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Since I took this class as a GE, I can't really comment on Professor Stanish's ability as a teacher, but he seemed alright. His lectures were pretty straightforward, but you have to attend, since his exams tests you on readings and lectures. Sometimes he rambles on and then goes off on a random anecdote, so its hard to stay focused, but as long as you take away the key points from his lecture that should be good enough. If he says alot of stuff, he'll post the powerpoint online.
The grading scheme was made up of 2 midterms, 1 final and discussion section (which was mandatory), which was 25% each. Pretty much, he grades it so that you have to get an average of an A on at least 3/4 things to get an A in the class, so don't slack off on the midterms. His tests are long, composed of multiple choice, true/false, and short answer, and yes some of the questions are kind of vague. Pretty much you just have to cram your answers full of information to get credit. He does curve generously though. One midterm was out of 300 points (yes, his grading is kind of weird), and he set a 200/300 as the limit for an A. However, the drop-off from an A to a B, B-C, C-D was pretty low, with like a difference of 20 some points. So if you don't get within the range for an A, its very easy to get a C or below.
Pretty much, just attend lecture, take decent notes, and read all of his articles. He assigns alot and some are really dense. Also attend the guest lectures, because he will test you on those too.
Overall, take this class with him for the easy A if you can withstand ALOT of reading and taking notes.
Good professor. He's funny as shit, too.
Go to class and you're good for the exams.
There's 3 of them (2 midterms and a final), and none of them are cumulative. They're 25% each, with the final 25% being allocated to the discussion sections, which are all pretty much straight forward (you have to read an article for each one, but they're all short and fun).
His averages were in the 60's, but he curves generously.
I don't really like archaeology, but his class definitely made me want to go to Perú and Mesoamerica.
Professor Stanish is one of the nicest professors I have encountered at UCLA. I dont know what people are complaining about. He wants the same respect that you would want from other people if you are talking. I don't think getting frustrated at people having side conversations while you're lecturing is out of context. He totally has grounds for telling those people to be quiet because it not only bothers him, but other students too. The midterm was fair. A lot of people in my class scored high on it. There were a lot of information to take in, but the TA's give you a list of important concepts to know week by week and basically everything that was on the midterm were on the sheets. His lectures were interesting for me, even as a freshman whose just taking this class for a GE. So go figure. I dont think Professor Stanish is the problem, the class just requires you to memorize a lot of information, making it the same as any other class at UCLA. He's really nice. At first, I was afraid of him. But I approached him for help, and he gladly did it without any complaints. The man is available outside of class. Dont think this is a good review because I'm getting a good grade; in fact, im getting an average grade in his class right now so I'm not being biased at all. Basically, Im going to break it down for you: Discussion 20%, Paper (3-4 pages long) 10%, Midterm 30%, Final 40%. I think it's totally fair.