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A sample of anonymous student comments on SOC 209, "Ancestry, History, and Personal Identity," taught by Kenneth Westhues in Fall 2006, at the University of Waterloo

Loved it, looked forward to class each week. Professor is enthusiastic and knowledgeable, very interesting, lots of variety each class. I'd like to see the class spread over two terms because there is so much more research that could be done.

This may be my most inspiring course at the university yet. It was crucial in preparing me for life beyond the campus. Being held at the Working Centre was a brilliant idea, for students to mingle outside of class and become closer.

The course gave me the strength and confidence to pursue my ideals and truths in a nonconfrontational manner. I have gained such a strong awareness in withholding judgment on anyone or anyone, including myself, until I have had an opportunity to understand everything involved. I would recommend this course to anyone willing to look back on their history in order to move ahead with enthusiasm and vigor.

Awesome! Favourite class in my 4-year university career. I have ben recommending it to others in my other classes. I will be doing more research out of class, to see if I can extend the knowledge I have now about my family.

Essay was a lot to manage but it was satisfying in the end. I learned so much about my family. This class was very rewarding for my present and future life.

Very good course, excellent even. It really ties in history with your own family background. I would recommend it to others and I'm very glad I took it.

An excellent course, really connects things for you, has you put yourself and your family into history. Learned a lot more than I expected. Weakness was the amount of research needed and not enough time to do it all. This could be a full-year course.

Most "life-world" course I'll ever encounter. The best course I could ever have decided to take, for causing me to ask questions.

So much work, so little time! Essay will retain its worth well after grades are in. Chapter on reciprocity gave me a new perspective on relationships. I will recommend this course to absolutely everyone.

Prof is wonderful: friendly, knowledgeable, all-around great guy who made it worth the trip to Kitchener. I liked the location, a bit out of the way but I understand why he does it. I was extremely intimidated at first by the assignment, but prof is exceedingly helpful, makes you want to succeed at it.

Very interesting. This course got me thinking things I had put aside a long time ago. It made me relook at my identity and now I have a better grasp of where I stand in history.

Weakness was the Kitchener location. I really liked the course, it helped me define who I am.

This course rocks! Weakness was not enough time to complete essay. This should be a 2-term course.

Great class, great material, great professor.

Strength was the course's relevance, how it affects your life. Weakness was the vagueness of the main assignment. I'd like there to be more structure and hard deadlines. It was a pleasure to come to class. I really liked that it was held at the Working Centre.

The preliminary essays were good because they helped us get on track and get started, and the feedback was useful.

Great course with plenty to learn. Recommend for everybody.

Excellent. I hope it is offered again soon for others. It was highly challenging to research my family history, connect it to social trends, and condense it into an essay -- but highly worthwhile.