He was one of the best TAs I've ever had. Trivia questions to begin sections, great discussion moderation, and great guest lecturer. He was a pretty tough grader, as he used to work as a copy editor, but he really taught me how to write GOOD history papers with sharp theses and strong arguments and writing. I would not trade an easy A with another TA for the A- I got with him while working my butt off. He was extremely accessible out of class, always willing to read drafts and to help with anything and everything. The skills I learned in reading books analytically and writing history papers has helped me so much in history classes I've taken since. He's a great TA and will be a great professor once he gets his PhD.
Not to jump on the bandwagon here....BUT, having some time to kill, I was curious to see if anyone had chimed in on this class...as far as this other review goes, I must disagree. Although it is too early to come to any measurable conclusion, Prof. Schrag, a new addition to the dept. is enthusiastic, engaging, and presents, well so far (and there is no reason to think this will change) cogent and fact-packed lectures. He has even opened the lecture with some quality music. While the reading is not light, it is not a massive burdenÂ—rather average for a 3000-level classÂ—and the list is packed with great books. A nickels worth of free advice: take this class next time it comes around. Columbia hist. dept. listen up: do what you have to do to keep this guy around, you may have another Alan Brinkley on your hands.
This IS a really tough Professor. I know that this is a History course but get real. I mean, I've got four other classes to get through and he thinks that this is the only class I've got. Tomes of reading. Particularly anal professor. Doesn't curve at all. Only if he learns from your paper do you get an A. Otherwise, good luck on the Bs.