America in Sixties: Politics, Society, and Culture, 1954 to 1974--Special Topics: Music and Social Movements in Americas
Spring 2021 - So I took this class as the third quarter of the 60s cluster, which is basically like a special more focused topic that builds off of the more holistic curriculum of the first two quarters. I had a love/hate relationship with this class. Basically the actual seminar consisted of one social movement/music style per week, one or two readings and accompanying songs to look at before class, and then a lecture and discussion questions to complete in class in teams. The two major things we practiced with our teams each class was close readings of songs (finding meaning in lyrics) and close listening of songs (finding meaning in the vocals/instrumentation). The content is interesting enough, and if you liked the weeks led by Fink during the first two quarters then you'll like the stuff we cover in this seminar. Kristie's grading scheme is where the love/hate thing comes into play. She believes in "ungrading" which basically means that as long as we turned in a draft of a paper, no matter how shitty it was, we would get credit for having completed the draft. So her syllabus laid out how many drafts of which papers we needed to complete to get the grade we wanted (so initially for an A, we needed to complete three drafts of a close reading, three drafts of a close listening, an abstract/outline for our final paper, a one-on-one writing conference with her, and the final paper). So we love this because for an A in a 6 unit class you can literally turn in a shitty first, second, and third draft of two papers and then one final paper and have no doubt about your grade. We also hate this though, because she didn't give us prompts or any type of direction about what to write, and she took freaking forever to give us any feedback on anything ever. Like our first draft of the close reading was due week 3, and we were supposed to have our second drafts in by week 5, but she didn't give us feedback until week 6 so she pushed the due date back to week 7, and took the third drafts of both papers off of the list of things to complete for an A. I mean like that was great because we had less work to do because she took so long to give us feedback, but at the same time we all spent like 3 weeks not being able to get anything done and not knowing if she was gonna push back the due date of the second draft or not. And when people tried to ask her in class, she would say that we were distracting her from that week's content, and to schedule office hours instead. Anyways, besides the lack of instructions about what we were supposed to be writing, and the long ass time it took her to give us feedback on our drafts, you'd expect her to at least respond to emails about the papers/due dates/formatting and stuff, but no she literally never responded to any of my emails. And after week 4, she didn't even put turnitin links on the CCLE page for us to turn in our discussion questions and drafts of our papers, so we all just started emailing our stuff to her hoping that she would see it. So basically, the class consisted of us trying to guess what to write about, when we would get feedback, and when/where to turn in our work. The lack of instruction/direction on literally anything in this class could definitely be super stressful at times, but at the end of the day since our grades were entirely completion based, that stress wasn't even really legitimate because we all knew that we'd probably get good grades? I don't know, that's why we love/hate this class. So if you're ok with feeling lost at all times if it means an easy A in a 6 unit class, then definitely sign up for this class. But if you want a structured course, then avoid sem10 at all costs.