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This class, with this professor, is absolute trash. Let me give you a rundown of how each day went: the professor would spend about 5-10 minutes reading off of slides about some event that happened in Asian American history, and then we would watch a movie for the rest of the 2 hour lecture. Sounds good, right? WRONG.
There are two exams (midterm and final) of about 40 questions that you have two hours to do, but there's a caveat: about 15 - 20 questions are extremely specific about the reading or the movies. Here's the thing: I did the reading. I went to lecture and watched the movies. I even did all the extra credit! But when you have questions asking about the *precise wording* of the motto of some group that was mentioned once in one of the readings, or when a question reads: "which of the following characters was not in the movie you watched in the first day of class: a) victor wong b) victor li", there's really nothing you can do to prepare.
The grading for the papers seems pretty standard for a GE (probably B+ average), but it's the tests that kill you. I'm talking C averages in an UNCURVED class - that's unheard of for a GE.
Now, it would be one thing if the test was hard because it tested us on important concepts/facts from Asian American history, but it didn't. Why? Because if it were to ask questions about Asian American history, that would imply that we learned about Asian American history! Which, of course, we didn't. I did learn about some bloke named "Victor" though!
It's really a shame because the tiny slivers of actually useful information I could glean from that class were quite interesting. Really, all Americans ought to study how the country blatantly legalized oppression against minorities up into the 20th (and arguably 21st) century. It's eye-opening. Unfortunately, this class does not provide that kind of opportunity. You'd probably learn more while watching Netflix. At least then the movies you watch might actually be well made, unlike this class's crappy indie films.
I took this class because I'm minoring in AAS. It was my 7th Asian Am course I've taken at UCLA and by far the worst one in terms of class organization, the material, and the ridiculous workload assigned in section. To begin with, I felt as if Dr. Tran intentionally let lectures be free-flowing perhaps because she didn't realize we'd be speeding through the slides considering she's pretty much just reading them over verbatim (which doesn't help because each of her decks has at least one hypervisible typo/grammatical error). Also, my TA (June) did a mediocre job at leading discussions, providing instructions for the Building A Better Movement (BABM) project, and keeping us up-to-date with grading and class announcements. The worst part was when they assigned us a group essay even though discussion was canceled, with close to no specific instructions. Next, having taken several upper div AAS classes before 40, I did not understand why Dr. Tran assigned such advanced/dense readings that I've seen only in specialized upper div classes for this class. I assumed AAS40 was supposed to be an introductory, interest-peeking course for prospective Asian Am students and students interested in Asian Am in general, but it seems as if the underclassmen I took this class with came out with a negative perspective of the AAS dept, unfortunately. Lastly, the workload for this course was unexpectedly heavy. There were two papers, one in which you're required to take a picture of a piece of evidence of a historical movement. On top of that, we were bombarded with assignments for the BABM project on a weekly basis in discussion; one group of students in my discussion had to find a community organizer to interview in-person just so we can explore a potential topic for our final project! I personally put in a couple of hours of research and writing for one of these assignments, only to never use it/see it again because we ended up with a completely different subject. In conclusion, there needs to be major upgrades to this class (especially discussion sections) to make it more enjoyable, interactive and organized for students.
This Prof. disappointed me over and over by changing the syllabus after the middle of the quarter, giving pointless extra credit (while required you to attend some events for hours and to write reports), and many things they fooled you. The Quizzes were very hard and suddenly weighed heavily. I would like to say I disagree with some of the answer keys based on the film we watched and the materials we read, but I don't think the Prof. wants to respond. And it was too much reading to be able to memorize a lot for the quizzes.
My big regret to take this class. This is my first B among more than 150 units I have done despite how much works I put in compared to other courses (reading assignments were too much for GE). Avoid this professor.
Professor Tran was not engaging whatsoever. Her slides were just paragraphs copied and pasted from the internet and she literally just reads directly off it. The class was not organized and neither were discussion sections. Don't even get me started with discussion sections. The lack of care/ attentiveness from my TA , June, was honestly so sad. My whole section emailed June about grades and no one, and I mean not even 1 person, received a response back. Grades were NEVER entered in. Literally no one had any idea of how they were doing in the class. I am extremely unsatisfied with what I received in this class given how much work I put into a GE. Like... a GE. Professor changed the grading scheme and the syllabus like 4 times. Basically, we had 2 midterm quizzes (which were apparently meant to be extremely easy-- all those questions were trick questions, don't let the TA's fool you) and our final paper was scrapped and instead we had a Discussion section group project that we had to present during the last week of classes. Thanks to COVID-19, half the sections did not get a chance to present and had to present through Zoom.
TLDR; Don't take this class. And if you have no choice and are stuck with this as a GE, take it for P/NP and pray you don't get June as a TA. I must say though, class was pretty interesting and I learned some new things, but this class made me start smoking again.
I took this class for my History GE. I was really interested in the topic (Asian American Movement) and was looking forward to the content. However, Professor Tran and my TA Alex were underwhelming to say the least. I felt that Prof Tran was rarely engaging. She simply read off the slides and vaguely answered students' questions. She also was not very approachable. I did not feel encouraged to go to her office hours.
My TA Alex was NOT CHILL AT ALL. I understand that he was a grad student and cared about the subject, but it felt that he was against us - instead of supportive of his students. Also, the Building a Better Movement project was a complete waste of time and stress. It's a discussion-wide project - meaning 20+ people worked on a simple presentation.
The exams were manageable but were very detail-oriented/specific. They did rely on the readings. However, there were so many unnecessary readings that it would be hard to do well on an exam unless you read.
Overall, I would NOT recommend this class. I have been pretty tolerant and reasonable in classes all across subjects. This class is not worth the time.
i've taken a few bad GE's so far at ucla, but none were as bad as this class. for the entire quarter, i was completely unaware of what my grade was because not a single grade was put in. the two hour lectures were basically the professor reading directly from power points that were unnecessary towards doing well in the class. besides the lectures, there were many videos we watched in class. most of the videos were boring i enjoyed like two of them. some were just really weird while others made me knock out cold. like ive never slept in a class so soundly - that just shows how unengaging the lectures were. the discussions felt like taking a separate class. they had nothing to do with the course material imo. we were even assigned a group project for the entire section which made no sense because #1 nobody knew each other so there was no way for us to communicate about the project and #2 why does a last minute group project involve 20+ people? the syllabus was also changed around week 7 or 8 completely out of the blue because the professor decided to go to a rally. i have no problem with that, but if i had known EARLIER that the syllabus would be altered last minute, that would have been VERY helpful. anyways, i disliked this class to the point where hating asian am 40 became part of my personality.
The lectures consisted mostly of the professor reading information off the slides and/or an in-class movie, but there was no required in-lecture participation. There were weekly readings and write-ups each week and at the end of the quarter we had to work with our entire discussion section to create a presentation for the entire class, which I thought was kind of unnecessary. It did not really help that the TA didn't really tell us what to do and was unresponsive/very slow at replying and giving feedback in emails. Our discussion sections consisted of group presentations that we had to scramble to get into groups on a google doc. The discussion sections just felt super unorganized sometimes but if you get the general ideas about the readings and know the key events from lecture the class is okay. But there are definitely easier GEs to take oof
I don't know why these ratings of this class are so low. I'm an average student and all I did was do the readings and participate in class/occasionally pop by office hours and I did fantastic. I personally thought the readings were great and very interesting and the tests were fair. What the previous reviews aren't sharing is that my class was filled with people who
1. showed up late
2. didn't show up to class
3. played on their phones during the times we watched documentaries
4. were disrespectful of the professor and the TA's times
5. did not actually care about Asian American studies
I'm literally an economics major and took this class for fun, and I did great without needing to study super hard. I felt SO BAD for my TA, June Kuoch, who in my opinion, did a FANTASTIC JOB given the terrible quality of the students around me. During discussion only maybe 3 people would actively participate because NOBODY DID THE READINGS. Also I distinctly remember a boy who went to office hours to argue about his essay grade (which, the essays were graded quite leniently) and proceeded to scream "FUCK" outside of the TA's door after he left. I also remember a time while we were watching a documentary about the murder of a Chinese American man, two white boys were on their phones laughing and discussing basketball. All of this honestly just made me so mad.
Honestly, this class made me so disappointed in UCLA students because not only did it show that most of them were lazy, but also that they showed absolutely no respect towards Asian American history.
I took this class because it seemed like an easy enough GE and it had the potential to be interesting. Neither of these assumptions were true. Professor Tran is a nice lady but she did not care to organize this class at all. As mentioned in other reviews, her "lectures" consisted of her reading paragraphs off of slides for 10-20 minutes and then showing a film for the rest of the two hour lecture period. Homework was mostly doing readings that were very long and tedious, as well as some writing assignments/presentations throughout the quarter. The workload was manageable but not something you'd want for an easy GE class. Discussion was a bit better; my TA Alex was a little uptight and his discussion sections usually went off track because he was really determined to dig deep into obscure topics, but he was a nice guy especially during office hours and he genuinely cared about the course and the students. Overall, I do not recommend this course; it honestly felt like such a meaningless waste of time.
This class requires a lot of work and the lectures are extremely boring. The structure of the class and syllabus changed during the middle of the quarter which made the class harder as we had to take two midterm quizzes instead of one. Also, the midterm quizzes were much harder than expected because the TAs originally told us that the quizzes were going to be very easy. The final group project was extremely annoying to put together as you are working with your entire discussion section. Although the material of this class is somewhat interesting, the way the class is structured is extremely difficult.
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