I am not a morning person. So imagine my delight when my section of University Writing--not a class I was particularly excited for and a tricky one to switch in and out of--was slotted at 8:40AM, to my knowledge the earliest one available. Yikes. Spoiler alert, though, Chris Edling made it bearable. The dude is just a good teacher. His classes are rigorously structured, which might sound like a bummer but more than anything lends a rare feel of productivity to a class that could so easily swing the other way. UWriting done his way felt substantive, helped along by his persistence in hammering certain tenets home (ICE your quotations! Problem! Claim! Evidence! Motive!). The notes he provides on drafts are immensely helpful, not only for grade-grubbers (do what he says and you'll probably get the A) but also for those idealists who actually want to make their writing more precise and compelling. And if you snag the "Gender" variation of this course like I did, you'll get a handful of interesting reading--along with some sorta wearying stuff, but hey--and some good conversations about a topic the guy happens to like a lot.
And, you know what? He's a nice guy, too. Struggling through classes just like the rest of us, Chris never once gave off an air of "I have more important things to do." He brought a ton of unsolicited (but deeply appreciated!) food to class once, took a group picture of our class at the end of our final class, and always seemed 100% there. Years later, I might even look back fondly upon University Writing--something I'm sure a metric ton of my classmates can't also say. Two thumbs up.