department
swedish

(Swedish)
May 2010

I cannot warn anyone strongly enough against taking a class with Verne Moberg. There is not a single redeeming thing to be said about her style of instruction or general disposition. I will address both in that order. Verne Moberg teaches through fear and abuse. This might be acceptable if she had anything worthwhile to say about her material, but alas, she does not. More often than not, her classes consisted of busy work like videos or reading the texts assigned as homework aloud. She also enjoyed berating students for anything she perceived to be an error in pronunciation or grammar, even when she could be proven wrong. Indeed, her style of lecturing consists of identifying all the ways in which she is superior to you, and then berating the students until you are forced to agree. In terms of a language class, she offered no more insight than if I had read the assigned books at home. I cannot imagine anyone who could find her behavior charming. Verne Moberg is extraordinarily critical and perhaps the surliest person I have ever met. She is also utterly unpredictable: you might be speaking pleasantly for the first hour of a class, until suddenly she turns on you and tries to embarrass you in front of your classmates. Do not make the mistake, however, of assuming that these are just “moods.” Verne Moberg seems to have a photographic memory for every slight she has ever suffered: real or perceived. She will never forgive your transgressions against her sense of propriety. These will affect your grade, and there is no way to fix them. There is no way to win with Verne Moberg. You cannot make her like you, so do not even try. She already hates you. She has nothing to say about the material she offers her students and covers this by attempting her embarrass her students at every turn. This should strike you as behavior best left for kindergarten, yet it is actively permitted within Columbia’s Germanic Languages Department. Take this class only at your own risk.

May 2010

I cannot warn anyone strongly enough against taking a class with Verne Moberg. There is not a single redeeming thing to be said about her style of instruction or general disposition. I will address both in that order. Verne Moberg teaches through fear and abuse. This might be acceptable if she had anything worthwhile to say about her material, but alas, she does not. More often than not, her classes consisted of busy work like videos or reading the texts assigned as homework aloud. She also enjoyed berating students for anything she perceived to be an error in pronunciation or grammar, even when she could be proven wrong. Indeed, her style of lecturing consists of identifying all the ways in which she is superior to you, and then berating the students until you are forced to agree. In terms of a language class, she offered no more insight than if I had read the assigned books at home. I cannot imagine anyone who could find her behavior charming. Verne Moberg is extraordinarily critical and perhaps the surliest person I have ever met. She is also utterly unpredictable: you might be speaking pleasantly for the first hour of a class, until suddenly she turns on you and tries to embarrass you in front of your classmates. Do not make the mistake, however, of assuming that these are just “moods.” Verne Moberg seems to have a photographic memory for every slight she has ever suffered: real or perceived. She will never forgive your transgressions against her sense of propriety. These will affect your grade, and there is no way to fix them. There is no way to win with Verne Moberg. You cannot make her like you, so do not even try. She already hates you. She has nothing to say about the material she offers her students and covers this by attempting her embarrass her students at every turn. This should strike you as behavior best left for kindergarten, yet it is actively permitted within Columbia’s Germanic Languages Department. Take this class only at your own risk.

May 2010

DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE unless you don't care about grades and really want to learn the language. Everything said below is true. She is mean-spirited, even cruel, and completely unpredictable. This course was a constant source of dread for me as she is an incredible pain to work with, rude, and in general eager to pull you down to her miserable state. I am usually a pretty positive person I think, but this class brought me down in every way. It is amazing that my love of the Swedish language has survived her merciless grasp. By the end I was completely burnt out by her ridiculous demands, and if I sound bitter it's because I am. I'M TRYING TO SAVE YOU FROM THIS STATE. She's awful to say the least. Most of the class time was a complete waste. Instead of drilling vocabulary or doing exercises or even speaking in the language, she just tells a story in Swedish and you stare blankly with no idea what's been said, and then she repeats it in English. If you're up for an unhappy and hateful woman with a few experiences to fill the two hours every other day with story-time, by all means. Go for it.

May 2010

DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE unless you don't care about grades and really want to learn the language. Everything said below is true. She is mean-spirited, even cruel, and completely unpredictable. This course was a constant source of dread for me as she is an incredible pain to work with, rude, and in general eager to pull you down to her miserable state. I am usually a pretty positive person I think, but this class brought me down in every way. It is amazing that my love of the Swedish language has survived her merciless grasp. By the end I was completely burnt out by her ridiculous demands, and if I sound bitter it's because I am. I'M TRYING TO SAVE YOU FROM THIS STATE. She's awful to say the least. Most of the class time was a complete waste. Instead of drilling vocabulary or doing exercises or even speaking in the language, she just tells a story in Swedish and you stare blankly with no idea what's been said, and then she repeats it in English. If you're up for an unhappy and hateful woman with a few experiences to fill the two hours every other day with story-time, by all means. Go for it.

Jan 2009

This was supposed to be my favorite class. I looked forward to taking Swedish and learning the language. However, this class has made this experience a complete pain. I continue to labor through to try and learn the language, but I frankly don't know if I can take it for much longer. There are many problems with this class. In fact, I can't think of much, if anything, that's right with it. The book and accompanying dictionary are practically useless. Instead of being made of orderly and themed lessons like good books commonly found in other languages, this book is basically just comprised of a series of short and unrelated texts about life in Sweden. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the only material used for the class. There are occasional charts throughout the book briefly summarizing various grammatical concepts, but that's as much help as you'll find. The book is also fully written in Swedish as it is apparently meant to be used in any part of the world. All that we ever do in class is take turns reading from the book and then translating. Of course, the vocabulary is always far over our heads and the amount of new words introduced with each lesson keeps us from ever accumulating much vocabulary at all. We are then left to complete numerous and tedious exercises with the so-called dictionary as our only support. However, it is only Swedish-English and not the other way around. Some exercises even require us to write down text as heard on CD's accompanying the book, although said text is extremely hard to understand, especially for people learning Swedish for the first time. I won't say too much about Verne. I feel bad for her sometimes. I do think that she is passionate about what she teaches but it seems that she has no idea what she is doing. Also, she can so snappy and borderline rude that I've learned never to ask questions during class and rather wait until after for fear of having my head ripped off. Take this class at your own risk. Even a love of the Swedish language may not be enough to rescue you.