Survey of Middle East from 500 to the Present: 1300 to 1700
Winter 2016 - Your success in this class depends on doing the readings as they are assigned and not leaving them to the last minute. Your grade is based on one take-home midterm, consisting of two essays, a take-home final, which is also in the form of two essays, and two quizzes. The professor's lectures are a bit unorganized, so I would recommend typing your notes. He is pretty picky when it comes to grading, but he's really approachable and encourages students to come to him for help on the assignments. He basically tells you exactly how you should write your papers to get the best grade possible.
Apparently I'm cataloged in the minority group as well, but i just wanted to note to incoming Gelvinites that the work this man demands and the grades that he subsequently doles out are definitely not correlated. I am not contesting his value to the UCLA Hist. dept. as a knowledgeable professor in the affairs of the history of the middle east; he is a very intelligent individual. What was disappointing was his complete lack of care for students, as he does not allow protestation of test grades, as, in my case, the TA failed to add up the points correctly and subsequently i found myself in a genre of grade that has been unprecedented for me at UCLA. Guess there is a first time for everything, but he pissed me off enough to leave my first bruin-walk post. Between the combination of his TA's that can't count, his redundant lectures that all seem to focus on the ECONOMIC history of the middle east, and his overinflated ego that leaves the class in awkward silences forcing people he's looking at to laugh, it's a bit much..
I must say that I really enjoyed Piterberg's class. He doesnt bog you down with all of the details like Prof Morony does, he just gives you a cursory overview of the material. BREAKDOWN of class: Midterm 50% fill in the blanks (in class), Final 50% one essay (in class). I aced the midterm no problem just from going off of my notes, but i came to class EVERY DAY! Piterberg tells you that the test material comes for the lectures, so GO TO CLASS!!! sooo many people didnt, and they got screwed! Now, I aced the midterm and final, but many people didnt. I suggest that you type your notes if you can and make the dates or names that he WRITES ON THE BOARD in "bold" then for the midterm, make a studyguide or flashcards of all the bold terms. The midterm was NOT worded well at all and was very confusing, but the best way to study for Piterberg is your NOTES and NOT the books. Read them, b/c they are interesting, but as he says his tests are on the material discussed in CLASS and NOTHING ELSE!!! Final was one essay out of 3, which basically covered the 3 main themes of the course. Again, i studied my notes, and got an A on the final. My advice 1) Come to class EVERYDAY it is worth it! 2) Take GOOD notes, and mark your notes every time he WRITES ON THE BOARD. 3) Make study-guide/flash cards for the Midterm 4) Study notes (3 main themes of the course) for the Final exam. Although I liked the class, and Piterberg is entertaining, he DOES NOT like staying after class to answer questions. He literally RUNS out of class as soon as it gets out. He is also often late, but ALWAYS leaves on time! I even asked him one time why he runs out of class so soon, and he responded "What do you expect me to do, sit here?" Yes I do professor! you should stay for at LEAST 2-3 mins to answer questions! Take ANY of his classes, his exams are very DOABLE if you take good notes, I can't stress this enough.