give students any context as to the origin of his material. Mr. Ma is incompetent and arbitrary, but he is a nice guy.