Where do I begin... when I first looked up Profe A's name in CULPA, I wasn't impressed to say the least. There are SO many negative or wishy washy reviews, and I was honestly scared my first day of class. Let me just tell you that these negative reviews are ALL FALSE!!!! Lee Abraham is by far the best professor I have had at Columbia. He cares so much about his students, puts so much effort into the course, and makes learning a fun time. He shows up and begins every class with a big smile and welcomes us in a great mood. This makes all the difference. The class was something I actually looked forward to, can't say the same about the rest of my courses. Profe A is a fantastic professor and teaches really well. He loves to bring in topics related to Hispanic and Latinx culture and incorporate this into the curriculum such as music, food, art, and famous figures. He caters to the needs of his students and often checks up on us individually to see if we need any help. He is also very understanding about the work you might have in other classes, especially around midterm and finals week, so do not be afraid to ask for help or an extension! I cannot stress this enough: please take this course with Lee Abraham, you will not regret it! If you actually want to learn the language in a stress-free, enjoyable environment, Profe A is the way to go! Love you Profe!
Legitimately one of the kindest and most understanding professors I've ever had. Additionally, his assignments are never difficult, only sometimes a bit confusing in terms of his instructions. However, he makes up for it with a huge willingness to talk with you and work with you on any extensions/explanations. The class is easy, and despite the fact that we went online this semester (fall 2020), he adapted really well and I've learned a lot in the class, even though I hated language-learning in high school. If you're choosing a professor without any prior knowledge, he's your pick! Also, he's really funny and genuinely cares about his students.
If you enjoy witnessing a man go through his midlife crisis once a week while listening to the REASON you are learning something without actually learning the actual Spanish language, this is the class for you. It's a pretty easy A but you will walk out of the class knowing what timelessness feels like. Remember that scene in Interstellar when they are on the planet where every hour is 7 years for people on Earth? Ya, that is this class. The average day begins like this: a disheveled, rushed, coke addict walks in screaming "HOLA CLASE" while he hangs up his coat, tripping over a chair and accidentally elbowing a kid on the way. When he settles in, he will hand out half a tree of papers that makes you ask the question, "What the actual fuck is happening??" You most likely have on your hilariously small and slanted desk 3 packets. One contains every exercise and its mother from Gramatica Basica, the textbook made by the people who brought you things like Satan. One contains your essay assignment about a movie he thinks you will watch but you won't because why would you? He will not explain that essay assignment until the last 2 minutes of class, leaving you utterly confused for the rest of your days. The final packet is unknown, it will probably never be used, and is most likely just a waste of paper because fuck the environment. He begins talking about whatever topic you are learning this week, explaining how important it is for the future of the world (the students) to understanding how to communicate with others (how to conjugate a verb that you will never use in a language that you will never speak) and change the world (and become an econ major). He will ask you to write sentences combining the grammar you learned with the topic, and give you about 4 microseconds to write 150 paragraphs before asking you to share out. Nobody will share because he didn't give anyone time to even think, so he will start to laugh at himself like a psycho and begin complaining about how people need to participate. Then, when someone volunteers, he will talk over them and perform a monologue about whatever weird ideas are swimming in his demented mind. Do you want to speak? Too bad! Lee wants to share with you his thoughts about indigenous people in America for 35 minutes (this actually happened). Also, he will know every little fact about you and bring it up like a stalker whenever he has the chance. He will also spend an ABSURD amount of time looking up photos or articles about what you are talking about to somehow supplement your work in an enlightening way. It is not enlightening. It wastes time. He will also constantly ask you how you want to learn, since he is incredibly insecure as a teacher. Overall, this class is just him talking about random things, him talking about why you need to learn without actually learning spanish, and him talking about how he has also visited this museum in your hometown that you brought up. But it's an easy A, so pick your poison. If you decide to enroll in this excuse of a class, welcome to hell.
Professor Abraham is incredibly understanding and fair. He makes it a point to be available for his students. However, his method of teaching, at times, leaves a little to be desired. Having already had a substantial background in Spanish, I was able to nonetheless get through the course fairly easily but others often complained that his lectures were a bit sporadic. Most classes were spent doing various exercises or working with the book. It is clear that Professor Abraham means well and that he is very passionate about his work, but sometimes his class felt a bit like a waste of time. However, overall, I did enjoy the class and would definitely recommend him to somebody just trying to get the language requirement out of the way.
Professor Abraham is a nice person, but a poor teacher. His classes are mind numbing, and you will spend the entire time doing exercises out of gente (possibly the worst Spanish textbook ever made) or watching stupid videos. He also prepares you poorly for the midterm 1. Because you learn little-to-no Spanish in this class, and 2. Because he essentially refuses to tell you what's on it. If you value your time, don't take this class.
I was nervous because it was his first semster teaching at Columbia and I placed out of the first 3 semesters of Spanish straight into intermediate 2, but I gotta say, he's hands down the nicest most understanding professor at Columbia. He totally understands that students have a shitton of other work to do and is flexible with assignments. He's really approachable and helpful AND he's a lenient grader. He tries his best to give you as much credit as possible. The syllabus seems a little weird and strangely distributed but that's not his fault, that's the department format. He's really funny in class and makes discussions really interesting by discussing current issues like immigration and human rights. TAKE ANY CLASS HE TEACHES. You won't be sorry.
He is a very nice person, but absolutely unable to teach a class. Granted he was new this semester, but Professor Abraham does not have a grasp on department expectations or what students need to do well on the department-wide Spanish mid-term or final exams. His classes are a waste of time. He spends much of his time in class messing with the computer, speaking in English, and talking about how disorganized everything is and how it's not his fault. Avoid his section if you are serious about doing well on the exams!