American Drama

James Goodwin

American Drama

English department

James Goodwin

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from 9 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 2.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 1.4
Easy
Heavy
Workload 1.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.4
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 2.2
Helpful
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Grades

Spring 2010
33.3%
27.8%
22.2%
16.7%
11.1%
5.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2006
24.5%
20.4%
16.3%
12.2%
8.2%
4.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 23, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Goodwin is without a doubt, the worst professor I have ever had. His lectures are completely unorganized and lack direction. In comparison to professors like Dimuro or Kipling, whose lectures are clearly laid out and delivered very succinctly. For example, if a professor wants the class to understand a huge/major/important/stand out moment in a plot or theme, said professor will drive that point home, perhaps repeat the point a few times. Goodwin does not do this. Professors often have notes that they rely on to ensure that they cover everything they want the class to know. I once had a history teacher that sat down with a stack of paper and class would not end till he got through his stack. Boring? Yes. Tedious? Yes. However, he covered everything and his lectures had direction. Even professors that kind of improvise their lectures such as Braunmueller, Lincoln, and Borst have clear direction with succinct instruction. They are encyclopedic on their knowledge of the subject matter. They repeat key themes/ideas. Goodwin does none of this. He rambles and almost all of his sentences trail off with some nearly incoherent rambling string of words that die in volume as he wears himself out from talking in circles. Oh yeah, and his lectures are basic summaries void of any in depth/close reading.
Student discussions? Not in this class. If you have a differing opinion from him his reply is always, “that’s a bit too…absurdist, if you understand what I mean.” No, we don’t understand. Why don’t YOU explain what you mean, Professor. He had the gall to argue with a student over the possibility of a homosexual reading of A Streetcar Named Desire. What the student said was exactly what they taught in an LGBT literature class. Isn’t literature all about opinions, interpretations, and so on? In all of my assignments for Dimuros class and for his essay’s during the final he encouraged us to strive to say something new and different about the literature. “Be original.” Isn’t the purpose of college to open our minds, to experiment and develop new themes, and so on? Unfortunately Goodwin only wants students to regurgitate what he says in lecture.
His grading is absolutely ridiculous. In 500 words he expects students to cover every important point of each play. This is not an exaggeration at all. His questions are so simple that they lend themselves to very broad and easy answers. However, he is looking for a very, very, very specific answer. I confronted him about this and his reply was, “well, it’s implied in the question.” No, you did not ask what is the unifying conflict between both couples. You did not ask what was the main conflict between both couples. You simply asked, “list the onstage/off stage drama between both couples.” You have to be a mind reader to know what he wants you to say. I barely got a decent grade when I should have received an “A.” I busted my hump through two Shakespeare classes, Milton, and Dostoevsky. Those classes were incredibly taxing, rewarding, and challenging. I received B’s and A’s in those classes and they were the hardest classes I have ever taken. Goodwin’s material and lectures are simple. He even admits that the material is not difficult. Yet his grading is unreasonable. How is it that after taking those classes (which are obviously much more challenging) all of the other students and myself had such a hard time in Goodwin’s drama class? He sets us up for failure.
AVOID THIS CLASS AT ALL COSTS. I read the reviews here before I took the class and have to agree, I only took the course because I needed the units. It’s just an awful course. He likes to say, “eeeeeeeedipus themes” a lot. On the last day of class he said, “in the end, I hope this course encouraged you to go to the theater.” Fat chance! You ruined it for me for sometime. With all of the budget cuts, UCLA should fire Goodwin immediately. If they are going to continue this course, they really should find a different teacher. He is a waste of time and money.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 19, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

THIS IS MY FIRST B IN ENGLISH AT UCLA... I received a B+ on the midterm (highest grade in the class) and I studied my a** off for the final. I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THE PREVIOUS POSTERS: this class is not wroth it; regardless if you have previous experience with drama, etc. We had actors in our class who couldn't get higher than a B on their exams/essays even though they were professionals and had been acting for 10+ years. I don't know what his problem is, but I don't care! The class is a breeze: cool plays, lively lectures. BUT THE GRADING IS BEYOND UNREASONABLE.
THANKS GOODWIN FOR RUINING MY GPA RIGHT BEFORE GRADUATION!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted June 7, 2011 Grade Received: N/A

The lectures were engaging and helpful to grasp the plays. He had an upbeat attitude, showed up on time, was always prepared, and allowed for plenty of discussion. He made sure the plays were on reserve and that movies/films were available to us. He was a bit harsh when someone tried to voices a different opinion about a play. I think the negative reviews stem from his grading. He has a reader but he also goes over the tests and the essays. EXPECT to write REALLY short essays: Midterm was 800 words with only ONE prompt; Final was 1000 words with ONE prompts but two mini essays. You pretty much had to get everything out in 3 pages and for the final, in 2. There are no IDs: he asks for you to talk about the plays and he even gives you lists of characters so you know which play you are discussing. Although the class sounds easy (and mostly it is), his grading on the essay was really draconian: I made one generalization (again, i had 2 & 1/2 pages)and he gave me a B. It's hard because 40% is Midterm, 60% Final. There is no make-up, he will not distribute any test early/late and there is no EC...
He is NICE but your grade hangs on a few pages and as an ENGL major although the feeling should be familiar, I did not feel comfortable with his grading methods or scale.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Jan. 1, 2009 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Goodwin is by far one of the most ruthless graders at UCLA. I received my first C at UCLA in his class. His class is not difficult because it is mentally challenging or the material is dense, but his class is difficult because he is unclear about what he expects for his midterm and final-- which is only made worse by his no-mercy approach to grading. He is a charismatic man, but as a professor he is lacking. Avoid taking his class by all means, unless you are indifferent to your grades, do not like to participate, enjoy hearing students read play lines, don't care for support outside of class, and can mind read (for his midterm and final.)

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