course
Immigrant Experiences, Old and New

Jan 2004

Professor Sanchez was friendly and for the most part, well-prepared. As some of the other reviewers have mentioned, he's interesting on a personal level because he is very involved in local politics, and knows a great deal about what's going on in the world today. Unfortunately, his lectures are frenetic and disorganized and extremely boring. He likes to overuse terms like "optic" and "vis-a-vis" as sentence fillers which become increasingly annoying as the semester rolls on. Attendance (and reading) is absolutely, positively, unnecessary. I did not do any of the required readings, and went to only 5 class meetings, but ended up with a 95%. This is possible because all the work is take-home, and answers for midterm/final questions can be gleaned from your own background knowledge, or just from skimming a couple of the readings a day or two before the assignment is due. From what I have heard, this class was much better when Robert Smith taught it.

Jan 2004

Its hard to kick Professor Sanchez down when he is such a nice guy. He cares a lot about his subject--but I must agree with the other 2 reviewers in that he seems to get lost in his lectures and ends up repeating the same thing over and over again. The readings: not neccessary. You can do EXCELLENTLY with minimal skimming of the index. For the papers simply reiterate one of the many things he has continously drilled..buffer up your paper with lots of jargon and you'll do fine. I actually dont know why everyone has complained about his grading system. the questions are fairly easy and dont require much thought Beware on the final though..as we did not get through the syllabus and he does not get through his lectures..you will need imagination. hmm what else? Oh if you are one to hand in papers late or one that needs extensions avoid this man. He has a "strict" late policy--he reduces you grade by one letter grade if it is late. RIDICULOUS. Trust me..you are better off handing it in on time as it is graded easily anyway. Attendance not neccessary.

Jun 2003

Going into this class, I'd expected a dull survey of 19th century immigration; you know the stuff: potato famine, Ellis Island, tenements, etc. What I found, however, was an incredibly engaging, fresh, relevent and contemporary curriculum, taught by the most dynamic and brilliant professor I've encountered in my undergraduate career. Rob Smith managed to make a 100 student lecture feel like a 10 student seminar, constantly engaging the class in dialogue about the readings, about the world we observed in the city around us, and about our own lives. In addition to his dynamism at the leturn, Rob Smith is also a dedicated activitst and advocate for Latino migrants in the United States. In other words, Rob Smith talks the talk, walks the walk, and does it all in an incredibly eloquent and engaging manner. I'd recommend this class to ANYBODY, whether you're a social science major or just somebody looking to fulfill a few requirements (like myself)!