Christoph Schaub

Dec 2016

I didn't see any reviews for Schaub in terms of his Lit Hum class, so I thought I would try to help people out with this. Schaub is a very good Lit Hum instructor- he makes the class mostly discussion-focused, but stopped us occasionally to make his own comments or to shoot down a point if it got too ridiculous. The class was run without quizzing, study guides, or any of the other painful extra work that some other Lit Hum sections integrate: it's all discussion, some of which is lively and interesting, and some of which is just tossed in for the participation grade. In terms of papers and exams, Schaub is a fairly generous grader. He informed us that he didn't give any grades below a B on our first paper, at the very least, and that he defined an A as a "very good" paper- I got an A on both my papers despite turning in a lightly revised first draft for my second one. He provides great feedback on all exams and papers we got back, which is insightful without being harsh. If I had one complaint to make, it's that I didn't find any of the class especially mind-blowing. I thought Schaub's comments on the texts were interesting and insightful, but there wasn't anything to make me reconsider how I read literature or existence itself or anything- it was just an enjoyable class with an instructor who had good things to say. If there was a model for a standard and well-executed Lit Hum section, I think this would be it- no deviations from the syllabus whatsoever, good (but not great) discussion, and a well-organized and fair instructor who was available for help and very responsive to requests for it. More or less, I'm trying to say that you should consider yourself quite lucky if you've ended up in Schaub's section, but I'd tell you not to expect the Core section that Columbia sells in its admissions process (though I really have my doubts as to whether or not that ideal section- 22 students with insightful things to say and a brilliant professor to guide them- actually exists or not).

Dec 2010

Great German professor. I was nervous taking his class because he was unreviewed and new to Columbia, but learning German from him has been great. The majority of the class is taught in German, but he's easy to understand even for beginners, goes over the material very well and makes absolutely sure that you understand the more complicated grammatical structures before a test. He'll e-mail you his slides if you ask for them, replies to e-mails quickly and is incredibly accessible if you're having any problems learning the material. He seems genuinely interested in his students succeeding and learning German well. There's a lot of vocabulary words to memorize, but he lets you know which ones are most important for a test.