December 03, 2004

Hart, Carl
[PSYC W2460] Drugs and Behavior

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

Carl Hart is one of Columbia's hidden gems. I don't know where to begin praising him...he's an incredibly intelligent, articulate professor who peels away all the BS associated with drugs, giving you (no pun intended) the straight dope. It's science, history, and sociology in one class. You'll learn about how some drugs (and drug users) have been unfairly demonized by the government in particular. He works at the NY State Psychiatric Institute, so he knows all of this from first-hand experience. Yes, the tests can be deceptively hard, but don't worry about the pop quizzes because most of them were open-note anyway.

Furthermore, Professor Hart is just a genuinely nice person. He makes himself very available outside class, and will discuss just about anything with you. He tolerates all sorts of questions in class, and while sometimes that may be annoying if the students just want to hear themselves talk, it's great to know that he cares enough to hear students' concerns and straighten out their misconceptions. This is a great class to take to fulfill your CC science requirement. Maybe not an easy A, but you'll learn loads. Even at 9 AM, he had the ability to hold my attention. I wish I had professors like him in every class...I would learn a whole lot more than I currently am.

Workload:

Daily readings; many from a textbook that seems to be written for 15-year-olds. Other readings from experiments. Less work but more payoff than most classes. You'll get a pop quiz roughly every two weeks, but they're only two questions long and you'l get to use your notes for many of them. Three exams - two non-cumulative, one cumulative final.