Based on 7 Users
DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS. 2 hour lecture that is mandatory. He makes you sign in. His lectures are USELESS because the class consists of only the midterm and the final that are based off READINGS, not lecture. Midterm is two 5 page essays. Final is the same but he asks SOOOO MANY QUESTIONS that are everywhere and need to be addressed into a FIVE PAGE ESSAY. Also, after every lecture, he gives like 3 different 50-80 page readings :) . so in a week, you have at least 8 readings that are super long. Oh and also, he wants you to incorporate 80% of the readings into a 5 page essay :) (Impossible but ok). Depending on your TA, see how lenient they will be. Mine was a bitch. You only have ONE week to write two essays. Seems doable until you have 3 other classes to study for (midterms) or 2 other projects due that same week + finals week. This class stressed me TF out. I deserved an A but whatever. Don't take it. I'm not even one to ever complain about classes, but this one... just don't.
Professor Rivera-Salgado is clearly very passionate about what he does. With that being said, the lecture sometimes is dry. It is irritating sitting in a 2-hour class that is only 4 units (it should be 5), with a discussion section included that has its own assignments. The exams are 2 take-home papers, both 10 pages long, from a choice of 3 questions you can choose from (you pick 2). For the papers, you have to define the key terms. What I would recommend is finding examples from the readings based upon those key terms, and then defining the key terms in the same body paragraph. You only have a week to do it, and what I found unfair was that it was assigned during the week as opposed to the end of the week which would've made things a lot better. Attendance is part of your grade so make sure you go to class and sign in, as well as for discussion. The assignment we had for discussion is to post 2 discussion questions based upon the readings every Sunday by 11:59 PM. I felt as if the discussion section was SUPER helpful in understanding the concepts in class and defining terms in the readings. It was also the most helpful with clarifying/simplifying the prompts. Kimberly was my TA and she was the absolute best and really put all her effort into helping everyone out in every way she could. There is also an extra credit assignment that is worth 5 points. For us, we went to an event and wrote a page reflection paper on it. The readings are the most stressful part about this class as the Professor expects 70% of the readings to be incorporated...and he randomly grades 10/15 papers in the entire class...so be careful to not slack off. I did every single reading for the midterm, took notes, and honestly, I still had to go back and skim them for writing the papers because it was just SO much. For the final, I gave up and tried to just skim through them and get key points because it truly is impossible. When it came time for writing up the final, I tried to set aside 4 days in advance to really write it and go through the readings as much as I can. DO NOT underestimate how long it takes!! It takes a long long time to write the midterm/final.
Overall, this class is a LOT of work....it is by no means an "Easy A", so do not be fooled by the distribution thinking you are going to go into an easy class. BUT, if you go to every class/discussion, take away key points from the readings, start the papers in advance, and get advice from your TA - you should be fine. I didn't think I would get an A+ in this class but I did, so if I can do well - so can you!
Discussion sections were unhelpful and the professor was not helpful at all. Don't judge the class based on its grade distribution. The grade is based on a midterm and final paper, consisting of 10 pages each. Avoid this class!
If you put in the work this class is really simple. Grading consisted of a midterm and a final both 10 pages but you select two out of the 3 prompts he assigns. It's really not difficult he even states all the key terms he wants included in the paper. If you mention all the terms and make references to the readings it's an easy A-. He assigns a lot of readings so if you don't like to read this isn't the class for you. I would take him again
The class has a lot of reading but if you actually do it you will succeed. If not, don’t expect to do well on the midterm and final essays.
The course is really interesting and there were many guest speakers from the labor movement with real experience in what was studied. However, the slew of guest speakers made the course feel chaotic from weeks 5-10.
I would take it again but I think it should be more than 4 units.