Spring 2019 - I found this class to be much more interesting than Ling 20. Perhaps because of that, I thought the class was pretty easy. The slides were online, so yes you can skip lecture. Wouldn't recommend doing that a whole lot, as some slides are vague and are discussed in more detail within lecture. Quizzes are based on the slides, and the homeworks are quite simple. The IPA chart is a little annoying to remember fully, but hopefully don't have to remember much considering Ling 20 worked with the English phonemes in IPA a lot, so you just have to memorize the non-English ones. Also the guest lecturers are quite entertaining and insightful if you feel like you want to pursue one of those careers. TL;DR if you like linguistics this can honestly feel like a GE.
Prof. Sundara is an effective and humorous lecturer. She has an indian accent, but understandable. Her curve is really really nice in this course(102 actually), I think the median gets an A-(in her syllabus, that should be B+). She invites a lot of wonderful guest speakers to give presentations, which help facilitate the study a lot.
Winter 2022 - At first, I had a very good impression of this professor. She was clearly very knowledgeable in her field and intelligent. She seemed friendly to other students and would occasionally crack jokes I would chuckle at. Throughout the quarter I hovered at a low A. For one of our final assignments, we had to turn in a long essay. While writing it, I made sure to look closely at the rubric requirements. I made sure my essay talked about everything the rubric asked me to talk about, and that it reached the minimum page length. Although it was a little rushed, it was overall a coherent essay that met *all* of the rubric requirements. Grades came back and it was the lowest essay score I've ever received in my life: 60%. One point less and it would've been an F. My overall grade in the class had completely tanked. I was in a state of shock and thought it was some sort of mistake. Maybe she meant 70%. I sent her a message asking to meet on Zoom to discuss why I got such a low score. The day of the meeting, I logged onto the Zoom call expecting a completely normal meeting. I was not prepared at all for what was to come. 1) She opened the meeting with, "It was just... BAD." I am not exaggerating or changing her wording. She said this verbatim. She really emphasized and put stress on the word "bad." As if saying this once wasn't hurtful enough, she proceeded to repeat it several times throughout the meeting. In response, I just put on a fake smile and nodded, because what else could I do? To this day, her voice saying this occasionally echoes in my head. I wish this voice would just go away, but it won't. 2) Another thing she said was, "Have you ever heard of the Writing Center?" Now, this is an impartial question when tone is not taken into account, and can be perceived as friendly if spoken in a warm tone. However, her tone was far from it. It was patronizing. Keep in mind, this was a professor whose disposition and mannerisms I had gotten to know quite well throughout the 10 weeks of the course. I knew what her warm, friendly tone sounded like. I knew what her impartial tone sounded like. I knew what her playful tone sounded like. This was not a tone I had ever heard her speak in during class. This was new. I'm perceptive and not naïve. Her tone was undoubtedly patronizing. She followed it up with something similar to, "It's good for students who can't write very well" or "It's good for students who don't know how to write." This condescending behavior was such a stark contrast to the seemingly friendly and good-humored professor I thought I knew. I couldn't believe it was the same person. 3) The one valid point she made in the meeting was that my essay seemed disorganized, which was true. I could have organized my paragraphs better. 4) However, she also claimed my score was low because I missed some rubric requirements. This was false, as I had followed the rubric to a T. I remember she said, "You didn't mention [insert topic listed as a requirement] at all," to which I defended myself by scrolling down and highlighting with my cursor the section where I *very* clearly spoke about said required topic. She somehow still denied it and refused to accept the undeniable evidence on the screen. I felt confused and gaslit because apparently she docked points off my essay for things that were NOT missing from my essay. 1) was completely unnecessary, 2) could've been communicated in a much nicer way, and 4) was a lie and was not a valid reason for my low score. For 20 minutes straight, she mercilessly insulted my writing skills, leaving very little opportunity for me to cut in and defend myself. Before I logged off the meeting, I could barely form the words "thank you for meeting with me" because a big lump had (understandably) formed in my throat. Still, after everything, I politely thanked her. After logging off, I immediately closed my laptop, rested my head on it, and cried. I'm graduated now, and she is the *only* professor that ever made me cry (or upset, for that matter). I know I'm not a terrible writer because I submitted a final essay for a different class the same quarter I took her class, and got an A+ (99%) on it. In addition, throughout my time at UCLA, I did very well on all my essay assignments that I submitted to various different professors, with my lowest essay score minus this one being something like 88%. If it were truly my writing skills that were severely lacking, my essay grades in my other classes would've reflected that. I'm NOT saying I deserved an A on this essay. I am aware it was rushed and my ideas were not super organized, so I definitely deserved some points docked off. However, did I deserve a near-failing score? No. It logistically does not make sense to give an essay that literally meets all the rubric requirements a near-failing score. Did I deserve to get met with such hostility during the meeting? Also no. I don't know if she was having a bad day or what, but regardless, I didn't deserve to be treated that way. No student ever deserves to be treated that way. For the sake of anonymity I intentionally put the incorrect quarter. However, I will say I took her class a LONG time ago, yet this incident still sticks with me to this day. I see some glowing reviews on here about this professor, and I'm very happy that other students had a great experience with her. I just wanted to share my experience as well.