First-Year English: Women and Culture

Dec 2018

during the semester, women and culture definitely wasn't one of my favorite classes. however, looking back at the end of the semester, i'm really happy i took this class! elizabeth auran really cares about teaching her students! she was always willing to help, and i met with her several times throughout the semester (some mandatory, some optional conferences). she's also very understanding of emergencies and people's individual circumstances. professor auran is definitely passionate about what she teaches, and she created a very comfortable place for people to share. she's very open-minded and sensitive about women's issues, which allowed for engaging, organic, and honest conversations. we read a lot of different texts throughout the year (poems, short stories, essays, etc), and i enjoyed most of them! there's never any pressure to share in class, which is nice if you didn't have time to do the readings (but you should do them!). however, professor auran can be a somewhat strict grader. she has a pretty high standard for writing, and she cares a lot about grammar. essay conferences are usually somewhat helpful, but one thing my classmates and i noticed is that she really likes her own ideas. generally, she gives good feedback, and she returns assignments pretty quickly. i do wish we had more practice with writing skills though! overall, i really enjoyed this class! it's definitely helped me grow as a writer, and i've learned so much about women and culture. also, i'm definitely more of a feminist because of this class LOL

Oct 2018

Queen Vrinda!!! She doesn't have the best CULPA reviews but I really enjoyed her class. She is brilliant and helps you become a better writer. I am not a great writer so she really helped me gain structure/organization in my essays and push myself harder than ever before. However, she does like you to follow outlines so if you are already a strong writer (especially one who is more creative) I don't recommend her class. Some of my peers who had English backgrounds felt limited by her way of teaching writing. However, if you are like me and need to improve your English skills, this class is great! She was really supportive if you tried to talk to her about personal things. Office hours were good to build a relationship with her but you usually left having to change your essay drastically. Also, she emphasized looking at texts through a queer/trans/non-binary lens. Definitely a welcoming environment for queer students.

Oct 2018

Vrinda is a queen. Don't fuk w her.

Apr 2018

Taking her class is my biggest regret of my first year experience. Not only that her unrealistic expectation frustrates and stresses you out, you actually don't really learn much about developing your own writing style because she not only forces a very specific, often complicated and unclear writing style, but she also rejects most of your interpretations of the readings. Even after spending weeks on developing your paper, she often rips your ideas apart when you meet with her in person right before the deadline, saying that they do not make sense or they do not connect. This frustrated me because she doesn't even read our daily progress carefully enough to realize that they do not make sense. I wish she could have pointed out or made suggestions a few weeks earlier so that I did not have to waste my time researching and analyzing things that I'm not even gonna write on my final draft. People say she is a nice person or whatever, but I don't think she is. Her hobby is to make our lives miserable and she loves seeing us struggle. The number of time you meet with her or the hours you spent developing your paper does not matter to her; if she doesn't agree with what you say, she will give you a horrible grade. If you are kind of person who loves to be unreasonably challenged, then take this class. You would love her. But if you are kind of person who appreciates receiving grades that align with your effort, then do not take her class. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate this class. Her class is boring, you will not get an A, you will hate writing by the end of semester, and it will ruin your semester. I used to like writing, but now I hate it. Thanks to this amazing professor.

Jan 2017

I didn’t enjoy this class, but other people did. Professor Condillac really likes her own ideas and tends to push them on her students, which really annoyed me. I am going to college to learn how to express my own ideas, not regurgitate my professor’s. Expect to write essays about what she thinks your saying (after barely skimming your paper) rather than what you actually want to write about. The people who enjoyed this class seemed to have ideas that were very similar to hers and were often in awe of her ideas. Also, Professor Condillac tends to silence people by passing over what they say if she doesn’t think it matches with what she is saying. She doesn’t help people she disagrees with or doesn’t understand express their ideas, even though learning to express your ideas is the whole point of college, especially a women’s college. She also doesn’t give many comments on first drafts and takes a long time to give them back. Overall, if you don’t mind having to rewrite your essay to fit her ideas after every meeting with her, you will be fine. If you actually want to learn how to express your own ideas and be an independent thinker, maybe consider taking a different class. Either way, you will probably be fine grade wise; it’s more of a decision about how much you want to learn.

Jan 2017

I came into Columbia feeling pretty confident that I was a good writer. Catherine reminded me that I still have A LOT to work on. Even though we only wrote three essays, the class felt quite difficult. She really pushed us to improve our writing. She gave us extensive feedback on ungraded rough drafts, which was nice. On every essay I wrote, I found myself completely starting over once I had her comments on my rough draft. Overall, I think Catherine was a really great teacher. She's kind, funny, and understanding. Even though I found the texts we read quite boring, I think she gave me a lot to improve on as a writer. The class didn't make me want to go into literary criticism, but definitely gave me a lot of tools that will be useful in the rest of my academic career.

Dec 2016

Elizabeth Auran is an absolutely amazing woman with a heart of gold. I adore her more than anything in the entire world, and genuinely think that she is too good for this world. She is so engaging and amazing. Coming from an inner city public school with little to know knowledge on how to really write a good analytical paper on literature, this woman helped me learn more than I could ever imagine. The entire class was always engaged, always learning, and fell in love with Professor Auran more and more each class session. I feel so #blessed to have been able to take this class with her

Dec 2016

Elizabeth Auran is by far the best english teacher I have ever had. She is incredibly supportive and friendly, and I can honestly say that my writing improved in her class. The texts we read are extremely interesting. Auran is always saying that she "learns from us" - she encourages different perspectives, even ones that differ from her own. The class is very discussion based, so it not like she's just lecturing us. It's much more of a conversation between everyone. She is also a very intense editor - we have conferences and rough draft before turning any paper in!

Dec 2016

So this class was pretty much hell on earth, to be honest. It sucks because the material was actually pretty interesting but the professor was just not the best. I know this has been said before on other reviews for Fleischer but I got As on most of my essays in high school and my first two essays (out of three) I got Cs. I'm fighting for a B in the class which is just not where I want to be my first semester of college. The prof gives weird feedback and hates passive verbs (seriously they are her enemy) but when I go to her office hours she just asks me a bunch of questions about my work and doesn't answer my questions. She's actually pretty nice during class time but then I keep getting these horrible grades and not improving. It's very frustrating. I just feel like she hasn't taught me how to write better, which defeats the purpose of first year writing.

Aug 2016

There are already a ton of comments talking about how difficult this class is, so i'm not going to waste your time repeating that. Instead, if you are reading this, you probably were assigned to a class you cannot change. But there is hope! I got an A in this class and so can you. Here's how: 1. REREAD THE TEXT. You will hear this phrase repeated ad nauseam in her classroom, but it really is one of the best ways to succeed. If you are reading a book that you aren't going to write a paper on (majority of the books), then skimming the text is fine. You can probably even get away with skipping a reading or two, although I wouldn't recommend it. Reading every text allows you to contribute to her in-class writing activities, which are sort of like ungraded pop quizzes (will elaborate below). However, if you are writing a paper on a book, you need to read it at least twice; once with the class, and once independently when you are writing the paper. You need to know this text EXTREMELY well to succeed- any slight mischaracterization or misinterpretation will cost you greatly in the paper. 2. Do EVERY extra credit opportunity: As mentioned above, Fleischer without warning asks students to complete in-class writing activities, for which you will receive a grade of a check minus, check, or check plus. Every check plus equals extra credit. She will read out loud the best one or two responses in these activities, and if that happens to you a couple of times, you WILL see an increase in your grade at the end of the semester. In order to be successful at these, DO ALL READINGS. In addition, complete peer review throughly and as often as possible. 3. Class participation is about depth not breath: Yes, it is important to contribute to discussion regularly in her class, but she will appreciate 1-2 thoughtful and unique comments much more than you giving 10 comments that consist of your opinion or are just extending another classmate's comments (unfortunately, I saw many people try the second strategy). Also, as the year goes on, whenever you can make a connection to a previous text or supplement essay, DO SO. 4. GO TO OFFICE HOURS: Her first draft comments consist largely of pointing out grammar errors and expressing general dissatisfaction with your writing. Office hours will give you an opportunity to actually hear what she has to say about your writing. Whatever suggestions she makes, DO THEM, even if you don't agree. 5. GO TO THE WRITING CENTER: As many times as humanly possible! Not only will this improve the quality of your writing (seriously, it will), it also will impress Fleischer- when you turn in your drafts, she asks you to include drafts you gave to a writing fellow. This shows her that you are making an extra effort to improve your writing and she will reward you for that. 6. Do not give up!: I received a b- on one of the 3 papers and still finished with an A due to her generous grade adjustment from extra credit and class participation. Many students do very poorly on the first test and then resign themselves to a low grade, and don't put in much effort. This is very obvious to Fleischer and it will make her dislike you. Instead, if you get a bad grade on your first paper (most people do), go to office hours as soon as possible to discuss with her your grade. Do NOT attempt to argue for a better score or express disagreement with the text; only ask for ways in which you can improve. GOOD LUCK!!!

Apr 2016

Literally the most AMAZING professor ever. She made me fall in love with essay writing, and english as a whole. She was sarcastic, and very straight to the point, but SUCH a sweetheart. She explained exactly what I did wrong, and how I could correct it, and gave me something to go off of, instead of giving the stereotypical answer of "analyze the text, and really try to see what it means". I never missed a class, because I enjoyed going to every single one. It was an amazing class, where we would talk about anything and everything for a few moments before getting into the readings. She never, ever mocked any interpretation of the reading, and did not make you feel inadequate at all. She admits to the fact that she may not know everything, and instead wants us to analyze the text together. The workload was definitely manageable, and while I read most of the assigned readings, you could get by in class by just skimming through them and getting the main idea because you always had a chance to analyze them in class.

Apr 2016

My comments hardly differ from what has already been said about Professor Fleischer, but I will state them nonetheless. Let me start off by saying that in the classroom, Georgette is fine. She is certainly passionate about the texts she teaches and is willing to engage with students. With only a few weeks left in her classroom, I will say that she is willing to entertain most notions about the text, even if they do differ from her own. Now on to the bad…Georgette often goes off on tangents that hardly relate to the class discussion only so she can show off her knowledge of an irrelevant detail of the text. This is fine, but boring and a bit egotistic. My biggest point of distress in this class is her grading. The woman is so out of her mind, clearly she does not understand that she is teaching FIRST YEARS. Georgette acts as if we're grad students writing incredibly important pieces, when in actuality her class is required and while I'm sure some people are enthusiastic about the course, almost all of us are also in at least three other classes. First-Year English simply is not at the top of our lists! Her grading is harsh, to say the least. I don't mean the actual grade, as I find she often gives better grades than her comments imply, but the comments themselves border on hurtful. She is the first to mark everything wrong with your essay, down to simple grammar mistakes, and hardly ever has anything positive to say about it. Once again, she is teaching first years, and this technique is simply not effective with those who are already self-conscious about their writing. First-Year English is meant to help Barnard students, and while I know that a certain amount of critical reading is important, there at least needs to be a positive side. I have never received a nice comment on my work from Professor Fleischer, and I am a fairly competent writer. I am a prospective English major, and I must say, Georgette has taken all of the fun out of this class for me. Now with that being said, it is possible to survive this class. The texts are enjoyable (at least I found them so) and the class discussions are usually helpful. There are only a total of three papers due, so if you put aside your feelings and possibly your hope for an A, you will be fine. I will say, I find it deplorable that Barnard chooses to stick Georgette with first years. I understand that a First-Year English teacher is basically as low as you can get, but it's unfair.

Dec 2014

Before taking this class I read all of the reviews on Professor Fleischer, and a lot of it is true. However, a lot of people are overly harsh due to the fact that Fleischer is a tough grader. Yes, a lot of people get a B or lower on their first essay, but it is very easy to do better. Like a lot of english teachers, she has her own opinions and grades accordingly. I am not condoning this but, since it is apparent in her class, there is no reason to try and go against her comments on your paper. Also, one of the most helpful thing is GO TO HER OFFICE HOURS. Many people do not take advantage of this and, as a result, don't do as well as they might hope. If you're not willing to put in the time, then of course you won't see it in the results. Also, especially for her class, go to the writing center!! They can help with grammatical errors that Fleischer might not comment on in the first draft, as well as they can help redirect your essay if Fleischer basically tells you to rewrite it (Which will happen at least once). She also gives extra credit points for participation. As long as you read the given readings it is really not hard to talk once or twice during a class period and get points- considering each is lead by a student and questions are given to start conversation. I also believe her essay system is great. You hand in your first draft to her and she hands it back with her thoughts on it. Then you rewrite it with an outline and have a peer review. *****If you do the peer review well she also gives you extra credit***** ( so do them well because they actually do boost your grade). She reads the outline AND AGAIN gives comments, which is very generous. Then you write it a third time and that is the one you hand in. She gives you a week between each draft- giving you many changes to go to her office hours, writing center, etc. Again, very generous. Honestly, if you're willing to listen to her criticism and ideas on your essay, then you will do fine. I enjoyed her class because I thought that she had some great ideas, and if you're willing to overlook the fact that she may give you a bad grade, she may not be that terrible of an academic teacher. We go to an academically challenging school and she is an academically challenging teacher.

Nov 2014

This class is very neutral. Professor Hamilton isn't a bad professor, I just wouldnt say there is anything too special about her. The class is about an hour and half and is primarily discussion based. That being said, your discussions revolve around one person: Professor Hamilton. While in discussion, you will not discuss amongst other students rather be completely led by Prof. Hamilton which makes for a very slow and dry class. This is not a class in which you will do an excessive amount of reading, most nights would take me only a half hour to read the assigned pages. Grade Breakdown: -Papers are averaged, meaning your draft, yes DRAFT, is averaged with your final paper -Research paper component that does not receive a true draft grade, however, you cannot get a score higher than one letter grade above your draft. -Small participation grade My biggest problem with this class is the grading. If you are a type of person who procrastinates, this class wouldn't be for you. Because your drafts are averaged with your final paper score, you will end up with a mediocre grade even if you do a stellar job on your final paper. She loves papers that cater to HER writing style and believes that the best papers are ones that are structured in a very high-school level way. Overall: You will survive if you have this class. If you want her to like you, make sure you speak up in class and show that you actually read the material.

Sep 2014

After reading some of these reviews, I walked into my FYE on the first day feeling pretty bummed out about Prof. Springs. Although I've only been in her class for about a month, I think she's great. I don't know what changed this year, but I found her to be so approachable, witty, and intellectual. She gives us extensive background information on the texts we're reading. She really helped me develop the direction of a paper I was writing for a close-reading assignment, and overall, I really believe that she genuinely cares about her students. I had such bad expectations going into the class, but honestly, she's amazing. I really enjoy her class, her teaching style, and the fact that she is so incredibly knowledgeable about everything. I never once had a question she did not know that answer to. Thumbs up from me.

Aug 2014

Professor Auran is an incredibly dedicated and challenging professor. She tries her best to focus most of the class time on open discussion between the students in regards to the readings while offering guidance when needed. This was greatly appreciated and helped make the small class an easy and safe space to discuss complicated subjects. In terms of work load, there is a decent amount of reading to be done for each class, but nothing overwhelming. Most of the texts are easy to get in to and will end up being more enjoyable than a burden. There were several papers over the course of the semester, including a final research paper. Auran conferences with students for each paper and offers an abundance valuable critiques in her notes and conferences (she isn't light on the pen when marking up papers.) As a person, Auran is a fabulous lady boss. She will love you back if you participate in class, actually take her corrections seriously, and eat all of her candy. FYE was one of the best Barnard courses in terms of being able to openly discuss subjects that tend to be glossed over in traditional English courses; take full advantage of the liberty Auran will give the class in discussions.

Jul 2014

This is the first CULPA review I've actually taken the time to write. Why? Because I'm THAT frustrated with the experience I had under the wings of Professor Amanda Springs. I am not at all denying that she's a very accomplished, intelligent researcher/literature enthusiast. She's mentioned that she does a lot of research/work outside of the classroom on a national level (completely unrelated to Barnard). And so begins my "but," She never helped direct the class discussions and seemed, overall, unprepared as a lecturer. Worst of all, she would shut down any opinion that didn't align with her own. Isn't that the opposite of what you're supposed to do in a discussion-based seminar? I enjoy literature. I enjoy writing. I do not, however, enjoy writing, editing, and rewriting papers for professors who have no interest in fostering the academic growth of their students. Which reminds me! We were required to turn in rough drafts of each of our essays and her feedback would be very similar to this each time: Dear [student name], I like where you're going with [subject]. Expand on [subject]. -A[middle initial]S It's a shame that she's teaching any FYE/FYS classes because this was an awful experience to have as a first year and really does no good representing academics at Barnard.

Jan 2014

Yevgeniya seems nice and relatable at first, but she slowly gets very distant and frankly, annoying, as the semester goes on. She goes by her first name, and that's okay, but she also teaches at NYU Gallatin, and you can really tell that she cares a lot more about her class over there. She is okay, but you really can't hear a single thing that she says throughout the entire semester. She's not the absolute worst, but she definitely ruined my first semester at Barnard.

May 2013

As other reviewers have said, if you have Professor Fleischer, you probably have her for FYE/FYS and can't do anything about it. Still, she's really not as bad as a lot of people make her out to be. She can be quite boring, but she's generally a very nice and knowledgable professor. Now, before I mislead you into thinking she's just another mediocre professor, I should note that there's a big reason why people hate her with such vehemence - she is NOT an easy grader. Her comments can be downright brutal and solid As on essays are exceptionally rare. However, contrary to what other reviewers have said, I don't think her grading standards are unfair. Yes, she's honest, she's a stickler about grammar, and she doesn't put up with BS, but she gives first-years a much-needed dose of reality (no, you're not a good writer just because you got an A+ in AP English) and definitely helps improve her students' writing. Even though it can be tough to get good essay grades, it's pretty easy to get a good grade in the course as a whole. She's definitely not like some of the newer FYS/FYE professors who missed the whole "A-pluses don't exist in college" memo and give good grades to anyone with a pulse, but as long as you're a fairly good writer and at least try to contribute to class discussions, you'll most likely do well. Bonus points if you manage to get on Professor Fleischer's good side.

Apr 2013

If you are a first year student who just found out they have Professor Levin for Women and Culture, you should be ecstatic. I chose to take women and culture because I thought I would get a good professor--and it worked. Professor Levin is absolutely fantastic. I loved her english class so much that I took her seminar the following semester, and it was just as great. I came to college not realizing that I didn't know how to write a paper, and when I figured that out, I was scared. Professor Levin helped me through the process and by the end of the course I really felt like I could write at a college level. She gave extensions, came in to meet with me during her own free time, and allowed me to submit about 5 different thesis paragraphs till it worked. Her goal is really to help you write well. She will make you work: there is plenty of reading to do and probably more writing than other classes, but it is nowhere near excessive and very manageable as a first year student. I found class discussions to be excellent in large part because of Professor Levin. You also don't need to be into English to enjoy this class--I'm a math major and I loved it. The bottom line with this class is that you will get enormous amount out of it as long as you put in the effort, and Professor Levin will really help you out along the way.

Apr 2013

If you are in her class now, don't read these reviews. There is nothing you can do, and reading them will only make you dislike her more. Since you don't have control over your First Year English prof, just accept your fate. Learn to take her criticism in papers. Do everything she says. Keep an open mind. Participate in discussion. If she likes you, you'll have an easier time. Just roll with it. I think everything else has already been said.

Nov 2012

This class is one of the worst I have ever had the misfortune to take throughout my entire schooling career. As I understand it, this course is meant to boost critical thinking skills and improve writing quality for first year students, but in Professor Springs class, this is not the case. Springs is unbearably vague in her critique of students' work, and offers no help or direction in writing. Furthermore, she is almost impossible to reach outside of class, and gives no specific office hours, only asking that students "email for a conference time." A warning? Don't expect a timely reply.

Sep 2012

Kathleen Smith is a wonderful, wonderful professor. That is, once you accept the fact that she is extremely intimidating and learn to speak up even if you're absolutely terrified. Being a first-year at Barnard you receive an abundance of warmth and support from your deans and faculty member. Kathleen will not be in that category of faculty members. That being said, she is an amazing, AMAZING teacher. As I said, speak up in class, even if you think you have nothing good to say. Participate, get involved in discussion, and do it voluntarily so she doesn't have to call on you for the difficult questions. If possible, sit right near her so she'll know you well. She's a harsh grader, but if you're writing improves through the semester, which it will, your grades will reflect that. Also, you can meet with her after your first draft of your essays and she will have a lot of tips of how to improve. Follow those tips! She knows best. Kathleen is extremely enthusiastic about the books she teaches and has a lot of great insight. You'll realize how brilliant she is through the semester. Trust me.Take notes on what she says in class- it can help you for your essays. Last of all, I am so super jealous of anyone who gets to take this class. I'd love to go back and take it again.

Apr 2012

I'm posting this review two and a half years after taking Women and Culture with Prof. Richard. I honestly didn't like this class at the time. I didn't like her, I felt like she didn't like me, I disliked all the pretentious comments getting thrown around all the time, and I walked out of the class with an A- and felt like my writing didn't improve at all. I'm just now realizing as a junior that this is one of the few classes I've taken at Barnard or Columbia that truly made me feel engaged in the class, made me care about what we were discussing, and made me debate and question people because I wanted to, not because I was being forced to in order to meet some minimum participation requirement. That's all I wanted to say. I'm still not sure I like her, and I still dislike pretentious comments, but I think this class was valuable to me and if you're taking it, I think it will be valuable to you too. Good luck!

Feb 2012

I had a very difficult time with Professor Smith. Yes, this woman is a genius, but she is also very intimidating and overbearing. I felt she was overly critical, and not necessarily in a constructive way. She would say things like, "Most of your Courseworks postings this week were really bad. A couple of you had meaningful things to say, but most of them were just really, really bad." Another time she said to us, "Sometimes people get very upset when I give them a bad grade on a paper. They think it means they're a bad writer. But I always tell them, it's okay, this doesn't mean you're a bad writer. You just wrote one paper that was really, really bad." There may occasional postings or paper that are just "bad," but I feel she could have been kinder and more supportive of us and our writing. She didn't really seem to want to see me succeed. I felt like I would work and work on papers and talk to Professor Smith multiple times but could never make them good enough for her. I found conferences with her more confusing than helpful. She would try to get us thinking about our topics in new and original ways, which was a really good sentiment, but I often walked out of her often feeling like I had just become more hopelessly confused. Also, I found her extremely indimidating in class discussions. She constantly challenged our ideas and terrified me into staying silent much of the time. I think someone who is very confident about speaking in class and who is already a very strong writer would benefit a lot from taking a class with Professor Smith. However, when it comes to encouraging people to have confidence in their ideas and develop writing skills, which are basically what First-Year English is supposed to be about, I found Professor Smith to be quite lacking.

Dec 2011

Because you don't have any control over First-Year English professors, there is no need for me to tell you why you shouldn't take this course (if you contemplating taking Professor Fleischer's Women and Culture FYS, CHOOSE A DIFFERENT TEACHER). Profesor Fleischer is, put plainly, a bad professor. She likes to listen to herself talk, and she fails to ask any provocative questions, leading to VERY boring discussions. The best way to succeed in this course is to attend her office hours as often as you possibly can! She will claim to read and edit your first drafts of each essay, but her comments are illegible, and the ones that are legible are usually about grammar mistakes. She will not read for content when looking over your first draft, so it is up to you to go and speak with her during office hours to go over what she really thinks about the content of your essay. Make sure to ask her the right questions during office hours, otherwise she will advise you to "go back and work more with the text." TAKE ALL OF HER ADVICE, even if you fundamentally disagree with it. She does not give grades based on your own creativity, but rather on how closely you stick to her interpretation of the text. Once you talk with Professor Fleischer one-on-one, it is evident that she is a really nice, caring person, who is invested in her students. It's unfortunate that this doesn't translate into better teaching abilities.

Nov 2011

Take this class! Professor Kate Levin is extremely approachable and caring. Because she is a mother herself, she understands how students feel and is lenient if you are sick, will be late to class, or need an extension. You don't necessarily have to read all the books but if you want to participate in class discussions you should read them. She spaces them out over a course of about 2 class periods so it's not that hard to finish a book. We read: Hymn to Demeter, Antigone, Metamorphoses, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Kebra Nagast, Marie de France: Lais, The Canterbury Tales (General Prologue & Wife of Bath's Tale), Shakespeare's As You Like It, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Chinese poets, Aphra Behn's The Rover. If you are bombarded with midterms, she will let you have an extension! You also get 3 extra credit opportunities to improve your grade. You should get a binder for this class because she gives out a lot of handouts. Before you write your papers, she holds conferences that can really help you organize your ideas and formulate a thesis. In total you write 2 essays (4-6 pgs) and 1 research paper (8-10 pgs). You write a draft for each before the final is graded. Not hard at all! Grades: 85% papers (paper 1. 25%, paper 2. 25%, research prospectus/bibliography 5%, research paper 30%), 15% attendance & class participation + considerable weight toward improvement during semester

Oct 2011

Professor Fleischer's class is honestly the worst class that I have ever taken. Ignoring the pretentious comments that come out of your fellow freshmen's mouth who are trying far to hard, the class time itself is not the worst. However, the papers are simply a joke. The prompts are often poorly thought out and impossible to answer, at least in a way that she would choose to do so. She is horribly self-absorbed and will not accept any opinion other than her own. Also, she is horribly pretentious (a theme in Women and Culture) and refuses to use the word "you." This applies not only to writing, but also to class discussions and in response to questions that are clearly looking for a "you" in response to a "should I." Please give up hope for a decent grade or a hope to learn something upon entering the classroom. Her grades are unrealistic and her comments are unhelpful. You are likely to find feedback that has nothing to do with the topic you wrote about, but that everyone else got the same comment. Take care in the fact that you're all in it together. Avoid her at all costs. I have not left this class having learned anything, my grammar is no better than it was and I certainly have not learned anything about crafting an original argument and support my own opinion. Sorry if she's your problem next!

May 2011

Avoid taking a course with her for reasons mentioned in other reviews. HOWEVER you don't get much say in First-Year English professors, so here's a brief survival guide. How to come out with an A: Write ONLY opinions she would agree with. With many professors, you need to generally slant your essay toward their opinions, but with Fleischer you must write such that she agrees 100% with all of your points. Follow ALL her suggestions from the first draft. Write about things that seem to interest her. If she doesn't like your ideas for a research prospectus, DO NOT attempt to salvage it. Talk to her about what might be a better idea and do whatever she says. Put a lot of effort into the peer reviews. You get extra credit. Participate in class discussion. Quality over quantity: the goal is to get her to like you. How to learn some things despite having a terrible professor: Think of the course partly as an English Grammar intensive. More than anything else, Fleischer can help improve the structure of your writing. Do the readings! Most of the reading list is fantastic. So many feminist mind-blown moments. It's not necessary to get an A, but if you read some things besides your essay subjects, you'll learn. Pay attention if she goes on a tangent about literary theory. She knows her shit there. How to maintain sanity: Have a good attitude. Seriously. Learn to zone out inane comments from your peers, which Fleischer humors. (But look like you're paying attention!)

May 2011

So obviously there is very little you can do about the professor to which you have been assigned. You got lucky. Having her impart wisdom upon you will be the greatest experience of your young college career. Since you can't exactly change professors (and really, you would be stupid to do so) here is some advice for her class: 1. Embrace it. Buy into it. Participate. All of the above. She may ask you to expand on a topic, or make you define exactly what you mean by a particular word, or even call you out for textual support- which, I understand, can be a little intimidating. Don't let this stop you. Speaking in class, and participating in the intellectual roller coaster ride on which you are about to embark will lead to some of the most enlightening experiences of your life. READ THE MATERIAL. Pick out key passages to highlight in class. She loves this. 2. Go to her office hours. Use her. Really. Many of the girls in my class were afraid to go speak with her because they didn't have a firm grasp on their ideas...this is the best time!! I would go into her office not having any notion of what idea I wanted to pursue, but, through bouncing ideas off her I gained a better sense of my thoughts and completely grew as both a writer and a reader. Sidenote: she's great in email as well. I would send her complete paragraphs and she would send them back with amazing suggestions. Honestly, consider yourself the luckiest girl at Barnard. She's awesome. Get ready.

Jan 2011

Honestly, my entire class became OBSESSED with Professor Auran! As a first year, Barnard could seem like an intimidating place especially because it's a school known for producing strong writers. Professor Auran is a brilliant teacher with the ability to make Barnard feel like a welcoming and comforting place. She is passionate about the subject matter and can get anyone interested into the literature. You don't have to be a radical feminist to appreciate the course because of the incredible way she teaches the class. She explains everything very thoroughly while allowing students to explore and think about the works on their own. She encourages deep discussions, but does not put negative pressure on students. In terms of workload, it is really fair and she lets you turn in rough drafts which she doesn't grade. She edits them like crazy and also holds conferences with each and every ones of her students to prepare for the second/final draft. She could not have been a more supportive teacher and I feel so lucky to have had her.

Oct 2010

Georgette Fleischer has some strong reviews written about her. She's definitely one of those professors at Barnard. I got into her class and talked to a friend I knew who was a senior at the time but had Professor Fleischer for FYE her first year, and told me how sorry she was that I would have to go through that. Needless to say, I went into the class with the notion that I would be suffering twice a week for an hour and fifteen minutes. Let me just say that if you go into this class with that idea, it will probably be terrible for you. But if you try to be optimistic, you'll see that Professor Fleischer does care about her students and does want them to learn how to really "engage with the text" (her key phrase) and write a strong, well-organized essay. She teaches you how to critically read text in a way you never thought possible, and she helps you to reach simplicity and strength in your argument for your paper. Now, I'm not going to be too negative here, but Professor Fleischer is intimidating. For your first essay, she will likely try to tell you that your essay is terrible (she told me I needed to buy a dictionary) and you need to re-write it. She wants you to know that this is college and there is no more joking around. Go to her office hours, get an idea of what she wants you to say in your paper, and just do that. There is not a lot of room for independent thought, but she teaches you valuable lessons nonetheless. I was one of those girls that never got a B in high school, and I got a B+ in her class... I will say that I was really pleased with that grade after all my hard work. She's a tough grader.

Aug 2010

I was thrilled to begin the first class with one of my favorite scenes from the bible, Genesis. It became clear after my first comment that my opinion and independent thought was not what was going to get me a good grade in this class. Fleischer does not have the ability to think from another's perspective or examine a statement that does not agree with her own theories. If you want a good grade in this class, regurgitate her thoughts. If you are an independent thinker, switch out. Besides being controlling and limiting in the classroom, Fleischer is also a grammar nazi and extremely strict about "substantiating any statements made in an essay to prove a point" even if the statement is "the sky is blue." Be prepared to feel and act like a sheep. Meet with her often to understand what she's thinking, so you can write the essay she wants to read.

May 2010

Professor Aanderson is a really sweet person. The course however was interesting but not too inspiring. Aanderson doesn't add her own ideas into analysis, but seems to regurgitate sparknotes analyses. To be fair, I barely did any of the reading and participated minimally in class. She makes an effort to keep everyone engaged, but never singles people out to participate, which avoided any awkward moments of "I didn't do the reading." She changes the syllabus a lot and cancelled one or two of our classes. She's super accessible via email and is always willing to help develop your paper. I was unable to meet with her after class once for our final research paper so she even offered to meet me downtown once. We ended up doing a phone conference, which really helped. She's not offended if you don't consider all of her suggestions, though they're usually just a lot of questions that might help expand your argument.

Dec 2009

For much of the semester, she seemed like an intelligent enough woman to hold a decent discussion. This changed, however, when it became increasingly apparent that all Fleischer was concerned about was meticulous grammatical structures and her own opinions. While she seemed open during discussion, when it came time for the essay assignments, she only wanted to have her opinions regurgitated in the essays. It's really disappointing as a student to have that. Oh well, it's not the end of the world, but it was pretty much a let down at the end of the semester to get the "thoughtless A minus" the previous review talks about. Oh, and you may not even get that much - for some reason she likes to give people lower grades than they really deserve. I lucked out, but some of my friends didn't.

Aug 2009

Prof Richard is fantastic!!! If she taught more courses I would legitimately become an English major just to take all of them. I really wasn't looking forward to taking first-year English, and I didn't get my top choice of section, but this class turned out to be excellent. Even when we were discussing touchy material (which was surprisingly often) she managed to keep the discussion enjoyable and thought provoking, as opposed to frustrating. She is also completely brilliant, as demonstrated through her thought provoking questions during discussion and her intense review of all drafts/papers that you turn in. If you take a class with her, be sure to go to office hours to discuss writing ideas. It will help you IMMENSELY, even if you really have no idea what you want to write about. I came into college with a pretty good foundation of writing experience, but this class truly taught me how to develop and support my theses. Do note that this is not a class that is good to come to unprepared. Although you may be able to get by, you'll feel dissapointingly left out of the discussion.

Apr 2009

The most brilliant person I've ever had the pleasure to meet and from whom to learn. She truly has the gift of understanding how to drastically improve your writing and expression, based on how your mind works. She is incredibly inspirational, and the reason why I am taking on an English minor, when I had no plans to do so before taking her course. I would recommend her class to anyone that genuinely wants to learn and improve their writing, analyzation, and thinking all together. She is a difficult grader, but her feedback is incredibly specific and helpful if you take the time and effort to improve. In short, Professor Richard is the most gifted professor I have ever had, and I have a feeling that every professor I have in the future will pale in comparison.

Feb 2009

Hands down, Fleishcher is the worst professor I've ever had. When you write a paper, you're going to essentially be writing her paper, not your own, because she wants you to write her opinions, not yours. So closed-minded and rude; she can make you feel badly about your work. Try to avoid this woman at all costs.

Dec 2008

Professor Levin is a great Professor. At first I did not like her teaching style. I though she was not "brilliant" enough to be an English professor at such a well regarded institution, but my opinion quickly changed. Though she may come off as somewhat of a unsure, non-helpful person, she is quite the opposite. Professor Levin is ALWAYS there when you need her. She is helpful, and always willing to come in and work with you on your papers. If you have a question she can't answer off the top of her head she will find the answer and email it to you within hours. Even things that are somewhat trivial! She is willing to grant extensions on short notice (provided you have a really good reason), and wants to make sure that you are doing okay both academically and otherwise while at college. From what I have gathered from reading other students' papers, she is a tougher grader than a lot of the other First Year English professors. While she doesn't inflate grades, she does tell it like it is - meaning she gives you the grade you deserve. If you put the effort in you will do well.

Dec 2008

Most inspiring professor I have ever had. Her class is truly a pleasure. Everything she says is genius, she really helped my writing style and changed me as a writer. She's a tough grader, but if you show an honest effort she will try to help you out. I LOVE her. Take this class!!!!!!!!

Dec 2008

This course really improved my writing. Professor Levin was clear about what she expected and was always available to make time outside of class to help out her students. She is a good Prof and knows when to let students run with the discussion and when to take the discussion back to its focus. She is accomodating and I know will give you an extension if you need it. She is clear about what she expects from papers. The reading for class varied, some was great, some was ok. Either way the discussions tended to be interesting and inclusive. There wasn't a competitive atmosphere in the class. Recommended!

Sep 2008

Take classes from her. She's glamorous (think Marilyn Monroe hair with heels and a fur coat) and unbelievably brilliant. She conveys her passion to her students. Her intelligence can come off as a bit intimidating at times, but if you talk and show interest you'll get so much out of her classes. She's fairly flexible with the syllabus and really wants you to do well. For someone who seems to do a thousand things at once she makes herself unbelievably accessible (I missed class because I was sick and she called me on my cell phone to talk about a paper I was worried about). Concerning papers, she's not just concerned with structure, she is more concerned about content and really challenging your thinking. Take her classes, you will NOT regret it. Let's put it this way - I decided to take her classes for a full year.

Jan 2008

Professor Auran was one of the best English teachers I have ever had. She is extremely passionate about the topics she teaches and extremely devoted to her students and to their growth. She will sit down with you as many times as you like before any paper is due and help you understand how you can make it better. She will raise the level of your writing. Professor Auran made texts that I never would have touched on my own seem modern, universal relevant, exciting and interesting. Even if you are not particularly interested in Woman's Studies, you can learn a tremendous amount from this class. Also, she never comes even close to bashing women - she is a feminist in the best way possible.

Dec 2007

Prof Fleischer is unbearable. She is rude and unhelpful. The assignments are pretty standard for firt year english, but her grading is absurd. (And I'm not saying this because I got a bad grade. I got a pretty good grade. But I deserved a better one.) She honestly made me never want to take another English class ever again. She is the absolute WORST teacher I've ever had.

May 2007

As a disclaimer, I have never liked those warm, fuzzy English teachers who ask you about your day. If that's what you're looking for, Professor Richard will not be your cup of tea. If, however, you can deal with a somewhat cold, slightly detached woman who is completely brilliant and can edit papers like none other, absolutely take a class with her. Professor Richard successfully smacks down all those obnoxious vague comments that are so common at Barnard and Columbia: "Well, I just really think it shows the injustice of patriarchy." What is it? What is injustice? What is patriarchy? This is the level at which she expects her students to think. In short, her insights into the literature and life in general are inspiring and enlightening. What's more, she is one of the best editors I know. Take a class with her and you WILL be a better person for it.

Jan 2007

Though Professor Sastry is not the best conversation facilitator, I ended up really enjoying her class. The workload is not bad at all and I found her comments on papers to be extremely helpful. Professor Sastry appreciates when students participate in class discussion so this will definately help to boost your grade.

Jan 2007

She lectured alot and has a very distinct way of talking. Her lectures were usually interesting, and the class is much better if everyone participates. If you listen to what she says during class and take notes and formulate essays from there, you're set. Also if you need extensions on papers she is extremely flexible. Not a bad first year English class.

Jan 2007

Prof. Steinkoler is a brilliant woman. She made herself available for students during her office hours and genuinely wanted to help them improve their writing styles and the way they thought about literature. SHe spent time giving us tips on how to write a good essay, and always made extensive comments on our papers to guide us. She really cared about her students and knew when we just had too much on our plates and was flexible in assigning work. I really enjoyed going to her office hours and talking with her. She really gave me alot of direction in my writing and opened my mind as well. Prof. Steinkoler is wonderful! Take her class and take advantage of her office hours and immense knowledge!

Jan 2007

Great class, great professor. She is quirky, and very willing to help. Go to her for help on your papers. The discussions were fun (i remember many laughs, then again, it may have been that particular group of girls) and the readings were very interesting (though I skipped 'The Rover' because of all the attempted rapes). If you have an interest in Greek mythology, you'll love the first half of the semester. Speak up in class, she is not out to make you look stupid. She may ask for clarification, but as long as you have evidence, you'll be fine. Once again, great class. It was tied as one of my favorite classes for that semester.

May 2006

Professor Fleischer was not nearly as bad as some of the reviews make her out to be. I have to admit, she was not one of my favorite professors, but once you get used to her obsession with grammar she is definitely bearable. For the first two essays, she gave us very specific questions to answer, rather than allowing us to organically come up with our own theories. We were forced to come up with our theses within her very limited framework, which I have never been asked to do before in an English class. Luckily, the rough drafts were ungraded, which definitely saved my grade. She expected us to write three drafts of the essays, which was pretty ridiculous. We also had to meet with her between drafts for all three essays, and she was not running on time for any of those meetings. Despite all this, she was a fair grader and gave us many opportunities to work out the kinks in our drafts.

May 2006

Although discussions with Doug were dry and, a lot of the time, unbearable, he is a very friendly teacher who really cares about his students. He definitely tries to understand everyone and is very considerate with due dates and extensions. He really improved my writing because he wasn't afraid to really tear apart my papers; I felt like he was actively reading them and giving me very constructive criticism. Meetings with him about papers always left me feeling enlightened by everything I could still talk about, and, in response to one of the review below mine, I was never asked to change my topic. Doug is very intelligent and is always willing to meet with you to discuss any questions you may have (even if you don't have anything written down yet). Class discussions were very dry, but I feel like this was not completely his fault.

Apr 2006

i actually enjoyed this woman's class. she's nice, approachable, and seems really dedicated to her students. she offered many conferences for essay revisions, opportunities for extra credit (through peer reviews of each other's essay drafts), and was very helpful during individual facilitations. honestly, i think she's one of the nicest english professors here. unlike other professors, she shortened the number of pages required for our research paper to 6-8. i didn't get the vibe that she was close-minded. she never shot down anyone's opinions in class. i mean, if she did say something contrary to your opinion, she might've been trying to play devil's advocate in order to incite more discussion. i thought the class was pretty good.

Apr 2006

Professor Auran seems nice and helpful at first, but she's a harsh grader and doesn't seem to give enough feedback so that you can successfully improve your papers to her liking. She's relatively enthusiastic, but also a little condescending when the class gets slow (it was at 9:10- come on!). The readings weren't great, and I didn't think the discussion was very stimulating. I'd avoid her if you can; she wasn't horrible, but not a great first-year experience.

Apr 2006

She is amazing! A tough grader but completely awesome! Knows her stuff and you really improve your writing ---conferences with her are so helpful--always take advantge of them! She's awesome!!!!

Apr 2006

Class with Doug can't be summarized in one word. He's a nice guy and he's very knowledgeable but he's a bit...interesting. I feel like he has brought up uncomfortable sexual references in every single discussion without fail - and it's not that he's just doing it to make us uncomfortable. Sometimes there are valid references but most of the time it's just way out there. It's really amusing but also very strange on the other hand. I've never been able to see any of his references (nor have my classmates) but apparently he is able to see them. I feel like he doesn't really listen to you either. If you go to talk to him, he monopolizes the discussion. He doesn't seem to care about what you are saying and he'll go off on a tangent. Even during class he'll just stare off into space for a while (while he's thinking) but that's really bad for discussion since everyone else starts thinking about other stuff too (usually not English related)...Essay revisions with him are really irritating because he doesn't really offer any suggestions (other than to change your topic completely) but nothing useful. This class is, in my opinion, less painful when you just look at your notebook for the whole time which is a sad thing because I really did want to take this class.

Mar 2006

absolutely intelligent professor. Sometimes very cold and very anal about certain things. She leads very interesting conversations and there is never an awkward moment in class. We always end class right with the discussions and sometimes we go over the time. She is always interested in what you have to say. She has alot of conferences appointments and is willing to help you with your writing. I find her a very hard grader and she tells us this and also said it gets easier as the papers come. If you are looking to discuss and learn alot, this is the class for you.

Feb 2006

I am normally not a fan of Literature courses; however, Timea made English interesting and not difficult to approach. She welcomes every idea you have about what you're discussing, even if it does not sound like it's coming from an English major. She is insightful, caring (she never wants to overwhelm you with too much work), and HILARIOUS. Her anecdotes and wonderful character will keep you coming to class, and if that doesn't do it, her magenta hair will. She was an amazing professor!

Jan 2006

I love Timea Szell! She is one of the most compassionate, witty, laid-back professors I have ever had! She really made me want to come to class (I didn't miss once!); even the boring stuff was interesting to discuss. Her anecdotes are hilarious. She is a tough but fair grader. If you're not spectacular in writing English essays, you won't get an A from her. She helped with my writing and never overwhelmed us with too many assignments-she gave us just enough to read/write and learn and NOT freak out with TOO MUCH WORK. Thus, if you get her for first year English, you will be thankful later. Especially after you realize that not all English professors here are as funny and charismatic as Timea.

Jan 2006

This woman is absolutely amazing. She is the most insightful, articulate, and intelligent teacher I've had in my life. At times I didn't look forward (at all) to her class (mostly because of other students whose excessive contributions I found to be boring and useless), but I realize now it wasn't because of Frances. Now that I look back on it, it was really an amazing class. Barnard is losing out if they don't tenure this brilliant professor!!!

Dec 2005

after reading the negative reviews about fleischer, i was scared shitless going into this class. honestly though, she's not bad at all. i looked forward to her class. the workload is pretty light too. she gives you the option to do drafts of your essays and peer reviews. i recommend you do them. they were quite helpful. also, the peer reviews you do for other people can boost your grade in the end. if you just listen to what she wants from your paper and do it, you'll do well. she's a very nice lady. very approachable and open to ideas in class. one of the nicest professors i've had. she's never put anyone's ideas down. i have to give her a lot of credit for trying to keep the class discussions going when there were awkward moments of silence. participation can boost your grade too.

Dec 2005

Professor Fleischer is nothing like some of the previous extremlely harsh reviews make her out to be. I went into the class having read all the bad reviews, and thats probably why I just didnt like her for the first half of the semester. Gradually, I snapped out of it and realized there was nothing at all horrible about her or the class. My guess is that the bad reviews are written by students who didnt get an "A" in the class. And honestly, you may not. Fleisher is not one to hand out easy A's. You really have to work hard and write an excellent essay for an A. Still, grades can be improved my going to class, participating, and doing peer reivews. A meeting with her per paper helps you figure out what she is looking for. Im not sure where the belief that she only wants to read about what she thinks comes from, because she constantly urged us to make the essays our own. She is keen on grammar which I found useful and helpful. Judging from the reviews from past years, she really tries to cater the class to students needs, as several changes have been made from the days of 3 required drafts and grammar quizes. I found nothing rude about her. She was generally very pleasant, and accepting of everyone's views. My suggestion to get the most out of the class is to do the readings and participate in class discussions. I think this class is pretty much standard for First Year English- it wont change your life, but it its nowhere near unbearable.

Dec 2005

This was an absolutely terrible course. The content and material could have been very interesting, but the Proffesor was just boring. It was supposed to be an English type seminar, and instead it was her lecturing the entire time. Her lectures were boring and self evident, and to top it off she is a nasty person. She is an extremely harsh grader, but is sly. She gave certain grades during the semester and then a completely lower one as a final grade. I do not recommend this coursae to anyone if you take it with this proffesor.

Sep 2005

I disagree with many of the negative reviews of Professor Fleischer. I had her for first year English and she was fine. It is true that she likes you to write her opinions in papers, but I hardly saw a problem with this. All you had to do was meet with her during the required office hour before a paper was do and then edit everything to match what she wanted. Knowing what she wanted made it easier to do better on the paper anyway. Some of the class discussions on the books we read were a bit tedious, but I found the rest generally interesting. As long as you keep up with the reading and work hard you should be fine.

Jan 2005

This lady rocks. She is god's gift to the english department. She can think of a perfect analogy in a second, pinpoint exactly what's wrong with your writing without making you feel bad, and she does it all with a nonchalance that makes it seem easy. Everything positive that has been said about her so far on this page is TRUE! Wow. It's also true that, as one reviewer noted, she's not a flower-child of a teacher, but that doesn't mean that she's cold or distant. She's just not sappy. She grades fairly, based on student ability, and is somehow able to make the Hymn to Demeter interesting. How? Who knows. There are two smallish papers (4-5 pages) to be written during the first half of the semester, and then one larger research paper for the last half of the semester. Even if you think your hot shit, your writing will improve. Unfortunately, you can't tell who your first year english teacher is until you show up. All you can do is pray! so do it.

Jan 2005

Definetly the coolest, smartest, most intellectually challenging professor of my first semester. This lady knows her shit. If your looking to REALLY LEARN, take her class.

Dec 2004

I LOVED this class. It was my favorite one during my first semester, hands down. At first, Professor Cregan seems very mild-mannered and soft-spoken, but underneath that lurks a very vivacious and fun-loving person. A lot of the class also depends on the people who are in it and the people who contribute to the discussion. So, if you take her class, be sure to voice your opinion, even if you don't think it's "right." She is very accepting of other points of view and loves when people "read against the grain" in papers and provide their own interpretations. The draft system on papers is very helpful, especially if you do not self-edit. She gives a check, check-plus, or check-minus and writes a ton of comments so you know how much revision you need to do. On top of that, she schedules individual conferences to discuss what you want or need to do with your paper and dedicates class time to discuss how to write a good paper. She is extremely helpful, always quick when responding to emails, and very good about giving extensions. I would recommend this class to anyone who likes to be creative in their papers and who wants to just take a really good English class.

Dec 2004

Frances Richard is amazing! Her class is never boring and discussions are always interesting. Her class was one of my favorites and it definitely has enhanced my college experience. She is always available to students through email or conferences. Go to meetings with her even if you don't think you need them. She improved my writing a great deal and is a very fair grader. She only teaches women and culture so if you get her you are very lucky. Fabulous teacher!

Dec 2004

She is a great teacher, obviously on the feminist side, likes grammar, very direct and grammatical writer. Gives every student an individual conference between first and second draft of every essay - listen to what she says in the conferences! If you incorporate her comments (exactly) into the essay and apply them to your future essays you will 1) do well on the essay you are currently writing and 2) she will notice what you have learned on future essays and commend you. If you aren't one to actually read the materials, make sure you read a few of them, especially the ones most people will not read, because class participation is a must (and a grade booster).

Dec 2004

a brilliant, brilliant lady. if you're expecting warm and fuzzy, though, this is not the teacher for you. not mean, and will laugh when something's funny, but mostly shows up to class like a board, so sometimes it's very hard what to expect from her. her articulation, however, and her ability to guide you to formulater your thoughts into words is phenomenal. her comments on your rough drafts will definitely help you improve, and she's available for help if you need anything extra. she has the best way of providing examples and talking about literature so that you know exactly what's going on.

Nov 2004

If you know what is good for you, stay away from this class! Like everyone else has already said.. 1) its a horrible class, 2) a horrible teacher. She's not so much scary as she is irritating. Everything you write is going to be torn apart and rearranged into her thoughts, her ideas, her views. It doesn't matter how long you work on your essay it just depends on what mood you catch her in when she's grading it. Grading is tough in this class, very tough. She also likes to have way too much control over the writing process. Do not take this class!!! I can't stress that more. If you want a flexible teacher who is open to new ideas and open to discussion, this is NOT fleischer.

Nov 2004

Most definitely my worst experience at Columbia. She's VERY close-minded; so much that she won't care about offending her students with her "witty" and retarded comments. Yes, her insight is sometimes astonishing, but just read spark notes before her class and you can simply highlight the comments she made in class from these. This class could have been amazing because the books for it were great, but unfortunately she elegantly managed to make it a nightmare.

Aug 2004

i would be lying if i said she wasn't a great prof, because her lectures and critiques improved my writing a LOT. the readings were a lot, but i got through the class without reading about 1/2 of them. throughout the sem we had a bunch of conferences for the papers, but for each one i remember leaving her office on the verge of tears because of her criticism that was meant to help, but hurt even more. hey, if you ever liked getting stabbed in the heart with a bouquet of flowers, she's your kind of teacher.

Jan 2004

Professor Cregan is awesome! I learned so much from her, and she did so much to make our class a warm and inviting place. This was a great class with an engaging and passionate professor.

Dec 2003

Professor Olsen's class was by far my favorite class this semester. She is one of the nicest women you'll ever meet... so cute and very understanding! You don't have to do all of the readings, but be warned: she's a very fair grader so be sure to read the books that you chose to write your papers on. She's awesome!

Dec 2003

Professor Richard (who I don't even think is a tenured professor, which is ridiculous) is the kind of English teacher I have always wanted to have. First of all, she is quite obviously brilliant, and just published a book of her poetry. Secondly, the class was almost always lively, because she was fantastic at facilitating and never letting the conversation go dead and get awkward. She rephrases what students are trying to say into something that really makes sense and, although not big on comments on papers, will always see a student who has a question or wants to discuss an assignment. I love her! I'm just upset she's not teaching more classes for me to take next semester.

Dec 2003

Readings were pretty interesting. Professor is closed minded and heartless about deadlines. Insists on her way and hardly open to diverse opinions. Horrible first semester experience

Oct 2003

VERY RUDE. if you're not going to say something in class-- make sure you're agreeing with her unless you want to spend the whole class period with her explaining to you why you are wrong and she is right. she provided no real insight on your papers, aside from the gramatics, avoid her if you can.

Sep 2003

I loved this class! Prof. Levin expects a lot out of her students, but she puts an amazing amount of work into the class. She definitely kicked my writing into shape. Although a couple of the required texts weren't terribly stimulating, we always had great discussions in class. Prof. Levin has plenty to say and is incredibly knowledgeable, she is also great at facilitating her students.

May 2003

She went to Yale and will somehow find a way to work that into every lecture. While she is very sweet, the class is extremely dull unless you make something of it. She tries to help, always available for office hours, but if you are looking to radically improve your writing, it most likely will not happen.I would not recommend taking the class based on the syllabus, by the end of the semester I dreaded going to class.

Jan 2003

This a a great women! She helped me to become a decent writer. She is a patient person and she works with you on due dates. Most of the readings were very interesting...some days the class seems to drag...but overall a good class

Dec 2002

Okay, I love this woman. She is an incredible thinker, a brilliant discussion leader, and a remarkable writing editor. Everything she says during her seminars left me in awe of her abstract ideas. In addition, she is extremely patient, fair, and easy to talk to. Her class was a pleasure.

Nov 2002

A very elegant and flowery woman. She speaks beautifully when she discusses any writing. She's approachable and definetly willing to help. The only thing I didnt like was that she never agreed with my comments since I didnt have strong feminist values, but had no choice in dealing with it.

Jan 2002

She's a really sweet lady who is a great writer/editor. However she takes her job to seriously and gives you lots of work. She is very opinionated and you need to figure out what she's thinking all the time and what she's looking for from a text. She is big on class participation. Overall, she does improve your writing.