Is there a gold star for being bad?
As one of my classmates wrote below, I made the grave mistake of sticking with this professor for both semesters of CC. She is an absolute joke. Her will to teach is equivalent Governor Cuomo's will to protect the elderly during Covid (meaning not only does she not teach, she actually works against the student's will to learn). She did not cultivate discussion. More often than not she would just sit there and wait for us to speak. In some class sessions, she literally did not say a word for the full two hours. If she did speak, it was just to shut down a line of dialogue she did not like. For instance, if someone presented an idea they pulled from the text that did not coincide with whatever obscure contention she gathered from the text, she would scuff and blow off any insight from the student. Also, all of her views from the texts are incredibly narrow. We are reading such great classics with so many angles of interpretation, yet for her, the ONLY acceptable discussion to have in class was one that centered solely on race. All we were allowed to talk about was race, which obviously undermined the broader applications of the texts as well as a student's quest of intellectual exploration. She is incredibly narrow-minded and lazy. She did not grade a single assignment. The most feedback given on a paper was one line of meaningless garbage - if that. In the full year, I received two lines of feedback between 4 essays, 2 midterms, 2 finals, 4 presentations, and several weekly hw assignments. More often than not, I did not receive a grade (let alone in a timely fashion). Any grade given was obscure. She definitely plays favorites with grades. Final grades submitted on SSOL took almost a month to receive. WORST professor yet. Anything i learned was from independent reading. I dont need to pay tuition for that, texts are free online. Michelle Chun is a complete joke and her class is a complete waste of time and effort. DO NOT TAKE!!!
By far the worst professor I have ever had. Struggled through two semesters with Michelle and am a worse person/academic for it. There is no sense of direction in-class discussion and she often remains silent or turns off her camera when people are struggling to get to grips with complex issues. Honestly not sure she cares about her students at all and it really comes across in her apathetic tone. By looking at previous reviews, I am confident that it is not my personal opinion or just a rough semester. Grading is lazy and we received feedback weeks later with only a few comments.
The biggest mistake I have made in college is not switching out of Michelle Chun's CC class over winter break. She is truly the most passive agressive and patronizing instructor I have ever had. I could let this slide if she was also a great teacher but no, she is not. Class discussions are underprepared and awkward. You truly have to read every word of every text to be able to write the papers as she will not explain anything in class. Michelle is the type of instructor who makes you wonder whether all the sacrifices you made to be at Columbia were worth it because if I wanted to be taught by my peers who equally don't know what is going on I would have done it for a much lower price. Rising sophomores please listen to me and DO NOT take this class. CC is hard why make it harder for yourself?
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. This is a warning--please do yourself a HUGE favor and try to get into another CC section if you can. I really wish I took the time to read culpa before I decided to stay in her section. She is the WORST professor I have ever had at Columbia, and that’s saying a lot considering I’ve had a handful of awful stem professors. Don’t trust the good reviews on culpa--you will see that the positive ones have a lot of disagreements. Michelle is the most passive aggressive, mean, rude, and most horrid professor I have ever had. She was unrelenting and not at all accommodating this semester given virtual classes and covid-19. Here are some examples: 1. A close family member died due to covid and she didn’t care at all, didn’t make any exceptions for work even given what I had to go through as well with my physical health (at the time I had to go to the hospital to get tests done) 2. My friend’s wifi broke during the middle of class so he missed a little bit in the middle and Michelle gave him 0 attendance credit even though he was there the whole time 3. She holds 2 OHs the entire semester and is extremely unhelpful at OH. In OH, she criticizes and belittles students instead of actually giving good feedback. 4. She NEVER responds to emails. A lot of the times the class could not find the class readings either because she did not post it, or it was through the CC Reader where people often had trouble accessing. When emailed about the readings and where to find them, she practically ignored every single one of the emails. If she did respond to emails, she would passive aggressively write that she either “doesn’t understand what the student is talking about or to “refer to the syllabus for any clarifications. She also says that she requires 36+ hours to respond to emails even if it’s about urgent issues, but most times she just never gave a response. 5. She turns off the Zoom chat in her class so that no-one can connect with anyone in this class. She doesn’t want people “chatting about side stuff during the discussion even if it was to help clarify details, etc; This made it extremely hard to collaborate or meet people in the class or study and discuss texts after. 6. She plays REALLY BIG favorites. Those are probably the only good reviews on culpa. 7. For the midterm and final, whereas most classes didn’t have one or just gave a project due to covid/virtual classes, she had us log-in to Zoom and keep our cameras on so she could check that our “eyes didn’t wander or she would give 0's and told us that “if you click out of canvas, even by accident, to close a chat or do any other activity, then you will automatically receive a 0 and fail the class and you will not be allowed to justify your reason on why And folks--this is all during the covid virtual classes, she really tried every way possible to make class unnecessarily hard. Before she came to Columbia, she taught at Hunter’s College and she was literally rated 1.7/5 by the students and you can read about their awful experiences with her here: https://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=2493220 Overall, I was so excited to take CC because I loved Lithum so much, and I was really disappointed. You will also notice that during registration, her class is always the one with the empty slots. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS AND DO NOT TAKE HER CLASS.
Honestly, no idea how she is one of the core lecturers. She is like the worst professor I have ever encountered in Columbia. Grading is extremely harsh with no explanation at all. Very unhelpful and rude. She may seem nice by bringing snacks to class but don’t be deceived by that: she is an extremely rude and harsh who does not know basic respect to students. Honestly, I learnt nothing from her section at all so steer away from her section!
If you are not a philosophy major, do not take this class. Her grading is extremely harsh and she makes you learn the minute and intricate details of texts, not for the sake of understanding them, but for passage IDs. You have no explanation of how and why you were graded and the paper submission process is unnecessarily complicated. If you're the kind of person that likes an arrogant professor, this is the section for you.
Michelle is a genuinely nice professor. She apparently said some intimidating shit to scare people off in the first class. I switched in late, so I wasn't there for that, but in my experience she was not anywhere near a strict professor. Her classes go by pretty quickly and I found her to be a pretty nice grader. I handed in some incoherent garbage (I'm in SEAS so I do mean garbage) for the first essay and got a B+, which I could have raised to a B+/A- with a rewrite. Her midterm was also pretty straightforward, I got an A with a reasonable amount of studying. She gives the midterm and final essay questions ahead of time (although she gives more options than will appear on the day of). She's a great lecturer, but she's not so great at leading class discussion. She often asks a question fishing for an answer. She frames it as a discussion, but she's clearly looking for a correct answer. It makes it harder to want to jump in when you know that your answer will be brushed off as wrong if it isn't the answer she's looking for. That said, she became a lot more self-aware about it by the end of the semester, which makes it a lot less awkward.
Disagree with the previous post. Amazing teacher!! Always open for discussion and really wants her students to learn the material and participate. Grading is very lenient and is especially more easily graded if you participate a lot. Midterm was fair, she gave us a lot of review time to be prepared. Take her!! You won't regret it.
I love Michelle. She has a very dry, biting sense of humor but doesn't take herself too seriously. She's very thought provoking, and while she's a hard grader, I get the sense she actually cares about her students. Would definitely recommend.