Most Helpful Review
Dr. Fretz is super nice and sweet. If you're a decent writer already, and are competent enough to do all your work on time, it's quite easy to get an A- in this class. If you're not too good at writing, or english isn't your first language, you might find this class challenging, but definitely not unmanageable.
Grade is based on 3 essays, participation and weekly assignments.
Essay 1 is 20%, Essay 2 is 30%, Essay 3 is 30%, and the weekly assignments and participation add up to 30%.
Essay 1 is based on a story you read. Fairly easy.
Essay 2 is an ethnographic research paper based on the love story of one of your family members. It's worth 30% but you have the option to drop your Essay 1 score, and have Essay 2 count for 50%. Usually this is the better route because everyone tends to do better in Essay 2.
Essay 3 is basically combining your Essay 2 with other people in your class. If you get put in a group with competent people, you usually won't get a low score. Each group member gets their own grade for Essay 3, but she says that if other people don't do so well in the Essay, it reflects slightly on your grade, so definitely push any stragglers.
There's 1-3 assignments every week ranging from reading logs to fieldnotes. These are graded as complete(2 points), incomplete(1 point) or not submitted(0 points). These along with attendance and participation in class count for 20%
Oh she also has you write a journal for the quarter. She doesn't read it at the end, she only checks the number of pages, so you can totally bullshit. It counts towards your participation 20%
Overall, great class. It starts really fast with the workload, but she's designed it to ease up towards the end so you have time for other classes. Just make sure you get on her good side and keep up with the work in the beginning, and you're set. She's also really helpful in office hours so if you are having trouble with the class, definitely go talk to her. She's really sweet.
Bonus: if you have an interesting cultural background, she's extra nice to you.
Most Helpful Review
It's quite amusing to see that everyone's negative reviews about Dr. Fretz is absolutely true. I just spent the most horrible ten weeks of my undergraduate life in her class and I can say, it was by far, the worst course that I have ever taken in my four years here at UCLA. First, the paper. We spend 10 weeks on a huge paper [the paper itself usually averages to about 25-30 pages] and we eventually turn it as a bounded project with appendices, draft plans, etc etc. So, in total, it was about 80 pages [imagine printing that out and then having to go to Kinko's to get it bind for $5.49] COMPLETE WASTE OF PAPER, MONEY, AND TIME. That is what you turn in at the end of the course. The ten weeks leading up to this is no better. I spent countless hours transcribing and revising drafts over and over again. On top of that, she had almost weekly conferences to discuss peer editing and all that other bs. I think she does not realize that we have other classes that we have to worry about because there is so much work that is assigned.
Don't get me wrong, the work is not difficult. It's just that its tedious and she hardly even looks at it. She checks your portfolio around 6th or 7th week and just gives you credit for "completeness." In my view, it just takes the workload off of her. And she does not allow you to express your own opinions in your paper! She wants the paper so completely structured in her format that she even "suggests" quotes that we should use. She wants things to be interpreted HER way, leaving very little freedom for the actual writer to express his/her own thoughts. The only freedom I had was in picking my narrator. I dont think I learned anything of substance in this class besides the importance of revising since we had to do about ten drafts!!!
If you take this class, be prepared to spend a fortune on ink and printing.
I would not recommend her. I don't mind if professors are difficult or require alot of work if I actually learn something of substance in return. But I didn't in this class. If you can, stay away!
and to end, i think she makes racist remarks. STAY AWAY FROM FRETZ.