U.S., Civil War and Reconstruction
Kafka's sheer passion for his subject transcends his lectures. This was the best learning experience I have had at UCLA. He is a new professor, and strikes me as someone who will either be loved by his students or disliked, depending on personality and what type of learner you are. I felt that he was a very effective teacher, however his written tests demanded a lot of seemingly randomized knowledge, not just what was focused on most, which I find to be something a novice professor would do, to simply test his students' ability to retain knowledge. However, he is someone with whom I would readily take a class again, with no qualms. I feel that his approach and expectations out of students' written work is fairly advanced and evolved, and helps to better students overall, and not just serve as a medium in which to repeat lectures.
Winter 2023 - Took this class in winter 2023, and it was Prof Waugh's first class back after taking a hiatus over the pandemic. I thought she was a really engaging lecturer, and even brought some civil war garb for students to try on one day in class. Class was 45% midterm and 55% final (I believe), and thought both exams were pretty straightforward — I got an A on both, ended with an A in the course. Hoping to take another class from her in the future!