Professor Allmendinger has a tendency to make students feel like they are annoying him with valid questions and concerns during office hours or after class. He always seems like he wants to be left alone and rush home after lecture. I can't tell you how many times I've sparked up a conversation about my paper and he immediately asked me to to simply email him about it. He practically shoos students away. His office hours are even more awkward, you can tell he doesn't expect or want anybody to swing by and wants to simply eat his lunch alone and in peace. I wish I had the guts to ask him why he's in this line of work if he always want to help students from a far, far, FAR distance? It's not fair for those of us that need more guidance in a professor, and frankly, he doesn't want to inconvenience himself in order to do so. Such a bummer.
To even call his classes "lectures" is a misnomer, the only information you get is Allmendinger reading the equivalent of a wikipedia page about the author for five minutes at the start of the lecture. He offers no intellectual stimulation at all. Do not be fooled by the first lecture or two either - he raises a few issues in these which he completely ignores for the rest of the course. Moreover, he clearly doesn't plan his lectures but spends the time asking basic, BASIC question and trying to build his class upon students' comments. The lectures have absolutely no direction. Each week I leave with the rueing the fact that another hour and a half of my life has gone to waste, and I'm never getting it back. I've noticed that Allmendigner studied at Havard and Oxford, he probably received the finest education that anyone can - does he realize that us students at UCLA would like to be intellectually provoked in the short time we have here, in a similar manner to how he probably was when he was educated at university? Apparently not.
Fall 2016 - You walk into his class thinking he's so chill, and excited about teaching the class. However, ultimately, aside from being an entertaining professor, what matters is how helpful he is. I went to his office hours, and tried to understand what he expected of my writing, and how I could improve my writing skills in his class, and he was never helpful. He is never serious, and going to his office hours is not beneficial. He is also a harsh grader, and he is unclear about the criteria that you must follow to get an A in the class.
Spring 2014 - professor Allmendinger is worth taking. Aside from 117, I've taken him for two other classes, including his GWTW seminar (which is literally an oral report, participation and a final paper). He's really helpful and answers emails extremely fast. His classes are mostly discussion based and consist of a midterm, 10 page paper (of a topic of your choice including a creative option like an extended ending of one of the books you read, etc) and a final. Each part is divided equally, and if you do badly on the midterm he'll shift the grading scale especially if you do better on the paper or final. He genuinely wants you to do well and offers extra credit for providing absent students with notes. He's entertaining and makes sure to let students leave half an hour earlier because he knows it's hard to sit in a chair for 2-3 hours. He's worth taking, I've also heard great things about his detective fiction and it's his most popular class aside from his Gone with the Wind seminar (which is literally just the book and movie). Don't hesitate to take him, he's great.