Joshua Donovan

Dec 2020

This was easily the worst class I have taken at Columbia. I know a lot of people who have taken CC, and no one had to do as much work or had as miserable a time as I did. I will start with the pros because obviously some people must like Josh or he’d have no kids for the second semester. Josh is a very nice person. If you’re in the ~zoom~ early and he’s ready he’ll talk to you and be friendly. He also generally facilitates good discussion in the sense that most of the time he is asking questions and guiding conversations rather than talking at you. Some of his essay prompts are interesting/pretty good. On to the cons. This class was so much work. Not only did Josh assign way more readings in the texts we were assigned than anyone else I know who has read them, but he also threw in extra readings. We basically had two discussion posts every week because we had to do the regular ones, and then also share a quote for each week and a reflection on that quote. In terms of how he manages class, some students who seemed to be the favorites were allowed to answer completely different questions than had been asked and derail the conversation, while others would be cut off for having too long of a point despite being on topic and interesting. Essays were graded very harshly and somewhat inconsistently. I felt like when I took the notes from the first essay and improved for my second, he just found other things to hate on. Also wasn’t a fan of comments like ‘your writing seems x’ on like the second sentence when I know it is not true for the whole thing. Also he converted essay grades to out of 15 points (with letter half grades going down by half a point), but if you scaled up from the grades he gave, an A+ would still only be 14.5/15. Not sure what he wants but I guess I didn’t have it. Overall, felt like I was being punished for no reason this entire time. 1/10 do not recommend.