Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Professor Derby is nice and welcoming but very disorganized. Her slides are hard to follow. There were times where images would cover the text of the slide and she would just ignore it. However while her lectures and slides aren't stellar it really doesn't matter if you have a decent TA. The grade relies solely on two papers and participation in discussion. Also, while three hour lectures may seem like a lot the lecture is really one hour with the remaining two hours spent watching a film related to the subject. The readings for the class are not really required (it depends on the prompts she gives out for the papers).
Overall the class is a pretty easy GE.
Worst teacher at UCLA that I have had this far. Every week, she lectures incoherently for 50 minutes. You go back to your dorm with hardly any notes, and then she asks you to write a 5-7 page paper. Seriously?! Her essays took me forever because I pretty much had ramble for the last couple of pages. On the bright side, her TA's grade lightly. You also have to "read" a lot because the final will consist of "all" the readings throughout the quarter. Do NOT read all of the weekly readings for the love of God. I stopped doing that after week 5 and I breezed through the final. Just make sure that before week 10, your discussion section is broken up into weekly groups and come up with a cummulative study guide of the key terms, readings, and films. The final was only 50 multiple choice questions and I finished it in 20 minutes. Seriously. I ended up getting an A- in the class, but I would say that the overall torture of hearing Derby talk for a total of 10 hours is not worth the easy grade. If anything, try to take Spanish M44 History of Latin America (if its still being taught).
I pretty much agree with what everyone else said. She was well intentioned, but she is a horrible lecturer. Her lectures are completely unorganized, and she tries to teach a huge amount of information over a huge length of time from like 10 different countries with absolutely no organization. She always forgot her PowerPoint presentations, and even when she did bring them, she would just start talking, forget about it, and not use it. She was gone for 2/3 of the class every week. Also, she went out of the country on the day of the final and didn't bother to get the final ready or anything, so the TAs had to do it at the last minute, and we had to start the final an hour late. Just hope that you get a good TA.
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