Michael is a great teacher, a very nice guy who only tries to help you. Before every exam there is a review session where he essentially completely prepares you for everything you need to know for the exam. I have never felt unprepared in the class or like I was not learning. Definetly one of my best experiences at Columbia. Just because you are prepared though, do not think the class is easy. First semester russian is a lot of work. There is a good two hours of homework every day. A lot of people dropped the class simply because the could not keep up with all the work. This is not a fault of the proffessor rather it is simply innate to the class. Other than that I highly recommend this proffessor, he's a great guy.