Johnathan Kingslake

Dec 2020

I took this class my first semester at Barnard, which was in a virtual setting due to covid-19. Honestly, my professors were great. We began the semester with 2 discussion sections a week, but those were reduced to only one per week because the professors were very conscientious of their students' mental health. The lectures were recorded and had to be watched outside of class, but that was still manageable. Both Johnny and Maya are incredibly knowledgeable, and I'm proud to say this class made me a rock nerd! We had one lab per week, which usually took about 2-3 hours, and we were able to pick our lab groups. The labs were manageable and interesting, and our graduate TAs (Chris and Michelle) were the best! Overall, this class was probably my favorite of all the ones I took this semester, and I would recommend it to anyone, science major or not.

Jan 2020

I really enjoyed this class. Both of them are really nice, engaging, and clearly very passionate about this course. Regarding the lectures themselves, if looking at rock patterns and tracing it back to its formation interests you, you will not get bored during lecture. The textbook is absolutely unnecessary and the key to passing the class is reading the slides and listening during lecture. I found that studying was unnecessary even right before the midterm and final because the topics covered in those tests are kinda just the main points. Though I do have to warn, Maria Tolstoy can pack quite a bit of unnecessary information in her slides. What is helpful though is the fact that as she passes an important topic, she will very clearly tell you and it will likely be in a quiz or test. The labs were easy, and most of them can be done in roughly two hours (though I have seen a few in the lab struggle a little, in their case, the TAs were really kind). Tbh, most of the stuff is just calculations and using a map online so you can just do most of the lab report outside of the actual lab.