Studies in Individual Authors
I took English 110T with Professor Cunningham and it was a bit of a disappointment by the end when we had to submit a portfolio and a final paper on Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. I kept waiting to discover some aspect about my writing that could help me for future quarters at UCLA. All I learned was that there isn't a formula to writing an essay, it all depends on yourself and what you consider interesting because that's the only way the paper you write is going to sound interesting. Professor Cunningham was excellent at providing us with different ways to approach a text, even though all we really needed was the book and not necessarily the class. She has a warm personality, but she spends a lot of the time just talking about the exciting things she did over the weekend. If this type of small talk appeals to you, than by all means spend your money on it. If you want a professor that is serious about making use of class time instead of gushing about all the years they've spent studying Shakespeare, than I suggest looking for another professor. She is approachable in office hours even though her desire to talk to you on a personal level can seem a little invasive. The class was helpful as a basic introduction to writing about different genres in literature.
If you like being taught by your peers and not the professor, I recommend Professor Mullen. However, if you like to actually be taught by the person who is paid to do so, this is not the class for you. The journal entries she assigned made me feel like I was back in elementary school. I DO prefer discussions, in which all can express their ideas and options, but when a teacher does not add any of her knowledge to class time, I feel like I might as well stay at home. I do not doubt that Professor Mullen is a talented writer, as she has won many awards, I just do not believe she is a talented teacher. She does not seem to care about student learning, and does not guide students through a text. The class I took with Professor Mullen was on Rita Dove, an author I knew nothing about before the class, making my need for guidance elevated. This need was never met. She is not the WORST teacher out there, but I think that there are many better.
I actually had her for Feminist Theory 110B. The course consists of a midterm and a final which are both a 3-4 paper and an in-class short answer. There really isnt that much work to be done. Her lectures are so dull though and I found myself rolling my eyes at everything she said. Sharpe isn't very nice or helpful. I ended up getting a B with a very minimal effort or any sort of understanding of the material.