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Gillespie is a great professor. Honestly, I did not find the material super interesting. Had this been a normal professor I probably would have spent more than half of each lecture zoned out, however, his lecturing style is super engaging. He is super passionate about what he is teaching and this is what makes the class fun. If you are willing to work you will get at least an A- , but the material is dense. He is super helpful and will always be willing to work with you if you put in the effort. Overall, I thought he was a great professor. If I had of been more interested in the material it probably would have been one of my favorite classes taken at UCLA so far.
Professor Gillespie is great! He always came prepared to lecture and encouraged discussion of the material during class. The class moves pretty quickly and there was a lot of information to cover (some of it being kind of abstract and not as easy to follow), but Gillespie was always reachable either by email if you had questions or after class. There were not sit down exams, just two papers. The midterm paper was a lot of work but it wasn't difficult to do well on it and the final paper was actually not as long and the midterm. Overall, an enjoyable class with a wonderful professor who had a lot of energy and excitement about what he was teaching.
I took Religion 55 with him, and his lectures were all very engaging, especially for a topic that can get boring very easily.
I’m selling required books for this class at less than new value!! (Balboni, Barnes, and Kidder books) Text at 6502733904
I had to drop this class because of a scheduling conflict, but since there are so little reviews about him, I thought I would still share my experience. This review is for religion 55 by the way
Ryan Gillespie is super engaging and you can tell he really cares about his students and our opinions. I have never had a teacher so eager to read one of my essays (he would go on in class about how excited he was to read our interpretations and opinions, and you could really tell that he was being genuine). Hence, he really is an engaging lecturer and I loved talking to him
One thing that I struggled with was how quickly he went over the slides in class and all in all the pace of the class was super quick. I love writing my notes by hand, but in this class, this was simply not possible if you wanted to gather a lot of information.
If I ever need to cover a GE again, I would love to take him again! I am not at all interested in religion, but his way of talking and his enthusiasm is contagious. He was really kind and I think that he also has a great grade distribution...
Ok this class was a bit weird. Not really because of the curriculum but the people in it. There were like a few girls who constantly flirted with the professors and it was just uncomfy. Like they took classes with him before and knew him or something and the rest of us were just like... ok. But yeah other than that weird part, this class was fine. There were a ton of difficult-to-read readings... so I just didn't do them. Don't be like me though because it really bit me in the ass later because you have to write papers on the readings. He doesn't post any recordings of his lectures and also doesn't post his slides so you have to go to lecture. Also, he goes really fast so you can't even get the info down. So it's pretty reliant on these difficult readings. But other than that, this class was not that bad because you can easily BS your way through.
Professor is engaging and funny, however makes it difficult by not posting any slides. He also loves going on funny tangents which can be entertaining but can get a bit boring. If you miss a couple lessons like I did you can fall behind easily. Luckily you only need to do 3 essays throughout the quarter which with common sense and a bit of material can get you an A pretty well. Sometimes material can get a bit long. Overall would recommend if you are interested in philosophy and the various methodologies of healing over the years. It was definitely a rewarding class to finish
This class has been the most impactful, well-organized, and well-thought-out class I’ve taken during my time at UCLA. In many ways, I have felt underwhelmed with the caliber of material presented in many classes, and this class absolutely exceeded my expectations. I really, honestly view this class as a model for the way classes should be conducted in an institution like this. I would recommend this class to anyone, really (though it will cause the occasional [freuqent] existential crisis).
Dr. Gillespie did an excellent job challenging the class in the right ways. I think Dr. Gillespie has been one of the most thorough & knowledgeable professors I’ve encountered at UCLA, which added substantially to the quality & value of this class. Overall, I think this class was very engaged with my understanding as a student and has had a huge impact on me as a learner.
I would definitely say that this is a class where reading the assigned texts will /substantially/ improve what you get out of this class, though I had friends who didn't do the readings and got on just fine. I will say: if you aren't a big fan of being challenged with tough concepts, this maybe isn't the best class for you (but then, what are you really doing on BruinWalk?? If you're just looking to just skate through, I'd recommend looking into the UC Irvine transfer process).
Dr. Gillespie is very engaging and very helpful, and tbh I'm pretty bummed I didn't take this class earlier in my time here. The grading is not too harsh, so I wouldn't be too stressed about that (imo the most stressful thing about this class was just staying caught up w/ concepts & confronting your stupid, measly existence, but maybe I'm just an idiot -- who knows). His lectures are /very/ well-organized & really my only complaint is that we ran out of time on some of the readings (this wasn't really Dr. Gillespie's fault, though -- you know... quarter system :/ bummer). He's also pretty funny if you're into that in a professor; you probably won't be falling asleep in his lectures or anything. As I mentioned, he is /very/ smart (like, more so than other professors? how is UCLA slacking on that?? Gene Block, if you're reading this: please make the depts hire more Dr. Gillespies????) which is a little intimidating, but he is genuinely very nice as well (or, at least, he is /very/ good at faking being nice. Not even sure if there is a difference between the two). Dr. Gillespie does a fantastic job cultivating an environment where you can develop your own thoughts & opinions.
This class is weighted heavily so that the latter assignments make up most of your grade. If you feel like you're struggling at the start I'd rly suggest just holding out. To be totally honest, I thought the first two readings (Euthyphro & Apology) were two of the hardest readings, and the first paper assignment was CERTAINLY the hardest of the papers (or, again, maybe I'm just kind of an idiot). So, if it's week three and you're thinking "oh no :( my brain is too small. I must belong at UC Irvine :(" just give it a while. I think Dr. Gillespie really wants you to do well, and he certainly seems like the type of professor that is willing to work with you.
Overall, 10/10 class, 11/10 professor. So far, the only class I've taken that I was genuinely sad to be done with. Also, probably the only professor I've taken that seemed interested in your (the student's) opinion & engagement. I don't often feel so passionately about classes, but this one really is a gem. I think this class will really have an impact on who you are (hopefully in a Good way) & that's not something you can say about many other (any other?) classes.
Take it if you can! Even just P/NP for fun! :)