Review Comment

G4431 (Criminality and the Cultural Elite)

April 20, 2003

Mahida, Jaydip
G4431 (Criminality and the Cultural Elite)

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Prof. Mahida certainly knows how to deliver a gripping lecture, and he can be fascinating to visit during TA office hours -- the man is an inexhaustible fount of psychological and historical trivia -- but if you're thinking about signing up for one of his courses, I would strongly urge you to reconsider. He may be keen as a razor blade, but his mannerisms are just too peculiar for comfort, even by Columbia standards. Simply put, he's an elitist genius with a malevolent, antisocial agenda; intelligent, insightful, with a flair for in-jokes and hidden meanings. He's gotten so smart he no longer compares himself to the rest of lowly humanity.
During recitations, he scoffs at weak human emotions and senses exactly what you fear, and can exploit it. Adept at manipulating students, he can shatter anyone's psychic composure, and he can talk weak people into dropping the class entirely. He loves toying with people almost as much as he enjoys failing them. And his only challenge in this world is to understand the rare individual who arouses his curiosity, like the grad student -- you know the type -- who sits in the front row beaming her perfect teeth and cleavage at the professor. It's as if Prof. Mahida stepped off the set of a second-rate horror flick for the rare thrill of sending the unsuspecting souls who register for his class into a twice-weekly world of dizzying terror. Avoid this class at all costs.

Workload:

Incredibly tough for a grad-level course -- two 15-20 page papers and a FINAL. He expects a lot, so don't slack off.

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