Rapid Reading & Translation

Mar 2006

Best French class I've ever had. Anne encourages discussion and disagreement, even with herself. The workload was more than fair, and the classwork was exactly on the level of difficulty of the midterm & final.

Jun 2005

Scott brought passion and dedication to teaching this class. He focused on the basics, including numbers, dates, etc. as well as the conjugations for different verb tenses. He spoke Italian through much of the class, and while this may have struck absolute beginners as an unanticipated challenge, the extra attention and consideration he paid to the least confident students insured that no one was consigned to confusion. Meanwhile, students who knew a little bit of Italian got a chance to brush up on listening and pronunciation skills. Scott was extremely approachable and willing to stop the class for "una domanda." Students were invited to bring in texts for the class to translate, providing a little latitude to steer the course toward individual interests. In these ways he made the class truly useful and enjoyable, not just an exercise.

Jan 2003

With all seriousness, Maria Luisa Gozzi is perhaps the living, breathing antithesis of competent instruction. For instance, on the first day of class, she wrote EVERY VERB TENSE on the board in completely illegible handwriting (consuming 2 hours) -- not the best way to introduce students with LITTLE TO NO KNOWLEDGE OF ITALIAN to the language (or her handwriting--which did not improve). Class assignments and discussions seem to be as random as the number of meatballs in the Jay Hall cafeteria's unpalatable spagetti. Not to mention as PAINFUL.

Jan 2000

I'm happy to write a few words about Professor Gozzi because I took her course in Italian translation and it was one of the best classes I've had at Columbia. Professor Gozzi has a real flair for language; she enjoys working with the nuances and other expressive qualities of Italian and English, and she's gifted with a light mocking wit that makes the time spent in her classroom an enjoyable experience. The workload was moderate, and she appreciated the time and the effort put into getting it done. She conducted class in a relaxed and friendly but purposeful manner; we laughed a lot, but we also got a lot of work done. This is the kind of class that you can't take too often at Columbia. We enjoyed it so much that we went all went out to dinner together one time and then threw ourselves a party at the end of the semester. I think she's among the best Columbia has to offer. She has a way of bringing out the best in you; you come out of her class feeling more intelligent than perhaps you really are, but this gives you great confidence anyway. It's a question of knowing how to motivate her students; if for no other reason, you want to do well in her class because it's fun to engage with her very intelligent and cultivated and clever mind. She says things that catch up with you later and you realize how funny they are. She was easily approachable outside the classroom, and seems to genuinely enjoy the contact she has with the students. Her frankness keeps you on your toes, however, you can't play the fool with her. She lets you know that she expects the best from you, and if you at least try your effort won't go unnoticed. You'll want to do a lot more, though. She's sympathetic, intelligent, clever, elegant (not a typical feature of professors), witty and demanding--you can't do much better than this. You'll come out of her class a better person than when you went in.