All Ratings and Reviews for Ghislaine Lydon
I had Seminar 197J, Francophone Africa, with Dr. Lydon. The class was great!
1) Lots of reading BUT you only need to read enough to actively participate in the discussion.
2) 6-8 page book report on a very short novel written by a French speaking African writer of our choice. She provided us with a list of English translated books on reserve. We chose the author and the week we wanted to do it. Nice!
3) Give a 10 minute oral report of your book the week before you turn in the paper.
4) Lead the discussion with one or two other students one week. That would be the week to really read the book or section of the book to lead the discussion for that week.
That was it!
We were graded primarily on class participation, and I love to talk, so that worked for me. If you don't like to participate in group discussions, or you can\355t attend class, this won\355t be the class for you. She has high but reasonable expectations with regards to the paper, i.e. proper source citations, organized, etc. (basic MLA documentation) All of the reading was in English but there were several students who were French majors in the class as well as a nice mixture of grads and undergrads. The readings were sometimes long and sometimes boring but most were great, especially if you have an interest in Africa. The seminar was a breeze. Dr. Lydon is articulate, organized, speaks I think 6 different languages and knows seemingly everything about the continent. Her regular office hours were inconvenient for me so I met with her several times by appointment. So I found her very available. My interest in Africa has increased tremendously, it would seem, just at the same time as that of our president. I aced the class and highly recommend Dr. Lydon for any seminar.
Not a very good speaker. Speaks slow and hesitantly and doesn't give much information. Lecture is little more than the information available in an encyclopedia. Brings no real insight or new ideas to subject. Each exam covers a lot of material but they are easy if you have read. This is the only class other than George Murphy that I can't be bothered to go to. Just read articles on britannica.com and you'll get a B+.
Played favorites with people that had been in the class before. Also was a very VERY poor lecturer. She rambled and failed to hilight important points in the subject matter. She was quite available and did make efforts to meet with students outside of class. However, her comments that she made on paper outlines that were turned in were disencouraging to say the least. Also she assigns a ton of reading, as if you have no other classes to take. Tests had study guides, so were easy to study for if you could work with several people (she has a lot of terms on them).
Lydon is very knowledgeable in her field of study: West African History. She is very intricate and detailed in her lectures. The course readings complement her lectures down to the pitch. This is the first history class in which everything that I read parallels what the professor discusses in lecture. She is very approachable and always aims at student learning.
I had a seminar and a reading course with Dr Lydon. I believe she tends to play and can be very patronizing at times. She is very prompt, which is quite refreshing. I think she did not like me from day one so my relationship with her was pretty rough however if she click with you then it can be the start of a great teacher/student relationship.
she's great. Perfect class for people that want to learn more about West African history. Not a good class for those just seeking an easy "A" only because she can see through people's B/S and they won't get the grade.
I strongly disagree with some of the comments below criticizing Professor Lydon being disorganized in her lectures and playing favorites
with some students.
On the contrary, her lectures are one of the most organized lectures compared to the other professors I had. Although it is difficult to get a solid A in the class, overall, the midterm, final and paper were straightforward as she practically gives everything:the terms and the questions for you to study. This makes it easy for the students.
In addition, the content of the class was great. You learn about Africa from an African's perspective since the portrayal of Africa on the mainstream media and in our textbooks have been so distorted. After taking her class, not only did I learn about Africa from an African perspective, but I also learned to appreciate Africa-its history and culture.
Based on my personal interaction with and my observation of her interacting with other students, she does not play favorites. In fact, she treats all her students with care and respect as long as you are willing to show interest and put forth the effort in the class.
I highly recommend Professor Lydon. Not only is she one of the best professors at UCLA, but you will also learn a lot from her class!!
Disregard the negative comments about Professor Lydon. She is a wonderful lectured, very organized and has experience in the content of the lecture
Like any other class, it has some good and bad characteristics. I went to the first week of class, and that was it. While the material is interesting, it is difficult to sit throught any 90 minute class. Professor Lydon is a sweet teacher and she is very helpful when she speaks to small groups but she studders alot during class and it throughs opff your attention. I ended it up not going to class but still got an A, most of your grade is straight out of discussionn with easy assignments and lots of extra credit. There is no midterm but two easy essays and she actually tells you what is on the final. The only reason I got an A- and not an A was that she started to take attendance in class. Overall, if you're interested in learning about Africa, I would take the class.
I liked that her lectures aligned with the assigned readings. It eased the final push to memorized information during the quarters final weeks. She is also a very nice person, who is genuinely interested in your appreciating the rich history the belongs to Africa. I highly recommend her to Transfer students, her class is a good transition into university upper division curriculum.
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