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I took English 168 with Professor Gallagher but it's not listed and his reviews need to be updated. He might have been a good TA but as a professor this class was a mistake. In terms of the lectures, he would talk for most of the time, often reading long sections of the texts and then randomly ask a question for which he had a very specific answer in mind and then get frustrated when no one gave him that answer. Similarly with the essays he was looking for very specific answers and told us himself that we all did badly because we didn't answer the question the way we wanted him to. There was very little room for interpretation or discussion in this class, and all of that along with some pointless response assignments that didn't contribute to anything made this feel extremely like a high school class. This class was in person, and at the beginning of the quarter he said it wasn't mandatory to attend every class, but then when people started not showing up he made it mandatory to come in by withholding the second essay prompt and only having it on a piece of paper that he handed out and never posted it online. We were also immediately behind on the syllabus because of how long he took talking about each novel which made him have to assign an essay that should have been turned in during week 8 during finals week along with a lengthy take home exam. The class wasn't too difficult, Professor Gallagher was just incredibly frustrating and I didn't feel like I got anything out of attending class.
This class is one of my favorite English classes I've ever taken at UCLA. Professor Gallagher is inspiring, motivational, and makes you feel personally invested in these already engaging texts rather than most professors, who suck the life out of even your favorite works because their class is just intolerably boring. Yes, Professor Gallagher will challenge you, and no, this class is not an easy A. It's a grade you'll want to earn, though, and you'll feel good for pushing yourself in the ways he encourages you to. It's everything an English class should be, in my opinion. The lectures are interesting, and even more interesting if you keep up with the readings. If you take a class with Professor Gallagher, his will be the class you'll want to work for, rather than slack off and fall behind. His class almost feels like a break from the otherwise overwhelming stress of college. You can tell he's really passionate about his work and that he's having fun talking about it, which makes it more fun for the students too. On top of all that, Professor Gallagher is a genuinely good guy who cares about his students. If you're not convinced by now to take a class with Professor Gallagher... just take a class with him. You won't regret it.
I have never had a better TA than Mr. Mark Gallagher. His enthusiasm demonstrates how much he cares about the students he works with. Mark stands out among his peers as he is devoted to his profession and would sacrifice his time to help his students out. I fondly remember a time when one of the students in our class had a tooth ache and he drove the student to the hospital. Whenever I needed help, he would go out of his way and drive up to assist me. Mark is a great TA and would one day make a great Professor.
I have never-in the history of my entire English study at UCLA- met a TA who sincerely cared more for his students, their success and academic development than Mark Gallagher. I honestly doubt I would have fallen passionately in love with puritanical literature otherwise-especially instructed by one of the hardest and most respected professors in the department with a notoriously tremendous and challenging workload- had it not been for Mark's diligently thought out and well explicated discussions to make sense of it all. Mark is truly a rare find amongst TA's and future professors in the department. I would honestly go out of my way to plan my classes around his discussions in the future because of his brilliance, likability and hardworking mentality for his students.
He not only makes the literature relate-able and entertaining to dissect, but also manages to challenge ones analytical skills which in turn makes your writing/argument more profound and well written than you could have possibly imagined!!!
My entire discussion group felt as though he extends himself beyond office hours and NEVER griped about how needy any of are were- he just simply says "I am your TA- it's my job and my sincere pleasure to be helpful"-Completely. %100. True.
I have had yet to come across another TA who could meet even half of Mark's dedication to his students. Take his class you won't regret it.