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.
One of the most brilliant and best professors I have ever had. Not only did I look forward to going to his class (which was a rare occasion for me because of being a senior and it being my last quarter) but I looked forward to hearing his insight on the text. He was hilarious and always had random tidbits and information that was really interesting. NO ONE ever fell asleep in this class! Yes there is about a book a week to read, which is pretty standard for an English major BUT he makes it very clear that he doesn’t believe in calling on people to talk about the text. So when I was a little behind on the reading because of my other classes, I had no fear going to class and listening to his discussions because I knew I wouldn’t get barked at for not doing the reading. I recommend always going to his class no matter how familiar you are with the text because it will help you a lot on your midterm and final (each 1/3 of your grade). They are standard ID’s that you must close read and are SUPER EASY to identify if you are slightly familiar with the text. The other 1/3 is a final paper which he gives you many options for. You can do a standard paper, a movie review, a parody, a novel and film comparison, literally whatever you want as long as you run it by him first. I chose a regular old close reading paper and emailed him my idea for a thesis and he responded almost immediately and basically said he didn’t like it and how I should fix it. He was completely right about what I needed to work on to make a more focused paper so I reworked my idea for about an hour, sent it back to him and he once again responded almost immediately to tell me he liked my new thesis. I ended up getting an “A” on my paper as well as an “A” in the class. If you read the works, attend class, and ask him about your final paper before (even during if you are unsure) you turn it in, you will do great. He really wants you to do well in his class and makes himself very approachable, making it all the more capable for you to learn as much as possible and get a good grade. I highly recommend taking his class. He is laid back, entertaining, picks great classic texts, you leave at least thirty minutes early every day, doesn’t take role, doesn’t embarrass you by calling on you when you haven’t read, he has an open dialogue for lecture (but also incorporates his thoughts and important themes), he brings in video clips, he is hilarious, has the most outrageously contagious laugh, randomly brings candy for all his students for class, super easy to talk to, holds lectures outside on the grass when it is nice out, wants your feedback and is open to suggestions, straight forward grading system, midterm and final are super easy ; overall AMAZING! I promise it will be one of the best teachers you will ever have at UCLA!
Where do I start with "Professor" Allmendinger? Obviously at UCLA, you will have a wide range of professors and you won't be able to fully please anyone, but this man is a joke. His class is a joke. If you want to sit in a class and listen to someone say "I don't know" or "I haven't thought about that before" to simple statements and questions, then this is the guy for you, but if you want a REAL education, then avoid Allmendinger at all costs. I don't even know how he is able to teach here. He has no clue. He grades based on whether or not you "bored" him...literally. He commented that my paper was "boring" and "dry,"...WTF??? I had NO clue we were suppose to humor this guy for a grade! Is this American Idol? No, it's a class and if Professor A understood that first then MAYBE he wouldn't suck. He literally prepares his lectures 30minutes before class and its so obvious that his material is googled or wikipedia'd, not based on research. He provides NO extra insight in the class. In fact, thank GOD that the students are of high caliber, because that's where the learning comes from...otherwise we just spend our time "teaching [him] things he doesn't know." Professor A actually manages to dilute the education we are getting here with shallow teaching. What makes me so mad is how difficult a grader he is. For some one who says "I don't know" multiple times throughout class, he sure does have out of this world expectations of his students- we have to be smart, funny, charming, and good dressers to get A's. If you want to be a student and not an entertainer avoid this guy. Allmendinger AllmenSUCKS.