I can't shake the feeling that Khovanov was a dud. I like the guy, he's sweet, and actually incredibly smart. Look up "Khovanov Homology," he's done a lot of ground breaking research (somehow being used a lot in String Theory). As a Modern Algebra instructor, though, he fell pretty flat.
Modern Algebra I is trivial for anyone who's been exposed to a group before. It was weird, somehow it didn't feel like we were ever really doing anything. I think the only interesting stuff was Burnside's Lemma (and group orbits in general), the Sylow theorems and the classification of Abelian Groups. I realized that I was doing fine in the class, but that was just because I had a good idea of how groups worked, not from anything I learned in lecture. The way Khovanov speaks makes it impossible to pay attention. It's not exactly his accent, I can always make out what he's saying at any given point in time, but the way he presents things is just bizarre, and I can't quite explain how. I had no problem paying attention in any other class except for his. Every time I tried to I would lose the thread after 5 - 10 minutes. By the way, this isn't just me: everyone I talked to in the class had the same experience.
Modern Algebra II is pretty bizarre. It definitely had a lot more content than Modern Algebra II, going briefly over Ring Theory and then spending a lot of time talking about Fields and Field Extensions, and then finally Galois Theory (apparently there's more to it than the unsolvability of the quintic, who knew?). I was excited to learn about Galois Theory, but now that the course is done, I can't honestly say I have. Sure, I understood the results, as they weren't too crazy, but I didn't really understand the process. The homeworks and tests really only test you on the results. I basically learned exclusively from the textbooks / Friedman's notes, as I wasn't able to pick up anything from the class itself.
It's not hard to get an A in Algebra II, but it is pretty hard to understand all the material at a good level. Maybe it's just Khovanov, who knows? When the TA came in to teach as a substitute a few times, it was like the clouds opened up and I understood everything.
The weekly homeworks aren't so bad, a lot of them are pretty easy, some of them use results proved in class which make things a bit harrier. The quizzes are all true / false, a few tricky ones, but not THAT tricky. The midterms were pretty easy, but the final wasn't that easy, not because of the questions, but because I had such a poor grasp of the material.
So... Algebra... A bit of a let down, not gonna lie.