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Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Not sure if Professor Bakhos changed her curriculum during Covid or if I’m taking the wrong class, because the class I took is MUCH more difficult than the class all the other reviewers were talking about. I took this class as a GE thinking it would be fun and interesting like everyone said, but boy was I wrong.
This course's grade was mostly comprised of 3 different sets of take-home essays throughout the quarter, each of which had you writing at least 7 essays (5 short and 2 long). On top of that, you also had an additional paper to write in week 9. There is SO much writing, this class should've honestly qualified for a Writing II class (except it's not, so lose-lose).
Furthermore, it seems like she was looking for very specific answers for these essays, but also didn't want to "give away the answers". I honestly felt that she wasn't that helpful during office hours or Q&A sessions, but considering these essays are basically our midterm and final, I can somewhat understand why she might not be too keen on handing out answers to people. However, her lecture style (which mostly involves talking/getting sidetracked on people's questions while flipping through a handful of slides with scarce information) has not held up well over zoom and imo wasn't very helpful when it came to writing the actual essays. Which means that, in order to find the answers for each essay, you're going to have to be re-reading the textbook thrice over, scanning your minimal lecture "notes", and deep-searching Google for more information.
Is this an interesting class? Certainly some parts are fascinating to learn about. But the biggest flaw with this class is that there is too much information and not enough time to learn it all, which made the take-home essays a wonderful, "on-your-own" experience for me.
Before you take this class, ask yourself: Am I willing to sacrifice my entire sleep schedule over the course of 4 separate weeks for a GE? If the answer's no, then maybe avoid it and get some sleep.
Sidenote: Participation is MANDATORY in this class. They had some policy where if you missed 2 or more discussion sections, you couldn't pass the course, which I felt was kind of unforgiving, especially during Covid.
I really enjoyed the Judaism section in this class, but I do have to say that the Christianity and Islam sections were rushed (I didn't learn a whole bunch about Islam). and this isn't to be rude or anything, the class was extremely interesting and I wish we had more time to cover each section equally! Also, before her exams they would give a study guide and going through that religiously (pun not intended) would set you up for a good grade. She makes class fun, very energetic, and her TA's were extremely knowledgeable in the subject. Sometimes being part of the religion beforehand had its benefits for some exam questions; for example, there was a specific question on the Christianity exam majority didn't get because it was brushed over during class and wasn't on the study guide. Discussion sections were more for going into detail of that week's reading and understanding the topics covered that week. Overall, I loved this class and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a GE done and learn a lot about religion!
This class was so informative and was a really good GE to take. Professor Bakhos could answer any question thrown at her and even let our TAs present on what they were studying to us. She's really approachable and knew almost everyone in the class's name. The textbook is not necessary at all and I didn't really do any of the scriptural readings, just some Sparknotes to get the basic idea of everything. Her exams are difficult but fair and she gives a study guide the lecture before the exam. If you know the study guide, you're set.
Professor Bakhos is certainly intelligent and passionate about sharing her knowledge with her students. With that being said, her lectures are unorganized and hard to follow. Her lecture slides either contain nothing but random clip art images or a hundred minuscule bullet points. The readings in the class don't correlate to what you learn in lecture, and Professor Bakhos rarely made any connections between lecture material and readings. Finally, I met with Professor Bakhos once to discuss an idea for an essay, which she immediately shot down. Her only advice being to kindly choose a different prompt. I think Professor Bakhos is a lovely woman who cares about her students; however, she desperately needs to become more organized, less distractible, and more open-minded if she ever hopes to teach a quality course. Take this for a semi-easy GE, but prepare to gain little to nothing from the class itself.
I was looking for a decently easy GE and this definitely fulfilled it. She gets props for being so friendly and concerned, but was kinda boring. She goes off on tangents sometimes and you start to wonder exactly how much of what she's saying you'll actually have to know for the tests/papers. I got an A- in the class without doing too much of the readings, but I had a badass tutor, so I'm guessing if you don't you probably have to skim and pay attention to her remarks about them in class.
Ignore the person who said this class is hard and who had Daniel Beckman as a TA. I also had Daniel Beckman as a TA, and frankly who cares what TA you have in this class. This class is amazingly easy, just look at the grade distributions. Basically everybody got A or A- except for maybe the people that choose to never study at all. All you have to do for both the midterms and final is study the night before for a few hours until you know the stuff on the study guide she gives you. It is very clear what you should study, just know the study guide. For my class, she canceled the second essay because we were short on time for Islam and I heard no complaints, only happiness. The essay was then added to the final, with one of the easiest prompts ever and one that she had basically told all the answers to in lecture beforehand. The one essay we did write was interesting, and overall this class was extremely interesting. If you have any interest in any of the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) then TAKE THIS CLASS! Even if you don't, you will probably have an interest in at least one after this class. This has been the easiest GE I have taken, and I wish every GE could be like this. And oh people say "you don't have to read the books" which might be true, but I read most of them anyway. I wouldn't know then if you could get an A without reading, but I pretty sure you probably could as long as you study.
My favorite professor at UCLA so far....
I learned something meaningful in this course and it was completely worth the time spent in it..
It was not a difficult GE and she gives out a study guide for every exam so it was fair game.
I loved Professor Bakhos, she knew half the students' names in a class of 160 students and
was really concerned with everyone's learning.
Take the class!
This class is not easy. This class is ridiculous. My TA's name is Dan Beckman. He is very confusing and not specific. I am currently having a very difficult time in this course and I don't understand why because it is suppoesdly "an easy A," "must take class at UCLA," etc. etc. This is a lie.
Do not take this class. Especially, if you have a difficult TA to work with.
The professor is nice, but she does not grade anything, PERIOD.
Do not take this class.
Really kind hearted woman and very motherly in nature. I felt so warm in her class. Aside from that it was also one of the easiest As of ucla i did no reading only went to lectures and took good notes. focus on your study guides and what she tells you to study. she didn't pull any nasty tricks. she wants students to enjoy the subject matter and is very passionate.
trust me on this one, take this class! easy A for sure. don't buy the bks, i didn't, so obviously did no reading! just show up to class take notes, do the hws obviously, do the study guide she gives u for final and midterms and memorize that stuff. n there u have guaranteed A.