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Archive for the ‘anti-calendar’


the course evals are on portal now, people

Hey Aska,

I often use the anti-calendar to determine which courses I should take. Now that the university stepped in, ASSU`s most recent feedback is from 2011-2012. How do I access the more recent course evaluations?


hey there,

you can access the course evals from blackboard. it’s a bit of a chore to get to them, but if you log into blackboard, you can view them?on the bottom right-hand side of the page. click on the link there, and then you can search courses there.

another thing: the latest results are from fall 2012 to fall 2013 as of today. hopefully, the winter 2014 evals will follow shortly.

so yeah, you can look on blackboard. for now, the information there is pretty minimal. until they spruce up the evals, i’d recommend supplementing your information with other, non-uoft-sanctioned tools, like word of mouth, and praying that the course will be good.

best of luck!




Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

Wassap Aska?

I’m going to UTSG next year and I dunno if you get asked this a lot but what are the “bird courses”? I’m going for some kind of an arts major (history maybe?) but for first year I just want the easiest possible courses at the university because I’m scared shitless.



The best kept, big little secret at UT St. George is ASSU’s Anti-Calendar?(AC). It’s your academic neon bible. Read it. Worship it. Just because I love you (yes, you!), here’s a handy guide to reading it:

The AC is a Grammy Award-winning band from Montreal… oh wait, the AC is an annual course evaluation conducted by the Arts & Science Student Union. It’s also the most-used tool for students when selecting their courses. Generally, students look at the retake rate: the percentage of enrolled respondents who “would still have taken this course, disregarding their need to meet program or degree requirements.”

While this sounds like a logical way to choo- choo- choose your courses, it totally ain’t that straightforward. These train tracks are bendy, baby.

You say: “But whyz?? I is confused.”
I say: The survey is voluntary. It’s in-class. And it’s at the end-of-year. Students who are doing badly tend to (1) drop out and (2) stop attending. Students who are doing well tend to (1) stay in and (2) attend. This is especially true for elective courses. And those are the only ones you get to choo- choo- choose.

This creates selection bias in the AC methodology that favours respondents who perform above average. Basically, the retake rate is a big little half-truth. It’s useful only in broad strokes; so, I follow the rule of thumb to avoid electives with lower than an 80% retake rate.

Now, about these bird courses: one student’s GPA-saving phoenix is another student’s albatross. Like, I have this one friend who I met in band camp, Winnie, the British Bulldog. He studies peace & conflict studies. Mostly the peace part. I also have this other friend, Sterna, the Arctic Tern, who studies geography.

Both of these friends study the Arts. Both think that each other’s field is a total borefest. When choosing a course, bird or not-bird, think about whether the course material seems interesting to you. If the class is too boring, you may lose your motivation and that albatross will fall right out of the sky.

You should also cross-reference the Anti-Calendar with the helpful Rate My Professor website. And if you still want me to suggest a course: take DTS201.

You say: “Aska – you are wise and warm. Like alphabet soup.”

I say: “Thanks for noticing,”



i need easy classes, fast


I would like to ask you questions on choosing courses.

I only took 3.5 -credits last year as a first year – so this 2010-2011 I am still technically a first year!

I still need to take courses to meet my distribution requirement – and I need a course in Humanity and a course in Social Science.

I was wondering what courses to take!

My potential POSts are psych spec/maj and eeb major.

I was eying ‘woman and gender studies’ (wgs100y1) for HUM and ant100y1/ant200y1/ant203y1 for SOCSCI.

I looked into first year seminars (it turns out I can still take first year seminars) but I don’t think there aren’t any interesting ones.

Are first year seminars relatively easier to get better marks and generally, easier than other courses?

I read the syllabus for Lord of the Rings seminar last year and was surprised that you had to read one LOTR book in around every week and a half.

ach.. I don’t remember if you majored in architecture or archaeology or anthrology.

Would you give me some suggestions as to what I should do here?

Do you recommend any other courses to meet the requirements?

I am looking for ‘not-insanely-hard’ or ‘much-writing-assignment’ courses. I dont’ think I am good at writing essays.

Could you please ask anyone who took WGS100y1 or first/second year ant courses and how they are?

I read at some post of yours that ant100y1 course has no essays and watches lord of the rings..

Thank you for your help.

I wish you a jolly fine day.


Hi there. Your question is a bit confusing, but I think I understand what you are getting at here: easy courses for your Humanities and Social Science requirements. (Note: this is pre breadth requirements.) I disagree that you can’t find an interesting First Year Seminar. I mean, there’s one on vikings, dude. Generally people find the courses easier because of the smaller, more contained environment. Having less students in the class means more attention from the professor. And because most of the subjects are light and breezy, the coursework and reading material doesn’t seem as tough.

Peruse this list and reconsider.

I don’t know anyone who has taken WGS 100Y1, or ant100y1/ant200y1/ant203y1, so you’ll just have to consult the anti calendar for feedback on these classes here. Other recommended humanities and social sciences classes that are distribution credit friendly are DRM 100 (first year drama), ABS 201 Y (intro to aborginal studies), ENG 140Y (lit for our time), FCS 195H1 (french culture from Napeoleon to Asterix). GGR 107H1 is a geography class with a 89% retake rate that will get you half a social science credit! The Urbanization follow up was also well received.

Hope that helps and good luck with meeting all your requirements.

xoxo, Askastudent


why is there no UTM anti-calendar?

im wondering if you might have knowledge/some book guide that would talk of the ‘preferred’ courses that are taken in second year for political sci and sociology at UTM?
any info would be helpful
guide as in ‘best prof to take or course’

thank you in advance


Apologies beforehand, as I am using your question as a jumping off point to discuss why UTM doesn’t have an anti-calendar. Normally I would be able to point you to the resource, which does offer criticism on instructors, easiness and cvetching with the course. However, UTM’s regular anti-calendar hasn’t been updated since 2005, and the only courses it does discuss are for programs in anthropology, biology, culture communication and technology and chemical and physical sciences. WTF?

Your best bet might be to go on the dreaded Rate My Professor, and see if any of the courses you want to take also match a well-loved prof. (Bonus points if there’s a chili pepper next to their name.) Otherwise, maybe contacting the Political Science or Sociology programs is the best thing to do? Both have academic counsellors there.

But hey Aska Readers, have you taken these classes? Any poli sci/sociology majors at UTM reading? Help a Aska out and comment with advice.

xoxo, Askastudent


i want my syllabus!


I’m trying to plan out my timetable and select courses for the upcoming school year. I’ve already referred to the anti-calendar and to make sure I select the right profs so that’s not the issue for me.

The issue rears its ugly head when I attempt to find the course syllabus for each course. The reason I’m looking for course syllabi is because I’m trying to get some insight on what the workload will be like for each course (how many tests and/or assignments there will be and what they will be weighted, if I will be graded on tutorial attendance, etc).

When referring to the anti-calender, it seems like the workload is always rated ‘average’ by students, so that does not really help me. I’ve also referred to the exams and course collections database, but that yielded no results either (many courses are password protected, only have one outdated syllabus from the 1800’s, or are not even listed at all). I’ve even tried going on portal and clicking on “browse course catalogues” … but most, if not all, of the courses are restricted and don’t let me view the course pages.

It seems I’ve exhausted all my options at this point. All I want to do is skim over the course syllabus for each course and such a seemingly simple task appears impossible to accomplish.

Do you have any suggestions or am I just going to have to wait and receive the syllabus on the first day of classes?




Hello Amanda, the keener.

It seems like you’ve really done your homework – and the class hasn’t even begun! Sometimes, old syllabi pop up on former course or program websites, but sometimes they’re under lock and key. Though most profs tend to go AWOL during the summer, you might get lucky if you email the professor who’s listed in the timetable for the syllabus (perhaps they also taught the course last year?), or a quick and friendly email asking about courseload. Depending on the course, Aska might know some people who might be able to give you a bit of detailed advice about the work schedule.

In the meantime though, don’t sweat it. I understand your angst, given that the class might have too much workload and by the time you know it you might want to drop it and then there might be no other spaces in the other classes you might want. (LARGE DEEP BREATH.) But in the first week of classes, many students go shopping – not just for fancy U of T hoodies – but by examining the syllabi of their new classes and decided whether or not they’ll drop them.

The first day of your class is usually when you’ll get the syllabi, featuring all the assignments, readings and due dates.

So for now, hold tight, lemme know what courses you’re looking for in particular, and I’ll see what I drudge up.

xoxo, Askastudent


Aunt Eye Cal End Hair.

I am having the hard time in choosing the courses. I’d like to know the course load of the following courses:



Another school year has passed us by, and another round of course enrollment looms in the not-so-distant future. With a new cohort of students entering of U of T, I am morally obliged to advertise the “Anti-Calendar.” Proudly presented by the Arts & Science Students Union (ASSU), this document presents a synthesis of course evaluations that students fill out at the end of term. While the info may not always be transferrable to subsequent courses (e.g. there’s a new Prof), the Anti-Calendar is still one of the most useful resources for course selection, and/or mindless time consumption. Aska shamelessly refers to it like a broken record.


The 2008-9 version will be available in mid-June online and in tangible form at the ASSU office.

In the meantime, I will rely on the 2007-8 edition in the hopes that you readers will chip in … a lot.


Before I begin let me just say… If you are a new student, which it sounds like you are, then I wouldn’t base my course selection solely on work load. Sure some course combinations yield a hellish course load, but very few are heaven-ish. And even if you could take the Sun & its Neighbours’ 5 times simultaneously, where would that leave you?


May I suggest considering…

a) pre-requisites for subject POSts that you might want in the future;

b) distribution requirements;

c) courses of pure interest (I’m convinced everyone likes at least one thing); and

d) first-year seminars.


According to the Anti-Calendar, from 2 years ago, RLG100 was interesting and not too tough (woo), but the tutorials are supposedly not great (boo). One Prof seems enthusiastic and fun, and the other seems enthusiastic and approachable. Students indicated that the workload was about 4.25 out of 7. So, like, average.


The Anti-Calendar indicated that GGR124 had a marginally lower workload. The Profs were reported to be… guess what?… enthusiastic. Apparently the powerpoints aren’t posted online, which is totally irritating. I guess you’ll HAVE to go to class.


A second useful resource, when selecting courses, is the exams and course collections database (search by department… it’s easier). PDFs of many past exams and syllabi are accessible here. Calm down, most Profs are not lazy enough to repeat the same exam two years in a row, BUT reading previous exams gives you a great idea of the course content. And yes, I said the word “syllabi.” Plural for syllabus, it is a pretentious word for course “outline” (oh, how banal!). Get used to it. Again there are no guarantees that these details (e.g. description, lecture topics, modes of examination) will remain the same from year-to-year, but they will probably be really similar.


On a side note, syllabi are like “contracts” between the student and Prof. So, if the Prof ever changes assignment weightings or late penalties without consulting the class you totally have a leg to stand on when appealing to them.


And that’s all I have to say about those two courses that I have never taken. Any help from out there?!?


P.s. Both courses had non-multiple choice exams. So, you’re on the right track so far.


askastudent is a delicate flower?

Hi Askastudent,I have to take CHM220H1. And it says that a recommended co-requisite is MAT235Y1. What’s
your opinion on taking MAT235Y1? How is it compared to MAT135Y1. What is the general consensus regarding this course?


Thank you very much.










Go build a bridge or something?

Hi,I was wondering if you know of the existence of an anti-calendar for engineering courses.






The Good Book

I was reading that there was a Student Guidebook to help students pick out courses.? The book explains student views on courses and professors.? Could you please help me get a copy?



everyone in line for an anti-calendar

I’m trying to choose courses for September, and I want to find out about the professors before I register. Is the Anti-calendar my best bet? If so, where can I find it?


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