professor
Mark Pirouet

Oct 2005

Mark was an excellent CC instructor, and I'm surprised that his reviews have not been better. The year that I took his class (2 years ago) we were all challenged to have a real grasp of the philosophical problems-- not just to be able to regurgitate "what Kant/Mackinnon,etc said." What was most unique about Mark's teaching was his insistence that we understand the epistemology of the thinker at hand before attempting to gloss his/her "world view." Although his field is in some scientific area of philosophy, Mark's understanding of the arguments in this political philosophy course could not have been subtler. My friends from that class and I continue to look back fondly on our CC course -- and we're seniors now.

May 2004

If I had to rate mark on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being absolutely abhorrent and 10 being utterly fantastic, I'd probably give him a 7. Overall, I think he was a competent, worthwhile instructor; he understood the material enough to have some sort of opinion on it (as opposed to merely regurgitating SparkNotes), had a definite sense of where he wanted the class to and had a pretty good rapport with the students. Occasionally discussions would get a little confusing, however, though this seems almost unavoidable in CC when you're talking about such freaks as Nietzsche or Marx whose works are, by nature, quasi-incomprehensible. I do think that Mark could've been a little clearer about certain things, increasing the amount of expository explanation, something which several people complained about towards the end of the semester (and, in response, he did in fact get a little more sensitive to the problem). Like I said, though, Mark's a nice, intelligent guy, and while I don't recommend him with the utmost of enthusiasm, I consider him a qualified instructor out of whose clas you shouldn't rush to transfer.

May 2004

Mr. Pirouet is really nice and tries really hard, and I really want to give this guy a nice review but I can't. I'll preface this by saying that I don't like philosophy and I am more of a math and science person. However, the teaching more than the content of this class is what made it horrible. Mr. Pirouet is incredibly intelligent but feels no need to explain his train of thought, nor make sure his students actually understood what they read before taking it to the next level. His lectures have absolutely no structure and the two hour period is just one completely random tangent followed by another. The typical over-achieving philosophy majors talk while the rest of the students are bored/confused/lost. Please take my advice and get in another section, you really deserve better.

Dec 2001

What can I say about Mark Pirouet? When I first went into the class, I was very impressed that the guy had a English/French accent [he's from somewhere in that area]. Personally, I love English accents - they really make my day! ANYWAY, it turns out that accents aren't everything. Mark Pirouet is quite frankly.... not a good teacher. The class often gets confusing, and instead of exploring the text we have tangents appear and students start talking about things that seem to have no relevance [this comes, of course, from those students that talk all the time]. This teacher is also quite a stickler for the rules ~ he cracks down on plagiarism like there's no tomorrow. This isn't a bad thing, but he's REALLY STRICT about it - you know, he's the type that will buy several plagiarism programs and scan your paper for sentences that seem shady. This often leads students to fear that their papers aren't original enough for Mark, and papers become even more laborious. Mark also complains about the temperature of the room a lot when everyone else feels fine, and has some other eccentricities that are worth seeing, but not worth it to take his class. Hopefully, he'll be gone next year. By the way, I don't like his hair.

Dec 2001

This professor made me absolutely hate CC. Besides the fact that philosophy usually makes me dizzy anyway, he simply made it so much worse. Somewhat obnoxious, he might often answer your questions with, "Well.... no." Of course, like in all these English classes, there are always those that participate and those that don't, which I find annoying as well. I can't say that he doesn't try tho - he often asks people if they want to go out for a cup of coffee and talk about the material. He's somewhat critical of papers and tests, and I still don't understand some of the pointage that I received. Perhaps the most annoying thing about Mr. Pirouet, however, is that he doesn't seem to allow students to leave early - when we were talking about Hobbes and freedom, he said that he would never ever want to end class early - ever. We even had to stay after the midterm, which was absolutely preposterous and pointless. If you have anything that doesn't involve life or death and it interferes with class, just don't go, cause he won't let you leave early.

Nov 2001

He tries really hard to make the material interesting for us, and it is very clear that he absolutely loves what he's teaching. I think he has a lot of potential and will make a great professor some day. Sometimes discussions get very confusing, and there are just the usual people who participate in class, so sometimes that gets very annoying. He needs to find some way to get the whole class involved in discussions. He is very nice though, and is often available to meet with students. He has made me love this material, whereas some of my friends in other classes absolutely hate the class. Plus, the british accent makes class more cultured.