ASIAN M60W

Introduction to Buddhism

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PROFESSORS

William Bodiford See Full Profile

Overall 3.4 Easiness 3.4 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.4 Helpfulness 3.4

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This review is for Matthew Hayes, unfortunately he isn't on Bruin Walk for some reason. This class has three papers, one midterm and a final. So, if you do badly on a paper or midterm it can be pretty unforgiving on your final grade.

This class, to me, feels divided. Lecture material has minimal correlation to the workload for discussions. Discussions are instructed by TA's and mainly focus on building your research paper for the entire quarter. Your research paper has three drafts the first draft, the second draft, and the final draft all of which account for the three paper schemes. Personally, I found discussion to be a waste of time because it just felt uncoordinated with no real lesson plan. Your final grade heavily depends on the TA you get, and obviously some TA's are tougher graders than others. To my knowledge, no grade adjustment was done to account for this, which other classes at UCLA have done before. Tough luck if you get a difficult TA, you'll just have to deal with it.

Matthew Hayes is an okay professor. His lectures are very slides heavy and does not post the slides on CCLE. Lectures aren't very engaging. But, Matthew does a great job on providing analogies to break down Buddhist concepts that would be on the midterm and final. The midterm and final are memorization based, so if you utilize short term memory studying in learning all the terms two days before you should be fine.

I personally did not enjoy the grading in the class and discussions. However, I did enjoy the snippets of lecture material as it is an interesting subject.

Overall, this class can be very unforgiving in terms of your final grade. Take at your own caution.

P.S for clarity, my TA was Tom Newhall.

Winter Quarter 2020
Robert Buswell See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.5 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 4.0

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Prof Buswell is definitely extremely knowledgeable. The guy even published his encyclopedia of Buddhist terms. But he isn't the best at teaching it. He uses slides but they usually have pictures or few specific phrases. So if you want to follow what is happening, you have to listen to him and not care about the slides. The problem with that is 1) you tend miss quite a few things that he says which might be important because he crams a lot of information with a single sentence and he speaks relatively fast, so while writing what he just said, you will miss the next sentence and the cycle continues 2) if you want to go home and review, the slides are not very helpful because there is hardly any content. So you can say that the class is primarily driven by the professor's speeches. For me, my TA was a blessing. Eric was super cool and helpful. He was very understanding and would also put in effort to explain concepts if you approached him. I also appreciated that Prof Buswell announced that the final would be a take-home during week 8, so that was very helpful because it gave us time to condense our understandings and think about it. His questions were sort of vague during the midterm and the sad thing was, even though I was up to date with readings and lecture notes, I was still kind of confused as to what his questions really meant and what he expected. The questions sound very deep and philosophical but later I realized, they were actually intending to ask something very similar. So if you are someone who is not used to deep, philosophical questions like me, this might not be the best class for you. But I definitely have a significantly better understanding of Buddhism.

Winter Quarter 2019
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Caleb Carter Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Caleb Carter See Full Profile

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Christopher Hanscom Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Christopher Hanscom See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Matthew Hayes See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 4.4 Workload 4.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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Dr. Hayes is incredible and I recommend taking him for this course or any course he teaches! Despite remote learning and never seeing his face during his lectures, Dr. Hayes is an engaging and great lecturer who brings in a lot of outside context and analogies to bring it back to Buddhism and his lecture. I found that really helpful since some things he brings up may be confusing, but he knows how to break it down to make it digestible, which is a skill not many professors had.

Your TA will be responsible for majority of your grading, except Dr. Hayes will be grading 1-2 bigger assignments/examinations. There will be a paper your TA will help guide you to write throughout the quarter and it's pretty vague in terms of what it asks. Make sure it you just follow the rubric and pick a topic that you're actually interested in within the parameters of the assignment and you will be fine. There will be one peer-editing assignment in the middle of the quarter, but that was graded based on completion rather than the grade that you gave the person, if that makes sense.

Discussions focus on the writing aspect of this course and gear you to make sure that you're writing at a collegiate level. Some participation is required. Classes focus on the actual course content of Buddhism and it was always a delight with Dr. Hayes! Obvi, this was delivered in lecture videos with a powerpoint (not live-streamed).

It's been about two quarters since I've taken this class and I still think about some of the Buddhist teachings and dharmas that were taught. Regardless, it was such an interesting course that I've taken a lot of and applied it into my life! Take this course! Put in the work and you will be satisfied with the grade you get.

Spring Quarter 2020
Bruce Hayes Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Jason McCombs Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Jason McCombs See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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Karen Muldoon-Hules See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 4.0

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Way too difficult of a class for a G.E. Talked with many fellow students and they agreed that the workload and amount of reading assigned for this class was well above what it should be for a G.E. Interesting class, but it will require a significant amount of your time to get an A let alone a B. I have an extensive and thorough 60+ page combined study guide for all the midterm and final review questions for sale for $50. Email me at barmanryan@gmail.com for more information.

Winter Quarter 2017
Gregory Schopen Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Gregory Schopen See Full Profile

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Dermott Walsh Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Dermott Walsh See Full Profile

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