i'm not ashamed to admit it...i am in love with a 69-year-old man. (okay, i'm a little ashamed. i'm only 21.)
i was in Foner's course on American radical movements last semester and it blew my mind. it was the only course where i genuinely enjoyed every lecture, because Foner is brilliant and his lectures were both accessible and entertaining. i also got a kick out of the fact that unlike many other professors (including ones at Barnard, who teach much smaller but still large introductory courses), he actually made a point of meeting with all of the students in that ENORMOUS lecture class who were registered with Disability Services and needed test accommodations forms signed. he was really congenial and very nice about it (considering he didn't really have interactions with most students in that course), so it was unexpected but very cool. but i digress.
i somehow managed to convince him i was worthy of being in his seminar on Slavery and Emancipation; needless to say i was thrilled that i would get to bask in his glory, at such close range no less! if you have heard anything about Foner, you know that the Civil War and Abe Lincoln are his shit, so to be in a lecture devoted to these topics is such a treat (for lack of a better, less-hokey word). you can tell how much he loves this stuff and how he genuinely still gets something out of discussion with his students. the class is challenging, but everything is explained and dealt with in-depth. Foner drops multiple knowledge bombs on you each class, and it is awesome.
Foner is also a true g. he regularly brings in contemporary issues and provides delightful personal anecdotes on conservative politics (which can be summed up as "oy vey" due to his profound disapproval), the Columbia scholars (and otherwise) of yore, and current events. he is also bringing our class to go see the Steven Spielberg "Lincoln" movie and feeding us pizza afterwards! date night with a Pulitzer-Prize winner! u jelly?
by the way - DO go see him during his office hours. aside from the fact that his eyes sort of light up when someone comes to see him during that time (you would think more people would come, but they are probably just intimidated by his badassery), and that he has the most epic office in existence (SWORDS!!), he takes the time to talk to and get to know you. he's really great. (i may be biased though)
the man is, as we say, a true mensch.