America in Sixties: Politics, Society, and Culture, 1954 to 1974
Fall 2015 - Definitely one of the most manageable clusters. There is a a lot of assigned reading in the beginning but you don't have to do all of it to do well in the class. But it definitely helps so try to do as much as you can. Like most clusters, they cover a lot of topics but don't really go much into depth on anything. You had to memorize songs and recognize them on the midterm but there's not too many and it's very manageable if you start studying more than a day or two in advance. Lectures can be fairly engaging depending on who's lecturing. Vavreck is the best but she lectures the least, Aberbach is really boring and doesn't use slides, Schwartz isn't very interesting either and her lectures are kind of scattered, and Decker kind of goes off on tangents. It's not a perfect class but the workload is very reasonable compared to other clusters and the topics can be really cool if you like politics and music. I would totally recommend it for science majors who want to get their non science GEs out of the way in a fairly relaxed class.
Fall 2018 - Decker is probably the sweetest but most boring professor I’ve had at UCLA. The dude is a little boring but you manage to get through it. However, again he’s a very nice guy. Would not recommend taking this cluster, take another one if you want the credit. This cluster is an interesting time in history but the faculty is very disorganized in teaching it. As a history major, they do a poor job of keeping it on a time sequence. The class bores you with readings that are too long and focusing on things that are very bland in the Sixties with no time frame whatsoever. Adam Bakr is an awesome TA though, if he’s a TA next year you should Forsure take it.
Nothing against the professor, just my opinion LA the Cluster, this course - I don't know who started this "interdisciplinary" idea that seems cool but end up in a mess. Things are uncoordinated and professors randomly talk about their own research interest that don't really make sense with other materials in class. Hence I dub the term "GE Clusterfuck" to describe GE clusters, beware and heed my word.
Fall 2019 - Okay honestly, compared to other clusters, this cluster is NOT that bad at all. It's perfect for STEM majors that want to knock out 4 GEs (Literary, Visual, Historical, Social) but don't want to be bored to death. Attendance is not required/taken during lecture, but the lectures aren't posted online so I recommend taking the extra step to just go every lecture so that you're not making up for it later. I took this class because it seemed like the fun cluster, with music and politics, but don't forget about the history and English aspects! Professor Decker, who teaches the Literature, Film/TV lectures is so dull, but I'm surprised I haven't fallen asleep alongside my friends. His voice is very monotone and he often goes off on unrelated tangents that stray away from what he is trying to say. He means well, but sometimes it's hard to focus on the words he says when you've just woken up. Professor Reiff is only slightly more interesting because she sometimes discusses interesting topics, but most of the time its just a bunch of words - like full-on paragraphs - on a lecture slide and before you know it class is over and you have no recollection of what she said. The best Professors are Vavreck and Fink because they like to engage with the class with questions or opinions, they seem excited and awake, and they make jokes as best as they can. There is no final for this class, only a midterm, and the TAs usually prepare their sections pretty well with what to expect. The Literature Paper and Political Science polling paper are designed to be vague and open-ended, so just remember to specify your topic a little bit and make sure you have something to say, theme-wise. Overall, I didn't think I was going to get an A because I'm not that great at papers...and also because they never posted the grades for the assignments online....but anyway it's possible!