Arthur Rolston

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Class Most Helpful Review
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U.S. History, 1800 to 1850 See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 2.8 Workload 2.2 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 2.2

Most Helpful Review

I do not recommend taking this professor. His lectures are really dry. He makes you buy way toooo many books, like you will not read them all, doesn't matter how interesting they may be. He's a guest lecturer and lecture is all he does. He just reads an essay during each class. Talks too fast and it's like sitting through a speech or sermon every lecture. He is not a bad guy, just a bad teacher, because he is willing to answer questions and the like, it's just his lectures are very hard to follow.

(Aug. 30, 2009)
Constitutional History of the U.S.: Origins and Development of Constitutionalism in the U.S. See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.5 Clarity 3.7 Helpfulness 2.7

Most Helpful Review

Overall suggestion: don't, unless you must.

Content: in-class midterm and in-class final, both with a mix of multiple choice, short answer, and essay prompts. Moderate difficulty.

Lecture: good lord I hated this class. Going into it I enjoyed US history, especially colonial-era. Very unique, very intriguing, very eventful. The course, however, managed to dampen that love for a whole quarter, leaving me a sad, broken man. Lectures are ridiculously fast-paced...I took around 10 pages of notes a lecture, recorded lectures on top of that to fill in what I missed (because typing at 90+ wpm is NOT fast enough to cover more than 2/3 of the GENERAL stuff he brings up), and STILL had tons of gaps in what was covered. Plus, readings involve primary documents, which are pretty rough by themselves, plus a few history texts on top of that, so come crunch time to go over the study guide, you're basically trying to pour a gallon of milk into a shot glass. Too much information to be invested in any one thing, so it just becomes a matter of retaining what you think the prof thinks is important, and regurgitating what he says.

I ended up with a B- in that class, and that's after contesting a grade I got from one of the readers over some comments that, in hindsight, surprisingly makes me more irritated now then I was back then. There was a dispute over me wording a short answer question "properly"...I was given credence that what I said was indeed true and correct, but because I didn't *word* it in the terms that he and the readers agreed upon, he didn't change the grade. It was a situation where it would have boosted a grade from a B- to a B, and in the big picture, am I going to survive? Yes. Still, it's really annoying to have, and this is still the lowest grade I've gotten at UCLA. Second instance, however, of a prof telling me "yes, you are correct, buuuuut I'm still going to side with the readers' grade"

(Aug. 24, 2010)
Constitutional History of the U.S.: Constitutionalism since Civil War See Full Profile

Overall 3.5 Easiness 2.8 Workload 2.5 Clarity 3.5 Helpfulness 2.3

Most Helpful Review

Rolston is BY FAR the worst professor i have taken at UCLA. His lectures are disorganized and confusing more than they are helpful. He doesnt emphasize key points and his powerpoints are full of irrelevant pictures rather than helpful notes. He basically reads an essay for an hr and 15 min every lecture and burns through it at the speed of light. To illustrate the pace of his lectures, I type about 80 words per minute but I can still only type less than half of what he says.

In addition, he lectures about every single irrelevant detail and goes off on unimportant tangents rather than explaining the harder to understand concepts and it makes it very easy to miss the important information. Did I mention his powerpoint slides are garbage?

On the syllabus it says the midterm might be take home and not essay but he decided to give us an in class essay instead. Talk about false hopes and dreams.

Seriously, if you care about your gpa and you like learning, stay away from this guy because he will kill both of those things for you.

(Oct. 28, 2013)
HIST 144
America in World See Full Profile

Overall 3.6 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.0 Clarity 3.3 Helpfulness 2.4

Most Helpful Review

Rolston comes to class with 10-14 pages of tyoped notes for his lecture and will read right off of them. This can make it hard to keep up with his pace.

If you stop him and ask questions he has no problem stopping his lecture, answering the questions, or going back to repeat some information, but you have to be willing to speak up. If no one says anything he will continue going through his lecture.

The readings are not really bad. You do no thave to read the entire opinion of all the cases. Just make sure you know the case name and why it is important. He will also let you know that during the lecture.

The whole class is graded on a midterm and a final. He gives you a study guide that has a list or terms and possible essay questions. If you spend time studying the guide then you will get a good grade. There will not be anything on the test that is not on that guide.

Overall, I would say his class is pretty easy, just make sure you go to class, and bring a voice recorder and you will be fine. Several students and I all recevied As or A+s and we all just focused on the study guides for the test.

(Feb. 5, 2014)
Undergraduate Variable Topics Research Seminars: History -- U.S. See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 2.4 Workload 2.6 Clarity 3.6 Helpfulness 2.4

Most Helpful Review

To put the previous posters in perspective, it was the six week rumble jumble they are talking about. no pulpit preacher or disoriented lecturer. He is sharp, astute and intensely passionate about history. Very personable and to the point. I think the more he is exposed to the UCLA community, the student response is going to get much better. He does bring a legal perspective to history, which is always refreshing. So I recommend him strongly.

(Sept. 27, 2009)
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