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A sample of anonymous student comments on SOC 241, Sociology of Work, taught by Kenneth Westhues in Spring 2006, at the University of Waterloo

Excellent! At first I didn't think I would be interested in the topic, but it turned out to be my favorite course ever.

This course has been the absolute worst course I've ever taken at UW. The lack of structure and organization made it so difficult to study for midterms. Absolute waste of time!

I loved it. My fav class at Waterloo. I would switch into soc major if it didn't require math (I am horrible at that).

Great! This is the first course that I was able to relate to the real world.

Mr. Westhues is probably the best professor I've ever had. He takes a great interest in students and teaches us tomake connections to real life.

It was alright. Course material is solid. Too much lecture talk.

The emphasis on dialectical thinking was important, and Mr. Westhues did an excellent job provoking the class to think dialectically.

Great experience but preachy. Please prove your viewpoint on the importance of reason and dialectical thinking.

Excellent. Everyone should take this for knowledge and interest.

I learned a lot from this course. It has got me thinking about issues.

Really encouraged critical thinking and insightfulness. Encouraged students to connect the course material to relevant aspects of their lives.

Mr. Westhues really tried hard to get us to use our brains and think dialectically.

I learned a lot about the history and various styles of work. This course helped me direct my future work path.

It was very practical because we are definitely part of capitalism, which is what was being taught. Some parts were dry.

Instructor was knowledgeable, enthusiastic about what he taught. Too much readings. Lectures were sometimes off track.

On the test, the multiple-choice were hard. Great course, really enjoyed coming to class.

Readings/book were surprisingly interesting and thought-provoking. Great course in terms of tying theory to real-life examples.

Good. Wish presentation of work material was a little more structured, but all in all not worth complaining about.

Excellent. Entertaining, comic relief here and there. 40% essay is scary, so is the 40% midterm.

Worthwhile, gave me a lot of insight into the world of work.

Prof. Westhues said if you can't relate some of the teachings/concepts to the real world, what the hell am I teaching it for? That was excellent.

Excellent prof. I hated the 20-word limit when I wrote the midterm, but it taught me such a valuable lesson. Thanks.

Best course I have ever had at UW! The reading material shows different perspectives.

Great course overall. Westhues is an amazing lecturer and he seems to take genuine interest in the students.

At first I thought my disinterest in labour studies would mean I would hate the course, but the material was presented in such a way that really sold me on the course. I grew to understand its significance and learned a lot.

Strength was the prof's respect for all students and his consideration for their opinions.

This was the first time I noticed that we have many problems in the workplace. Learned a lot.

The course was critical in teaching me new skills such as participation in class discussions and finding e-journals.

Professor's ability to relate the class to everyday life helped maintain the students' interest. Great course.

The text was not the best, at least when compared to the articles of the latter half of the course. An excellent learning experience.

Often vague (much like life). Enjoyable, light course for a summer term.

Lots of material covered. Fair marking. I originally wasn't going to take this course, but I'm glad now that I did.

Course material relates to what's going on in the real world. Worth taking, will help me succeed in my future endeavours.

A lot of reading. Fantastic material. Many life lessons learned.

Even though it's a night course, Professor Westhues manages to keep us all awake.

Strength was presentations. I took this because it was required and because Westhues is a good prof.

Strengths were assignment (neat to do, apply to personal experience) and prsentations (good to have discussions about a topic). Maybe should have 3 tests instead of 2.

Great. I'm happy I took this course during the summer because I enjoyed coming to it.

Professor Westhues constantly challenges our way of thinking. Thi is not always evident in other sociology courses.

Fantastic! I learned a lot and will take more clases with Mr. Westhues in the future. He did a wonderful job of creating a classroom where students could involve themselves in the learning process. Weakness was the word limits on test questions, made them too difficult to answer.

I think this course is the best course I have ever taken so far out of three years studying at University of Waterloo.

Strength was 4% bonus presentation opportunity. Weakness was the textbook. Fascinating course, would recommend to anyone.

Very well educated professor. For an academic to understand the realities of work and the workplace is astonishing. Excellent course. I recommend every student take it before venturing out to the brutal and cruel world of work.