Linda Garro

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Easiness 1.7/ 5
Clarity 2.2/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.2/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I just read all the postings about Professor Garro. She must really have improved her style over the last few years. I took her final today (so I dont know my grade yet) and I believe that she is an excellent professor. Sometimes her lectures jump around and it can get pretty confusing. Luckily, she gave out a ton of handouts with everything you need to know. The downside to that was having to review them all for tests and she would give information you didnt need. If you're one of those people who likes to learn just to learn, then these handouts are great and so beneficial. If you just want to get a grade and move on, the handouts will drive you crazy. The assignments were vital to learning methodology. There were absolutely no surprises on either the midterm or final -- they were very fair. She would literally say "know this for the test." The questions were well thought out and very understandable (as they should be since she does write interviews and ethnographies for a living). She repeats important concepts a lot which is great because you know exactly what she wants you to know and it makes studying easier. Her TA was one of the best I've had in this department. She made discussion fun, was very knowledgable and obviously had great communication with the professor. Garros fieldwork is interesting and she chooses readings that are very relevant and helpful. If you are interested in doing fieldwork one day, think you could ever be interested in it, or are trying to decide if anthropology is right for you, I highly recommend taking her class. If I had taken this class during my first year at UCLA rather than my last year, I probably would have understood other anthropology courses better and probably would have attempted to do fieldwork each summer. I'm expecting a B in the class, only because I didn't try as hard as I should have. But she makes getting an A in her class very possible.
Easiness 2.7/ 5
Clarity 1.7/ 5
Workload 2.3/ 5
Helpfulness 1.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2019 - Professor Garro is a very knowledgable scholar, but an absolutely terrible lecturer. Her lectures are mostly explanations of readings for that week, but her explanations were hard to follow due to her constant stuttering, lack of proper wording, and confusing use of quotes from readings. This accompanied with uninformative slides which often do not pertain to what she is saying, made listening to her feel more like a headache than a relief from understanding the class material. The lack of coherent structure in her lectures made it confusing to take lecture notes due to the frequent rubber banding between going back and going forward on content and concepts. As for the material itself, there's 1 to 3 readings of 6 to 30 pages required per week from her own work published in the early 2000s or from older medical anthropologists' publications from the 1970s to 1990s. The contents of the material were not too hard to follow, but most of them included complex themes and concepts were often confusing and needed further explanation are severely lacking, as previously stated. Lastly her attitude towards the class was supposedly very supportive and positive, according to the TA, but Garro's interaction with the class has mostly been absent or otherwise negative. In the earlier weeks of the class she used to ask questions but as the students answered her question, she would reply with an uninterested "Ok" until one student barely scratches the "right" answer which no one but her seemed to have been able to guess correctly. Other times, she would outright tell the student they are wrong or give a sarcastic answer of 'Is it?' while trying to speak over them without letting them finish their thought/answer. Unsurprisingly the students stopped participating in fear they would just be dismissed for attempting. Overall, I would not recommend Garro. Her class has been the most unenjoyable experience I've had in my 4 years in UCLA. The content I've consumed from this class seemed to just turn me further towards disgust and annoyance about a topic that initially interested me due to its premise of understanding cultures' approach to medicine. Garro's teaching seemed to have entirely dismissed the objective truths we know about biomedicine while exoticising the non-Western approaches to medicine.
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