Structure and Style

Mar 2007

If you want a professor who is in love with his own whimsical thought (saying words he finds entertaining that come up in conversation over and over to himself), thinking he is on the brink of an important lyrical break through- take class with Josh. He's not a bad teacher. He makes a weak attempt at not coming off as a smarmy wordsmith, but fails. He obviously favors poetry and really doesn't appreciate those who don't follow his vague road. He gave no help in the short story section and that was what the majority of the class was interested in. If I could go back in time I would select someone else; I would recommend others to do the same.

Feb 2007

found Priscilla to be an extremely devoted and inspiring teacher and I’m taken aback by some of the other postings. I would never describe her as ‘gruff’. She’s serious about what she does, but I found her to be relaxed, funny, and personable. She expects students to come to class, to do the work, and to be engaged— expectations that every teacher should have but that, in my experience in the writing program, some don’t articulate at all. Priscilla teaches the class like writing is important and difficult, not simply some elective you take for an easy A. She stresses the importance of learning to talk about the writing of others, her writing exercises are innovative, challenging, and productive, and she goes out of her way to help you if you are invested in improving your writing. This class made me want to write. If you can take it from her, do.

Oct 2006

I liked Louise as a person but not as an instructor. She seemed to feel that the whole class revolved around her and her oldschool New Yorker persona. Her written comments were illegible so instead of bothering to write more clearly, she just asked anyone who needed to know what she had written about their writing to stay after class so she could translate. If you had somewhere you needed to be, too bad. She didn't seem to like any writing with even a little experimentation in it and would complain if we wrote about things she couldn't relate to. I'm not sure what she expects considering she's probably forty years older than most of us. She had more to say in conferences but the workshops were just unhelpful. Basically you're paying to mostly get feedback from other people who are there to learn, not from the person who is supposedly there to teach.

Dec 2005

This was my favorite class of the semester! Ellis Avery is a fantastic writing instructor. Yes, it's true that you do more writing in this section than any of the other Structure and Style I classes but it's very much worth it. All the assignments are fun. My favorite part of the class was the daily writing exercises we did. It may sound like a lot, but they don't have to take long. You can spend five minutes or an hour on each one. You will be impressed at the end with how much you have written and how much you have improved. Miss Avery is incredibly encouraging and very approachable and she creates a classroom environment that is the same way. If you are thinking of taking this class-- take it with Ellis Avery. She is the best!!

Dec 2003

I really enjoyed Louise Rose' class, especially compared to some of the other horror stories you hear about some of the S&S profs. Both her class and Leslie Woodard's are usually the first to fill up, which shows you just how popular of an instructor she is. Prof. Rose is great with criticism - she always knows what works and what doesn't, even if you can't really articulate, and she has a good sense of humor. The workload wasn't really difficult and it's rarely tedious. Some people in the class felt that she pushed her own preferences towards writing at the expense of more experimental work, which is probably a valid criticism given that she focused heavily on realism and didn't have as much to stay about more unusual pieces. Also, it's nearly impossible to get an A in Structure and Style, and she keeps up that departmental policy. Other than that, I found Prof. Rose to be a great teacher for S&S and I highly recommend her class, which turned out to be my favorite of the semester.

Aug 2003

Wonderful! Donna is a passionate, warm, engaging teacher, who takes her students seriously and offers a genuine critique of their writing. She had us memorize 1 poem during the semester, which I thought was an important assignment. She also gave valuable feedback and ample workshop time in a class of 20 people.

Nov 2001

Prof. Rose is an ideal writing teacher. She is honest and critical, but not harsh, and extremely encouraging. She asks a million questions and really makes you think about what you're saying. Big on honesty and personal experience. She kept our two-hour class going quickly and it always ended before I was ready. S&S brings in writers of all levels, and the serious and talented are often frustrated and only receive substantial feedback from the professor herself. She will tell you if she thinks you're not putting enough effort in, and her no nonsense attitude is important for making the format of the class work. She's also funny and has plenty of reading recommendations for her students. I cannot recommend her enough.