Epics and Empires: Shahnameh

Mar 2007

Prof. Dabashi is the WORST professor I have had at Columbia. In our seminar of only 10 students, he couldn't even be bothered to learn everyone's names, and always started class late. He often seemed distracted and unprepared, frequently not even knowing what reading he had assigned to us. The class itself was a waste, for all we did in class was compare a micro reading of the Persian version to the English translation. *Every* single class. This was not supposed to be a class on translation! And it was evident he had not read the English translation because each time he'd ask us how it went. Did he even put any time into teaching this class? His arrogance is astounding as well. Making time for students is not something he likes to do, it seems. Keeping his office hours did not seem to be important to him, for I went twice during his "official" office hours and he wasn't there. Another time I went to see him during his hours, he was on his way out the door and seemed quite peeved to be interrupted by a student. He assigned us to write a proposal for our paper topic for him to review and approve, but two weeks later still had not returned them to us. How were we supposed to get started on our papers? More frustratingly, the only grade for the class was the paper, but he gave no firm guidelines for what he expected in the paper, only that we should "have fun with it" and make it a "conversation" between us and the text. At the end of the semester, he did not return our graded papers, and I had to repeatedly ask for mine. Shouldn't it be common-sense to return students' papers? If he actually seemed like he enjoyed teaching us students and was somewhat prepared for class, I could let all this slide. But his haughty demeanor only made everything worse.