Spring 2020 - God... Please do trust the 1.6 easiness score of this class! This quarter has already been hard, and this class made my day even harder. Our TA is a nice guy and he does have some cool opinion, but he really scored us to harsh. I follow every instruction he gave me based on the first paper but still got a B for my second paper. If you need a pretty good GPA, please do not attend this class!
Winter 2019 - I took a fiat lux seminar with Lal, "Essaying America." Seminars are suppose to be based in student discussion but this professor talked for about 80% of the time. He even went over the class time limits with his long rants. His rants were often political, and he would raise his voice which was very uncomfortable for such intimate settings. I was hoping to get more back and forth discussion between students, but majority was the professor questioning student’s comments, sometimes in an interrogative manner. I think he is trying to be socratic in this, but it comes off as arrogant because he obviously holds his opinions as superior to those of the students. I wouldn't take any class that involves discussions with him as the overseer. Also, beware of disagreeing with him politically, when I mentioned gun rights as being written by the “forefathers” as a mode to defend against tyrannical governments, he almost blew a gasket.
Spring 2021 - Professor Lal has so much to teach you. I genuinely feel like I learned so much over the past 10 weeks. I love that he approaches history through a non-Western lens, and being that I did my schooling in the U.S., I was surprised to see how much I had failed to learn about the rest of the world and its history. There is a reasonable amount of essay-writing and I felt that my TA (Chul) graded fairly. If you start the essays on time you really should not have any issues whatsoever. That being said, there is a LOT of reading, so you need to make sure you are willing to do that because those readings are necessary for the essays. Most of the readings are interesting.
Winter 2019 - Loved this class. The readings were interesting and lecture helped to break down the historical back story. If you have a good TA and can keep up with the readings you will be fine in this class. Go to every lecture as Prof Lal points will help you construct your papers. Although he goes off topic sometimes about his personal experiences I believe this is his way of giving real life examples of how history has affected us in the modern era. The final and mid terms are all essays. It's not hard to prepare for as the TA usually gives you the general topics of the multiple essay questions Prof Lal will give.