Foreign Relations of the U.S.
I went to class five times the entire quarter: the first day, the midterm review, to turn in my midterm paper, the final review and to turn in my final paper. I still got an A after writing both papers (6-8 pages) in 6 hours each. All you need to do to get an A is read the sections that are important to your paper topic and follow the essay format Hager recommends. The readings he assigns are fairly interesting too. Easy. Take Hager; I plan on taking him again in the future.
If I had to pick one professor that had a profound effect on my college experience, I would have to pick Professor Larson. She is so knowledgeable in her field, it is really so inspiring! I love how she structures the class. Every class she will list the main topics on the board and will be lecturing on those topics in that order. She is very organized and rarely gets lost in tangents like other professors. I've taken two classes with Professor Larson, PS 120A and PS 126, and they were both so amazing. I learned so much from her, I wish she would teach more classes! I feel so privileged to have had Professor Larson as a teacher.
Shevchenko is a very knowledgeable and very fair (as in he is pretty unbiased in his lectures and will not try to inject too much of his own subjective musings) professor. However he DOES tend to ramble and speaks very very fast. This combined with his accent and habit of jumping around is the only thing that made this class more complicated than it should have been. I took 120B with him and it was a nightmare trying to listen to him talk about 7 different IR models at the same time. PS135 (Politics of China) was a little easier, but maybe because there was only one country to concentrate on instead of the entirety of IR. Overall he's a great professor, just be prepared to sit forward in class and try hard to "coheratize" what he is saying.
Professor Swango is a knowledgeable professor...but he has a serious problem with teaching it to students. I took him for 120B. His style of teaching consists of just recapping the videos, which overlap the readings, is very lethargic. He's unenthusiastic and while the material is engaging, he somehow manages to mess with it. Would not recommend, take with caution.
TAKE THIS CLASS! your grade is based entirely on your T.A. so pray you don't get one that sucks. James Lo is a good T.A. so if you get him as you T.A. you'll be fine. As for the class itself there is not reason to show up, ever..... he posts the videos on line and if for some reason you wanted to watch it you can do so in the comfort of your room.
I thought Trager was alright. I had him for Poli Sci 20 Spring 2010. He reads of his slides which makes lecture pretty boring. He is a nice guy overall. If you go to office hours he really tries to answer your questions and appreciates references to course readings. The class was a midterm, final and a paper. There was a big time crunch on the midterm when he said there wouldn't be. The final was ok, not nearly as bad as the midterm. The paper was cake, but the topic was not that interesting. He had you turn in a first and second draft of the paper each worth 10%. It was just like a guarantee you would get a higher grade on the second draft. This class was fine, not the most interesting but overall it was ok.