The transition from cool, calm, and collected Makdisi to spontaneous and energetic Grossman was definitely noticeable at first, and took some getting used to in the first week. However, Professor Grossman is a great lecturer in that he has a "thesis" for each lecture (or rather, each text), but he develops it with the participation of the students. He doesn't just boringly state it. Not only does he show you his logic in the argument, but he also always takes into account student's perceptions of various features of the texts. He WANTS you to come up with something different and not necessarily take for fact everything he has to say. He enjoyed it in class when some students made some observations that no one else had before. Professor Grossman is a very open professor concerning your grade. Everything is on MyUCLA and he even asserts very heavily in class that there should be nothing mysteriuos about your grade. The TAs provide extensive feedback on your papers, and Grossman is always available for office hours. In fact, during the last week of class he had office hours every single day for hours. He truly cares about students getting the most of the class. The class is set up so that the majority of your grade is made up of papers (which is good, because it makes you focus on your writing). 20% first paper, 30% second paper, 35% final paper. The other 15% of your grade comprises of 2 pass or fail quizzes, (if you fail one then you get an F for that 15% of your grade, and if you fail 2 then you fail the entire class). I know this sounds scary, but the quizzes are SO. SIMPLE. They are not designed to fail you whatsoever. He even provides sample quizzes on the class website so you know what they're like. If you just show up to lecture and listen, then you'll be able to answer the quiz questions just fine. The only people who I know failed one of the quizzes are people that I know did not attend a majority of the lectures nor did they do the reading. However, even THEN, the Professor allows you to make it up with an oral quiz, where he goes through lecture by lecture with you asking you questions. In sum, he gives you a lot of chances to pass, so there's no reason why any average, attending student would fail this portion of his/her grade. The class was great, the TAs were great, and the absence of prompts force you to come up with analytic ideas on your own. All in all, it was a very enjoyable class, and the lecture style makes the time go by really fast, and the amount of participation m akes the lectures memorable and very educational. I recommend this class, and I don't think you'll regret taking it with Grossman.
Spring 2022 - I know that people often say that Grossman is chaotic and disorganized, but I found him to be a breath of fresh air compared to other professors who don't really like to be so personable with students. I enjoyed his lectures and his enthusiasm for teaching 10C and he's just a very kind person. He always checks in on students and wants them to do well. His quizzes are super easy as long as you show up to class, but the oral retakes he offers really aren't that bad either if you at least do the readings. And while he does want you to use physical copies of the books, he opts for individual copies you can get for super cheap rather than the Norton anthologies that can be expensive. If you can't afford to buy or rent a copy, he'll get one for you. He's seriously one of the nicest professors out there. Take him!
I took 164C with Grossman this past spring quarter, and let's just say I wish I had listened to all the reviews posted on here. He is extremely disorganized (although I appreciate his effort to add more structure to his lectures), and he grades extremely subjectively. I remember asking him about my thesis for my Dickens paper, and he replied, "But I already know that..."(he has a thing about topics being obvious). Well, of course you would know that--you're a professor at UCLA and a Dickens expert! Is there anything you don't know?? However, Prof. Grossman is extremely intelligent and he does try to be engaging. I just wish he would realize that we aren't as familiar with the novels he chose for the class, and that the papers are our opportunity to explore and work out our ideas even though our theses may be something that is obvious to him. However, this class will undoubtedly make you become a better writer, so if you're up to the challenge, then take this class. Otherwise, I suggest you avoid it.