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This was one of my favorite courses I took last year. I came in with an interest in Roman history, and professor Langdon did not disappoint. His class covers a lot of material but he makes his lectures lively and entertaining, and as long as you take diligent notes you’ll be fine. Due to the large amount of material covered each lecture, attendance is a must to succeed in the course. Make sure you use the course reader because it becomes really helpful for the optional midterm and mandatory final. Also the midterm is optional, but definitely take it. The two exams cover a lot of material but Professor Langdon is very clear about what to expect and he holds a review session to cover everything that is expected. I would definitely recommend this course for anyone interested about Roman History.
Professor Langdon is by far my favorite professor I had throughout my time at UCLA. While the classes have lots of information, Langdon effectively guides students through complications in history with funny stories and interesting facts. I loved his lecture style because it was entertaining and engaging: He tells history as a story rather than as a dry lecture burdened with facts, and makes each character come to life. If you do not understand material or are struggling with the class, just make time to visit Langdon during his office hours, as he is always willing to help. I felt that, throughout the many classes I took with him, he always wanted his students to succeed and was very dedicated in that regard.
To any prospective student of Langdon's courses, please know that it is necessary to read in order to most effectively make sense of the material. These are not classes where you can buy the books and set them aside for the rest of the quarter. If you are willing to put in the outside work however, you will not only be able to succeed grade wise, but will also enjoy these courses and find them to be very fulfilling and worthwhile. For me personally, the challenge of these courses have helped me a great deal already in post-UCLA life, and led me to grow academically and professionally. They also fostered a love for Roman culture and interested me in its links to the modern American government, which is fascinating to say the least. If you can make the time to read for this course, don't miss out on the best classes UCLA has to offer and one of the most caring professors on campus!
This man is wonderful. I take his class in the afternoon which is usually my nap time so i am almost always tired but his lectures are so interesting and so engaging. His lectures are like story time. He is a brilliant and wonderfully nice man however this is NOT AN EASY CLASS. There are hundreds of latin terms and names you need to know. It is hard to follow along in the class because ,like i mentioned before, it's story time and he does not always teach it chronologically and you get lost in the mass amounts of material. So many of my classmates are struggling right now, as am I. I do not know what I will end up with in the end, small chance of an A, probably a B but that is because i am working my ass off. Reading is a must, there are 4-5 books and i suggest u read all of it. I have learned so much but i am here to warn those that think taking a history class is an easier option- WRONG.
Firstly, Langdon's lectures are not for those who want an easy A. With that out of the way, his classes contain the most informative and engaging lectures I experienced over my two years at UCLA.
He lectures for the entire time, usually starting a tad early and usually finishing late. This is because he has incredible amounts of information he imparts to you and, if you keep up to date with the prescribed readings, the lectures can be a blast since you are capable of easily following along in his grand retelling of the story of Rome.
He has an optional midterm and a final and that's it. No papers, no weekly assignments. You either do the readings and come to every class for the invaluable lectures, or you will not do well. However, the textbooks and primary sources he assigns are great and nothing is superfluous.
On top of having the best lectures filled with historical drama and his brilliant wit, he is also the most caring professor I've come to know. He cares about his students succeeding and provides every opportunity to do so. He even records the lectures that you can obtain during office hours and puts together a binder that will guarantee success if you use it properly (granted it's a pricey and hefty binder, but well worth the price for what's in it)!
In short, he was my favorite professor at UCLA and I would recommend him to anyone and everyone!
This class is extremely heavy on reading and material. Yes, it's Rome, so there's a lot to cover, but it is A LOT for one quarter. Be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to this class to succeed. You need to remember every detail of the Roman Republic to do well on the exams. You HAVE to be ahead in the readings to understand/keep up in lecture, and he doesn't let you forget it because he brings it up seemingly every other sentence in lecture. Professor Langdon is probably the most arrogant professor I have had at UCLA. Yes, he knows everything about Rome, but his lectures are essentially him just yelling at you and he always goes over time and he often goes off on rants hinting at his own opinions about modern issues and politics which can get kind of uncomfortable. He also uses a lot of Latin words, which is just another show of arrogance because Latin and an Intro to Rome class are not prerequisites. Definitely look at the terms before each lecture in addition to doing all the readings. I will say it's a decent class if you have a deep interest in Rome, but be prepared to sit through an old man yelling his opinions at you and stressing how important his class is every five minutes. It got a little exhausting by the end of the quarter and it really diminished my interest in the subject.
Don’t make the same mistake I did by taking this course. The professor is so boring and just lectures to you without any visual aid. I couldn’t stand to attend lectures and the material was so dense and boring that you wouldn’t want to either. The midterm and final exams are both impossible to complete in the timeframe and contain the amount of material you would expect to have in a graduate level course. The professor says he grades on a “suggest competence” Grading scale which he explained means that you need to remember a little more than half of the material on the exam to get a C. All in all this class is going to be the worst decision of your life. don’t take it.
Professor Langdon will make sure that you leave this class knowing Rome like the back of your hand. The sheer amount of readings he assigns can be frustrating but you can learn how to prioritize as a lot of the information overlaps. There are a lot of Latin terms to know and a lot of people to recognize. There is an optional midterm and a final, the final is just like the midterm but double. The midterm is one historical paragraph, one historical essay, and 22 IDs. He occasionally takes random attendance and uses it when deciding between two grades. Overall, this is a very interesting class for history majors. I only wish he left more time for discussing Rome as the entire class is an extremely fast paced lecture.
Dr. Langdon is an extremely passionate in the topic of Rome and its historical impact in modern times. He is approachable and joyful, making him accessible. My critiques for this class are within the parameters of pedagogy, misogyny, and exams structure.
Dr. Langdon is hard to follow during lecture as he is screaming his heart out to the class. I appreciated the passion and Latin words dropped here and there, but it a majority of the information was not digestible. There was no moment of learning for me, but rather a focus on just remembering dates and figures. As a student this was disappointing as I was open to learning about Rome. There is no room for engagement or questions as non-stop lecturing for the entirety of the class. It would have been helpful to pause during lecture and ask for any clarification or questions. If you are to take this class and you are not passionate or familiar with this historical period (there were very few students who were), prepare yourself for an extremely difficult time. His pedagogy needs a revisit, it is simply not effective nor engaging. There were very few times where I felt like I was happy to be in class. I actually dreaded it.
The misogyny that was subtly integrated in his lectures when talking about women or queer figures in Rome bothered me, but did not surprise me given his past positions of power. If you are to take this class and are a Woman and/or Queer identifying, brace yourselves for his subtle disrespect. I don't understand what Dr. Langdon's deal was with the extra details about women in bed and men being queer in Rome. There were plenty of times where I wrote something down and had to do a double-take to process what was just said. This was another pitfall to the class.
If you are a great test taker, this is the class for you, but it was simply not for me. The only grades given in the class are an [optional] mid-term + final, which were both in-class (oh yeah, and the extra credit). My critique would simply begin with: why? The amount of weight that is put on the mid-term and final is excruciating as the amount of content that one must remember is unrealistic and as mentioned before. For our final we had about 30 "who am I" IDs, two essays (5 paragraphs each), and one short paragraph (10-12 sentences) that we had to complete within the three hour time-frame.
There was one opportunity for extra-credit which was visiting the Pompeii
The Pompeii was not only was expensive, but inaccessible if you had no car. The extra-credit was in my opinion, unfair.
Overall, Langdon is a passionate educator, but his pedagogy needs a revisit, his misogyny needs to be eradicated, and the exam structure needs a revamp.
If you do not need to take this class, don't.