January 08, 2012

Dobie, Madeleine Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

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

Professor Dobie was the first French teacher I had at Columbia and from what I have come to understand since then, she is very reflective of the entire department. She is very French and if you don’t quite know what that means, it might be later than sooner that you find out. She’s nice, but more like polite than warmhearted. She’s knowledgeable, but will not exhibit any visible passion for the subject material. She’s easy going, as in she tolerates blatantly bad accents and she’s flexible about dates and assignments. Overall, she’s blasé (...does one add an E in English?) about the class and life in general. She was often late to class yet had that easiness about her attitude and even wardrobe that is just. so. French. The class on the other hand, at least for me, was fascinating. Professor Dobie mainly lectures, so if you’re looking to brush up your speaking and grammar, go elsewhere. It’s basically a history class. Simple as that. You must be able to understand French perfectly and write fast, because she talks for 74 of the 75 minutes. She’s not particularly engaging, but the texts are still worthwhile. Another word of advice: this class deals primarily with France and political, historical and social developments therein. The follow-up course (Francophone Studies Part II) is ENTIRELY about French colonies (read: AFRICA). They do not have to be taken subsequently but it’s advisable.

Workload:

Very manageable: midterm, final, and 2 or 3 brief essays (really more like responses).