Kathleen Lytle Hernandez

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Easiness 4.4/ 5
Clarity 4.3/ 5
Workload 3.8/ 5
Helpfulness 4.2/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2016 - Ok, so I actually took this class with Prof. David Stein but he's not listed on Bruinwalk. However, I'm pretty sure this class is almost the same as Hernandez's from the reviews I've seen. This class is the easiest I have taken at UCLA but also an incredibly interesting one. There is no homework, except for one news story relevant to the class and three short and informal one-page reading reflections that my TA required for discussion. The midterm is hella easy if you use detailed notes that they let you bring, but I probably wouldn't have done well without my notes. Prof. Stein also gives unlimited extra credit by way of a music or journal submission. You get to do anything for your final project as long as it is approved by your TA, and a lot of people did their final project in a group. There was literally nothing in gradebook the whole quarter because we never had assignments- I knew my midterm grade but was never told my final project grade; my TA just said "oh yeah BTW you got an A." I spent a while on my final paper, but other than that you should just skim/loosely read through the required readings before your discussion section so you can get participation points for actually contributing something about the readings, but you really don't have to do the required readings because everything Prof. Stein really wants you to know about the readings are on his slides in class. The class isn't bruincasted but he puts all the lecture slides up on CCLE so going to class is pretty much optional. In addition, this class satisfies the L&S diversity requirement which is great- an easy GE + diversity req + a genuinely interesting class about mass incarceration makes it a totally worthwhile class. I would highly recommend this class as well as Prof. Stein. I can't say anything about Prof. Hernandez, but from the looks of her reviews she seems pretty easy too. Can't recommend highly enough. Also, selling required books Golden Gulag, History of Mass Incarceration, and From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime- **********
Easiness 2.7/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 2.8/ 5
Helpfulness 2.3/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Welcome back to high school! But no, really, I was kind of confused about why this is advertised as a college-level course. I realize it's a GE and that 20th century American history is not on the cutting edge of academia...but if the goal of this class was to transform my historical thinking, then it failed spectacularly. But yeah, set your expectations for this class pretty low. Professor Hernandez will trumpet the importance of the theme of "freedom." Don't be fooled; this is code for "understand how people in different eras were shaped by social currents." If you can articulate vague ideas about labor, race relations, immigration, and economic thinking while sprinkling in a few examples, you're good to go. Unfortunately, the course is so broad in trying to hit all of those themes that it never really delves into any critical examination. Example - a substantial chunk of time was devoted to explaining what containment was. Zero time was spent debating whether or not containment was actually effective. Is the class hard? Well, it kind of says something when your TA sends an email literally begging people who couldn't bother to show up to section (read: not participate, just SHOW UP) to drop the class rather than get a C or fail. Translation: if you're smart, you have nothing to worry about because this class is full of people who don't give a shit. Just make sure you go to lecture. Reading the textbook is wholly unnecessary; there may be some test IDs from the book, but it's largely irrelevant since that section allows you to discard 3-4 terms. In terms of grading, there's two midterms and a final, all of which are worth 20%. All the tests have the aforementioned IDs and a short essay asking you to evaluate a primary source. The final also has a question asking you to compare ideas about "freedom" from two different eras, i.e. post-WWII and the New Conservatism. Section is worth 40% - I know, right? So yeah, you kind of have to show up. Your TA will assign free writes, where you'll analyze a primary source and explain its content, context within the era, and significant. It's a completely vapid exercise because there's zero specificity in terms of how you're expected to respond. Even if everything you say is factually correct, if you don't mention exactly what you're looking for you'll get a 9 out of 10 at most instead of full marks. You also have to take a cultural field trip and write a two page report - not very hard. I got an A despite literally not studying for the final. If you're looking for an easy class, go ahead and take it, I guess. Just prepare yourself for canned lectures (drinking game: take a shot every time you hear the phrase "orgy of consumption") and uninspiring material.
Easiness 1.5/ 5
Clarity 5.0/ 5
Workload 1.8/ 5
Helpfulness 4.5/ 5
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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