All Ratings and Reviews for Walter Allen
In hindsight, I really enjoyed this class. In the moment, not so much.
Professor Allen is a really nice guy, and his classes were usually informative and driven by great content (although beware if you don't like being picked on to answer, as Allen has no qualms picking students at random). There are a lot of books for the class - 7 or 8 if I recall correctly - but I found them to be interesting and essential reads. The group project is what you (or your group members) make of it - there's very little structure to it - but it was a nice touch having a peer evaluation at the end to be able to convey exactly what each group member was responsible for; helpful if you're one of those types who pick up the slack for the others. However, the real stress inducer with this class was surrounding expectations of papers. Allen can be a little bit disorganized, which meant the syllabus and deadlines changing fairly frequently. He is also vague on what he expects to see, and then marks the first of three papers fairly harshly. The other two papers are marked by the TA who was more generous in her approach and so many grades skyrocketed from there, however when the first paper wasn't up to scratch for many, it did seem to have a disheartening effect on a lot of students. I'm sure Allen does this deliberately to try and push us, but in the moment it didn't quite come across. Ultimately, I think Professor Allen's class helped make me a better student, but it was a little bit of a painful process getting there.
Professor Allen is one of the most brilliant, well-spoken professors at UCLA. He "lectures" so well to the point where you almost feel inclined to applaud when he is done. Needless to say however, his wisdom, thought provoking prompts, and course content comes with a price: There were ELEVEN books assigned for reading during the TEN week course yet, there is no explicit, formal lecture in the course-you are expected to draw your own analysis and conclusions about the broad texts (which gets really confusing even for sociology majors), he's a difficult grader, and has a left wing biases (like many of our UCLA professors). Take his course if you want a challenge and want to alter your way of thinking, but be prepared to feel a bit uncomfortable while doing so.
Professor Allen is one of the most engaging and insightful professors in the GSEIS.
Highly recommend. It's a lot of work, but well worth it. Very similar class to EDUC 130 with Professor Howard, which speaks for itself
i have never really taken a course at ucla that helps me get to know other students better, and i'm happy that soc 134 did this. while prof allen was not around very much, the movies he showed are really effective and the structure of the course is conducive to meeting your classmates, which turns out to be a plus in the end. there are A LOT of books to read, but some are pretty thought provoking and will stay with you in weird ways afterwards. not an easy course, but one i do not regret taking.
This class was the biggest waste of time and money (there was something like 8 books and a thick reader). Prof. Allen either didn't show up for class at all or was late. If you asked his TA when Allen was coming back, the TA would get mad, because he didn't have a clue either. When Allen didn't show up, the TA's would baby-sit the class with a long, boring movie and then they would take roll at the end of class. Hello? We passed the 8th grade awhile ago! Prof. Allen kept preaching the same lecture over and over-- that we should all elevate "the Other" in society & to help others in general-- too bad he didn't try to do the same for his students. Oh, and one more thing, don't even think about meeting with him during office hours or by email-- he's completely UN-available!
Prof. Allen has no regard for student learning. He is impossible to get a hold of. If you have any questions regarding your essays, you are given the run around by the TAs and will NEVER reach the professor. He never shows up to class but you are punished if you are absent. This class is a complete waste of time.
Prof Allen's class on Culture and Personality is great. He does a great job of explaining key topics and is definitely considerate of taking in people's account. He also knows quite a lot about race relations and the dynamics involved in it.
Prof. Allen is a great teacher. Being one of several non-Afr. Americans in his class, his talks really inspired me think in new ways and made me see a clearer relation between the Black experience in America and the experiences of all minorities in general. He really knows his stuff and cares deeply about his causes. A very nice guy. . . I highly recommend this class to anyone.
Although Professor Allen generally requires a lot of work in his class, he is a wonderful teacher. He calls on every student in the class to make a contribution and this keeps you on your toes. I would rate his Sociology M5/Afro-American Studies M5 class as one of the best classes that I took at UCLA because I learned a great deal about the black community and it sparked many new interests for me.
He cares a lot about the material presented in this class, and you can tell. This helps make the lectures more interesting. The best part of the class was Rob, the TA though. He was awesome and so knowledgable about African American Studies, as well as being really friendly and approachable. This is a good class to take to fulfill GEs and test out the subject because even it sociology isn't your thing, the ideas discussed are extremely important in American life because they deal with the significance of race and its history. Beware, there is a ton of reading (11 full size books for the quarter!), but you can skim some of the longer books or even just read the intro and conclusion to get the point.
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