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I had Dr. Brown for the RACE AND UNIVERSITY course of SOC 180A. It wasn't an easy class because there are a lot of dense readings that you have to understand to succeed in the class. However, Dr. Brown and most of the TAs were so good at breaking down these big concepts into digestible information so I was able to succeed with an A!!
We only had three assignments that made up our grades: 1 midterm essay, 1 reflection essay, 1 final project (can be done in a group or solo). Dr. Brown was so accommodating. Any time you needed an extension, she gave it to you with no questions asked. She also gave our entire class a four-day extension for the midterm essay and some students had even more of an extension on top of that. The reflection essay was easy, you just need to write about an experience in your life and relate it to one of the readings you read for that week. You only need to do 1 reflection essay for any given week. I suggest you do it during week 1, 2, or 3 because if you wait until the last minute, all your midterms or finals from other classes may prevent you from writing a good reflection. The final project is teaching the professor and the TAs on any of the topics you discussed in class through a medium of your choice: film, documentary, e-zine, podcast, website.
The only problem I had with the class was that it took 9 weeks for us to get any grade into the grade book. I did my reflection on week 2 and I received a grade during week 8. And my midterm grade from week 5 was given to me week 9, so that was really stressful since I didn't know how well I was doing. I feel like there was really no excuse for the late grades though because I understand this quarter was difficult to navigate but it shouldn't take 9 weeks to get some sort of grade.
Overall, my experience in class was solid. I learned so much and even though some of the readings were so long, the lectures and TAs were able to break down these concepts without me having to read every single page. OH! But I advise that if you are not confident in writing thoughtful essays, do not take this class. This is a writing-intensive course. You need to go into the class knowing how to write a great essay. The professor and TAs aren't going to hold your hand in writing these essays.
A lot of people in the class did not have the same experience as I did. Their experiences were more negative than mine. Some people thought the grading was too harsh. Some people believed the professor and TAs were not fair. One person was apparently called dumb by one of the TAs. To be fair, most of the people in my class were transfer students so I think it was more of a shock to see how different CC and UC are. But I would just like you to know that I was able to get an A in this class without completing every single reading and not putting as much effort into this class compared to my others.
YOU WILL SUCCEED IF YOU HAVE HAD A RECORD OF GETTING As IN WRITING INTENSIVE COURSES HERE AT UCLA. It's nothing new.
I loved this class and would jump at the opportunity to take another course with Dr. Brown. It's not easy, but it's incredibly interesting and rewarding. It will make you think critically about your social positionality at UCLA and in general. The first half of the class covers race theory, which you write about in your midterm (the hardest part of the class in my opinion, 33%). The second half of the class covers research on race, ethnicity, and class in academia. The class culminates in a group final with a lot of creative freedom (34%). You also have to write a one-page single-spaced paper reflecting on a reading from one week (33%).
The worst part of the class was my classmates; they constantly complained about being 'blindsided' by grading policies that were stated on the syllabus and wasted class time with their repetitive and disrespectful complaints. Granted, many students had troubles due to COVID that they felt were not being accounted for, but their approach was unprofessional and rude. As a previous review notes, this class is mainly transfer students (Dr. Brown does this intentionally because she's awesome), and I think some of my classmates were unprepared for the rigor of her class. She will not hold your hand through the work, but if you are kind to her she will be very kind to you.
I did every reading, went to every live lecture, worked hard on the midterm and final, and got an A+. If you have the opportunity to take this class, I highly recommend it but be ready to work hard to EARN your grade.
One critique of this class was that there were no discussion sections. Sections would have been really really helpful for understanding the material, but unfortunately, almost all the TAs in this class were unhelpful during office hours.
Professor Brown is the best. Her class is one of the easiest at UCLA. Her lectures can be boring and annoying at times but she's a funny person overall. The midterm was a take home essay in which the prompt was relatively easy and the TA's were super helpful. The final was a take home group project where you had to create something that would help teach others a topic you learned about in class. There was an easy opportunity for extra credit. Attend a talk and write a reflection paper to prove you were there. There were books but I didn't get any. I do recommend you get the book by WEB Du Bois, that helped me a lot with my midterm paper but the prompt will most likely change. The TA's for this class are super helpful and want you to succeed.