America in Sixties: Politics, Society, and Culture, 1954 to 1974--Special Topics: Sisters in Song, 1950s and 1960s
Spring 2020 - My seminar was really chill, fun and interesting, but I know that others can be kind of intense. You really have to pick a topic that you're interested in. My friends enrolled in seminars because they thought their TA would be as chill and lenient as they were throughout the year. Since this is a seminar, the TAs are really passionate and would like you to put in quite a bit of effort in the subject of their specialty, whether its literature, politics, or cinema. If you're not interested in the seminar's topic, you're not going to do as well as you could have. My seminar was so much fun, because we listened to music each week and if we had time we would talk about the readings (which were also fun, because they were about a specific female artist). It was a safe space where we talked about prominent performers and their significance within 1950s doo-wop, R&B, Jazz, Country/Folk, Motown, Rock n Roll, theater, cinema, and Soul/Funk! In terms of workload, each week on CCLE we would listen to a list of song recordings in the certain genre that Sandra posted and then submit a paragraph. We would also review the readings and come up with two discussion points or questions on each, although bringing them up was not mandatory, just encouraged since participation is part of your grade too. Finally, we would search on Youtube for a recording of a song in the genre that Sandra hadn't posted, submit the link on CCLE and play it and briefly discuss it with the class. The song sharing and reading discussion parts took up most of our time in class. We also wrote a short essay (about 2 pages double spaced) on a specific musical's song and either its plot or significance. For our 'final', we had been working on an essay about a song or comparison of songs from a prominent artist, breaking it down musicologically and tying it back to the cultural and personal significance. Of course, this format might be different in future seminars. They vary the seminar topics each year, but Sandra is a great TA. She's been very empathetic, caring, thoughtful, and chill this quarter, especially with the pandemic going on right now. She was like a mom to all of her students and I think each of us came to class with genuine enthusiasm. She used to be a performer herself so she's very knowledgeable on music terminology. I would 200% recommend taking Sandra, especially if you're interested in musicology. I almost took a political science seminar just because I had been with that TA for 60A and 60B and he was a chill grader. Like I mentioned, just pick a seminar that you're interested in, because any class is difficult if your attitude and mindset aren't in the right mode.