Janet Larkin

Nov 2003

I don't know what other people are talking about. Granted her tests are hard, but if you take good notes you should do fine. I think she's a great lecturer and makes concepts easy to understand. She emphasizes and repeats material so you can be sure that you understand it. And if you don't she's very approachable during office hours. There are two midterms with take home components and a cumulative final. As mentioned previously, the tests are hard and she looks for specific details, but if you study and understand your stuff, your golden.

Jul 2003

don't be fooled by the easy first day and Larkin's pleasant and sweet first impression. her handouts are pretty good, but her lecturing style isn't very engaging (esp. for a class that meets MWF 9AM). she is very scatter brained and constantly behind schedule, leaving you to do a lot of learning on your own. her exams are mad hard. her questions almost always have more than one right answer and you're supposed to pick the best one --- but its not always obvious which one is the best. her questions are very detail oriented.

May 2003

I find it hard to have a definitive opinion of this class. Her lectures are definitely engaging - she makes difficult concepts easy to understand, and her handouts are excellent. However, apprearances can be deceiving. Her tests are unbelievably hard - she even asks about the textbook pictures' captions! The questions focus on minutiae - and she even told the class the questions have more than 1 right answer. All the answers sounded right to me on many of the questions! You can get 1/2 of the questions wrong and still get a B-, like I did. It's really hard to do well without being a slave to the course - and 9 AM lectures MWF don't make it easy. Doing well in AP Bio is not a prerequisite to doing well in the class, everyone found it very difficult.

May 2002

Prof. Larkin is really scatterbrained. She jumps from topic to topic, without good organization. This is very annoying, although apparently she is much easier than Poindexter. She seems like a nice lady, and she is very lively in class. However, she tries to make her tests tricky and she succeeds.

May 2002

Larkin is a gem, and Barnard is lucky to have someone who is as talented as she is. She is a clear, animated lecturer, who is excellent at demystifying the complex material that comprises cell biology. Don't be fooled, though ... she hashigh expectations of her students and consistently gives challenging midterms, exams, and assignments. She is a nitpick about grading; despite her innocuous soccer-mom appearance, she is a hard-core scientist who expects hear-perfection and has no qualms about docking points! Larkin is exceptionally bright, and is unusually adept at making both her lab and her lecture a course in scientific investigation, and not mere memorization of terms. Her exams often pose questions which force you to analyze data using the material you have learned in class; thus, she makes you truly apply your knowledge, and not merely regurgutate it. Additionally, she frequently relates the material covered in class to her own research.... something that most bio professors fail to do. The lab course has two long reports; one is especially challenging because she leaves it up to you to derive conclusions from raw data generated in lab, and then write it up journal-style, which is a major undertaking. Still, despite the challenge, it is incredibly worthwhile, especially if you're headed to med/grad school; you will learn a lot about cell biology and scientific thinking.

Jan 2000

A great professor! Her lectures are organized, clear, and animated, and she is clearly excited by what she is teaching. Her exams are difficult but not unreasonable, and the problem sets generally don't take over half an hour. The lab practicals are very difficult, and the two paper-format lab reports take hours, but they are very good experience for anyone planning to go into research. It's the only class that I look forward to this semester.