Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
lydon as a professor is pretty terrible, but the class is very easy! she has very little to say besides what is on her powerpoint so there really is no point in listening to her anyways, not to mention that she says "um" uncontrollably and stutters a lot! the class has 2 essays which are fairly long but more time consuming than difficult. i had willis as my TA- he's awesome (and from nigeria!). best thing about this class was that we didn't have to write an essay for the midterm or final- it was all multiple choice (weird for a history class), IDs, and a map. she gives you what terms will be on the IDs BUT she gives you like 80 choices! and on the actual test there will be 8 and you choice 5 out of those 8 to actually define. kind of unfair but you'll realize that if you know all the terms than you'll have an easier time on the midterm. same thing goes for the final. easy A class! i took it as a GE since i'm a science major and it was a piece of cake. definitely take it for an easy A!
She's a pretty awful professor. Like other people have said, her lectures are miserable to sit through. She stutters so often and the lectures are so boring that they're extremely difficult to sit through. I usually am interested and enthused easily but this class put me to sleep and was awful. I got a B+ so I'm not just complaining because of my grade.
This class is really not that hard overall. I went to most lectures, took notes of what was on the powerpoint (didn't really listen cuz it was so boring), reviewed the notes for like 5 minutes that night, and studied for a couple hours before both the midterm and the final. She didn't even release the final so I don't know what I got, but I got an 80 on the midterm. Looking back on it, I absorbed so little by going to lectures that you could do just as well in the class if you went to ZERO lectures, and just spent a long time for 2 days straight studying the IDs that she gives you on the study guide. I honestly would have gotten the same grade if I did that.
The essays are 6-7 pages and kinda suck. For the first one you have to read the driest book in the world. For the second you have to pull from African news articles which kinda sucks but its really not that hard, just time consuming.
In summary, I took this class as a GE reading that it was easy but it was dreadfully boring. I'd stay away from it and take something that you're more interested in, because this is pretty bad. If you do take it, consider enjoying the quarter and bailing on class, just make sure to study the IDs she gives you on the study guide for the midterm and final.
LITERALLY THE WORST PROFESSOR AT UCLA. IM NOT SAYING THIS BECAUSE I RECEIVED A BA GRADE (I DID NOT). NEVER TAKE THIS CLASS. EVER.
Prof. Lydon was the worst teacher I have ever had at UCLA. Though the class itself is not that difficult(I'm a science major and I did well without too much effort), it is painful in the extreme to sit through. She refuses to post her slides, though people asked her to do so throughout the quarter, and yet she speaks quickly and goes through the slides ridiculously quickly. She won't tell you this, but she wants you to focus on what she is saying rather than what's on the slides so if you really want to learn bring a recorder and learn to type very fast.
We had 2 papers 6-7 pages each, they were not that bad, and the midterm was just memorization - she gives you a large list of people/issues to know and tests you on that. The map part of the test was not too bad either, just memorize all African countries and major areas.
The annoying thing is that she speaks in random African languages that no one knows except two or three students and plays really awful music (I listen to some African artists and they're really good - Lydon just tries to find the worst and oddest music she can to play in class).
Do NOT contradict her, she will say stupid things like "Africa is at the center of the world because of the Big Bang" (which almost made me walk out - she is completely science illiterate!) but if you talk to her politely after class she will bite your head off for having an opinion and not taking her word as the 'ultimate truth'. If you can stand the pain, take her for a GE. Oh, have Reem as your TA, she's wonderful.
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