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Great Professor, loved him. Engaging, relevant, and relatable. Selling the two course readers required for the class as well as a study guide that helped me get an A on the final and in the overall class. Message me at 714-331-4626 if interested.
Course taken: PSM115C
This is an absolutely wonderful course, especially for people who want to discuss the issues facing current society.
Instead of just reading theorists of the past, Walker works hard to make students question what citizenship means in the current era. He is very open with his views and is welcome to students asking questions and debating/discussing in class. He always makes sure both sides are heard. Not a hard class if you read and a great experience.
Took both PS 10 and PS M115C with Professor Walker.
Grades Received: A in PS 10
A- in PS M115C
Class: Both classes are structured in a pretty similar way. There are a couple reading quizzes to encourage you to do the reading, but he drops the lowest grade. His classes are really engaging and podcasted, and he truly knows what he is talking about. Probably one of my favorite political science professors, even though you have to put in a fair amount of work.
Midterms: They were both written assignments, if I remember correctly. Go to office hours to talk to your TA about them if you can!
Finals: Very straightforward but a lot of writing. Questions are usually from the reader, but a couple from lecture.
Overall: I think you should take these classes because they really helped me understand what political science is. I think these inspired me to try to pursue a double major in PS.
Don't take this class, unless you know someone who took it already. Most of the people in my discussion had taken his class before, or knew someone else who did. So a lot of them just used their friends papers and rewrote it. Everything the other people have said about the reading and quizzes is true. But this year he changed his final and a lot of it was not like the questions on his course reader. And I reviewed his course reader and talk to the TA before the final. And when I saw the Final and was surprised. Once again I would not take the class unless you know someone who took it before. It will save you a lot of heart ache. I will say one thing, I learned a lot. But I am afraid for my GPA. Even getting a B would hurt it. =(
I took him for PS 10 and came away incredibly impressed, so I jumped at the opportunity to take PS 115C with him. Best decision of my life. This class is - excuse the poverty of the English language - the shit. Professor Walker fundamentally altered the way I examine issues surrounding citizenship and the expectations that society has in store for its members. I consider myself to be a VERY politically-oriented person, so just that fact alone should indicate how relevant the material in the course is.
One thing I loved about this class is that it doesn't throttle you with a huge workload. Professor Walker says you'll need 3-4 hours minimum per lecture to examine the reading, but that's really only true if you're struggling, or if the assigned reading that week is denser then normal. Otherwise, the course reader is structured in a way that makes it incredibly manageable - "sound bites" of different authors that don't suck up your entire evening yet still allow you to capture the essence of their viewpoints. The reader is 500 pages long, but split that up over 10 weeks and it only comes down to an average of 25 pages per lecture (although some will be more).
Speaking of reading, it's a necessity - you cannot get an A in the class without doing it. Not only will lectures be incoherent and reading quizzes annihilate you, but you'll be screwed on the final since virtually ALL the material is derived from it.
Professor Walker says the class itself is designed to be as ideologically nonpartisan as possible, and he succeeds at that for the most part. If you're conservative, you may like some of the immigration readings like Brimelow and some of the capitalism readings like Friedman and Gilder. If you're a leftist, there's a commensurate amount of material for your tastes as well. Contrary to some of the comments below, Professor walker isn't trying to take a particular view and "shove it down your throat;" the whole point of exploring seven different pathways of service is to allow you to find out which ones align with your perspective so that you might pursue. Walker might assign Friedman, and he can explain Friedman's position to a T, but if you stick around after lecture you might find out that he actually supports moderate-to-heavy government intervention in markets. Go figure.
Grading is pretty simple. There's five reading quizzes, two of which are dropped. These are really easy - virtually all the questions come from the study guide that comes with the syllabus. If you study the reading and answer the questions as you go, you're guaranteed at least a 4 out of 5. Occasionally there may be a question or two drawn from the previous day's lecture, so it's a good idea to show up and pay attention in class. (He moves pretty fast - I ended up typing 2000+ words of notes for some of the longer lectures, so a laptop is a good idea). The reading quizzes are a necessary evil. Even if you screw some up, at least they force you to do the reading so you can do better on the final, and if you ace them it's just brownie points.
There's also a six-page essay assigned week 2 or 3. I wasn't a fan of the fact that we were expected to discuss the modern view of citizenship despite the fact that we hadn't even gotten that far in the class, but I got a 96% and the class median was an 91% so I don't think it was a huge problem. (Only 4 people got C's or worse - you have to literally not try in order to get less than a B-). There's also a series of six journal 1-2 page journal entries that you have to do throughout the quarter; you have the opportunity to get feedback and edit them, so don't panic if you don't understand the prompt material the first time around.
The final is fairly easy. If you do all the reading, went to every lecture, and do a good job of studiyng the potential essay prompts he hands out, you should be good to go. I just gave my notes a quick review, re-read the most important authors (Cicero, Rousseau, Marshall, James, Van Riper, Weber, Thompson, Light, Collins, Friedman, Gilder, and Singer are probably the ones you can't afford to skip), and I was surprisingly good to go despite getting just 4 hours of sleep.
Section was usually worthwhile. I know Carol is a fantastic TA since I had her in PS 10, and from what I've heard Karl is also top-notch. Krishna was my TA this time around. He's pretty good in section in terms of explaining stuff, but his time management is terrible. We'd frequently fall short of getting to everything he planned to discuss in section, and his turnaround time on returning papers and journals reached almost comic proportions.
I put in a fair amount of effort and got an A+ - it won't happen to everybody, but it's definitely doable if you're sort of an intellectual nerd like I am. Still, I would give Professor Walker a 10/10 rating even if I had gotten a B-, that's how impressed I was by this class. Easily the most influential instructor I've ever had at any level of my schooling.
Professor Walker is the best. Take him if you can...he's who swayed my opinion to become a Political Theory concentration for the Poli Sci Major.
You do have to do the reading, as well as attend class (there are pop quizzes), but trust me, it's so worth it!!
TAKE THIS CLASS!!!! All I can say is PS 115C and Professor Walker are amazing, amazing, amazing. The material itself is super interesting, and Professor Walker makes it even better. He is without a doubt, hands down, 100% the best professor I've had so far, and I'm sure I won't have a better one. There are no words to describe how amazing he is. He's basically a big ball of sunshine that trust me, makes class so worth going to. You can't help but love his charisma; he's passionate about everything we covered and makes it all the more interesting. He's extremely congenial, very funny, and so approachable. As you can see from most of these earlier evaluations, it's impossible NOT to love Walker. Along with him being probably the best professor of the Political Science department, the class material is very relevant to current political issues. That being said, you take alot away from this class. Not only does Walker make it very doable to master the material, but it can also really change your perspective on things. If you take this class seriously and take advantage of beings able to have Walker, you really can't walk away from this class the same person. I have to admit, I was really sad when it ended!
Logistics: there's one paper, no midterm, 5 pop quizzes, and a final. The 5-7 pg paper is at the very beginning of the quarter (I think it's due week 3), but like the other person said, it's pretty straightforward. I went to talk to my TA about it just to see that I was on the right track and she was really helpful (if she's available, get Emily Hallock as a TA.; she's great). The pop quizzes weren't really "pop" quizzes because he always "hinted" the class before that there might be one. The quizzes can be kind of tough, but if you do the reading and answer the study questions, you should be fine. They drop the lowest quiz anyways. The final is also pretty straightforward, it's just a pain to study for considering you have to study the ENTIRE reader again (which is monstrous by the way). But again, if you did the readings and review them, there's no reason why you shouldn't do well on the final. Though there is an ALOT of reading, I think in the end, it's all worth it. It's not the easiest class, but it's definitely one of the most rewarding I'm sure you'll take.
Overall, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this class or Professor Walker. If you have the chance to take one of Walker's classes, TAKE IT! Seriously, he is amazing! I don't think you get the full experience as a Political Science major if you don't have him. Trust me, having him as a Professor is an honor. I know I've said this alot, but seriously, this class is AMAZING!
I'm a fourth-year, and I think this was the best class I've taken at UCLA. Professor Walker is awesome and clearly puts a lot of thought into his lectures--they're well organized and easy to follow but not dumbed down. There's a ton of reading, but you get study questions with them so you always know what to pay attention to while you're reading, which makes it easier. This class will convince you to go into public service as a career.
What's required: A 5-7 pg paper due about two-weeks into class based on the readings and lectures, pretty straightforward. There's a final, which was cumulative and also straightforward. There are "pop" quizzes, but he warned us before each one and told us what material each quiz would cover. And there are six journal entries due throughout the quarter, usually 1-2 pages single-spaced on a question relating to that week's reading.
Prof Walker is a great professor. In all my years at UCLA I found this class to be the more rewarding . He isn't like other professor that just do a quit skim through the material then leaves up up to the T.A. but rather he is a professor that puts a tremendous amount of effort into his lectures. He really gets you thinking outside the box.
Though class can be rather tedious. There where pop quizzes at the most random times. He only hinted "once." Over all this is a fair class. This is a class that I feel embodies what college is suppose to give you.
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