CLUSTER 20B

Interracial Dynamics in American Culture and Society

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PROFESSORS

Scot Brown Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Jeffrey Decker See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 2.7 Workload 2.5 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 3.7

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my god, he's a terrible lecturer. it was painful to listen to him for more than 15 minutes. and he seemed a little sassy for me... as for the cluster. it's definitely not worth it. all of fall quarter was basically a review of the same damn thing we've all been learning since 3rd grade. AND THAT QUARTER, I GOT A B. so not worth it. make sure you get a good TA if you decide to take it. makes a HUGE difference. first quarter, i had a new TA that didn't even know herself what to expect from us. terrible experience. the next to quarters i had an awesome TA and got an easy A.

so you're choice, but not my suggestion.

Feb. 21, 2012
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Jean-Paul Deguzman Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Mishuana Goeman See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 2.5 Helpfulness 2.0

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As professors go, Professor Goeman is definitely in the bottom 5%. Her shrill voice and tangential, unclear, and disorganized lectures sucked the life out of me every single time. I could walk into the class overjoyed and full of energy and leave feeling as if I had run 2 marathons back-to-back after a week of sleep deprivation. I guarantee that you will lose all focus within 10 seconds of the lecture's start. You may not even last that long.

The class overall, however, efficiently satisfies requirements, is pertinent, and mildly interesting.

Winter Quarter 2017
Celia Lacayo Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Valerie Matsumoto Full Profile > 4.0 Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 5.0 Helpfulness
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Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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Vilma Ortiz See Full Profile

Overall 2.6 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.0 Clarity 2.6 Helpfulness 2.7

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(I wrote a similar review for fall quarter, this one will be tailored to the winter quarter assignments)

For the winter quarter, the course was structured into lectures twice a week with a 2-hour discussion once a week. In lectures, the professors would rotate, and they would lecture on the material relevant to their expertise and areas of research. I personally think that lectures weren't helpful, but I still went because they tracked attendance with clickers. They do post slides online in case you miss something, however. Often times, Professor Ortiz would stand on the side of the lecture room and make sure that nobody was talking, which was pretty funny in my opinion. The unique thing about this cluster (and every cluster) is that discussion attendance and participation made up a significant portion of your grade (25%). Discussions were a seminar-style setting with a TA asking questions and facilitating responses. My TA made us do a presentation on one of the weekly set of readings from the course reader (will be discussed below), which counted for a good portion of our participation grade. The key to getting a good grade is to make sure that your TA likes you (will be discussed below too).

In terms of assignments, we had 2 papers and a final exam in the winter, in addition to weekly readings. These readings were out of a quite pricey course reader that you are required to purchase. These readings were often dry and boring, and the corresponding lecture had very little connection to the readings. While I haven't heard of any reading quizzes in discussions, many TA's could determine whether you read or not based on your amount of participation in discussion, which is why it is important to at least have some general idea of what the readings are about. The final exam was cumulative over both fall and winter quarter, and it consisted of several short response questions and an essay about topics discussed in class. Each question required you to cite a certain number of readings from both fall and winter course readers. So this is where you need to be up to speed with your reading. While you don't need to read every word of every reading, it is important that you at least understand the main idea behind each reading (I think there was around 70 total). But no need to cite lecture, which was why I never paid attention in lecture during the winter lol. The two papers were an analysis of race in historical newspapers and a literary analysis of the common book (VERY SIMILAR TO THE FALL QUARTER PAPER). In fact, the second paper was so simple and straightforward that I thought it would be a breeze. However, I believe it was graded much more harshly than the past papers, as your TA really wanted to see improvement in your writing. Overall, the papers are pretty straightforward to write, but here is where getting your TA to like you becomes very important. I have heard from my classmates with different TAs that each one grades differently, and often times, harshly. Because of that, I strongly suggest going to TA office hours to seek help and guidance, EVEN IF YOU DON'T NEED IT. This shows to your TA at least that you are taking the initiative to ask for help, even if you don't care. It is important that you and your TA maintain a good relationship because YOUR GRADE IS DETERMINED ENTIRELY BY THE SUBJECTIVITY OF YOUR TA'S GRADING. I had a somewhat harsh TA, but managed to do very well because of my persistence, and not much else.

Overall, the class isn't the best class you will take at UCLA, but if you are passionate about the subject or would like to knock out some GE's then it's worth a shot. Nothing is necessarily difficult, but as long as you and your TA are on good terms, then you'll be all set.

Winter Quarter 2018
Mark Sawyer Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Brenda Stevenson See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.6 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.1

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Selling both course readers and Bad Indians for cheaper. Contact me for prices and details: sophiamrad@gmail.com

Winter Quarter 2019
Min Zhou Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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