Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I loved this professor and i would take another one of his classes in a heartbeat. it is a very interesting GE but it is hard. There is a lot of reading which you MUST do since you have a quiz almost every week. Midterm and final are multiple choice which kind of sucks because you have to memorize a lot of information. He is funny and entertaining and has good TAs. Attendance is required because every class he calls out 2-5 random names which counts for 10% of your grade. As for discussion, you have to present once on that week's reading to the class. If you are looking for an easy GE, this is definitely not it but if you want something interesting, take this class for sure. He is very knowledgeable and very available. he is willing to ask any questions and he explains everything very well especially if you ask him to go into details.
Professor Ballerini was a very nice and funny professor. I liked his accent and his lectures were interesting. The class consists of a MC midterm and final, which wasn't so bad as long as you paid attention in class and take very good lecture notes. I advise having a friend take this class with you because the course reader was GIGANTIC! It was a lot of reading, but very bearable. There were also 6 MC quizzes (lowest one dropped) and 3 2-page reaction papers. I mostly got A-/B+'s on my quizzes and midterm; got A's on the papers and ended up with an A. Overall, this class is fairly doable (considering I was taking three other classes) with LOTS of reading. Go to lecture and take good notes!
Although it was hard not to doze off in class sometimes, I found Italian 42A to be interesting, and entertaining. Ballerini makes Italian history somewhat fun, with his frequent sidebars and random facts. You have four, two page papers (one is extra credit, if you do it) that are fairly easy, 7 quizzes (the lowest score of one is dropped), a midterm and a final. You have to do the reading and listen to lectures for the quizzes, but the midterm and final are basically questions from the quizzes and everything you go over in discussion with your TA. I thought Italian 42A was an easy and interesting GE. The quizzes were somewhat difficult, I had about an 85% average, but other than that, as long as you do your reading and go to class (he does random role calls, and attendence is 10% of your grade) it is an extremley manageable course.
This class is a great G.E.! Ballerini definately talks too much about nothing on topic, but he does include some interesting facts. The good news is that tests and quizzes are easy, as long as you read the source documents. Those are really the only ones that matter, don't bother with the others. The tests contain a lot of quotes and material from the readings but if you do them this test will be such a breeze.
Professor Ballerini is and excellent lecturer. He gave one paper, a midterm, final and short quizzes every week, which actually helped becaus eit made you read the material. It was pretty easy and the course material is interesting.
I really like Professor Ballerini. I think he tries to make class entertaining, and he is very knowledgable. BUT...I don't know what all of these people are talking about, because I thought this class was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO boring. Of all the classes I've taken at UCLA this year, it's been the worst. The readings are horribly long and dull as are the lectures despite his honest efforts. I must have missed the jokes...because I don't remember ever laughing in there or hearing anyone else laugh. The class is easy, but not THAT easy. Yes, it is multiple choice on quizzes and exams, but he asks pretty detailed questions. As for the paper, it really depends on your TA. My TA was horrible and everyone in his sections got worse grades than people in the other sections. If you really want an easy, no work GE, take something else. This class isn't worth it unless you actually care about information that has little practical application to life.
Ballerini is the greatest! His lectures are hilarious, i actually hated missing class because each lecture was filled with some interesting information and an hour plus of jokes. he made jokes whenever possible and always tried to keep you awake during lecture. discussion quizzes are a joke...there is one paper which could be on a topic of your choice, and the exams are straight out of lecture...the only catch is that there is some boring readings..but if you get through that (which is really easy) then you will undoubtedly enjoy the class. you are missing out if you don't take prof. ballerini...
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