Ok, so I am in the middle of taking this class right now that is now a part of the Spanish and Latin American Cultures major. I already had to make a review since it is burning a whole in my soul to see these wonderful reviews of Teresa. Where to begin? The material: Art, Cultura popular, nationalism, etc have dominated the themes of the course. Well one might ask, well that doesnt sound to bad (those themes can easily be applied to Latin America)? WRONG! We have read more Foucault and Marx than we have Borges, de las Casas, and Garcia Marquez. The worst part: we NEVER relate the texts to current, past, or reoccuring incidences. The texts are given life and left to die on the table at the hands of ignorant students who make comments like, "El graffiti es la arte de la clase baja." RIIIGHT? Ok let's look at structure... Structure: Each week the topics can vary from boring to downright excrutiating. The worse part: we are supposed to have an opinion on every minute detail since class participation is a whopping 35%. For example, we were trying to classify whether Duchamp's urinal display in a gallery is actually art...two things need to be said for that: 1. Hello, Spanish and Latin American cultures, where are you? 2. Really who gives a...well you know? The Prof: Ha! She is a seemingly nice woman from Argentina originally who likes Spanish and topics relating to Spain and Latin America. She is young and energetic. One might ask well this is something that is good about the class...WRONG! She is strict in all the wrong ways such as page length on the weekly essays (2 pages exactly no more, no less) and constant rehashing grammar that I don't think is necessary or helpful. She never questions someone's random opinion in order to push him or her farther in discussion, obviously stemming from not reading, even so far as allowing people to spew what I think are racist, bigoted, not thought out, and overwhelmingly sheltered opinions. The comments die on the table like the rest of this horrendous class. This is supposed to be a 3000 level course, can anyone tell me why the majority of it is freshmen and people do not have a command of the Spanish language in order to communicate their ideas in their entirety. Although, this probably wouldnt matter anyway since it is...just....so....boring.
The class was not bad at all. The grading is fair, the readings are lengthy, but not all are necessary. Class can be interesting depending on the topic, where the discussion goes, and who did the readings. The movies were also amusing. Prof. Ko is also easily reached by email, and will entertain all points of views and questions (though she may not exactly answer them). Prof. Ko has a lot of information on the subject matter and often draws outside information into the discussions to supplement the material. Overall, a good choice for a major cultures requirement, or fulfilling major requirements.
Of the 3 Spanish teachers I've had at Columbia, Teresa is the best. I actually looked forward to coming to class each day - 4 days a week, 2 hours a day - which is rare for me in any class and (I would have said) impossible for a Spanish class. The time just flew by everyday. Her pace in class is fast, but not too fast. She calls on everyone, gives pop quizes and challenges her slower students (eg, me). At the same time, the class doesn't intimidate nor overwhelm. My class was relaxed and a good time, but it stayed focused. The work load was light, yet I learned -- how's that for a win-win deal? In other words, she holds you accountable as a student IN her class, not outside of it. At least for 1201, she uses a lot of self-produced material, which was superior to the textbook. Her class just feels fresh. Her reading selections and fill-in-the-blank newstory exercises were interesting and contemporary - again, challenging, but not overwhelming. And if an exercise is overwhelming (the short story was a doozy), she uses extra measures to ensure her students have enough help to make it through. Personality-wise, Teresa is nice, down-to-earth, friendly, young and upbeat. She's sharp and serious about teaching. She's fair, and she'll give you the benefit of the doubt: she gave me a 2nd chance on an assignment that I didn't necessarily deserve. Plus, she's a sharp dresser. Her priority as a teacher is that her students learn. Some might say she's lenient and indulgent; I'll say she's on your side as her student. She de-emphasized vocabulary (that's what dictionaries are for) in favor of focusing our time and her teaching material on grammar and form. The way she teaches the language de-mystifies it - which from me, says a lot - and she has a good sense of where to add extra attention. She'll review 1st day 1101 material, if that's where she thinks her students need improvement. I'm not yet A-level proficient and I may never be (my fault, not Teresa's), but for the first time, I feel I can manage the Spanish language. Tome su clase. No lo lamentarÃ¡.
Teresa is such an amazing teacher, I just had to take her more than once! I can't say enough good things about her. She's incredibly sweet and laid-back and makes the class atmosphere really fun and relaxed. She prepares her students VERY well for the midterms and finals, which are departmentalized. She's also a very generous grader, although you *do* need to do your work, of course! I can't stress it enough--TAKE TERESA'S CLASS!
Adorable woman! This 5 foot Korean woman speaks beautiful Spanish, and loves it. She's enthusiastic, hilarious, and sweet. Ridiculously lenient this is an easy A no matter how bad your Spanish is, but honestly I learned more from her than from my last class which was a total waste of time. Her quizzes and tests are well-announced, and she prepares you for everything. Beware the departmental exams! But don't worry, like I said she's an easy grader.
Theresa has got to be one of the best grad student instructors at Columbia. She is brilliant (tri-lingual!), personable, easy to approach, flexible, enthusiastic, and fun - AND a nice grader. Between Spanish-language conversations about your love lives and Friday afternoon Jeopardy games, you will learn more Spanish than thought was possible in an intro course. Â¡Es una profesora magnÃfica!
Theresa is an amazing teacher. She is so enthusiastic and funny it's infectious. Everyone in my class looked forward to Spanish everyday because it was actually fun. She's very warm and easily approachable after class with questions. She's organized and her quizzes are fair and announced almost a week in advance. I'm taking her class again next semester. In fact I organized my schedule around it because she was so great.