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Course taken: IA STD33 Winter 15
Final grade: A
Prof.Kim was absolutely great. She covered a broad spectrum of topics that work to spark your interest in the region. As an international student, this was my first social sciences class at UCLA and I can only hope that the other classes live up to the standards set by this one.
As for James Hillmer, the TA, was fantastic and offered insight in a subtle manner. My friend and I were impressed by him and I would suggest you take a class with this Prof/TA combination.
Course taken: Korean 50
She's a very nice lady.
I've got 85/100 for my final without reading the text and any assigned reading material AT ALL!
We were given a list of terms and essay prompts as study guide. So you'll know what exactly will be on the exams (both midterm and final)
I just use wiki and other websites to do the IDs which is much more convenient for me.
I knew nothing about history plus English is my second language, yet I manage to get a B+ so I guess most people could can an A from her.
NOTE: This is an evaluation for K50, not East Asian Studies 99...K50 wasn't on the evaluation's course list.
Professor: Pretty nice professor who makes lecture worth going to, as she shows a bunch of interesting video clips every so often. Plus, she speaks very clearly and makes everything easy to understand. Only bad thing I can say about her (or even the class in general) is that she does talk kind of fast, so you may want to consider bringing a laptop to get everything down.
Course load: Great for those who have a heavy schedule already, as the course just consists of a film paper, discussion question postings, midterm, and final.
Exams: A midterm and a final, which you shouldn't do too bad in as long as you study--she gives you a study guide before each exam telling you EXACTLY what may show up on the test. Tests consist of ID's and exams--but, as others have mentioned, TA's do look for specific details, so really study the who/what/where/when/why's for each ID.
Grading: 10% film paper, 25% midterm, 25% participation (this consists of showing up and participating in your discussion section [making discussions mandatory], as well as posting discussion questions relevant to the readings on the class website every week) , 40% final. Seems very fair to me and shouldn't be hard to do well in this class if you put in the effort.
Overall: Great class (maybe because I've always been into Asian history)and it's really doable. I'm not of Korean descent at all and I knew almost nothing about Korean history prior to this class, but I still felt that the professor made the material very easy to learn and I can say that I'm much more informed about Korean history than I was before.
This evaluation is for EAS101.
There are tons of readings. Because she decided against using a textbook, she ended up picking and choosing an assortment of reading and lumping them together under topic/period. Some of them were painfully boring, and there were only a handful of interesting ones. I usually read everything, but some of them got so bad that I ended up skimming and reading over the conclusion sections for our weekly 2-page summaries. While there were originally 8 weekly summaries with the top 6 being counted towards a grade, she ended up lowering it to 5, because apparently people find it difficult to write a 2-page summary every week. Granted, it was annoying having to do them over the weekend (they were always due Monday evenings), but generally if you provided some general points and analysis, you were okay.
Despite the long readings, though, I felt like this was less of a "capstone class" for seniors as she put it and more of a high school-level AP class. The weekly summaries, the group presentations about topics sometimes only vaguely connected to that week's readings, the review guides for the mditerm and final -- all of it felt like it was just lacking that something to make it more of a college-level course, aside from the rather rigorous grading. She would also digress a lot during lectures, as it was two hours long and had a class size of something like 45, which apparently meant she could take her time with attendance (she counts tardies -- also something I thought I had left behind in high school) and struggle with loading up Youtube on the classroom computer to show us video clips. I would have skipped lecture so much more often if she hadn't counted absences religiously; class discussions were often filled with long stretches of awkward silence as she asked us summary-based questions that had very obvious answers drawn from the text that nobody wanted to be the one to answer. Maybe it was because we didn't have a textbook and instead had to make do with whatever readings she assembled; either way, the class itself was very loosely organized and dragged on as a result.
All that being said, she does genuinely care, probably much more than an average GE professor. Though, there were some times where she made comments that I felt were slightly...rude? Like asking a student about his plans after college, and then saying something like "Really? That's what you want to do? That seems so boring to me. I mean, my husband..." blah blah blah. Otherwise, though, she's very friendly and the sort to recognize you outside of class somewhere on campus and be very understanding if you have family crises and those sorts of things. I'm honestly not one to go to office hours unless I absolutely have to, but the class would probably have been more bearable if I had gone to see her more often. Still, that's not enough to rescue the rest of the class. I wouldn't want to take it over again, and I would hesitate to recommend it to someone else.
*edit* from the post below:
I meant I missed 3/10 discussions. Discussions are important haha.
Evaluation for -K50-
Professor Jung-Kim is the nicest, most caring professor I have ever met. She's always willing to open her office hours and make appointments with students.
The lectures were very interesting for me (maybe it's because I'm korean and majoring in history). Her powerpoints are very well organized. She lectures well too. Also, she shows clips of videos from Korean dramas from time to time - fun.
I had Howard Kham as my TA. Although I did miss 7/10 discussions (mainly b/c I couldn't wake up by 9am for a Friday morning discussion), they were interesting when I did go. Although he may come off as being a little intimidating at first, he's actually a really funny guy who makes discussions worthwhile.
There is a midterm exam, one paper (really easy; you can write about a film), and a final exam. The exams consisted of IDs and an essay. I got a B on both exams (the ID part screwed me up; the TAs look for lots of details).
Overall, take this class. It's not the easist GE, but if you're interested in Korean/Asian history, you'll enjoy this class a lot.
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