Art of the Essay

Apr 2021

Either most of Professor Watson's past students have sticks up their butts, or she really changed her teaching style in the past few years, cause this woman is one of the most amazing professors I've ever had at Barnard. Not only did she make her class the most intimate and personable class I've had during Zoom school, but she takes time to get to know her students, and genuinely cares about each and every one. For our last class, she let every person read excerpts from their best work, and even took the time to write an introduction for every reader. She is AWESOME and I am sure everyone from my class would agree with that statement. Please disregard old reviews and take a class with her -- you won't regret it. Also, she's a pretty lenient grader as long as you meet with her and show that you care about the work (it's a personal essay workshop, so it's quite easy to be invested in your work).

Jan 2021

Take 'The Art of the Essay' if you want to look more closely at the phenomena you observe in your own life and in the world around you. You will be drafting three personal essays and using different lenses to analyze what you observe. The best part--you can choose to write about whatever you want. Condillac is an excellent professor, and the way she teaches writing is unique because it is well structured and she is clear about her expectations. With each reading we discuss or assignment we complete, there are certain explicit skills that we practice and later implement in our own essays. In addition, Condillac schedules individual meetings from her own time to discuss and workshop drafts of each essay that students wrote. Her feedback and insights at these meetings are incredibly helpful--Condillac is so good at teasing out exactly what you're trying to say through back and forth discussion and asking the right questions. More than her abilities as a professor, though, Condillac is funny and bright, a welcome energy in the daily slog of Zoom meetings. She was also understanding this semester, granting extensions regularly for the whole class. Her grading was fair and at times generous (in my personal experience). I cannot recommend this class and this professor enough. Take it for the opportunity to think critically about yourself and the world around you, and to improve your writing in a small workshop setting. Take it for Vrinda Condillac. Just take it!

Dec 2020

The Art of the Essay. I found this class by chance, and I am so glad I did. I learned about personal narrative writing, but more importantly, I learned a lot about myself. Professor Schor-Haim is an amazing teacher. She is authentic, her class is authentic, and so I was obliged to be authentic. The class experience was especially enjoyable because I shared it with an amazingly talented group of students. I believe everyone got something out of our discussions. I was also lucky to get help from a skillful TA. I wish every student attending Columbia would know about this class, and this review is an effort towards that goal. Good luck everyone.

Dec 2017

Great class overall

Dec 2017

Margaret Ellsberg is a true delight. She cares deeply about her students,and is always willing to talk during office hours.