DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! I repeat, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! This class is a GPA bomber and I do not say this lightly. I repeat again, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS.
Prof. Benjamin is really nice and very welcoming during her office hours, however, after closely working with her on my first and second essays, she still gave me horrifying (GPA 2.7) grades on both. The daily readings are engaging and totally doable, but she often plays favoritism on certain students. I talked to one of her former students who I think is very bright, and according to her, the same happens to her class and she ended up with a B- as her final grade. I don't and probably will never understand the scale she grades students on, and when I asked if she could let me know what's wrong with my revised essay, she responded she simply couldn't read the whole thing.
Just to remain non-judgemental to this post, I do want to let you guys know that I constantly ask myself the question, "Is it truly my fault that I bombed (really bombed... C+ level bombed) after spending over 30 hours on an essay, visiting the Barnard Writing Center, and asking my friends to proof-read it?" and "Am I really judging this class and her?" I don't think so.
Some advice: if you want to rock your first year GPA and actually learn something from the First-Year Writing class, I recommend Prof. Wendy Schor-Haim and Prof. Cecelia Lie-Spahn in the sense that they actually teach and do let you know what's going on with your draft. My Women & Culture first-year writing class is a joke, and my writing level has definitely not improved.
Disclaimer: I do like the atmosphere of my class, and the girls in it. We really bonded and had fun. In retrospective, I'm glad I had the honor to get to know them. Seriously gals don't go choose her normal writing class (mine was the 4-credit workshop class where we have to meet on Fridays) because essentially it is the same.