Based on 31 Users
This class is not hard-- it is interesting i enjoyed attending lecture and his notes are valuable for the final but u can get by without them for the midterm and paper. overall hes a lenient grader and a really nice guy...would recommend him
Course: PS 119- Politics and Human Rights in Israel
Prof. Perez is a good professor, but I wouldn't rate him up there with the best. He's very knowledgeable about the subject (Israeli Politics), but can be somewhat hard to follow in lecture. He hardly ever writes anything on the board, speaks in an accident, doesn't post lecture slides online, and talks pretty fast. That being said, he makes himself available in office hours, and enjoys student participation. He has always been open to hearing students' opinions, even though he may not necessarily agree with you.
The course itself was very reading-intensive. More so than any other class I've taken here. We were assigned about 60-100 pages of PDF reading each week, and an additional 120 pages or so for the midterm and paper. I found it impossible to do it all (the supplemental reading for the midterm/paper basically forces you to get behind on the normal assigned reading), and think I would have learned more had I had time to digest what I was reading rather than constantly struggling to do it all. I think this part of the class was kindof overkill, and something that Prof. Perez will hopefully improve in the future. That being said, the reading was usually at least moderately interesting, so it wasn't boring; just a lot in volume.
Also, do not take this class if you don't think you can be awake enough to follow along at 8 am. For the aforementioned reasons, you really do have to pay attention in lecture, and he will call you out if you arrive late, leave early, or fall asleep. It has already happened 2 or 3 times this quarter.
Lastly, I will warn future students that this class is pretty challenging if you don't know anything about Israeli politics. The country is very complex politically and religiously, something I underestimated coming into the class. I feel that I've learned a lot, and I'm happy I took the course. But, do not count on it being an easy A. Kudos to the student below me for earning an A+; based on my conversations with my classmates, that's a rarity in this course.
In short: Take this class if only if you're truly interested in the subject. If you take it because you have a passion for learning about Israel, and think the benefits of doing so will outweigh an easy-A grade, take it. Professor Perez will show you an interesting side of democracy. If you're looking for an A without much work, definitely look elsewhere.
This class had a weird grading scale, but in the end was extremely interesting, easy and I got an A+. The only downside was that it was at 8am. There was a midterm and paper that were based on a couple readings provided by him, separate from lecture material. The final then covered everything, which was a little tough to study for, but in the end were a couple of easy broad essays. If you took adequate lecture notes (or could get some) then you should have been fine. He has an accent, but after the first class you barely notice. He really does try to be engaging and to be available for students.
PS 169 and 119 courses are very demanding. Heavy amounts of textbook reading in addition to assigned articles. Class structure composed of a take home midterm, 8 page paper and an in class final exam. Course is a risk to your gpa but worth it if you really enjoy learning about Israeli society and identity. Make sure you speak up when you ask questions.
Class is super easy- anyone saying otherwise is just lazy. Lectures are pretty much outlines of the readings he assigns which are interesting but not required in order to get an A. His take home midterm and paper are a joke- the man literally makes you summarize each article which is honestly embarrassing considering it's an upper div course at supposedly a prestigious school. Also anyone hoping to take this course in order to understand the conflict better look elsewhere because he clearly states that the course will only talk about Israel proper-meaning no Gaza or West Bank, which is a delusional for him to do imo. Bottom line- easy class, not too bias or polarizing bc he ignores the elephant in the room.
This class is pretty easy and straightforward. There is a midterm, paper and final. The midterm and paper were an interesting process to say the least. The midterm was take home, and it was similar format to the paper. He assigned readings that we had not done before, and basically asked us to summarize them for the midterm and paper. I've never done anything like that before. Essentially, we were not writing on something we learned before but what we were learning in the readings assigned specifically for the assignments. The final was standard. Three essay questions, pick 2. It was difficult to prepare for if you had not been attending class. But the test overall was pretty easy if you attempted to study. He picked main ideas from the course to test on. Lectures were hard to follow. Just because it was at 8, and he didn't go off of a power point but he just spoke. It's hard to be that alert that early. But, overall good class to take.
Perez is really a great professor. Yes, class was early at 8am, but come on, it's not all that bad. I actually see his lack of powerpoints to be useful, most professors use them as a crutch. If he does show something, he has a very specific purpose for it.
I wouldn't say he's "easy" so much as fair and predictable. What he spends a considerable amount of classtime on will be most likely what's on the final. You'll want to go to class to be ready for that, though you can still get 100% on the midterm/paper with only citing the specific reading articles he gives you. Readings would be a good idea to do, but he does cover the important features (i.e. what you'll need for the final) in class. On the whole, I'd take him again if I could.
I put political science 191E with him but I took political science 119, 169, and 191D with him.
Dr. Perez is one of a kind and the best professor I've had at UCLA. Yes, he might not supply you with printed notes (an outline would be nice though) but he is by far the clearest professor I've had in my UCLA career. Especially when speaking about political theory where things can get a bit confusing, he gives you a theory and lists (he says 1, 2, 3 etc) at each of the explanations and ALWAYS asks the class if they understand and if he can move on. In terms of clarity, you will never have a problem with him.
Office hours- he has office hours and he communicates via email very fast (less than 24 hours and in depth). Unlike other professors I had that never responded to my emails, he will respond to each email you send.
Many people assume that since he is Israeli he is going to be anti-Palestinian and radical- and I am glad that he is a true representative of the majority of Israeli, liberal and on the left. He does not mention any bias in his courses and always states facts and lets the students make their own opinion (although most of the time, except of the seminar, isn't really about making opinions). He criticizes Israel where he feels like it is appropriate and tries to answer hostile questions from anti-Israeli students with straight facts and nothing else. As a matter a fact, some students (Israeli and/or orthodox) actually dislike him for his very left ideology. Therefore, don't come into the class thinking you'll get a bias opinion.
Grading- Perez is very fair. For 119 and 169 you have a midterm and a paper from weeks 5 to 7. You get the midterm first with about 5 articles that are not in the syllabus for the final (will not be included in the final exam). You read them, summarize them in like 4 pages or so, and write a 3-4 page essay (something of that sort). The same thing is with the paper, only it is a a page or two longer. In the end of the quarter you get a study guide for the final that you should cover WELL. I would recommend basing most of your information on the notes since Perez also talks about the specific readings in the notes.
For 191D, you write a 20-25 page research paper on your topic (along with his counseling).
Summary- great professor- TAKE HIM!