Jerusalem: Holy City

Jeremy Smoak

Jerusalem: Holy City

Ancient Near East department

Jeremy Smoak

Add Review
from 29 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.6
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.6
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.5
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.9
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.9
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Uses Slides
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Participation Matters

Grades

Fall 2018
29.3%
24.4%
19.5%
14.6%
9.8%
4.9%
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.

Fall 2017
25.7%
21.4%
17.2%
12.9%
8.6%
4.3%
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.

Winter 2017
22.0%
18.3%
14.6%
11.0%
7.3%
3.7%
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.

Fall 2016
24.3%
20.3%
16.2%
12.2%
8.1%
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.

Winter 2016
27.4%
22.8%
18.3%
13.7%
9.1%
4.6%
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 2016
23.9%
19.9%
15.9%
11.9%
8.0%
4.0%
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.

Summer 2016
26.3%
21.9%
17.5%
13.2%
8.8%
4.4%
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.

Fall 2015
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.

Winter 2015
34.4%
28.6%
22.9%
17.2%
11.5%
5.7%
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.

Fall 2014
30.1%
25.0%
20.0%
15.0%
10.0%
5.0%
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.

Winter 2013
39.5%
32.9%
26.3%
19.7%
13.2%
6.6%
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.

Summer 2013
40.0%
33.3%
26.7%
20.0%
13.3%
6.7%
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.

Fall 2012
37.1%
30.9%
24.7%
18.6%
12.4%
6.2%
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.

AD
AD
2 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Fall 2017 Submitted Jan. 2, 2018 Grade Received: B-

This class is extremely difficult, time consuming, and dry. I regret taking this class. The essays are harshly graded, everyone got B-'s and C's on the first paper. In addition to papers, you also have a midterm and final (both of which are in class multiple choice AND free response.) This class is unfairly graded and I would not recommend.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted July 6, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

Selling the required text "Jerusalem: One city, Three Faiths" for $10. Email me at junkfaloona@gmail.com

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted April 4, 2017 Grade Received: B+

This class was very interesting and the tests were fairly easy, but the papers (at least for me) were graded very harshly. You need to put in a lot of time and effort in order to get a good grade, so just be prepared for that. Your grade is mainly based on 2 papers. You first submit a draft, which is graded. Then you have a chance to edit and resubmit it, again for a grade. I really liked that aspect of the class, since you got direct and specific feedback! Overall, the class is great, just be prepared to spend a lot of time on the papers!!!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted April 3, 2017 Grade Received: A-

I thought this class was very interesting, but if you think it is an easy A then you will be mistaken like I was! Yes, it is one of the "easier" writing II classes but you are going to have to put in a good amount of effort to do well. We had weekly quizzes based on the readings which weren't too bad and two papers throughout the quarter, in which the draft and final count as a portion of your grade. The TAs grade very tough (no one in my section got an A on the first paper) but by the time the second paper comes around, you will have a good idea of what they expect. The final was also pretty fair, definitely need to put in studying rather than leaving it to the last minute. Overall, I do recommend this class!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted March 31, 2017 Grade Received: B

If you don't have any religious background, DON'T take this course. I didn't have a religious upbringing and have pretty much no knowledge about religion, and I definitely had to work a lot harder to grasp a lot of what was going on in the class.
This class is hugely dependent on your TA. I had a TA that said he hadn't given a single A the quarter before, and I'm pretty sure he didn't give any this quarter either. But I also think they've made the course more difficult over time-- I have friends who took this course a few years a go and said it was a lot easier. This course was genuinely one of the most difficult courses I have take at UCLA, and will be the first B I ever get (I'm a Junior, so I've taken a fair amount of classes).
The course content is relatively interesting, especially if you're into ancient history and buildings. Professor Smoak is clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about this topic, and his lectures are pretty engaging. If I had a TA that wasn't so hell bent on giving bad grades and a stronger religious background, this class may have been bearable. But it's A LOT of work for a Writing 2 or a GE. You can definitely find something easier to fulfill requirements if that's what you're looking for.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Feb. 16, 2017 Grade Received: B

Yes it was so very interesting learning about this material and he really is a good lecturer, BUT if you are taking this only for a writing 2 not for minor or major then pick another.. this is a history class which had in my opinion a hard midterm and final so not only do you have to worry about your writing two essays (TA was very strict with the grading since this is a writing 2 class) but also worry about memorizing and knowing a lot of the historical background as well ! Quick pointer to those people who are reading about having two papers for the class, and that you get to submit a draft and then revise it... I WISH SOMEONE had TOLD ME THAT BOTH THE DRAFT AND THE REVISION COUNT IN MY GRADE AND EACH ARE WORTH A LOT before taking this class ! So beware everything counts. Best of luck !

Quarter Taken: Spring 2016 Submitted Jan. 14, 2017 Grade Received: B+

Selling textbooks! Text 2132717903

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 20, 2016 Grade Received: A-

Professor Smoak is a good lecturer you can really tell he knows his stuff. The material to be quite honest was different from what I had expected and was at times mundane. As another reviewer said, this class does focus its essays on the architectural and buildings of Jerusalem rather than the history/religion itself. Also the TA's make or break your grade. My TA was relatively difficult and it was difficult to pinpoint what the TA wanted fixed on my essay. Overall, I did pretty well on the exams and the first essay but on the second essay (which is weighted the heaviest in the class) I didn't do so hot. Overall, it's interesting but I wouldn't take it again.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 20, 2016 Grade Received: B

Let me start by saying that I had high hopes coming into this class; I heard that it was a straightforward Writing II class and I was interested in the subject due to my religious background. Unfortunately, this class did not live up to expectations.

There are a few good things about the class. Dr. Smoak is passionate about teaching this class and it comes through in his lectures. He infuses pictures and anecdotes of his time in Jerusalem. He is also a nice and approachable person and was more willing to answer my questions than my TA. The midterm (10%) and final (10%) are extremely straightforward. As long as you memorize everything on the study guide that is given, you are set.

Unfortunately, this class has more cons than pros. Instead of learning about religion itself, this class focuses on the architecture and space and how it relates to religion. I wanted to learn more about how the three monotheistic religions developed, and less about how the buildings located in Jerusalem relate to religion. In addition, there are so many assigned readings that will take a few hours each week. 70% of your grade is dependent on your TA. That means that having a good relationship with your TA is key in this class. I had a horrible TA, one that was unwilling to help even when I went to office hours and asked additional questions. My TA was also extremely nit-picky about everything in grading.

Writing classes are subjective which is part of the reason why I do not like them in general, so just get a fair and good TA and this class will be ok. My recommendation is just to avoid this class unless you are really interested in Jerusalem's religious buildings.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2016 Submitted Dec. 17, 2016 Grade Received: A-

Despite not being particularly excited to take this class, it was my favorite class I took last quarter and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes history or is interested in religion. The class is basically an overview of the rise of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Ancient Near Eastern world from a historical perspective, focusing particularly on the religious buildings in Jerusalem and how those relate to the evolution of religion in the city. Again, it was not a topic I thought sounded interesting, but I loved the course.

The professors and Das do not tolerate tardiness, and you are only allowed to miss one discussion section per quarter. That said, they are incredibly helpful, kind, and want you to succeed. The quizzes and tests are very easy, but you do have to study, as they focus on specific dates and people. The essays are harder to do extremely well on, but you turn in a draft, which is graded, and then you revise that draft and the revision gets graded as well. There are two papers for the course, one with a 5 page min and another with a 7 page min.

2 of 3

Tags

  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Uses Slides
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Participation Matters
ADS

Report Review

Did this review contain...

There are errors in the report form.

Thank you for the report!

We'll look into this shortly.

It seems like you’re

using an ad blocker. :(


Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!