Ra'Anan Boustan

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CLASSES

HIST 114C
History of Rome: Transformation of Classical World See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.3 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.3

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The class description on the registrars office described it as
"From the death of Constantine to the rise of Charlamange" but in reality was it really from "The rise of Augustine of Hippo and Christianity to Muhammad." This class did not focus on the significant growth of the empire and what caused the split. As far as i learned the barbarians just came in and took over the west with no discussion over how the west's boarders were crumbling, the rise of the barbarians in the first place, and the failing infrastructure but we went into none of this. And speaking of discussion that is something that this class lacked. It was always just him tirelessly lecturing because the class was not involved as a result of his unengaging teaching style.
Im not complaining about the amount of work as much the way he taught the information and decided what information was more useful to study than the others.
The class had two midterms. one week four and one week nine. then a 8-10 page paper for a final. Midterms are fairly straight forward if you do the readings and properly use the study guide. 5 dates from a timeline of events, out of 10 people you write about 7 of them, and out of 3 quotes you analyze only 1 in depth.

(June 15, 2013)
HIST M182A
Ancient Jewish History from Patriarchs to Rabbis See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 2.4 Workload 3.1 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 4.4

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Overall hes a good professor but his lectures are impossible to understand. I found myself sitting in class completely lost,pretty much every week. He assigns great readings tho and as long as you do them you will do fine. The midterm/final study guide are so helpful. So many professors refuse to give a study guide. He gives you a list of what can be covered, and what he expects as far as IDs and essay portion. He assigns an essay and he explains exactly what he is looking for. If you need help go to office hours. Overall lectures are kind of hard to get through and its a lot of info to retain but he's a decent grader not that hard to get an A

(Fall Quarter 2015)
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RELIGN M182A
Ancient Jewish History See Full Profile

Overall 3.0 Easiness 2.5 Workload 2.5 Clarity 2.5 Helpfulness 2.5

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If you want to do well in this class you're going to have to write the essays with his opinion in mind. I had to rewrite mine because I disagreed with his opinion on Jews being monotheistic in ancient times. He limits the resources we can use to prove that very important point. While the essay question allowed room for opinion, we were all surprised when he wanted the essay to go in his direction. I've never had another professor that did this. I found myself rewriting an essay persuasively that goes against all of my beliefs, and if you read that essay you will actually believe that Jews believed in many gods in ancient times and were in fact one in the same as the Canaanite people, which is completely unknown. They could have been influenced by the Canaanites and other religions and cultures surrounding them. While we were allowed to use 3 sources, those 3 sources were very short and the psalm to prove monotheism was written by a prophet much later than the time period he was focusing on. So it isn't accurate.
I was left with a weird feeling after this class and if you take the material literally and believe everything that you learn in this class as a religious Jew, this could have a negative effect on your belief system.
Aside from that, midterm was easy and didn't have anything to do with opinion, just facts. Know the date for each term on the midterm and as always there's an essay in the end. Final was a take home essay- 10 pages. Easy A. Many people in the class missed a lot of lectures. It's no big deal. Just write that first essay with his opinion in mind and you'll get an easy A.
Good luck!

(Fall Quarter 2016)
JEWISH M182A
Ancient Jewish History from Patriarchs to Rabbis See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 3.2 Workload 3.4 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.6

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No reviews have been written yet.
HIST M184A
Jewish Civilization: Encounter with Great World Cultures See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.2 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.4

Most Helpful Review

LOVE him. course was fantastic and very thought-provoking. no midterms/finals, just 2 papers. he is incredibly knowledgable and articulate. he made things that normally would have bored me seem fascinating. one of the best classes i've had over all 4 years at ucla.

(March 13, 2009)
HIST 191A
Undergraduate Variable Topics Research Seminars: History -- Ancient History See Full Profile

Overall 4.8 Easiness 3.0 Workload 3.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.5

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No reviews have been written yet.
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