Based on 3 Users
Samantha is an absolutely fantastic instructor. The material they select for the class is extremely engaging and diverse, and they offer really excellent insight during class discussions. They provide very detailed and constructive feedback on papers, and are always available for help over email or in office hours. They set clear expectations but are very understanding and relaxed regarding deadlines and extensions- although the class is so interesting I looked forward to readings and papers instead of dreading them :) wonderful class!
This class was the perfect entryway to the English major at UCLA. A lot of that is because of Samantha, who is a WONDERFUL teacher. I came into 4W with a fair amount of confidence, because I had a really amazing AP Lit teacher in high school. So I was really familiar with the kind of work we would be doing and knew that I would enjoy it. Even so, I found myself challenged (in a really good way). The class is mostly class discussion and close reading papers. Samantha makes it really easy to contribute to class discussions, mostly because they are a really calm and collected teacher and is genuinely interested in the discussion topics. They also give a lot of support and feedback with papers, and make the guidelines really clear. Even so, it can take time for you to figure out how to write at this level.
The texts Samantha chose were amazing -- they all worked together and by the last two weeks I was overwhelmed by the connections I was seeing between them. I also appreciated the variety of texts we analyzed -- a play, some poetry, a novel, a film, some short stories, and some critical essays. The essay prompts are totally open-ended, which can be a challenge for people who aren't comfortable with close reading, but allowed for a lot of freedom in what you can write about.
Overall, I really, really enjoyed this class. It was challenging at times, and I had to work hard to turn in quality writing on time, but I really enjoyed the work and felt supported throughout.
Workload consisted of a new reading (not very lengthy) for every class, a short paper over the readings every two weeks (usually around 1-2 pages), and a final paper (around 5-6 pages).
Samantha's approachability definitely made them stand out from my other instructors. They made it clear that students should feel free to send emails or drop in during office hours whenever we needed help, and they were understanding when it came to giving out occasional extensions. The syllabus was structured to expose students to many unique genres, and the reading material contained connections to bigger, more important societal issues. The class discussions were enlightening, and the feedback on assignments was very constructive; I felt like they genuinely cared about my progress in the class and how much I learned.