I just want to preface this by saying that I practically majored in Tiersten. I was a history major, and I've known Professor Tiersten for the last four years. This won't be too specific to a class because I've taken so many and my opinion of her is consistent across all classes. I've taken two lectures -- her Modern Europe class, her Colonial Encounters, a Consumer Culture seminar, AND she was my senior thesis adviser... so anything I'm about to say is not based on one class where I might've gotten lucky with a kind TA, etc. She is awesome. She is brilliant, she is entertaining and charismatic, and in response to some of the other less than glowing reviews, she is only intimidating because she does remember everything she's ever read. If you find her condescending, it's probably because you didn't read the readings or pay attention, and therefore said something absurd OR worse-- you googled ID's instead of citing unique information she told you herself--at which point, I'm sure she DID tell you off. There is no doubt that she doesn't sugarcoat anything, but that's what makes her so effective and so helpful. If her emails seem "rude" or "condescending", they aren't. She just has a million things that she has going on during her days and yet she still responds to emails in record time so... not sure what more students want. And if you reach out to her, she will be there to help you find the resources you need for writing papers, etc. In response to the reviewer commenting on how she doesn't like questions about ID's on the study guides she gives before midterms and finals, it's because everything on there has been covered in lectures and readings, so if you're asking for more than just a clarification, she knows you weren't there or weren't listening, so why SHOULD she tell you again? She is approachable, helpful, and really doesn't make it hard for you to do well, especially in her lecture courses. Both Modern Europe and Colonial Encounters cover a lot of time and places, but you learn a lot. And to everyone commenting on how fast she talks -- no doubt this is true. Just don't be lazy and type your notes instead of trying to write down every word she says. I don't want anyone to think I'm being "rude" or "condescending" myself in this mini-rant, but I just really think it would be a shame if anyone shopping for classes, especially freshmen, who haven't yet been exposed to professors like Professor Tiersten and don't know better than to solely rely on CULPA, were convinced that she wasn't worth taking. She is, and I would know, because I chose to do it four times... and I WOULD have taken more if there had been more.