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Disregard the class number I actually took his Latn Ame 191 class the fall of 2011. This class is a requirement for Latin American Studies majors so I took it my first quarter at UCLA, but only to leave with such a bad experience in his classroom.
He will make you think that he loves teaching and cares about his students, but for me it was different. I always give professors the benefit of the doubt and almost never complaint about them. Pescador left me very disappointed because at the end of the day it does not matter how much extra work you do in his class, but the amount of time you attend his lectures. I was absent 3 times, which I had sent an e-mail beforehand, letting him know it was an emergency. On top of that his syllabus never stated anything about absences in his classroom. I did the same work plus extra work in the classroom; everyone got an A in the class. And when I asked him why he had given me an A- he said I was absent too much!
He wrote a script for a Children's book, that I was genuinely interested in, but sometimes I think the only thing he wanted was to advertize it through us. He made our class project a research paper or a group project about his children's book. Honestly, we all opted for the group project since it seemed a lot easier. For the group project we had to actually make the children's book, that we ended up making it as a comic-book because it was almost impossible doing a real kid’s book with no resources, we had to write a narration of his story in English and Spanish, and finally act it out in front of elementary kids, this last one never happened due to his lack of organization, which I will later talk about. At the end, some of us ended up doing most of the work while others bailed out on us (needless to say, they got an A in the class as well).
Another requirement for this class was to volunteer in a K-12 school and to be a mentor to students. As he likes to brag about everything, he made us think the experience was going to be unforgettable, but I and others ended up just making copies for the teachers, sitting down doing inventory, or just staring at the white board while the teacher taught the class—oh! I forgot another one: inflating balloons for the open house at school. How inspiring. This might seem a really unfair and negative review, but we did complain to the teacher and to the supervisor about what we really wanted to achieve as mentors. We wanted to tell our stories on how we got into UCLA, to not only to be a friend but also a person the students can look up to. This never happened. I believe others did have a good experience since they went to a different school—a real underrepresented school. Some of my classmates and I would share our stories of how privileged these kids at our school were since they all had Mac books and in-class tutors from other organizations helping them in class! These weren’t the underrepresented minorities we read about or talked about in the classroom at all.
Finally, his teaching style was all over the place. Yes, he claims his style to be influenced by Paulo Freire's philosophy on education, but all I took from his lectures was rambling about everything at once. He tried teaching about the educational system in the US and Mexico in two days! If anyone asks me now about how the educational system works, I would not have a clue. And, talking about unorganized, he told us about presenting our final project to kids the day of, when everyone was busy and no one showed up of course, and even though I did my best to get there on time, and after leaving everything behind he told me it was cancelled. He never saw or recognized any efforts I did in this class. I am sorry to write this big review on him. After this class, I was so disappointed in Pescador, I had high expectations, I thought he would be fair and see the amount of work I did (that comparing with other students was not as bad). But at the end of the day when I asked him to give me the scores I had gotten in every assignment he responded “hey, you know how I am about grading..” Now, I know what that meant. It meant that he doesn’t care and he doesn’t even look at it. That explains why he never replied to my e-mails when I asked for feedback. Yes, at the end of the day all what counts is to do mediocre responses online about the readings and to be in class every day, no matter how crappy your work is, you only have to sit in his class like a zombie to pass with a perfect A. I wish I would have known that from the beginning.