Introduction to Western Civilization: Ancient Civilizations from Prehistory to Circa A.D. 843
Professor Chambers succeeded in keeping most lectures interesting. He's really approachable in his office hours too. However, I would have to disagree with the bottom post on the topic of his choice in TAs. My TA did not know anything about Western Civilization. He practically had the students lead class discussions for most of the quarter (the only credit I give to him was contributing the fact that most of the Spartan army was gay...) and from what I've heard from other students, the other TAs aren't all the great either. Yes, Chambers is an awesome professor, but his choice in putting your grade in your TA's hands was the worst (and most effective... in a negative sense) part of this class.
take it over summer! super easy, you don't have to go to class but it's actually pretty entertaining to go. the material itself is really interesting. just read the textbook and outline the possible midterm and final questions that he gives based on his slides (posted online) but mostly the text (he writes it)--about four hours' work before the midterm and final each, total-- and you'll be absolutely fine!
Professor Geary gets right to it right when lecture starts, and he really knows his stuff! He makes things a lot more interesting than they could be. His lectures are very organized, too. He posts outlines of them online, but you should need to go to lecture to fill everything in. The class might seem easy, but because everything is essay format, you need to study, study, study... probably your notes more than anything else. Michael Benson is a cool TA; just don't think that you can get by making random stuff up. (TA's grade everything in this class.) His TA sessions are pretty unorganized, but if you participate and ask questions, he's definitely knowledgeable about approaching things thematically, which is basically how the whole course works, anyway.
Winter 2022 - I took this class coming into a winter quarter that started online and then moved to a hybrid layout. This excuses the absolute chaotic mess that this class was to some extent but it is not fully pardoned from being an absolute drag. The actual content was pretty interesting at times but there was not direction in the class whatsoever. You just had to hope you were doing the right thing for the majority of the quarter. I can't speak for this professor's capabilities during a regular quarter so maybe I'm being unfair. She really is nice and will answer questions, so maybe she was just really not prepared to teach this quarter. Anyways, just be ready to read and remember a bunch of dates.
Fall 2022 - If you have an interest in ancient history, this is a really good GE to take. It's not unreasonably hard, and the workload is not bad at all. You really have to attend lectures if you want to do well, but if you attend lecture, you will have already done the majority of the work you will need to do. The professor covers everything you need to know in his lectures, and I didn't feel any need to read the textbook. The exams are really just about memorization, and the professor sends out a study guide with everything that will be on the exam a week before each exam. The hardest thing about the exam is that you have to memorize dates, or else you will lose a lot of points. As someone who enjoys learning about history, I found the lectures were really interesting and I learned a lot through this class.
Rapp is very knowledgeable about Western Civilization, and the class wasn't too bad. However, her lectures are a bit boring (since she's a tad boring). Midterm and Final are relatively easy, since all you have to do is memorize (she gives you a list key words to help you study). Discussion requires a bit of reading, but really you can just skim the book, since the midterm/final's word list require only specific things. Also, you can skim the source texts also, since the discussion will point out all the key parts.
I took Intro to Southeast Asian Studies with Prof. Woods - not History: 1A. There was no SEA course option. Great professor! His lectures are very easy to follow, and he's extremely friendly. If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask because I'm sure he'd love to help. The class consists of a map test, 10 page paper, the midterm, and the final. The midterm and final are quite easy because he gives you a study guide, and the questions will only come from there. The only thing that you have to be aware of are the TONS of weekly reading that you'll have to do. BUT, if you use your time wisely and read the articles in advance, it is not very difficult to finish. Take this class! It's a really easy GE, and I found some of the readings very interesting.