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Dr. J.D Lopez has by far been one of the best professor I have taken here at UCLA. I completely agree with the previous post. This professor has definitely opened my eyes to many things. I can truly say that he has changed the trajectory of my studies. It is sad to see such a great professor leave this institution. I am glad I was able to take him this quarter, and even more glad I will be able to take him in the summer, possibly his last class at ucla. He is a great professor, thinker, and just a great person. He was not an easy A, but whatever grade I earn in his class I will be happy. He has thought me something more valuable than a letter grade can ever represent. He has reignited the flame within me, and has awakened an insatiable thirst for knowledge within me. J.D. is one bad motherfucker. I only wish there could be more professors like him. It is sad to see him leave.
JD is a really nice guy who knows the material well, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he is one of the best professors at UCLA. His midterm and final are straightforward and he grades pretty fairly, but he does have students that he tends to favor. Let me be clear, it's not like he grades them more leniently or anything, but it's pretty ridiculous when a professor chooses to not end his lecture on Wuthering Heights simply because a certain student who talks in class all the time isn't there (anyone who had him this past fall knows this is true). Overall, I would recommend him, but make sure you go to office hours and really assert yourself in his class.
Let me add to some of my commentary about him and also possibly justify how people view him. People think he has favorites because he picks certain people in class to answer some of the harder questions because he's sure they know the answer. The hour and fifty minutes is a bit much for me, I wasn't to it and I didn't feel like it flew by, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless.
And to continue of how approachable this guy is, I met him in the Winter (when he's not even teaching) and I talked to him about my personal life and we talked about numerous things and it never feels like enough to talk with him even for an hour. See ya'll in the Spring ^.^ (not the same person who said that).
I had JD for the Gothic Novels course fall '08. Wow, the man breathes intelligence! He is so knowledgeable about his material and just the humanities in general. You will appreciate being an English major in his class. Everytime I walk out of class, I ponder more about life and culture. He is a fair-to-hard grader, has high expectations, but is always there to help you. Definitely go to his office hour and get to know him! He's funny, nice and encouraging. You HAVE to take JD. In fact, I'm gonna take him again in the spring. See y'all there! =)
He's been my favorite lecturer since my first year after 4W. I took this class specifically because he was teaching it. He doesn't have favorites. He likes his students to go to office hours though. He really did make 2 hours go by fast and encourages us to get to know each other. Sit in front if you can: those are the people that he tends to get to know better.
I definitely have mixed feelings about Professor Lopez. He is a nice guy who knows the material very well, but he is so impressed with himself it's disgusting. In addition, he clearly has his favorites in the classroom that he panders to at any given moment. Don't get me wrong, he's not a bad professor, but there is just something about him that turns me off. Also, don't buy ALL the books ahead of time because like the poster below me stated, he dropped two of them and added an additional one. Also, if a student asked a question that he felt was going off course of where he wanted to go with his lecture, he would give an entire explanation as to why he was not going to answer it since it didn't correspond with where he needs us to go and blah, blah, blah. It seriously would have been easier to answer the question in the first place. Midterm and final exam are pretty standard for an English Lit. course, which he grades fairly. If you don't get annoyed easily, then by all means take him.
I ended up with an A in this class, so maybe my review is a little biased. JD's a great guy, but my bad for taking him during election season... He has a tendency to go off on tangents/philosophical rants that caused me to zone out for good chunks of time. He didn't offer much help on writing papers for his class, but, as English majors, we already know how to write killer papers, right? The one thing that bothered me was his addition of The Portrait of Dorian Gray to our reading list and deletion of The Monk and Vathek AFTER week 2, which meant that I couldn't return those books to the bookstore for a refund, and also that we had to hunt down a copy of Dorian Gray on our own. All in all, a great class and a great professor. I would definitely take him again.
Well, what can I say? It's his choice what he wants to teach about in this class because it's a variable topic of British Studies. It is true he just got his PhD, but my God this man far exceeds most other professors at UCLA. His class doesn't seem hard at first, but when it comes down to it, he will grade tough. I really cherish every moment I had in this class, I mean, it's the Gothic novel vs. National Identity! But it's more than that, he teaches you his philosophy of life and provides it through literature, but also makes you gain a profound understanding of what the University expects from you as a literary critic and why character analysis is not enough. The course shouldn't be that structured as it wasn't, but his wealth of literature and knowledge make it more than worth the trouble to take his class. I will continue to work with him in future semesters, so think about that...