course
First Year Writing: The Americas

Dec 2019

Where do I start? Professor Mehta is quite the controversial figure. Some dislike her, some are ambivalent, and others love her. Her comments, although well-meaning, are for sure occasionally eyebrow-raising and has caused many an eye-roll (and a lot of stifled laughter). Our class was entirely discussion-based - every class is based on a reading or two, and although she initiated the conversation with some guiding questions, the discourse was pretty free-range and went in any direction the students wanted it to. In that sense, the discussion can be very thoughtful and provoking, but if none of us read the readings or if nobody was really interested in the topic at hand, it would not be so fruitful and can even become very shallow. Writing for Professor Mehta is a double-edged sword - on one hand, she is awesome with allowing multiple drafts and many feedback sessions as long as you are prompt and give her adequate time; however, although she gives a lot of freedom regarding topic choice, she does drop hints about what direction she wants the paper to take (and the general consensus among all of us in her class is that she isn't satisfied with "independent choices" unless she agrees with them; so sometimes you'll have to bend your narrative to fit her thinking) which honestly isn't that bad - it just gets on your nerves sometimes. This is a class that requires you to do what you're told and if you do you'll be just fine. It also exposes you to a lot of South American literature that you wouldn't be interacting with otherwise. Although it was a pain sometimes and gave me headaches, Professor Mehta has good intentions and truly wants every one of us to do well. This is beside the point but at the end of the semester, she invited all of us to her place to have Indian food and dessert, which was super heart-warming.

Dec 2019

Where do I start? Professor Mehta is quite the controversial figure. Some dislike her, some are ambivalent, and others love her. Her comments, although well-meaning, are for sure occasionally eyebrow-raising and has caused many an eye-roll (and a lot of stifled laughter). Our class was entirely discussion-based - every class is based on a reading or two, and although she initiated the conversation with some guiding questions, the discourse was pretty free-range and went in any direction the students wanted it to. In that sense, the discussion can be very thoughtful and provoking, but if none of us read the readings or if nobody was really interested in the topic at hand, it would not be so fruitful and can even become very shallow. Writing for Professor Mehta is a double-edged sword - on one hand, she is awesome with allowing multiple drafts and many feedback sessions as long as you are prompt and give her adequate time; however, although she gives a lot of freedom regarding topic choice, she does drop hints about what direction she wants the paper to take (and the general consensus among all of us in her class is that she isn't satisfied with "independent choices" unless she agrees with them; so sometimes you'll have to bend your narrative to fit her thinking) which honestly isn't that bad - it just gets on your nerves sometimes. This is a class that requires you to do what you're told and if you do you'll be just fine. It also exposes you to a lot of South American literature that you wouldn't be interacting with otherwise. Although it was a pain sometimes and gave me headaches, Professor Mehta has good intentions and truly wants every one of us to do well. This is beside the point but at the end of the semester, she invited all of us to her place to have Indian food and dessert, which was super heart-warming.

Dec 2018

Jennifer Rosenthal was not my top choice for FY Writing, but I enjoyed this class anyway. She does a really great job of helping you get to know your classmates, which was a little awkward and forced at first but eventually, I was saying hi to every girl in my class when I saw them. She also invited us to her apartment twice, which was very sweet. The class was my easiest in first semester--the readings are fairly short and not difficult. This also meant that it wasn't an especially intellectual class--I don't think I gained THAT much from it--but it was a nice transition into college (I took it first semester).

Jul 2018

I had First Year Writing: The Americas with Watson. While all of the other students' experiences with Watson are valid, I had a more positive experience with her. I came to Barnard having little to no writing skills under my belt from high school, so Watson basically taught me most everything I know about writing college level papers. She completely changed my view of the writing process. Before, I thought the writing process was writing the essay and then checking it once for grammar mistakes. Watson taught me that revising an essay may be completely transforming original ideas to make room for more mature, coherent claims. In her class I didn't stop editing an essay until I thought it was perfect, and I have never done that in my life simply because I was too lazy. I now have the type of work ethic that not only transferred into my other classes but into my lifestyle. Also the books we read in class were absolutely fascinating and Watson always offered new ways to interpret the books which really opened my eyes to what literature can be. While not everyone liked her, my writing skills vastly improved because of her brilliance and I will be forever grateful to her.