V3201 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible

Dec 2004

Overall, Segal is not a bad professor -- he does make incredibly odd jokes, mostly political and some slightly sexual. Just ignore them -- this is college, everyone should be able to deal and not take such offensive with what is so obviously absurd. Its a good class, with some interesting ideas taught. I wouldn't really recommend it as an intro for those with no previous knowledge of the bible as he does have a very skewed way of teaching it. Take what you can from the class and stop complaining.

Dec 2004

This class was certainly...interesting (for lack of a better word). Segal is quite pompous and arrogant. He tells awful, often offensive jokes every class and thinks he is very important especially since his last book was published (and yes, we all had to buy it). His most popular joke topics are Jews/Judaism (he's a Reform rabbi who basically rejected the pulpit and has made it clear he's much happier now that he's not observant), women (how can a Barnard professor make such mean Barnard jokes?), and the government (total Bush hater). His lectures were occassionally interesting. The only reason to show up to class is that it makes writing the three 4-5 page papers of the course easier since he goes over each topic. Segal also is a big fan of technology but really doesn't know how to use it. He wastes so much time trying to manipulate the projector and DVD player. He is also often late to class since he's a Jersey commuter. As long as you semi-answer the question asked for the paper topic, you'll get an A. Such easy grading it's ridiculous. This class is also a total jock class...I had practically the entire football and wrestling team in my class. It fufills a Barnard requirement and is an incredibly easy A.

Jan 2002

The one beef I had with Segal's Intro. to Hebrew Bible class were the cancellations. I could understand cancellations due to Sept. 11th and the Jewish holidays, but it really is inexcusable that we missed more than a month of class time. That said, I have to totally disagree with the previous poster who gave Segal a nasty review. I learned tons about the world of the Bible from this class, and the course has whetted my apetite to go on to a graduate program in Biblical studies. The best part of the class is the way he lambasts the absurd view of Scripture promulgated by Orthodox Jews (and fundamentalist Christians). The lectures are highly entertaining (he plays music at the beginning and end of each class). One friend who also took the class told me glibly that Segal hated Orthodox Jews. [CULPA CENSOR] This makes sense in light of his approach to the bible...

Dec 2001

I have never met such an arrogant man in my entire life. I found him disgusting. He speaks to hear himself talk and makes bad jokes to hear himself laugh at them. The workload isn't bad - just three papers that can be handed in at any time, so you don't have to do any of the readngs other then the ones for the papers. He was boring and constantly cancelled class. He had little to say about the topic at hand and what he did say was usually offensive. The good part is that the papers were pretty easily graded and if you just show up you'll be given a lot of points for doing so. Warning: If you are at all religious - any religion - you will hate this man!!! On the last day of class he noted that he hoped that we had noticed by now his undying wish to make us all believe that our religions were false.