All Ratings and Reviews for Abel Valenzuela Jr.
Professor Valenzuela really cares about his students. Even with remote learning during covid, his lectures were engaging and the assigned material provides great inspiration for the final research paper. Students get an overview of labor history and current labor campaigns. He also invites guest speakers who are active in those campaigns so they can give first-hand experience to reinforce the reading materials. The textbooks are actually books published by the UCLA Labor Center and they're very reasonably priced, you can get them in a bundle from the Labor Center website.
Professor is average at best his problem is he does not elaborate on the readings in lecture, he merely dictates the articles and summarizes. The readings aren't that bad, but some are long and you can basically just skim through it because he goes over them it DETAIL in lecture. The mid-term was kinda a pain, but i got a B on it and still got an A in the class, so pretty much its an easy GE. take the class but don't expect to learn anything extraordinary or be entertained.
the professor would be average i'd say. even though this was just a GE, i really learned a lot from his choices on the reading list and got me thinking in a different perspective. i agree with other people who said the professor was repetitive- if he can fix that, his lectures would be a lot more effective. i did fall asleep a couple times, but that was totally my fault. workload is indeed a bit burdensome, but if your heart is into the topics, it's a no biggie. just keep up with the readings, and go to office hours. your TA is muy importante. get gonzalez. she knows what she's talking about and prepares you well for both midterm and final. i think i loved the class because of her.
Unless you enjoy professors who profess, like hearing over-simplified and short-sighted generalizations, or enjoy hearing people talk about themselves, then don't put up with the pain of going through a quarter with this guy. Abel Valenzuela really let me down; and, from the students I dialoged with, he let them down too. I feel sorry for all the first-time Chicano Studies students who took his 10B class during the winter of 2003; he didn't give an incentive for people to want to want to learn more, and he left us with an oversimplified view of the present-day Chicano.
I do have to say that he was concerned about whether or not the students understood the material, but there was nothing to understand but inflated generalizations. We already know that Latinos are underrepresented in schools, we already know that we're underrepresented politically, and we already know that we're discriminated against in the workforce. Let's dialog about the global and political forces that have made this a reality. Let's look at how imperialism, elites, capitalism, and European ideologies have contributed to the hierarchy of class divisions and how power elites rely on the minorities in this country to fail so that we can contribute to their economic prestige. Let's talk about how the only thing we're really valued for is our buying power as consumers. Let's look at policy, let's look at patriarchy, and let's look at the educational system that's set up for us to fail. These themes weren't brought to our attention; and, I remind you, that this is a class about the contemporary social structure of Latinos. So how can you ignore the social forces which shape us? That the themes I mentioned weren't presented suggests to me that Abel Valenzuela can't see outside of the university. Dealing with these type of academics has been my biggest struggle here at the university. There is not a standard, five-step process for all immigrants, but Valenzuela proposed one. You can't draw conclusions about the role gender plays in Latino families from a sample of 46 people, but Valenzuela argues otherwise. You can't have two of the three required books focus on labor in an introductory Chicano Studies course. And you shouldn't, of the ten required readings, have two of them be yours (more literature on labor).
Abel Valenzuela overgeneralized the few serious issues he presented. And (the saddest part) he he's one of about five of the department's tenures. Because he never elaborated with depth, because he lacks an authentic understanding of the Chicano today, I feel that the only reason he's here is because he has a PhD from MIT. He's a detached academic and for that reason a major setback to our department.
Professor Valenzuela is amazing. He has so many good ideas and is very community-oriented. He will definitely inform you, motivate you, inspire you, and most importantly, respect you. He is easy to reach when you need him, totally approachable and loves to get to know his students. We all went out to dinner at the end of the class!
Ever feel like you're not making a difference? Well you can. His 122 class will change your life.
Valenzuela is good professor who does have a genuine concern about the topic matter and his students. However, his lectures will be much improved when he stops the 30 minute "review" of his PREVIOUS lecture every time he opens a class. I give him props for pioneering a study on day laborers, but it was a little tiring to hear him mention this about 5 times during one lecture. He is extremely repetitve and often many people left class early because you really didn't need to hear the same info a multitude of times. I enjoyed the reading list as well as the films we viewed which included "La Ciudad" and a couple of documentaries on the lives of Latinos/Chicanos, children and immigrants. While not titilating, I would definetly recommend A.V.
I thought that Prof. Valenzuela's lectures were long and monotonous and incredibly boring. A lot of facts that seemed irrelevant and a lot of insight that was not helpful. Basically I slept during the GE cluster.
Valenzuela is a GREAT professor. He's one of those that made me say "This is what I wanted to get out of UCLA". Even though we were a big lecture, he still managed to open it up to Q&A. It never felt like he was talking down to you, or lectured AT you, rather he is really concerned that you understand the material. He's fun and approachable, but that doesn't mean you can slack off in class. He makes you question the material and is open to criticsm. I'd definitly recommend to take ANY class of his, especially CS10B. He knows his research and teaches it well. He's one of the best Chicano professors I've had so far.
A lot of the things that students posted below might be true... about not showing up to class and the midterm. However, he had a valid reason to miss class, at least I thought. I got to talk to him more because of the honors seminar and he is very flexible and open to new ideas and suggestions. The course opened up for many ideas and maybe some ppl misintrepet it. I didn't think the guest speakers were a waste of time. Overall, the course was okay. There is a lot of readings especially for the honors course (3 novels in additon). Final was true and false, multiple choice and short answer questions which is curved and midterm was 3 essays.
Since I have been at UCLA he has been the worst professor I have had. He is a horrible teacher, completely interesting, biased, and long. His lectures are two hours long and he doesn't even deserve an hour. He repeats the same things over and over again. Bring a pillow to class because everyone just falls asleep anyway. The guest lecturers are horrible, somehow he manages to accumulate guest lecturers as boring as himself. He is also extrememly unfair. He missed three classes in a row for personal reasons and then decided to give a pop quiz the day he got back. The man is ridiculous. He misses three classes, and offers no way to make up for a missed pop quiz, and he counts all of them. (no 3 out of 4 or anything like that) The reading don't even get me started it is way to much for a frickin GE and the readings are horrible. The combination of amount and low quality makes it impossible to keep on track. Which bring me to my next point. This guy is so lazy. He easily could have edited down the $100 reader because every 30 page article had maybe 2 quality paragraphs. He is also a liar. He said the midterm would be two essays and it was three. It was a take home and he gave us 5 days to write 3 3-5 page papers. The guy is a moron. Class is not hard, but almost impossible to deal with. The TA's dont help they are as dumb as he is DO NOT TAKE.
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