World History to AD 600

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, two hours. Examination of earliest civilizations of Asia, North Africa, and Europe--Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, India, China, Greece, and Rome--from development of settled agricultural communities until about AD 500, with focus on rise of cities, organization of society, nature of kingship, writing and growth of bureaucracy, varieties of religious expression, and linkage between culture and society. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 3.3
Easiness 2.3/ 5
Clarity 3.3/ 5
Workload 2.7/ 5
Helpfulness 2.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
I would be one of the aforementioned game players (Resident Evil 4, Command & Conquer, Chess; Internet is limited in the Dodd lecture hall I was in) in the lectures. And sleeper. And yes, what basically kept me going to the lectures were the random attendance checks, aptly called "attendance quizzes"; they were worth 10% of the grade, with around a total of six during the quarter. I had little interest going into the class and came out with the amount of interest. Breakdown of grade during F08 quarter: 10% - Attendance, 25% - Discussion (further breakdown of that depends on TA), 15% - Midterm, 15% - six-seven page paper, 35% - Final. Depending on your TA, you could potentially get an easy buffer for your grade with 100% in the first two listed categories (Attendance + Discussion = 35% of total grade). Discussions covered the primary source readings assigned each week; because it's a history class, there's a crapload of "reading." My midterm consisted of one essay (45 points), five lengthy paragraph descriptions for key terms (40 points), and 15 fill-in-the-blanks-without-a-word-bank (15 points); the essay topic, key terms, and word bank is provided beforehand as a study guide. The final is similar but much more tedious. It consisted of FOUR essays (three short ones, meaning approximately two blue book pages, and one long one, meaning talk about as much as you can), six key term paragraphs, and 20 fill-in-the-blanks-without-a-word-bank; again, a similar study guide is provided around a week in advance of the final. During my quarter, the paper was on Oedipus Rex and how one of its themes is related to the society it was written in. If you pay attention in lecture during the period the paper is assigned, you'll get information about the societal aspect of the comparison for the paper. Attend the discussion to get info on Oedipis and you should be able to pretty much formulate a paper in your head. Failing to pay attention during class or ditching discussion will result in research on the society and Oedipus. If your TA's looking for style in the essay, then it might be troublesome. But if the rubric is straightforward with organization, grammar, thesis, etc., then it should be an easy A/B. I managed to get an A in the class through much preparation for the midterm and final and a stupendous TA. I probably spent hours to prepare for those tests, but paying attention in class would drastically reduce the amount of study time. For both history fanatics or students forced to take a history class as a GE requirement, the tests cannot be a kick in the balls/ovaries because they're basically the same as the study guides; the difference is that the tests are official and the study guides aren't. As for Professor Courtenay Raia-Grean, I would say that she's an energetic professor. She's young and she brings in a dog to accompany her. Her voice doesn't bore me; sadly, the subject just wasn't very exciting to me so I slept and/or played games. All in all, this is an easy class to get a B, and even an A. It should be fairly easy if you're interested in history (this class covered the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Mayans, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Greeks, and Romans), but it requires a substantial amount of memorization for the tests for those who aren't interested or don't pay attention.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
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Overall Rating 4.8
Easiness 3.2/ 5
Clarity 4.5/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 4.8/ 5
Most Helpful Review
RE: GE CLUSTER 20A, 20B: Interracial Dynamics Brenda Stevenson is my hero. First, she's the chair of the history department, which is bada*$. Second, she is a very engaging lecturer and has a great sense of humor. While I dreaded the sleep-inducing lectures of Decker and Ortiz (and the other one, whose name escapes me...really sweet lady but not memorable at all), I really looked forward to Stevenson's lectures, because she incorporated relevant media (movies, music, etc) and interacted with us as much as possible. One of the highlights of my freshman year (and probably of my entire career at UCLA) was when she dressed up as a Black Panther for class one day— afro, trench coat, and a "Free Weezy" t-shirt (maybe a Huey Newton one would have been more authentic, but Stevenson does an excellent job of relating to her students).Third and final, she is writing a book about the Latasha Harlins case— an incident that seems to get overshadowed by the Rodney King riots, but that is critically important to an understanding of race relations in Los Angeles. Judging by the quality of her article (which we had to read for this class), the book promises to be a very good one, and I can't wait to read it. In conclusion, Stevenson makes two quarters of GE 20 totally worth it. (Also, this is kind of irrelevant to her quality as a professor, but she's always working out in the Wooden Center, and she watches E! and other reality TV.. she's just so hip.. I want to be her when I grow up).
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