All Ratings and Reviews for Giulia Sissa
The key to happiness is found in not taking this class. First of all her lectures are all over the place and her slides are some of the most unhelpful I've ever stumbled upon. Going to class is mandatory since she has an unidentified number of pop quizzes throughout the quarter. T.As are TOUGH graders too, they don't give you that long to address a question but expect you to hit EVERY criterion PERFECTLY. I had a terrible time and I guarantee if you take it, you will too. It doesn't even matter whether what we read was interesting or not because she is so all over the place it is really not worth it. Save yourself the stress and save your GPA by not enrolling in this class.
Took this class online during the COVID pandemic. Our grading was 40% for a midterm paper and 40% for a final paper. 10% for a draft of each respective paper. Pretty reasonable.
Firstly, wouldn't recommend taking this class if you're not a poli sci major. The material just isnt that interesting and is pretty complicated/nuanced, even with a good lecturer.
W/ regard to Sissa, at first I though she really didn't give a frick. Her lectures will actually put you to sleep in video form. She's very hard to understand and says everything in monotone and uses a complex academic vernacular... and she talks very slowly. In person maybe she's better I'm not sure. But I went to her office hours a few times and it was clear that she does care about the class and teaching the material, and was actually very helpful and nice. I would also argue that the lectures in this class aren't as important as just reading the material and understanding it, as most of her lectures were literally just very long/ detailed recaps of the readings.
On another positive note, the workload for this class is pretty light (if its online), and your TA seems to call all the shots . Think the prompts through, use sparknotes to help explain plato or Aristotle or whoever, and bang out a couple of papers. Bada bing bada boom.
Once again, only take this class if you're a poli sci major who needs to kill a pre-rec not worth your time as a GE.
Professor Sissa does not care. She is here to get her 340k check and that is it. Had her during COVID pandemic. All she did was upload low quality videos twice a week. Was not engaging whatsoever. Youtubers do way more and get payed way less.
Your grade in the class is solely based on what TA you get. Rui and Josh are amazing
I took this class as a GE. Big mistake. I got a C+. My fault tho, I neglected the readings. The professor really cares. Don't take this class unless you are prepared to read and attend lecture.
The class is comprised of pop-up quizzes (no midterm) and consists of only the final. There are a lot of readings but honestly, just stick to shmoop and spark notes (that's what I did and was prepared for every quiz). Nonetheless, WRITE DOWN everything she discusses in lecture as they are very well presented and cover what she's going to implement in the quiz. Overall, this class is fairly easy if you can foster a good relationship with you TA (who grades your paper), understand the overarching ideas of the political theorists she covers, and take notes in class.
This class is actually very interesting. 2 ways to success in this class: 1) go to the lectures, follow the professor, write down as many notes as you can during classes and talk to your TA. 2) do the readings, search papers and people's discussion about these readings online and generalize your own understanding of the texts. I did both during the last quarter as I'm really really interested in the topic of this class and would say reading the texts required by the class was a joy for me, but if you want to save time and still do well in this class just do the first one. The readings contain a lot of different topics, and it will be hard for you to decide which one you should pay most attention on or to be sure whether you make the right interpretation, but the questions of quizzes and finals were all discussed by the professor in lectures. The professor is actually very caring and it's a pleasure to have discussions of texts with her after lectures, and my TA Steve is absolutely inspiring. Don't hesitate to talk to them if you need any help!
Oh and a tip for international students: if you find reading the english version of the readings too intimidating, all these readings are very classical and famous ones so it wouldn't be hard to find a translation of the work in your first language. That helps you to understand the texts a lot.
Pop-Up Quizzes are 50% (6 total, you can drop 1) and they happen DURING lecture
Final is 40%
Discussion is 10%
Overall the class is fine, attend lecture, talk to your TA! They're the ones grading all your work.
This is a GE which you can get an A but you have to try. The class is honestly easy but you have to go to lecture. Sissa is hard to understand because she has a thick accent but I learned to understand her accent as the year went on. Just try to write down everything you hear for 75 mins and you will do well in this class. I know that seems hard and pointless but thats the best way to do it. Also you dont have to read the material like I only sparknoted everything and as long as you have the jist of what each book is about and then you listen to Sissa's opinions on them youll do well in this class. 6 quizzes are random but usually on a Wednesday (second day of week) and start week 2 so be prepared. Quizzes are worth 50% of grade and she drops one which is really helpful in case you forget to shmoop one. Then the final is 40% of the grade but its basically 4 quizzes at once so by now you should know what it takes to do well on them. Overall not the easiest GE ive taken here but I still managed an A-
Before taking this class, I looked at the reviews and obviously all of them say the class is hard. She was the only one teaching ps10 so i had to take it. Anyways, I don't regret it. A lot of EFFORT is needed if you want an A in the class. I thought I was going to end up with a B but I didn't. The structure of the grading really helps keep you on top of readings, but it is really the lectures that you have to be listening to. Mostly everything that she asks about in the quizzes comes straight from the lectures and what she goes over. The quizzes do get slightly more difficulty as the course progresses which is expected. I recorded the lectures (i know its not allowed but you gotta do what you gotta do) and this was by far the most helpful. I would listen to them at the end of the week to keep up and really understand the main points of the readings. Also, I would recommend writing up a brief summary of the historical context, main points of readings, and political relevance before quizzes to solidify all that you understand. There are 6 quizzes but the lowest one is dropped. Definitely recommend since you will grow more as the quarter goes on. Good luck!!
Do not be unmotivated by any bad reviews.... I once looked here on Bruinwalk before taking the class and was surprised of what I actually experienced. Professor Sissa is an amazing professor who ACTUALLY CARES about the success of her students and the student-teacher relationship. She is passionate about the content and if you are WILLING TO PUT SAME EFFPRT IN, an A is achievable!! My TA was great and went the extra mile to help us understand the content talked about in class, so definitely GO TO SECTIONS, as they are mandatory and will only help you! In regards to grades, 50% of your grade are the weekly pop quizzes... 6(10% each) where your lowest score is dropped! I averaged 8.5-9/10 on my quizzes and ended up with a final grade of A. This may seem intimidating, but it is very manageable as Professor Sissa intensively goes over the readings in class and basically anything she says or repeats will most likely show up on quiz! Quizzes are open written response and Final exam is structured as Quote-Analysis style. Would 1000% take this class again. Probably one of the most eye-opening, interesting classes here at UCLA!
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