January 07, 2013

Aurora, Vincent Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

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

Having recently finished undergrad, this is the second, and last review I will write about a professor at Columbia. I am thrilled to say that this will be in stark contrast to my first review, which was more of a scathing critique, really. Vincent Aurora is the single best professor I have had the fantastic fortune of encountering at this school. I was not looking forward to an accelerated french class, 4 times a week for 2 hours every day. Needless to say, I was only taking it in order to fulfill a requirement. What I discovered in that classroom was, however, what most students dream of finding at college. He was the single most enthusiastic, energetic, hilarious, witty, thought provoking and absolutely engaging professor I have ever had. There simply aren't any negative things I could say about him or the class. Be prepared to work a little more than you expect to, try to be moderately prepared for class, but other than that, you're gold. A colour I am shocked he has yet to be designated.

If you get a chance, I implore you, no, I *beseech* you, to take a class with this man. I don't believe that there is someone else out there who could teach a language with as much natural fluidity than this person. He is genuine and reasonable and his anecdotes keep you as focused as you'd be if you were having a bit of a chat with your friend. I learned more french than I ever thought was possible, because frankly speaking, I am the farthest thing from a language person. What struck me the most about him was that he seriously cared about teaching his students things. French, obviously, but all sorts of other things, general knowledge things, Europe things, pop music things, political scandal things, history things, really just everything. And I don't know what this rubbish is about his sense of humour being sharp edged. He has the exact sense of humour I look for in my friends - he is downright hilarious.

Take my word for it, his class is just something you need to try before leaving this school. Sit in on a lecture or two and you'll see what I mean.

Workload:

Standard language workbook + oral exercises every week, some mini essays that he lets you edit as much as you like, completely reasonable tests throughout the semester.