CLUSTER 60B

America in Sixties: Politics, Society, and Culture, 1954 to 1974

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PROFESSORS

Joel Aberbach See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 4.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

Selling course reader for GE 60B,

Text me for more details if you are interested :) 805-405-6565

Winter Quarter 2017
Jeffrey Decker See Full Profile

Overall 3.1 Easiness 2.9 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.1 Helpfulness 3.4

Most Helpful Review

DO NOT BUY THE COURSE READER! It's too expensive, and most TAs know we don't read the readings and they don't either, and it's this wonderful world of balance and understanding for all of us. Okay, now that that's out of the way, you're probably here because you already took 60A, so you should know what the style of each professor is like by now (if you attend lecture :)). Fink definitely gets more into music this quarter, especially with the funk, Motown, and psychedelic rock lectures, those were engaging and relevant. Vavreck was fantastic as always, and Decker and Reiff were slightly more tolerable this quarter.

Essays - in 60A the papers were for political science and english, so this time they'll be about history and musicology. Both of them were fairly easy and worthwhile. The oral history paper will be assigned at the end of 60A, and you get to interview someone that lived through the sixties and ask them about almost anything - politics, trends, gender roles, civil rights movement, etc. You then write about how their responses connected with the topics taught in class. Pretty simple, it's not too long or anything, just make sure to connect the two things with strong evidence. The musicology paper was way more fun, although everyone had to analyze the same song: All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix. Great song, and there's a lot of elements to talk about, so if you know musical terms or what instruments are playing, you should be all set to discuss how that conveys a message.

You really should just go to lecture to absorb information and be mentally present, either way the same stuff will be covered in discussion anyway. Shoutout to my TA Greg for always being chill, I knew that I wouldn't get torn to pieces on my essays because he was a fair grader.

Since corona hit at the end of the quarter, our final was reduced significantly (the visual and musical IDs were taken out and all we had to do was analyze a crosstab and write an essay). So I don't know what advice to give you on that, but bottom line: 60B was even easier than 60A. Just put some effort into your essays and you should be golden!!

Winter Quarter 2020
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Robert Fink See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 3.7 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Fink is one of the better lectures for the class. His lectures were truly engaging. He had new stuff to talk about every lecture and taught it in ways that were fun and easy to understand. He even brought in a guest speaker who played the electric guitar for us so we could understand Jimi Hendrix's style better. The only downfall for this professor was the musicology paper. It was extremely difficult to write because it was so conceptual. There was no set topic that you had to write about and you invented things as you want. Overall Fink is a great professor and I would recommend him, he is one of the professors of the cluster you will look forward to seeing.

Winter Quarter 2020
Janice Reiff See Full Profile

Overall 1.0 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.0 Clarity 1.7 Helpfulness 2.0

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Overall I was not a fan of the 60s cluster. You have nightly readings from the course reader (you have to buy one for fall and winter quarter, each being ~$60) which are incredibly long and boring. You could probably get away with not doing them but you will be a little lost in lecture. Reiff's lectures were the worst out of all the professors. They were extremely dull and not engaging whatsoever. I never listened past the first 10 minutes of class when she lectured and just ended up working on other things. Her slides were essentially blocks of text that she read word for word off of with a few pictures. My TA Adam was great!! He made the class enjoyable and bearable. I recommend trying to get him if he is TAing next year. There are a two essays, participation, and a final that make up your final grade. The essays weren't too bad but just extremely time consuming. Due to the circumstances, the final was open book and online so it wasn't too bad. I wouldn't expect the same for next year though and would double check with the professors. I think that the cluster is overall nice if you have a lot of GEs you need to knock out but personally I wouldn't recommend the 60s one.

Winter Quarter 2020
Jessica Schwartz See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 3.0 Helpfulness 3.0

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I didn't love Schwartz, but I didn't hate her either. She just tries really hard to be funny and it just gets really awkward. Her slides are also super unhelpful when you go back to study because its usually just a picture with the name of a song and the band that performed it. She also moves quickly so you can't always get all the info for a particular slide, so when you go back to study you're kinda screwed. The winter quarter is mostly her show because basically every other lecture is about a musical genre. She also writes the prompts for an essay thats 25% of your grade, and the prompts are super convoluted and confusing. She is also terrible at explaining musical sounds because she assumes we can all pick up on the nuances in the differences in sounds from an amplifier. The lectures she gave never lived up to my expectation of the topic. Some people liked her style, but it wasn't really my thing.

Winter Quarter 2016
Lynn Vavreck See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 4.0

Most Helpful Review

Professor Vavreck is probably the best lecturer for this cluster. Her lectures and slides are very detailed and easy-to-follow, and she just seems like a very nice person. The cluster was somewhat of a positive experience because of Vavreck's lectures. Even though Vavreck is great, there is one thing about her lectures that bother me. She often goes on tangents to slam Trump, which is funny at times but is mostly annoying. Other than that, Vavreck is good. As for the cluster, I don't think Vavreck got as much say as Decker and Fink did. Her lecture material was not focused on very much, as the cluster did not focus on pol sci as much as it should have.

Winter Quarter 2019
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