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An AMAZING, PASSIONATE, UNDERSTANDING, GENIUS, CREATIVE professor. I had the honor to have him for my last class ever at UCLA and wow, what an amazing way to end my undergrad career. He's is so passionate and caring towards his students and he wants his students to actually LEARN something. His class expanded my mind to places that I didn't think were possible. I've never had such an amazing experience in a class, he's truly one of a kind. I hope that UCLA keeps him around, he's a jewel.
At first glance, Professor Lopez seems approachable, interested, and genuinely nice; and while he may be all of these things, he is not the greatest in the more substantial and practical categories. I do not understand why so many people dispute the fact that he has favorites when he does not hide the fact that this is the case. In fact, there was one class period where he did not want to discuss a particular work because the person who he thought might have a lot to say about it was absent. I found this to be sightly insulting, as there was a classroom full of people who had done the reading and were prepared to discuss it. Also, while he claims to be "bad" with e-mails because he's a romantic thinker and doesn't believe in inorganic communication (blah, blah, blah), he obviously answers e-mails that come from certain people (his favorites). I know this because he would often discuss e-mails with people in class, while I never received an answer to about the five e-mails I sent him over a period of two quarters. While it is completely fine, and at times inspirational, for him to subscribe to certain romantic notions, he is a professor at a large university which requires him to communicate electronically. Furthermore, I had one encounter with him where in the middle of our conversation, he abruptly turned and yelled something out to one of his favorite students (as she walked in) as I was speaking. He then turned to me and said, "what were you saying?" After that, I had limited contact with him. It seems to me that in order to become part of his exclusive club, it is necessary to either take a prior class with him or to camp out in office hours. He is slightly arrogant and if you flatter him in some way, you may just be chosen.
His exams and papers are pretty straightforward, but you have to go to class. He is a messy lecturer and you never know what will show up on the tests and what will not. He, however, likes creativity and originality in explications, and as long as you do that you should be OK on both the midterm and the final.
Finally, in an effort to be fair, Lopez does offer paper extensions and he offers them generously. In regards to scheduling, he is very reasonable and understanding. I ended up with a good grade in this class, but I would not take another class with him because I believe he is overly subjective when it comes to his students. I think that a student's commitment to a professor as an individual is irrelevant when it comes to his/her ability to communicate with that student(s).
Honestly, the best instructor I've had for anything, academic or otherwise. Sure, he doesn't necessarily provide a structured class, nor does he offer much guidance in terms of how to write, but I do think that's his way of giving his students the freedom to explore the material on their own, without having to adhere to his own guidelines or practices (he IS a romantic thinker, so it would make sense that his teaching methods are similar to his philosophical beliefs...very free and open). Take him not only to gain an appreciation and understanding of the material he teaches, but also to actually learn how to think, how to connect the thoughts and ideas in the texts to the world outside of literature (he frequently uses contemporary references to explain old ideologies). Outside of class, Professor Lopez is extremely approachable...the man isn't just interested in your engagement with the literature, but YOU as a person. He's really caring, and will try an accommodate you in any way possible should you have any complications with ANYTHING during the course (for example, you can shift the deadline for your paper to any date you wish).
I've taken 4W and 160 with this guy, and have yet to be disappointed, and look forward to taking any other classes I can with him. I really cannot recommend him enough. He's simply brilliant.