I agree with the observations of the other student who reviewed Prof. Prescott's teaching of the Colloquium, but heartily disagree with her response to this brilliant woman's teaching. Yes, she often forgets to bring things with her to class, but just as often she remembers to provide the class with extra tidbit materials and books from her own personal library. She is a veritable library of information not only about her specialties (16th century: incl. Spenser) but about the whole Renaissance, including historical information and great references. I liked Professor Prescott so much for her scholarship, genuine compassion for students, zeal for teaching, and wit, that I took her 17th-Century poetry class as well.
As for Prof. Prescott's bawdy comments and sexual innudendo, they are nothing but appropriate to the subject of Renaissance literature (if you are going to read Rabelais and Donne, you should be prepared for bawdiness and the subject of sex). I say "right on" to this professor of grandmotherly age's honesty about the content of Renaissance literature
The last thing I must say is that Prof. Prescott is one of the most caring teachers I have encountered at Barnard or Columbia. She cares genuinely about her students, is enthusiastic about their work (but knows how to criticize and ask provocative questions when marking your assignments), and despite anything going on in her personal life puts her teaching and her students first. If you are ready and willing not to flaunt your ivy-league laurels but to lose yourself in the beautiful confusion of metaphysical poetry, Cavalier poetry, Rabelais, Spenser, Montaigne, Bacon, Milton, and countless others, take a class with Professor Prescott. Yes, the lectures sometimes get boring, and yes she is not the most organized person; she is, however, a gem among teachers and is not to be missed for those with a love of literature.