Fall 2019 - I really liked this class and I found it to be really interesting. There are two papers (4-5 pages) and they were straight forward and she gives you exactly what she wants to be on there. She even gives you the exact outline she wants it in. The tests are a midterm and a final. They were fairly easy if you pay attention and take notes in class because most of the material comes from the lectures. You will be fine as long as you study the night before or even 2 nights before. Make sure to memorize some important dates and have a good grasp on the timeline. There were a lot of readings, I did not do them and I was fine because she goes over the main ideas in class. I really liked my TA, he made the discussions worth going to and he really knew his stuff! So if you have an opportunity to, pick Jaimie Vela as your TA. Also there is an opportunity for extra credit which can boost your overall grade 5% so do that ASAP because that really helps.
something about her voice bothered the heck out of me...so monotone. she's a nice lady but i just got annoyed..exams were mostly lecture based. i did no reading only studied 1/2 days before the midterm and final but literally memorized every detail, i'm a bio major so when i mean memorrize it all I MEAN IT. did no reading, paper was graded harshly a shocking C that screwed up my grade. don't take it unless you're anthro major.
Fall 2020 - I really liked my fiat lux (food and culture during pandemics) with Professor Smith. She is really nice, funny, and wholesome, and she always makes an effort to include everyone. The class involves a weekly reading that usually ranges from 4-20 pages (most are between 4-7). They're really interesting, and you definitely don't need to retain all of the information - just an elementary summary understanding will suffice. Then, in class, she always starts with an intro question like your favorite staple cooking ingredient and goes around the room to share. You will participate in this class, but it's not intimidating at all! She's super understanding and approachable. After the intro question, you just discuss the reading and any current events for the remainder of the 50 minutes. She ends class punctually and sometimes will send additional articles she thinks are cool throughout the week afterwards. Overall, Prof. Smith is an AMAZING anthropologist with lots of cool stories. If you ask her about her experiences, she'll recount some really interesting projects and things she's learned (ask about Asia!). Prof. Smith is also very understanding of mental health and zoom exhaustion. She lets you miss 2 classes and even spent some time on the day before the election talking about mental health resources for us. I would definitely recommend taking the seminar if you want an interesting, low stress class, and take advantage of the discussion time you have!!
Cities Past and Present was the best class I have ever taken at UCLA. She is so chill. There were 20 people in the class and we sat around each day and talked about cities- what we thought of them, how they made us feel, why people moved into and out of them, etc etc. We only had two small ethnographies to write, a two question midterm, and a final paper (plus three 10pt, 1 page ec summary papers that would bump your entire grade up by a whole letter grade). The reading was very interesting and the discussions were great. We all laughed a lot and shared our personal feelings. She has a great way of sparking converstaion and asking you to look deeper. Keep in mind, classes are laidback but you still have to do the reading for the exam. Not intensively, but you MUST cite author's names and fieldsites to support your arguments (which she gives to you- along with a study guide). I got an A+ and it's almost impossible not to. One day Prof Smith even brought in Japanese HipHop for us to listen to. Great Professor and very nice lady!
Pros: *Intelligent *Funny *Very well-organized lectures and good use of slides *Well balanced workload *Extremely straightforward tests Cons: *In upper-divs, expects you to know a lot *In lower-divs, assignments are repetitive Overall: Worth taking her classes. She puts in a lot of effort, has a lot of time in office hours
I have taken three courses with Professor Smith now (Anthro 8, 116, and 119P) and I completely adore her. She is one of the most excellent and interesting professors in Anthro that won't blow your brain up with readings that, frankly, have no clout in the class except for the professor finding them "interesting". She is a real life archaeologist in South Asia and often uses her own work as an example for the class. My advice for students thinking about enrolling in any class Professor Smith offers is GO FOR IT!!! She is exciting, funny and gave me the rare will *trust me I usually do not have time to * to go to her office hours. Okay, well enough of oozing my love for her all over Bruinwalk---class breakdown Anthro 8: I took this bad boy a while ago, it is not hard to get an A in this class from what I can remember...just know the sites presented...and attend lecture Anthro 116/119P: Smith is so knowledgeable on these two topics. Once again, if you attend lecture and DO THE READINGS these should not be bad at all. In addition, make sure you do know details to add to written statements such as essays...they really help to boost the paper overall Good Luck!