Introduction to American Indian Studies
Fall 2019 - If you're searching for the easiest GE on campus, then you're looking in the right place. Class grade is based on participation (if you draw breath you'll get 100%), 2 papers (first one they gave everyone 100%), a midterm (multiple choice section is open-note and take home section is jokes), and a final (also open-note). If that sounds like a bad time, that's okay because college isn't for everyone. But, if what you desire is an A+ in a 5 unit class and a bunch of time to beat your meat in lecture, then you know what to do!
Fall 2020 - Professor Mays has to be one of my favorite lecturers at UCLA. Not only is he INCREDIBLY knowledgable about this subject, but he is also super down to earth which made learning online a lot less stressful which ultimately led me to being much more engaged in the material. I was confident that I would enjoy this class to at least a certain extent when first enrolling; however, I never expected that I would take as much from it as I did. Overall, this class was an instructive, introductory course on how to better decolonize the mind. Whether it be through the sprawling set of readings we were assigned, the eye-opening films, or the insightful (and very funny) lectures, this class has challenged me to unlearn false parts of the American history taught to me in my childhood.
This was such a wonderful, life-changing class--definitely one I will never forget. You really don't realize how misinformed you are about Native Americans until taking this class, and it really is relevant to daily life. It was very interesting to learn about native cultures & traditions but I was most fascinated by the contemporary issues--especially a very good lecture on stereotypes of and the actual effects of casinos. The class is a midterm & a final plus two quizzes but it's totally do-able. The $160 course reader was a bit ridiculous but luckily you can do fine by just going to class every day and paying attention in discussion. Nabokov is very concerned about students & really wants everyone to succeed and just have a better understanding of natives. I got an A easily & was never really stressed about my grade. You won't regret taking this class--probably my favorite GE.
Course Taken: American Indian Studies M10/World Arts and Culture M23 Overall Professor Reifel was very helpful and understanding. This class is taught solely by guest lectures and she adds her insight in at the very end (usually a 1 minute statement); although she did conduct the last lecture. Class Breakdown: Lecture Quizzes: You are assigned a short quiz on the course website – usually 4-5 multiple choice/true or false/fill in the blank/short answer questions (mostly multiple choice) questions. The quiz is based off of the readings before each lecture. They are easy. They are graded on a very unique curve that essentially guarantees you an A on them. You are given until the beginning of lecture to take the quiz. Lecture/Essays: Each lecture is based off of a different topic in American Indian Studies. At the end of the set period you are assigned an essay and are to find and discuss the common theme of the series of lectures. These are your only major assignments in the class; you have 3 essays during the quarter. For the last essay we were given the option of doing whatever format we wanted. It had to be in a 3-6 page format. It was really creative. I made a syllabus and got 100% on it! The other essays are graded solely off the way your TA grades and the grading rubric. Discussion: You have weekly discussion with your TA. I had Lawrence Mojado – he was really cool and very helpful. Discussion is mandatory and attendance is taken. This counts as 60 points towards your grade. Grade Breakdown: Quizzes: 34 points (2 points per quiz and you take 17 of them) Papers: 126 points (First 2 essays are 43 points and the last is 40 points) Discussion: 60 points (Just show up to discussion and earn these easy points!!) Total: 220 maximum points Overall the class was very simple. I missed majority of the lectures but it helped that they were podcasted; especially when it came to writing the papers. Honestly lecture is pointless unless you are interested in that week’s topic or the topic as a whole. I would recommend this class to anyone because it is very simple and the professor genuinely wants you to do well. Final Grade: A! 208/220 (missed points on the first 2 essays and aced everything else)
Fall 2021 - Note: I believe Professor Teeter is moving on to do some work with indigenous tribes so this is more of a review of AmIndM10 in general. You should take this class if you want an easy GE. Firstly the grading is very lenient: it’s based on 5 discussion posts (full marks for engaging i.e a paragraph or two), discussion attendance (both being present and contributing), and 5 essays (750-1000 words each). The essays were quite easy to score well on because only 5/20 pts were based on content, the other 15 was things like citing enough sources and meeting the word count. The workload depends on you. The readings are often very long, but not all readings need to be read for the purpose of the essays/discussion post so you can actually skim/skip a lot without having it negatively affect your grade. The 5 essays are usually once every fortnight and are 750-1000 words so relatively light. Overall the course is fairly easy but also what you learn is definitely very enlightening.