Firpo, Christina  

History

2.70/4.00

86 evaluations


COMS 101


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2015
Frisco is the man! He makes you feel comfortable from day 1 and all his lectures are pretty entertaining. He is super funny making class enjoyable. I definitely improved my public speaking and he's a super chill grader. He allows you to talk about stuff you're comfortable with making the speeches easy. The midterm and final are nothing to be worried about especially cause he gives us a study guide. TAKE HIM, especially if you're dreading taking a Coms class

HIST 215


Senior
F
General Ed
Feb 2008
Moderated Comment
It is nearly impossible to decipher what she is saying ... . ignorant, self-righteous... . acts like she knows everything, but whenever asked a relevant question only responds with "that's interesting, i'll have to look into that". her class is the same if not worse than just reading the textbook beginning to end. unless you're a big history nerd, avoid at all costs.


Junior
N/A
Elective
Feb 2008
The best history professor I've ever taken. Bar none. Take her for anything if you can because there's no doubt you will learn valuable knowledge, have your thoughts provoked to strengthen your opinions, and ultimately put your money to good use. Her class is challenging, but she eases the difficulty with rewarding office hours, being approachable throughout the quarter, and helping you fully prepare for the tests.


Junior
B
General Ed
Mar 2008
Not a hard class, just read. But she is an ignorant self-righteous teacher. Anyone who believes Israel (A member of the UN) purposely kills UN troops with snipers to get them out of Jordan is BLIND and IGNORANT. If you know anything about world history sometimes it is hard listening to her spew nonsense.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Professor Firpo has a great passion for history, making the class somewhat enjoyable. She lectures fast, so get used to hand cramps. That's pretty much the only aspect of her class that I disliked. Be sure to ask questions and don't be afraid to get into a discussion/debate over a topic. She loves a good class argument and it makes the class fun while educational at the same time. The lectures aren't boring due to her colorful personality. Overall, I would recommend taking this class with Professor Firpo.


Senior
B
General Ed
Mar 2008
It amazes me that this "Professor" is allowed to "Teach" at such a fine University. I feel more ignorant in the study of History having taken her 215 class. She knows little or nothing about cold hard history, everything she says in class is her opinion. Her explaination of the difference between England and Britain made me laugh out loud in class, as it was almost child-like. Her smarter-than-thou attitude is ironic, given that she constantly belches false information as fact. If you want an easy class, take her. If you want to learn something, take someone who didn't forge their doctorate.


Junior
C
General Ed
Mar 2008
She's extremely passionate about history, and in that sense is of a caliber I haven't encountered as much during college as I would have liked. But she does talk very fast, skips slides on the projector, disagrees with the textbook a lot, wears her clothes just a little too tight, and is extremely unclear as to what she wants on the tests... I was stunned both times at the low grades I received on both the midterm and the final, even though I had studied the study guide exactly, and left the tests thinking I had aced them. She left me coming out of 215 on one hand feeling like I wanted to study history more (because she is so passionate about it), but the low grades I got on the exams left me with a bitter enough taste in my mouth not to want to sign up for another one Firpo's history classes again in the near future. My recommendation would be to take the class credit/no credit so you can enjoy the lectures and discussions, absorb the information and not have to worry too much about what her strange grading will do to your GPA.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Apr 2008
She loves the Vietnam Era and if you can relate anything in history to that you will do just fine but there was a lot of stuff that didnt interest me and the readings where long and tedious which i didnt care for but she gives map quizes which are cake and i studied a lot for her exams which werent too hard but not too much fun overall i feel she did an ok job of presenting the matierial but i just didnt like how everything was so fast!!


Junior
Credit
General Ed
Apr 2008
Dr. Firpo is very engaging. It just might have nothing to do with the class. I had her at 8am and stayed awake through the entire course, which says that she does try to get students involved in the discussion. I took this credit/no credit, so I didn't do the reading but studied hard for the map quizzes (once a week until you have covered the globe), and tried to know all of the id's for the midterm and final. She has weekly quizzes that you need to read the book and TAKE NOTES for. Just reading won't cut it unless you have a photographic memory because they are very very specific and random, NOT from lecture. The midterm and final are pretty straightforward. She gives you a list of ids to know and an essay that you can write a really good outline for and get credit.


Sophomore
C
Elective
Apr 2008
I spent more time on this class than all my other classes combined, and somehow got a C-. She may be kinda sexy, but that doesnt excuse the fact that her grading techniques are the joke of my life. If you flirt with her heavily, or are from vietnam, you have a good chance to do well. Good luck. Fuck


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Nov 2008
aight....this class sucks. i hate history and i left every class after like ten minutes. i tried to read the text book but i just couldnt. shes a good teacher and if you are into history then take her. her tests are hard. i thought i failed all of them but somehow i kept getting B's.....if you have to take this class take her just know it is really boring


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Nov 2008
firpo loves to wear plaid school girl skirts and usually comes in looking a little disheveled and she is a communist, she at one time had the communist flag hanging out in front of her house


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2008
ok, so, i was never a big history fan. but this class wasn't that bad. You have quizzes every day (either a map quiz or a reading quiz) and 2 midterms and an optional final. there is quite a lot of reading (a chapter every week that is due on tuesday when the reading quiz is and it's about 50 pages). You can use your notes for the reading quizzes which are 5 questions. I think this is a very manageable class, if you know how to read right. the tests are short answer and an essay question. basically she gives you a list of names/events you should know and then tests you on only 5 of them. you have to know the name of the thing, the EXACT date, and say why it's significant. doesn't seem so hard, but i'm very bad with remembering dates of things so that was the hard part for me. all in all, an interesting class i suppose, firpo is quite animated for a history teacher, lets you out early a lot, and didn't put me to sleep.


Junior
C
General Ed
Jan 2009
She is a very bad instructor, the most paranoid test giver, and completely worthless in office hours. I went to see her about a grading mistake and she asked me if I had a learning ability. I would never recommend her to anyone.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jan 2009
Professor Firpo was very animated and passionate about what she taught. I didn't find her to be condescending in any way; she always appreciated students' input, even if it wasn't directly related to the material. She would let class out early almost every week. She is fair and very intelligent, I really enjoyed her class.


Junior
A
General Ed
Feb 2009
I took this class last fall and totally enjoyed it. Professor Firpo is a great teacher who is enthusiastic about the material and her students, which makes the class interesting. If you want a good grade, just sit back, pay attention and do all the readings, seriously!


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Jun 2009
Take her! She is absolutely AMAZING!


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Aug 2009
Quite possiby the worst history professor I have ever had. She came to class unprepared for lecture, which were always dull and all over the place. Powerpoints were absolutely god- awful. The class consists of a mid- term and a final. The study sheets have 70 terms on them, many of which are not covered in class and are absent from the textbook, so I resorted to wikipedia for 75% of the information. In general, do not take HIST 215 with her, even if your friends say she is hot, which I am not so sure of.

HIST 223


Freshman
B
General Ed
May 2010
Obviously this is the first time she taugh history 223 1800-present. It is obvious cause it took her til week 7 to mention anything past 1800! She wasted history 223 by talking about 1400-1700 stuff most of the year. Not a good teacher either. Is genuinely a nice person though


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jun 2010
Literally one of the hardest classes i\'ve taken at cal poly. History is not my best subject and I was excited to hear that a lot of people liked her.. well, unless you are a history major and know your stuff, you will HATE this class and the way she teaches. She strictly reads off her notes and doesn\'t explain anything. She is crazy intimidating and only offers one midterm and one final.. both of which you have to write an essay for. Hard Hard Hard.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jun 2010
Ok so Firpo was not the greatest teacher in the world. Got off on alot of tangents in class and did not really go by the book in her lectures which made them pretty much a waste of time most of the time. However going to the classes is what helped me pass for one reason....she loves hearing what she says when writing her essays! I got an A because i brown nosed in the essays I wrote for her and read the book a few days before the test and reviewed the notes. I would not reccomend her as a teacher just because I was forced to teach myself most of the stuff, but if you need the GE and get stuck with her just jock what she says in class and youll pass for sure, trust me


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jun 2010
Firpo knows her stuff. History 223 is a good class- it\'s just a midterm and final and all you need to do to get a good grade is listen to the lectures, take notes and read the books. Make a time line- this will definitely help you in this class. Best advice- talk to Firpo, she\'ll give you a lot of help and useful info for the exams. She\'s nice and actually quite cool.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Oct 2010
The worst teacher I have had so far at Poly. The entire class is made up of just a midterm and a final. Both midterm and final are 10 multiple choice questions and an essay. The multiple choice questions are horribly written and really hard. She also writes terrible essay questions. My first essay topic was on something we talked about in class for about 5 minutes and there was a half page about it in the book. Two more things.... I went into office hours before the final to try to see what i needed to do to write a better essay. There were 2 other students in there. Instead of answering out questions, she started lecturing us for about 15 minutes and then said we had to go because she had a \"grad student\" coming in. Lastly when I saw my final grade at the end of the quarter I sent her an email wondering what I did wrong on my essay.... Never got a response back. This lady is a joke... i\'ve never written on polyratings... but i had to for this horrible \"professor\".


Senior
D
General Ed
Oct 2010
Dr. Firpo, and this class, are truly old school. It is a large lecture hall setting with the professor on a microphone talking for 2 straight hours. Her methods are Machiavellian with regards to exams (we spent 30 minutes on the midterm day \"preparing\" -- _giving up_ our cell phones, passing up blue books, etc) and in class etiquette. While I think that people should not talk during lecture, I feel that her calling out each and every person who made so much as a whimper was more distracting and wasteful than the person talking in the first place. This class is designed to have two grades: 40% midterm and 60% final. 10 multiple choice questions and an essay on each one. This is a horrible way to run a class, because it does not show a holistic view of how well a student understands the class material. For example, the question on the midterm was on a topic that we did not discuss very much at all and had almost no mention in the book. The multiple choice questions are also poorly worded, confusing, and needlessly difficult. She is decent when trying to get help, but still below average. I tried to get help on how to do better and she did not want to give much help aside from \"talk to classmates.\" If I wanted to learn by talking to classmates then I wouldn\'t take a college course. Overall, I somehow survived this course, but I cannot in good faith recommend Firpo to teach it.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Nov 2010
I love Professor Firpo. Although her class is long (2 hours), she typically doesn\'t speak the entire time and we often got to leave early. She has a vast amount of knowledge about world history as well as Vietnam. She likes to talk about Vietnamese history to give students additional examples of concepts and I found this helpful, although many thought she was getting off topic. Her tests are easy if you do the reading each week and come to class (obviously). The reading is usually 20-40 pages but if you do a little each day, it\'s not bad. Also, takes notes on the reading and she suggests students make a timeline throughout the course in order to remember everything. Overall, I really enjoyed her class and I highly recommend her!


Sophomore
D
Required (Major)
Nov 2010
I am a history major and I have a passion for history. Firpo\'s class made me want to change my major. She has Ph.d in history and acts like it. She wastes 2 hours of your life as she digresses on all of the random knowledge she has, most of which isn\'t even relevant to the class material. Her exam format is a joke. 10 very poorly worded essay-like multiple choice questions with choices from A-G and they end up being 12% of your final grade or more (I believe on the final the questions hold even more weight in the class). As for the essays, if you don\'t spit out the exact spoon-fed answer she wants (i.e. if you show a bit of creativity in your essay) you will not get a good grade on that part of the exam either. I also went in to her office hours to pursue a re-grade on my midterm essay where she blatantly sent me away and told me to write up an annotated outline explaining why I think I deserve a higher grade before she will even look at it (obviously she does this to try and curb the amount of students who will submit for a re-grade); and then she proceeded to warn me that my grade \"can either go up OR down\" if i submit it for a regrade. The worst teacher, by far, I\'ve had at Cal Poly/ ever in my life. DO NOT TAKE HER!


Freshman
C
General Ed
Dec 2010
Mrs. Firpo is a really cool person with a lot of cool life experiences. but a HORRIBLE teacher. She is quite pompous and goes off topic like an idiot to talk gloat about all her experience in Vietnam. Its kinda cool at first but it gets really annoying after the first two weeks. Her exam format is a joke and does not even come close to testing you knowlege youve gained throughout the quarter, but simply tests if you remember a few things that she handpicks. DO NOT take her. save yourself a lot of frustration and take someone else.


Sophomore
Credit
General Ed
Dec 2010
Dr. Firpo is too smart to teach this class. The way she teachers, is she assumes you know everything and skips a lot of information, and the way she grades is a joke. One midterm and a Final, and the format of them are 10 multiple choice questions that are poorly formated, and an essay question, in which she expects to you to write a 2 page essay that you probably only spent 2 minutes talking about in class. On the midterm I basically bullshitted my essay and still got a C on it, I had no clue what the Great Diverge was before I went into that class. If you take this class i advise you to do Credit/No credit, because you can easily fail this class, but try and avoid this class at all cost.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Dec 2010
Extremely proud of herself. hears you out but does tend to let the discussion wander way off subject. terrible testing format which makes two test determine your entire grade. tests are 10 confusing multiple choice questions and one esaay question. My advice...avoid this teacher at all costs


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2010
Firpo lectures just about every day, most of which end earlier than the allotted 2 hours. The days she doesn\'t lecture are filled with exams. There is a midterm and a final- weighted 40% and 60%- and they are both 10 MC questions and 1 essay question worth 100 points. That\'s the objective stuff. As for my opinion as a teacher, she does lecture on stuff that\'s not covered in the reading. There was a decent amount of reading, so if you can\'t read, I wouldn\'t recommend this class. Yes, she goes off-tangent a lot, so bring something to keep yourself occupied during those short bits of randomness. And yes, she\'s hot.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2010
Way too difficult for a general education course. Her midterm and final are 70% based on one essay question that may or may not be about the big picture of the course. The first essay I received asked about the Haitian revolution which was one slide on her lecture and not even half a page in the textbook. It was absolutely ridiculous compared to the other two essay questions some of the class received that were way more broad. I would recommend studying everything she considers even slightly important.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Jan 2011
Firpo definitely knows what she\'s talking about, and she doesn\'t trick you at all on what\'s going to be on the midterm and final (which isn\'t cumulative). As long as you go to lecture and skim the book you\'ll be fine on both. I went to lecture each time before the midterm and twice after it, and I still got an A, so it\'s an easy class. Just study with people who went to class before these two tests...she has guest lecturers who she expects you to pay attention to since their material is also on the tests. I really only ever went to class, to be honest, because she\'s pretty hot. Take this class if you find history easy, plan to attend lecture, or have friends that take really good notes. I\'d recommend Firpo to my friends any day.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Feb 2011
Professor Firpo is a pretty nice teacher, I definitely enjoyed talking with her and asking her questions. Her class was hard, but not too hard. You're assigned a chapter (or two) to read every week. Even though she has any homework or quizzes to go with it, you should definitely stay on top of the reading. The chapters can be quite long and some take up to 2 or 3 hours to read (actually read, not just skim). If you carefully read the book and take good notes, you'll be very glad you did. I know a lot of people that didn't read the chapters because they weren't due... and well, they got screwed by the exams. Your final grade is made up of your midterm and final, and only your midterm and final. The midterm is 40 percent, and the final is 60. Both consist of 10 multiple choice problems (30 percent of the exam score) and 1 essay question (70 percent of the exam score). I found the tests to be fair, but on the harder side. The content is stuff form the book and from her lectures. If you actually study for them, like start reviewing your notes ahead of time and not just the night before, you can expect an A or a B. She doesn't give you a study guide for the exam, but she does let you ask questions on what could be on the exam. Although this is kind of irritating because she tells you whether or not it could be on the exam rather that whether or not it is on the exam, its pretty helpful. She lets you ask the questions on the chapter that was assigned before her lecture. That's another reason to read the chapters... so you know what to ask. The real key to doing well on her tests is going to her office hours though. If you go to her office hours and you are very polite and eager to learn, she will reward you. Both times, during the office hour before her exams, I went and spoke with her. And both times, she kind of focused on one topic... and wouldn't really stray from it. At first, I thought it was really irritating because I couldn't ask my other questions... but it turns out that both times the topic she wouldn't stray away from was THE TOPIC THE ESSAY WAS ON!!! That was extremely helpful, as you would imagine. So, if you're responsible and can stay on top of your work and pay attention in class, you'll probably get an A or B.


Freshman
C
General Ed
Feb 2011
In the first few lectures, Firpo came off as a very intelligent, knowledgable professor and even accessible to those only taking the course as a GE. It quickly turned into a way to showcase her random bits of knowledge and excellent pronunciation skills in Vietnamese. Tests were difficult, as one had only a vague understanding of the material it was to cover. And I hate to say it, but it felt as if she were biased towards the female students in the class.


Sophomore
F
General Ed
Mar 2011
This course is unfair from the beginning taking it as a GE because it is a class for history majors too. And whoever said they love firpo is a suck up and/or a history nerd. Her lectures are based all on slides and continually talks at a pace where you cannot take notes and will not stop and makes you feel like an idiot if you ask her to repeat something. It is a biased class based on only a midterm and final and both have only one essay worth 70% and 10 multiple choice questions on everything we have learned which turn out to be 3% per question. My essay on the first midterm was on one slide of notes (she goes through about 20 slides a lecture) and a paragraph in the book. She doesn't clarify what's exactly on the midterm and final and gives vague responses such as that could be a good question. I won't bore you to deaf with all my reasons why firpo is a horrible and bias teacher but if you are taking this as a GE and are not a suck up or history nerd take another teacher


Sophomore
A
General Ed
May 2011
Take tons of notes, listen carefully, read the assignments, work hard, study hard, and you'll do great. This isn't a class for slackers who can B.S. things. Firpo is really smart and knowledgeable and is a great resource to have in office hours if you want clarification on something. This is college people, stop whining! Work hard and you'll earn an A or a B.


Freshman
B
General Ed
May 2012
When I first read the review for Dr.Firpo I was super scared. She definitely was not what I expected. History has never been my favorite, but this was the one class I didn't ever skip this quarter. She is so passionate about what she does and it makes you want to learn. Our grade was 50% midterm and 50% final but if you go to class and take notes you should be fine. She wanted to create a comfortable learning environment so she'd hold class outside if the weather was nice. She even let some girl bring her dog to help promote a relaxed environment. I would definitely take Dr. Firpo again.


Sophomore
C
General Ed
Jun 2012
This class was way to time consuming than it needed to be. She has 1 midterm and 1 final which are both 50% of your grade. This made me lose all of my love for history because you go to class, she lectures for 2 hours and if you so much as whisper to your neighbor, you're kicked out.. Keep in mind that it was a lecture hall of 100+ students. About half of the students emergency dropped after the first midterm because it was ridiculously hard. Don't ask her whats going to be on the test because she will say all of what we covered. Damn near impossible to get an A. Good Luck. Professor Firpo, if you read this, could you do us a favor and lighten up and make history more enjoyable? I felt like i was forced to learn the material for a grade and not to expand my knowledge so that I could have intellectual conversations as a graduate... *That's what G.E. Classes are for right?*


Freshman
C
General Ed
Jan 2013
Dr. Firpo means business. She knows her stuff and makes sure that you allow her to communicate this with the class... or in other words, she doesn't tolerate disruptions. While this may be intimidating, it is really for the students' benefit. She is a wealth of knowledge, and makes the class very interesting. I have a great deal of respect for her.


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Apr 2014
The class is easy to do well in if you just come to class and take detailed notes. Its pretty easy to come to class because Firpo somehow makes history very sexual, which is kinda weird but thoroughly entertaining.


Junior
B
General Ed
Nov 2014
This class is a standard GE, lots of info that you will never use in your entire life. Firpo does a pretty good job presenting the information, however is sometimes very biased about certain topics. She posts the readings online which is good since you don't need to buy the book (even though you don't really need the readings if you attend all the lectures). My biggest complaint is that she refuses to post her power points to polylearn because its her "intellectual property" even though she's ok with posting another author's property on her polylearn for free... also she doesn't allow you to take notes on your laptop for some reason.


Freshman
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2014
Firpo's 223 (world history) class was the easiest history class I've ever taken. 1 midterm and 1 (noncumulative) final each 50% of your grade which scares a lot of people but they are REALLY easy. Answers are very obvious; they're straight from the notes and study guide. Sometimes her notes from the powerpoints are a little too general/confusing but she thoroughly answers any questions during lecture and I have heard she's even more helpful during office hours. Referencing the book is also helpful but you don't really have to read it. The only kind of annoying thing about her was she constantly advertised taking her upper division history classes which doesn't really matter for the majority of the class since it's a GE. But she's nice and knowledgable and I recommend taking her if you have the choice!


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Dec 2014
I was really scared of this class after reading the polyratings. But professor Firpo was interesting, her class took up a reasonable amount of time for a GE, and he tests were very doable. She lets you out early most Thursdays, makes a very broad spectrum of history interesting enough and very learnable, and getting an A is very doable in this class. Just don't go on your cell phone or talk because she'll come down on you.


Sophomore
F
General Ed
Dec 2014
If you are a good test taker then her class could be pretty easy. If you're like me who gets very stressed about the one midterm and final that will each account for 50% of your grade, I would not recommend taking this class. The material is hard to follow in lecture because you will be spending the entire time writing down notes from the PowerPoints that she does not post. She doesn't require a textbook because she posts the readings on polylearn.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
I really like taking Firpo's world history. It was one of my first college classes in my major and I looked forward to it. She's really sharp and interesting to talk to. Her lecture is fast-paced but I liked it. If it was slower I would have fallen asleep during the 2 hour lecture. She doesn't give a ten minute break like other professors, but she doesn't mind if you get up and go outside. Just don't talk during her lecture. She will send you outside or make you switch seats. She also has a deep and passionate hate towards cell phones. So don't, just don't. I see a lot of complaints about her sending people out or being condescending, but I actually appreciated her doing that. I had people behind me who wouldn't stop talking about their various kinds of socks. For almost 30 min nothing was discussed but socks. How? She finally made them shut up. So thank you Firpo! And to those having in depth discussions about socks, find a better topic so those who have to listen to you can be interested instead of suicidal. Her grading consists of 50% midterm and 50% final. Stressful, but I liked not having to worry about quizzes or homework. The exams are all multiple choice and really easy if you just study. Look at the book and the lecture notes. The book was well written and cool but had a lot of info so you weren't quite sure what to study. She'll give you a study guide sorta thing. Its basically a soft outline of the test so just refer to the notes and book for that material and you'll be golden. Go to her office hours if not to ask questions then just to chat because professor Firpo is really interesting and cares about her students. She uses a lot of different areas of the world and aspects of history to get everyone interested in the material. One of the best professors I've had.


Junior
B
General Ed
Nov 2015
I honestly have no idea how Firpo has such high polyratings. Today we were supposed to be learning about World War II which she somehow "covered" in less than an hour. During this time we probably spent 20 minuets actually discussing relevant material and the other 40 minuets listening to her rants. Always asks really stupid questions about what movies we have watched to try to connect with us. Today she asked who had watched Casablanca and then asked one of the students to describe it to the class. Later she asked who had seen The Godfather. Then she proceed to tell us the a story about how she went to Sicily and ate at some resteraunt where the The Godfather was shot but of course this was ok because the Americans and Brits Invaded Sicily durring WW II. She spends way too much time telling us pointless stories about her life, like some time she was drinking beer in Vietnam, in a desperate attempt to be seen as "cool" in the eyes of her students. Firpo has a disapointingly limited ammount of knowledge about world history aside from south east asia her area of expertise Vietnam. She trys to make up for it by having students look up information on their phone or go talk to another professor when she cannot answer a question. Her lectures are increadibly boring and filled with her rants and irelivent questions that 3 or 4 kids in the class consistently ask. I have learned next to nothing from her lectures but the text book is ok. If you have the option do not take Firpo her class is a complete wast of time.


Freshman
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2016
Her class is very easy, seeing as the midterm and final are the only grades you will receive in the class. There is really no homework due ever which makes the class itself easy. However, her lectures can be long and require a lot of writing and attention, but if you take detailed notes you should be fine on both the midterm and the final. Her cellphone, or any electronic, policy is very strict. Don't have your electronics out in class because she will call you out, and she will call you out if you're talking to your neighbor. If you just go to class, take notes, and study well for the midterm and final then this class is easy and she does make her lectures enjoyable sometimes.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Mar 2016
Smokin hot


Freshman
C
General Ed
Mar 2016
Professor Firpo is not a bad professor per se, but it is her completely irrational and ridiculous expectations of her students that earn her this review. Professor Firpo clearly knows a great deal about her topic, and was able to answer most questions fairly well, and while her lectures themselves were not bad, it was the style of learning she expected from us that really appalled me. She does not post her lecture powerpoint slides on Polylearn, because according to her, you must attend the lecture to get the notes. What this basically leads to is students sitting in the lecture, madly copying down notes from the powerpoint as fast as they are capable, only for Firpo to change slides when you aren't even halfway done, prompting half of the class the yelp in panic for her to reverse the slide. Not only does this result in a stressful, frenetic class-pace, but there is absolutely no way to take in a single word of the lectures she tells to supplement the notes, because the whole time she's talking, you're copying. It's absurd. You'd think that would be it, but no. In addition to the metric fuckton of notes you have to copy down (I filled up nearly an entire 70-sheet notebook this quarter), you also are required to read the chapters from the incredibly dull, thick, wordy textbook, which takes an hour per chapter to read, even at a frantic reading pace. She considers the textbook reading unique material, which you are required to be knowledgeable in, along with the material from the lectures. This is 300 years of history in the Entire World in one quarter, and quite frankly, the fact that professor Firpo even has the nerve to expect this much, and give so few helpful tools, is infuriating. I won't be taking another class from her. Side note: It might be worth it to take her class, just to see how she runs her midterms (Which, by the way, is worth 50% of your grade in the class, the other 50% is the final) Anyway, her protocol for midterms is absurdly ridiculous, you really have to see it to believe it.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Mar 2016
Gives two tests, each worth 50 percent of your grade... If that scares you it shouldn't. Each test was very fair, straight forward, easy, and in honesty is built to help you succeed. Its great because there's also no busy work. Even if you don't pay attention, the slides are online. I did my fair share of skipping class (horrible I know) and still got A's on both exams, and I'm a very average student. TAKE FIRPO! You'll be bored, but you'll also have nothing out of class. She's also weirdly hot... On a side note.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2016
Firpo's HIST 223 was interesting but difficult to follow. She knows a lot about history and sometimes gets too excited when introducing a new topic that she forgets she needs to provide background info which can lead your mind to question "where is she going with this now?" However, Firpo does end up explaining the material (some in extreme depth, others are just touched upon) and it's pretty interesting. The slides for her lectures are online so if you print them out ahead of time, you won't have to be scrambling to copy everything down off the board during class.. (psst this means you can spend more time listening to the lecture than copying notes down). Lastly, the mid term and final exam are each 50% of your grade and they are extremely straight forward and designed without any "Tricks."


Sophomore
A
Elective
Dec 2016
Not a good teacher. I had no ambition to go to her class and hear her speak. And I love history. Really feel like I wasted my time in this class.


Freshman
B
General Ed
Mar 2017
Firpo is a great teacher. She presents exactly what will be on the tests and in a pretty interesting story-like way. The class was one midterm and one final, each worth 50% of your grade, which is intimidating, but they are straightforward and if you just go to class and study you will be fine. I would definitely take another one of her classes and I would definitely recommend taking this.

HIST 228


Freshman
A
General Ed
Feb 2015
I loved Firpo! At first I was terrified and was thinking of dropping it based only on the polyratings. Glad I didn't. I hate history but she made the class fun. She was very easy to talk to and always stopped to ask if we had any questions. Her notes are very detailed but presented very clearly. She tells stories along with the material to make it less boring. Her tests are very straight forward and as long as you study what's on the study guide, An A or really high B is easily attainable. Take her, She's Amazing! She even allows pets in her class!

HIST 233


Freshman
B
General Ed
Dec 2015
2 hour lecture in which the majority of the time is spent doing anything but actually explaining history. Extremely boring, although I admit I don't like history. The whole class is so broad that it lacks any form of depth - any basic high school history classes have gone more in depth on most topics discusses (WW2 was about 20 minutes). Tests are pretty easy, 1 midterm and 1 final multiple choice and no homework other than reading. The textbook the reading is assigned from is very, very poorly written and frustrating to read. She also refuses to answer any questions (even in office hours) - the questions are either too simple and they should figure it out on their own or they are too hard for her and she refers you to another professor. She also asks about 5 times a day if we have taken random history courses - most of us are here as a GE, we don't care. Overall not enjoyable at all, but also not too hard of a class.

HIST 303


Senior
A
Required (Support)
Dec 2007
Dr. Firpo is a very demanding professor, but a fair one. She is incredibly helpful towards her students and effectively teaches them how to do research and writing for history. The reading and workload is quite heavy, but worth all the effort-- don't be intimidated by her the first few days, just get to know her, put everything you have into the class, and listen to what she has to say.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2008
Moderated Comment
If you're not interested in Southeast Asian History, try to take 303 with some other professor. Or, take her SE Asian History class first -- otherwise, you'll be scrambling to simultaneously learn an obscure area's history AND learn the writing skills this class is supposed to teach. I found her overly demanding as to the amount of paper she wants you to waste, with multiple (sometimes 15) copies of everything. Written assignments every class, in addition to painful reading. Stuck on Said's "Orientalism" because he's her father's friend, regardless of what critics say about Said. Ask questions at peril of receiving additional reading assignments. Class consists of her flopping her long hair [and] , sitting on the desk. Direct quote: "I wear fancy clothes because I'm the professor!" Not up to what I expect from Cal Poly.


Senior
B
General Ed
Feb 2008
She expected way too much for what the class was. She was a nice enough lady, but the time spent in class was wasteful and borring. And if you don't agree with her, have a passion for SEA, or are ethnic, she really won't pay too much attention to you. I ended up gettting a decent grade, but all quarter long her many homework assignments and not getting grades on papers had me questioning my major. And lectures do consist of her sitting on a desk flipping her hair.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Professor Firpo is an amazing professor. She makes the class entertaining and she encourages open discussions. This class is very time consuming but if you take each assignment seriously it will make the class a lot easier for you at the end.Also she encourages you to come to office hours and it is really helpful to do so.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2008
Dr. Firpo is amazingly intelligent, enthusiastic, and simultaneously intimidating. The entire class centers on composing a 10-13 page research paper on Southeast Asia during the colonial period. While tearing through pages upon pages of Euro-American travelogue writings from a Cornell Database (Google "Southeast Asia Visions") you also read books and articles about Southeast Asia that serve as good examples of approaches to take for your research paper. For the first few weeks you will have no idea what you are doing, try and RELAX...she wants you to feel that way. Just find a topic that interests you and take notes on everything, don't forget to cite things properly or you will have a meltdown the night before something is doing trying to re-discover a travelogue. She gives you regular citation quizzes (so learn that manual!) and asks you to do outlines on the various readings. Other than that, it's largely discussion. By the last weeks the class is a breeze. Be prepared to use a lot of paper though. And for the record: All this crap that people are saying about Said is bogus. She does mention something about somebody knowing Said (but he wasn't a family friend) and she's not obsessed with him and openly criticizes him (especially his crappy sentence structure). If you want to learn a lot about Southeast Asia take this class, just prepare for some stress.


Senior
N/A
General Ed
Jan 2009
Firpo treats you like a 12 year old and assumes you are one. She is not a bad teacher, but she recently got her PHD and wants everyone to know it. She thinks everyone needs to work as hard as she did in school, even though it's just a GE....but she sure has a nice ass!


Senior
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2009
Firpo is an amazing teacher who cares about the learning of her students. She is always prepared and expects her students to be also. If you don't care about your education and are afraid to actually work in college, don't take her.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2009
First of all, totally was not expecting the grade that I received on the paper. I felt lost for pretty much the entire quarter so those of you who feel like you're trapped in the woods now don't sweat it, happens to us all. The discussions were very engaging in this seminar-style class and I felt I understood the readings much more because of it. Yea she's on your ass for most of the time but it really does get you to do the stuff and it helps, trust me. I turned in my paper after a good ratio of 8 hours sleep over 2 days time but damn am I proud of what I accomplished. I truly feel like a historian now. Oh, and ask her about the communist flag incident, it's a great story!


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Dec 2011
Yes, she is a hard professor. Yes she will push you to hate your life and your quarter. She will make you a better writer. She will establish good habits in your writing skills. If you need to have 303 filled. Take her. She is hard and will push you to your limit. If you want a professor that embodies hard work and diligence, take 303 with Firpo.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2014
Dr. Firpo is a fantastic professor! She's a difficult grader and quite intimidating in the beginning, but is (in my opinion) one of the best professors you can take in a writing course. If you put a lot into any class you take with her, you'll see not only a great grade but vast improvements in your historical writing.


Sophomore
A
Elective
Jan 2015
I was getting more out of this class, than any other. Teaching writing skills for history, Firpo does very well in this class. Essay can be interesting, although you just want to be done with it by the end of the quarter. Be ready for the citation quiz! Talk in class! You will be learning much.

HIST 317


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Mar 2008
He has no idea how to teach mathematics and he needs a remedial course in teaching. I have never had in all of my highshool days any teacher who does not teach me in the manner that I expect. He should go back to Serbia where he can then teach in his native language. It is do difficult to have to listen to Him. I have learned more mathematics

HIST 319


Senior
N/A
Elective
Dec 2006
I appreciate any professor who has a passion for what they teach, and Professor Firpo has that quality. Certain topics affected her visibly, and is translates to a more interesting class. The class has two exams, a research paper on a book, and in some cases some extra credit. Be prepared to work, though, she believes in her students, and thus her expectations are high. She gives a study sheet of terms for you to study, so there aren't any suprises. I recommend forming a group of friends to study with, it distributes the work and makes studying more fun. I highly recommend taking this professor, she's a good teacher and its an interesting subject


Junior
B
General Ed
Dec 2007
Professor Firpo is an excellent teacher and the topic is interesting. She loves class discussions, which is great as a student because it really helps with understanding the material. There was one map quiz at the beginning of the quarter, then one mid-term (half was home, half was in-class) and she is very clear about what she expects you to know for these. In lieu of a final exam we had a group project which counted for 40% of our final grade -- start this early! Firpo will help you find sources and explain anything you don't understand, you just have to ask. Overall, the workload isn't bad, but this course does require a lot of reading and one of the texts (Owen) is a bit dry. Firpo's lectures were always very interesting, she loves what she's teaching.


Junior
B
General Ed
Feb 2008
She knows a great deal of information. The class was helpful and interesting. However, she forces participation and will yell at you if she assumes you're making faces. I got in trouble several times for squinting to see the board (I have glasses). She'd be a better teacher if she respected her students and treated them with more professionalism. Aside from the lack of respect, I did wish she spent more time on South East Asia countries other than Vietnam. She's traveled there a great deal and therefore spent 80% of the quarter on the country pushing aside all the others. The class requires a great deal of reading, but I got by with out doing it and just listening to her go over it. If you want an A though make time to read, don't take too many other units with this class. Her tests were fair, and she gave study guides.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
Dr. Firpo is an excellent professor. In my opinion, the people who have a problem with her are people who do not understand history, or just have a problem with female professors as authority figures. History is not a list of facts and there is rarely a right or wrong answer, Dr. Firpo taught me that best of all. What she says she states as fact because that is what her research has taught her. If you disagree with her she is more than willing to discuss it in her office. She will show you her evidence and would enjoy having an intellectual discussion about your disagreements. She does not shut people down because they have different opinions; she (as most historians do) enjoys discussing different interpretations of history. She is fair and open to difference of opinions. If you want an easy and boring professor donít take Dr. Firpoís class. She is challenging and will push you, but she has the ability to bring out the best in you if you listen to her advice. She has the best intentions in mind. She does not believe that she is 100% right about everything. She is not pretentious, just passionate.


Senior
A
Elective
May 2009
Professor Firpo is definitely one of my favorite professors at Cal Poly. I can understand how she can come off as controversial or offending, but if you understand that she will really truly bash anything without any bias or hatred towards you personally or anyone else. The key to her classes are remembering that the things she teachs are in the past and do not directly relate to you. She wants you to learn the material so when you go in for her help, she can steer you in the right direction but still make you learn for yourself (assuming you've been doing your homework!). As a participant in the communist flag incident, I can tell you RIGHT NOW that she is NOT COMMUNIST. Her specialty is Vietnam, a communist country, and she likes communist memorablia. She thinks communism is just as flawed as any other system of government and, lets face it, we're no longer fighting the Cold War, so get over your fears of commies. If you can see past all her alleged offensiveness and find your own passion for learning history, her passion for history and teaching style will seem that much better to you. As for 319, undoubtedly it's changed since I took in in Spring 2007, but if you do your reading on time and try to look for the significance in everything, you will do just fine on everything she assigns you.


5th Year Senior
A
General Ed
Dec 2009
Prof. Firpo is an incredibly dedicated professional who really knows her stuff. Her personal knowledge of Southeast Asian history (which this class focused on) was nothing short of amazing. Having said that, had I realized what I was getting into, I would not have taken her class. Without a shadow of a doubt I put more time into her course than I should have; putting in a ridiculous number of hours outside class. Trust me, I know ridiculous - I\'m a 5th year architecture student. The class structure is as follows: One quiz early in the quarter (EASY), one midterm made up of short answer and essay questions (Very Difficult, you\'re given between 60-70 terms for which you must know enough to write a multi-page essay on, each. You do not know what will be short answer and what won\'t), and a quarter-long group research paper. The research paper is expected to be a fully researched argument condensed to roughly 17 pages with 30+ bibliographic sources (and the internet doesn\'t count). That\'s all fine, but the group aspect of the paper does mean a lot of group meetings to sort things out and dealing with time conflicts and different ideologies, etc. In addition, she has very high standards, and in order to meet them you will probably need to meet her in office hours multiple times (most of our class did). Overall, after talking to other people in my course who were senior level history majors, Firpo\'s class involves what could be described as graduate level work. I assume you could just care less and get a C (since it is a D5 GE), but if you care about your GPA I wouldn\'t take Firpo, unless, of course, you\'re a history major. In which case, she\'s probably great.


Junior
C
General Ed
Nov 2010
Hands down the worst professor I have ever had in 3 years of college. She is a nice person, most of the time until she freaks out in class, slams her laptop and tells everyone don\'t come to class until you have all done the reading. Oh, but then she reduces your final grade a letter grade every time you miss. She gave one midterm the entire quarter that was 45% of the grade, but no study guide. Over 100 possible questions that it could be, but we have to create the list on our own, and only 3 questions on the actual test- CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT! She is crazy! And she does not curve. She has zero understanding of the student and that her class is a GENERAL EDUCATION class. She thinks we should be spending hours a day for her class alone and if you complain, she makes you feel like you are lazy. Office hours, she still demeans you and makes you feel like because you didn\'t understand the reading, you must not have actually read it. As for her lecture style, she rambles about her own personal experiences in Thailand, Vietnam, etc. She doesn\'t actually tell you about the historical significance of any of their histories and focuses on what happened when she ran into a French person on the streets of Cambodia and how he still feels like French people are better. She is horrible. I am sorry if you take her. She has the potential to be great, but right now, not even close to up to par.


Senior
A
General Ed
Jul 2011
I worked my ass off for this grade and it was entirely worth it. Dr. Firpo was inspiring and pushed me to do my best in her class while being completely engaged in the material. I am not a history major and yet I was able to succeed in Dr. Firpo's class due to good old fashioned hard work and determination. Take her course. If you work hard and absorb the material it could change your life for the better.


Senior
A
Elective
Aug 2011
Like the previous evaluation, I worked hard to get an A in this class but it is doable if you are willing to put in all the work, do ALL of the reading (important for the midterm), and participate in class. Dr. Firpo may seem intimidating at first but once you get to know her and go into her office hours she is a really nice person. She has a vast knowledge of Southeast Asia because she has spent a lot of time traveling to the area and incorporates her travels into her lectures. I was hesitant about taking her course but in the end I'm glad I did because I learned a lot.


Senior
Credit
General Ed
Dec 2011
Although this class was ridiculously hard for a GE, I learned so much! She definitely knows her information and this class broadened my views on history immensely. The midterm was brutal to study for because she uses ID terms which you have to try and find in your notes, there is also a essay question which you better know something about because she LOVES details. This class also has a HUGE group paper which was pretty intense. My recommendation would be to take this class as CR/NC if you want to keep your GPA up without working SUPER hard. Overall this class was very interesting, just very difficult.


Junior
N/A
General Ed
Nov 2012
Dr. Firpo is extremely overeducated in a very limited field, and doesn't have much of a grasp of any history or real world knowledge outside of her specialty areas. Yes, she is an extremely poor lecturer, and no, she doesn't stop or slow down if the class is confused or lost. That being said, if you just go to her office hours, she will definitely sit down and thoroughly explain everything to you. She does want you to understand and succeed, she just gets to excited about history that she word vomits information at a ridiculous rate, and in no particular order.


Junior
N/A
Elective
Mar 2015
I took Professor Firpo for 319, I must say she is incredibly well educated and knowledgable. You will learn a great amount from this course. With that being said, Firpo is very intimidating and even scary. She has quite a sweet bubbly personality after a few lectures, but she loves to intimidate her students and act like she has control over you (finals, midterm, first week of class) BEWARE. But its doable.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Sep 2017
I LOVE FIRPO!!! I must admit, I enjoy history in general, but I still had to work and study my BUTT OFF to get an A. But she is one of my favorite teachers I've had at Cal Poly! She is incredibly smart, interesting, and captivating when she gives lectures. As long as you follow her rules and work hard, she'll love you too. She's the best. I feel like we would've been best friends in another life. She's a bad ass. Love her!

HIST 330


Senior
A
General Ed
Feb 2008
Firpo is a passionate professor with a lot of information to share with students. She knows what she is talking about, uses great material, and offers a personal perspective that makes her class enjoyable and easy to digest. She expects a lot and gives a lot as well-- such as fair tests, great study guides, and listens well. True- her info can be overwhelming-- but if you are serious about learning, the class is really interesting.

HIST 405


Sophomore
N/A
Elective
Apr 2008
She cannot teach Environmental Studies. She has no ability to teach the elements of environment nor of the ability to understand the relationship of Global Warming to the onslought of the last Glaceration. It is inconceivable that this is not understood. I asked her about the development of the Clovis People and defined by clovis points and laughed out loud at her response. I do not understand why she is allowed to teach Environmental Studies.

HIST 421


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Dr. Firpo can be intimidating, a little scary (a lot scary when you don't read), but take it from me, she's an amazing professor. I'm graduating in June and I've taken three classes with her and she has an incredible amount of knowledge to share. Yes, her classes require a lot of reading, yes it's a lot of work, but I'm writing this review as a history major and I can tell you, she's completely inspiring. Besides, I feel like those who are complaining about reading aren't in the history department. It's history, you gotta read people. Anyway, take classes with Dr. Firpo, if you want to learn about her field of history (Vietnam, Prostitution, South East Asia generally), she's the one to learn it from.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2015
Firpo is amazing, she is so intelligent yet relatable. She actually cares about her students. She is psychotic about citations but she gives you instructions and her type of crazy actually helps you learn it. I hope to take her again at some point. Her being the most attractive teacher on campus doesn't hurt either; but she could easily be in the Italian mafia or illuminati I haven't figured out which one yet.


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Mar 2016
History of Prostitution-this class is not as cool as one would have hoped. However, it is a fairly easy class to get an A in provided you do the readings and understand what you are reading. A large portion of your grade is participation so speak up in class cuz if you do not she will call on you and embarrass you if it turns out you have not done the reading. Firpo is an excellent teacher but never try to bullshit her because she see right through it. The class consists of a take home mid-term and final. Both are only 1500 words...but do not be fooled those 1500 can be difficult. Furthermore...she is nice to look at


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2017
This was a really interesting class. My views on sex trafficking and prostitution going into the class were completely changed by the time I left the class. All the students are simultaneously terrified of Professor Firpo and worship her. She expects good discussions and great papers. This class will definitely require you do actually DO THE READING. If she sniffs out any bull-shitting she will kick you out. She doesn't play. But all the readings are super interesting. You have a midterm paper, a final paper, and participation as your grade. She feels very strongly about Chicago manual citations, so be prepared to become paranoid about your notes and bib. I know this sounds mostly scary but this class is fantastic and Firpo is actually phenomenal.


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Apr 2017
Dr. Firpo seems intimidating at first, but she's a sweet teacher who encourages student success. 421 is an upper division history course and will require a lot of reading, but she makes sure to hit every concept that she wants you to know. She's strict on the Chicago Manual Style, but after taking her class, citations are a breeze for me. This class was entertaining and the readings were fun.

CRP 705


Senior
A
Elective
Nov 2016
What else is there to say? Fine person, nothing interesting. Class was meh... Blah, blah, blah... Fine person.