Survey of Middle East, 500 to Present: 1300 to 1700
Spring 2023 - Don't take a class with Aslanian. He is the worst history professor at UCLA. He has no respect for his students. I don't understand why he teaches undergraduate level classes when he acts like it is such a waste of his time. He goes on tangents. He's disorganized. He's rude. He's cold. He's the worst. Don't do it. Don't take his class.
Apparently I'm cataloged in the minority group as well, but i just wanted to note to incoming Gelvinites that the work this man demands and the grades that he subsequently doles out are definitely not correlated. I am not contesting his value to the UCLA Hist. dept. as a knowledgeable professor in the affairs of the history of the middle east; he is a very intelligent individual. What was disappointing was his complete lack of care for students, as he does not allow protestation of test grades, as, in my case, the TA failed to add up the points correctly and subsequently i found myself in a genre of grade that has been unprecedented for me at UCLA. Guess there is a first time for everything, but he pissed me off enough to leave my first bruin-walk post. Between the combination of his TA's that can't count, his redundant lectures that all seem to focus on the ECONOMIC history of the middle east, and his overinflated ego that leaves the class in awkward silences forcing people he's looking at to laugh, it's a bit much..
I must say that I really enjoyed Piterberg's class. He doesnt bog you down with all of the details like Prof Morony does, he just gives you a cursory overview of the material. BREAKDOWN of class: Midterm 50% fill in the blanks (in class), Final 50% one essay (in class). I aced the midterm no problem just from going off of my notes, but i came to class EVERY DAY! Piterberg tells you that the test material comes for the lectures, so GO TO CLASS!!! sooo many people didnt, and they got screwed! Now, I aced the midterm and final, but many people didnt. I suggest that you type your notes if you can and make the dates or names that he WRITES ON THE BOARD in "bold" then for the midterm, make a studyguide or flashcards of all the bold terms. The midterm was NOT worded well at all and was very confusing, but the best way to study for Piterberg is your NOTES and NOT the books. Read them, b/c they are interesting, but as he says his tests are on the material discussed in CLASS and NOTHING ELSE!!! Final was one essay out of 3, which basically covered the 3 main themes of the course. Again, i studied my notes, and got an A on the final. My advice 1) Come to class EVERYDAY it is worth it! 2) Take GOOD notes, and mark your notes every time he WRITES ON THE BOARD. 3) Make study-guide/flash cards for the Midterm 4) Study notes (3 main themes of the course) for the Final exam. Although I liked the class, and Piterberg is entertaining, he DOES NOT like staying after class to answer questions. He literally RUNS out of class as soon as it gets out. He is also often late, but ALWAYS leaves on time! I even asked him one time why he runs out of class so soon, and he responded "What do you expect me to do, sit here?" Yes I do professor! you should stay for at LEAST 2-3 mins to answer questions! Take ANY of his classes, his exams are very DOABLE if you take good notes, I can't stress this enough.