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I wish to write this review to help those who are considering to take this class as a history GE, talking about the grading, exams, essays, lectures, professor Goldman and other aspects of this class.
Grading Distribution: 25% Essay 1 + 25% Essay 2 + 20% Discussion Participation + 30% Final Exam.
The two essays are based on the reading materials in class and about 6-7 pages each. To write good essays, you'll have to master the reading materials and the lecture contents very well. The discussion is mandatory and you have to ACTIVELY participate in this discussion (30% question posing + 70% in class participation) to get full credits. The final exam is in-person exam, which consists of three parts, including Part 1 Definition & Part 2 Essay (materials in lectures) & Part 3 Analysis Essay (reading materials). The final can be hard than expected. In other words, it is hard to get a 93% in the final, and you'll have to perform very very well in the previous two essays in order to get a final letter grade A.
About Grading: The grading of this class is based on ABSOLUTE SCALE. (93=A) The grading of your essays is completely up to your TA. Even though our TA is a good guy and I like his class, still he graded quite harshly and you can hardly get an A. In fact, geting a B+ or A- on each essay is very very common in class. He anticipated and expected a lot in your articles, so if you want an A it is better to go to his office hour and talk to him about what you are going to write. The final is quite hard and requires LOTS LOTS of preparation, including memorizing a great bunch of names, events, definitions, and dates, as well as pre-write the essays based on the review materials professor Goldman provided. Generally speaking, if you are not that good at Chinese history/not good at memorizing/just want a relatively easy GE, this class is definitely not a fine option for you.
Workload: Be ready for 100+ pages of reading per week (said in syllabus and this is true). This may be okay to history/literature related major students, but this is quite tough and hard for STEM students like me. Because the materials will be tested in the essays and final exams, you'll have to read comprehensively and thoroughly, and scanning through is not an option. The two essays require you to spend lots of time on them, so DO NOT consider this class as an east GE. You'll have to work hard enough and spend whole bunch of time to get an A.
About lectures and Professor Goldman: Professor Goldman is a very professional, nice, and caring instructor. Her classes are well organized and you can definitely learn lots about Chinese history in her class. She is a good lecturer and she cares a lot about her students, regarding the health issues, progress in class, etc. Generally I like her and the way she organized her class, and she has great knowledge in the field she teaches.
Conclusion: This history class, especially for those STEM students like me, is absolutely not an easy GE. If you want an A, you'll have to work very hard on the readings every week to master them, communicate with the TA to get good grades on your essays, while spend lots of time preparing for the essays and final exams. Even though professor Goldman is a great and nice professor, the workload is not light, and the grading can still be very harsh up to your TA. If you like Chinese history and ready to work hard on this topic, take this class and learn from professor Goldman. However, If you want an easy A GE, TRY NOT TO TAKE THIS CLASS. It is not worthy to spend that much time on a GE class like this one, while finally you might even have to PNP this class after you did so much just like me.
For nonhistory majors, or if you're not interested in any Chinese history, or you just need a ge, you're probably desperate searching for ge class because all the other ges you want filled up. Now that you are here, in this "history of china" class, don't even think about this class and just remove this class from your option of ges. Professor Goldman is a W human and such a nice and helpful professor, but the class itself is just garbage. There are so many names, events, and ideas you have to memorize, I didn't even think I was learning anything. The class begins to pick up the pace after weeks 2-3 when you get your first paper. You also get another paper around week 7 or 8. And then you get the final, which is the hardest final ever!!! Serious, if you don't want to stress the whole quarter about ruining your gpa, don't even think about this class. Don't listen to the other reviews about this class, they were probably history majors who loved history and were interested.
(I'm personally a little biased because I like learning about Chinese history and many of the names were familiar.)
Overall a pretty solid Gen Ed IF you happen to have a basic understanding of Chinese history and/or have done well in AP History or past college history courses. It is a bit of a timesink to read everything, so be warned. I think the lectures did a good job of covering the textbook material, but there's still additional readings that are required for discussion sections.
The grade is basically determined by discussion participation, two papers, and the final. Participation isn't too hard if you can find the time to read the additional readings and can answer your TA's questions. The final is basically a full-on AP history exam, with a couple of on-the-spot essays.
The lectures can be a little confusing, since Dr.Goldman doesn't put everything she says on the slides, but she's pretty open to questions after the lecture. She's really chill, especially if you can talk to her during office hours!
Prof. Goldman and her TAs are very knowledgeable on Chinese history and you can tell that they are genuinely passionate on the subject. That being said, this class personally was not really worth it as a GE. At times, Prof. Goldman can be a confusing lecturer because she does not really use a traditional slideshow and instead makes her lectures more audio-heavy. This can be kind of confusing especially when there are a lot of different Chinese names that are difficult to spell intuitively. The class was easy enough during the quarter but the final was so exponentially more difficult than the rest of the class. Prof. Goldman gave us a list of 103 terms and put 8 of them on the final, 6 of which we had to write paragraphs about (you can safely assume that these terms will be relatively 'important' ones). The second and third parts of the exam were essays that also required a lot of preparation. I say take this class if you genuinely want to learn about Chinese history from 1000-2000, but not simply as a GE.
Definitely not an easy class to take as a GE course. However, if you are extremely passionate about Chinese History and are willing to put in the effort (about 100-200 pages of readings per week), then you will gain much from this course. Prof Goldman is an engaging lecturer, but she does not record her lectures so you will have to attend them live. She is approachable and knowledgeable in her field, so do go for office hours to discuss about your essay outlines, or clarify any lingering doubts from lectures. However, finals preparation was an arduous process as we had to memorize 100 terms and prepare tons of essay outlines.
This GE class is one you should take if you are EXTREMELY interested in Chinese History. She covers a very broad range of material and expects you to remember most if not all of it for the midterm and final.
Thankfully the Midterm and final focuses on the lessons of the first half and second half of the class respectively, but you still need to remember many key ideas from the first half of the course for the final. She is a newer teacher and is obviously very interested in this subject and is helpful during her office hours.
However, beware of the TA's because they grade very subjectively and after talking to most of my peers, getting an A on the 2 essays is a really difficult feat. Thankfully even if you are worried about your grade she does curve up a little at the end so it's not just a pure points system.
Be prepared to study hard for the tests and memorize her study guides and the vocab, for the final we had 100 key terms and 17 possible essay questions just to give an example of what you have to memorize.
Also as hint there probably will be an essay question about women on your tests.
This course is really reading intensive, but the reading material is really intereting and I really learned and enjoyed the class. Its like a fast paced crash course on Chiniese history. I did most of the reading an got an -A. My T.A. (Wu. H.) was also very helpful and insightful.
The professor makes the course really intrestig, epecially because she is really passionate about the subject. However, it is your T.A. that determines your grade. So read and participate and you will pass the class with stellar grades.
Also, if you are a Chiniese international student and think that taking this course will be a breeze because your already know Chinese history, be warned. Your version of history may be very diffrent from the one taught by this course.
Overall, I reccomend this course to student who enjoy history and excell in hummaninites, but not for math or science majors whose writing skills are lacking.
Professor Goldman is GREAT! I earned an A in the class. Her class has lots of readings besides the textbook itself. If you go to every single lecture, take good notes, and have a familiar background of Chinese history, I don't see the need of buying a textbook. It's best to record her lecture if you can't take notes fast because she talks very fast and jump around the topics a lot. She has two 5 pages essays. The topics are narrow and both of them are based on your weekly non-textbook reading, so make sure to keep up with the readings. Also, since the TAs are grading the essays, it's best to write the draft and ask your TA for help before the due dates. On the exams, she really wants you to think critically. All you need to do for the final is to reread all the notes and study every single terms and question on her study guide (yes, 100 terms on her study guide, but only 10 will appear on the exam). I studied really hard the night before the exam and got a 96. Overall, she emphasizes much more on the cause and effect of the history instead of the fact of the history.
Professor Goldman is very nice and helpful, but the class is a lot of work. I had Xiaowen as a TA and she was extremely caring. There is a ton of reading and two midterm papers along with a final. If you actually do the readings, it will take up a lot of time every week. However, if you work hard, you should do okay grade-wise. I got As on both papers. The study guide is very long and stressful to fill out but the terms/questions given on the final are reasonable.
Selling all books (and will provide printouts of online readings if you wish) for $20. Text **********