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The class was extremely tough throughout the fall quarter. The class focuses on Pacific Islanders and Natives. Most of the time, the lectures were pretty boring. He does not use slides for his lectures. Instead, you just have to type as fast as he speaks. The content itself isn't difficult, but the speed and grading is harsh.
The negative reviews scared me, but a majority are almost 10 years old, and the class has really improved! Professor Camacho structured the class so there were recorded lectures with information needed for the midterm and final, and live sessions with guest speakers about the readings or other stuff related to being Asian American. Lectures were recorded and uploaded on CCLE for a week, but I wish they would have stayed up longer. The content was very interesting and the lectures were really informative. There were also a bunch of Asian American Studies department events that you could earn extra credit for going to (I think like 5-10 points for each event, and there were around 3).
The midterm and final both consisted of a short answer question (approximately half a page) and a longer essay (a page and a half). I was worried about how to answer them, but Professor Camacho provided examples and also gave a study guide.
My TA was Carina and she was super nice and helpful. Discussion was mandatory, but she was understanding if anyone needed to miss or attend a different discussion time. She didn't quiz on the readings, but did have us write a reaction essay for each of them. We also had to write 4 "journals" about anything we wanted that were due by the end of the quarter, and did a short presentation on something related to Asian American history. Carina was very lenient with grading/due dates and everything was graded based on completion/effort.
Overall, a very stress-free class with interesting course material. The AAS department is super approachable and willing to help, so I'd definitely recommend this class.
Took this class last quarter and enjoyed every bit of it. His lectures go by very fast because of all the interesting information he talks about, and he often repeats himself to make sure people have enough time to write everything down. The assigned readings are great, and the essays, though somewhat unclear, are very manageable. This is one of those classes where effort and attentiveness will get you to actually give a damn about the lecture material. I always looked forward to attending this class (though I missed the Gojira screenings) and honestly wish I could take this class again.
My TA was Christian Gella; try and take it with him if you can!
Having read all the negative reviews on this website, I was fully prepared to drop the course, but I needed a History GE to graduate and my friend convinced me to at least show up on the first day.
I am so grateful I didn't listen to these reviews. I'm not saying they're not true, but they're from over 3 years ago (at the time of this review) and let me tell you, the person they describe in their reviews is not the Professor Camacho that I know now. It's possible after all the bad reviews, he got a lot better. People can change in 3 years!
Anyway, this class was super easy. And being a graduating senior, I am lazy as hell. Like, uber to class when I live within walking distance kinda lazy. So if I'm saying it's easy, you honestly have to actually not be trying at all to think it's hard. If you like numbers, the average for the midterm was a 96.
Professor Camacho usually takes the first 15 minutes of class to ask if anyone has announcements and to chat with the class. His lectures are pretty straightforward. He tells you which keywords you'll need to know for the midterm/final, and there are usually 3 or 4 per lecture. He is literally telling you these are the only things you'll be tested on. Plus 2 of the lectures, we watched Godzilla; 1 lecture, we had a visit from indigenous leaders on canoes; 1 lecture, we had a visit from an Asian playwright. That means 2 weeks out of the quarter wasn't even lectured material.
Regarding the TAs: My TA, Michelle Chang was super nice and helpful - and a VERY lenient grader. She didn't care about dates or specific names, just that you grasped the general concept. She really made me think about the significance of all this history which made me connect with the material more instead of just memorizing it.
If you're torn about taking a class with him, do what I did and go the first day to see for yourself.
I took AAS10. One of the hardest classes ever. The TA's grade super hard and are in complete and total control of your grade. In addition,they are super slow at returning back your quizzes and papers. Going into the final, I had NO IDEA where I was standing in the class because I hadn't received two big things back! Camacho reads off a paper EVERY lecture and it is VERY hard to get everything he says. There are almost no powerpoint slides and when he reads, he's not very clear either. DO NOT TAKE.
Breakdown of this class: 2 quizzes, 2 short papers, 1 midterm, 1 final.
I'm a south campus major who took this class, and if you're looking for an easy GE, this is NOT the class to take.
Prof. Camacho, I believe, was the first Pacific Islander to become a UC professor, and while that's highly impressive, his lectures are not. His lectures consist of very few PowerPoints slide, which he goes into further detail by literally reading off of a piece of paper. Thus, you really have to pay attention. I'd say use a laptop to take notes, because I type way faster than writing down notes.
His lectures really center around the Pacific Islands, which I didn't mind, but some of his transitions were weird. In one lecture, he attempted to draw parallels from the Vietnam War and 9/11 attacks. Uh, what? There's no reading in this class except for a new novels which don't really fit in well with the lecture material except to maybe create awareness
The TAs grade very harshly. The quizzes demand a lot of detail (knowing dates). The exams aren't too difficult, but it's basically a lot of regurgitation to get a decent grade, and an "insightful analysis" to get an A.
All in all, I don't recommend taking this class, and I'm sure there are better Asian Am classes out there that are more fulfilling and engaging.
I absolutely agree with the other post. There were no reviews on bruinwalk when I signed up for AAS 10...I assume this is only because Camacho has been out of the state recently. He is absolutely the least knowledgeable professor I have ever encountered at UCLA. And by far the WORST. AAS isn't dealing with hard/difficult material by any means but "Professor" Camacho has no idea how to lecture! He types up every sentence he wants to say and reads off of it word by word extremely fast. Sometimes, I think he is just reading off of a paper he wrote because he uses words that you normally wouldn't use while "lecturing." He needs to take a few public speaking classes! Don't they teach you in high school not to read off of a piece of paper (in his case, 6 pages, single spaced). I am second year A/A- student and I absolutely dread this class.
And if you think the TAs are any better, you are so wrong. I got stuck with the &%$#& Mihiri. This guy was checking his phone in section, nothing distracting and she said "Wow, that's a really nice phone, put it away." I felt like I was in high school all over again.
Another reason not to take this class, there is a MANDATORY field trip to LONG BEACH for some Asian American Pacific Islander museum. I've gone on mandatory field trips before to the Getty, which is in a very reasonable distance for a college student. But, how, I ask, am I supposed to get to LONG BEACH? Take the bus on the 405 and get stuck in traffic for 2 hours? This trip will probably require 4+ hours on the freeway and I will probably only spend an hour in the museum. OR I could take the train and pay 30+ bucks. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!!! He also doesn't post his useless powerpoints on his website for fear that, and yes, he said this "other professors would steal his research." Here's some news for you "Professor" Camacho: NO PROFESSOR AT UCLA WANTS TO STEAL YOUR RESEARCH!
The worst professor ever!I have no idea why he get to teach in UCLA! He pretty much just read the material word by word. And he's always trying to be funny but always turn out the opposite.And there's a lot of reading, the tests are crazy.Bad!