RELIGN 177

Variable Topics in Religion

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Carol Bakhos Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Ryan Gillespie See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.7 Workload 3.3 Clarity 4.7 Helpfulness 5.0

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This class has been the most impactful, well-organized, and well-thought-out class I’ve taken during my time at UCLA. In many ways, I have felt underwhelmed with the caliber of material presented in many classes, and this class absolutely exceeded my expectations. I really, honestly view this class as a model for the way classes should be conducted in an institution like this. I would recommend this class to anyone, really (though it will cause the occasional [freuqent] existential crisis).

Dr. Gillespie did an excellent job challenging the class in the right ways. I think Dr. Gillespie has been one of the most thorough & knowledgeable professors I’ve encountered at UCLA, which added substantially to the quality & value of this class. Overall, I think this class was very engaged with my understanding as a student and has had a huge impact on me as a learner.

I would definitely say that this is a class where reading the assigned texts will /substantially/ improve what you get out of this class, though I had friends who didn't do the readings and got on just fine. I will say: if you aren't a big fan of being challenged with tough concepts, this maybe isn't the best class for you (but then, what are you really doing on BruinWalk?? If you're just looking to just skate through, I'd recommend looking into the UC Irvine transfer process).

Dr. Gillespie is very engaging and very helpful, and tbh I'm pretty bummed I didn't take this class earlier in my time here. The grading is not too harsh, so I wouldn't be too stressed about that (imo the most stressful thing about this class was just staying caught up w/ concepts & confronting your stupid, measly existence, but maybe I'm just an idiot -- who knows). His lectures are /very/ well-organized & really my only complaint is that we ran out of time on some of the readings (this wasn't really Dr. Gillespie's fault, though -- you know... quarter system :/ bummer). He's also pretty funny if you're into that in a professor; you probably won't be falling asleep in his lectures or anything. As I mentioned, he is /very/ smart (like, more so than other professors? how is UCLA slacking on that?? Gene Block, if you're reading this: please make the depts hire more Dr. Gillespies????) which is a little intimidating, but he is genuinely very nice as well (or, at least, he is /very/ good at faking being nice. Not even sure if there is a difference between the two). Dr. Gillespie does a fantastic job cultivating an environment where you can develop your own thoughts & opinions.

This class is weighted heavily so that the latter assignments make up most of your grade. If you feel like you're struggling at the start I'd rly suggest just holding out. To be totally honest, I thought the first two readings (Euthyphro & Apology) were two of the hardest readings, and the first paper assignment was CERTAINLY the hardest of the papers (or, again, maybe I'm just kind of an idiot). So, if it's week three and you're thinking "oh no :( my brain is too small. I must belong at UC Irvine :(" just give it a while. I think Dr. Gillespie really wants you to do well, and he certainly seems like the type of professor that is willing to work with you.

Overall, 10/10 class, 11/10 professor. So far, the only class I've taken that I was genuinely sad to be done with. Also, probably the only professor I've taken that seemed interested in your (the student's) opinion & engagement. I don't often feel so passionately about classes, but this one really is a gem. I think this class will really have an impact on who you are (hopefully in a Good way) & that's not something you can say about many other (any other?) classes.

Take it if you can! Even just P/NP for fun! :)

Fall Quarter 2019
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Peter Lanfer Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Andrea Moudarres Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Urmila Patil Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Bojan Petrovic Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Alexei Vranich Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Elizabeth Waraksa Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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Donald Westbrook See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 4.5 Workload 4.0 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 4.8

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Review for M E St M50B!!!!!

Donald is such a nice person! He is very clear about his background and his expectations, and you can tell he really loved what he was teaching! The lectures themselves are easy to listen to and at times are a bit boring. He uses slides that contain all the info you need and posts them on CCLE, so if you miss a class, its no big deal! The midterm and final were really easy (As on both) and he posted a study guide for each but the paper was a little more difficult. We had to write a 7-8 page research paper and for someone who isn't particularly amazing at writing, that proved to be the most challenging part of the class. The key is to start early! Overall, I would highly recommend, especially if you find this stuff interesting!!

Winter Quarter 2017
David Wolpe Full Profile > N/A Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness
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