Greet Van Belle

Apr 2006

I have to say, I think Greet is borderline genius (and check your egos at the door because this class will most likely be quite the humbling experience) but the rest of us (specifically myself included) are not. I’m a literature/ writing major, no talent for foreign languages, possibly the same handicap another reviewer mentioned, but nonetheless with an enormous admiration and jealousy for those who do have it. My French tutor, also Belgian, picks up language fluency like colds, in fact I had no idea she was not a native Parisian speaker until she made a comment about translating from French to Dutch to English. Either way, I sincerely had a chuckle, in identification with some frustrated reviews and a completely lost, FOREIGN alienation from others. I once did a radio show with a DJ friend and he said that the only people who call or write in are those that either love you or hate you. With that subjectivity in mind and the nature of these reviews, I never really planned on writing this—spell check please— this is supposed to be Ivy. Anyhow, that said, she has that inexplicable quality (in spades) that makes or breaks a professor, i.e. an ability that cannot be taught, to reveal and instruct, in an epiphany way. She is entertaining, charming and really quite stellar….but will that win you a grade on an exam… not so much. If you are more advanced than you claim to be, which I suspect some GPA-saving fellow students are, then this is the class for you. Otherwise buyer beware… I am an unsuspecting and naïve student, that schedules a course because of strict and stringent time constraints on my part. I study my ass of specifically because I am not naturally gifted in this area and plan on imminent graduate studies, or in other words and in all honesty, because I have to. But more times than not I experience that ‘deer in the headlights’ moment, feeling completely vulnerable and lost. Which is in fact part and parcel of the entire experience of learning a foreign language or travelling in a foreign country. Yet, for all my enjoyment, and for remarkably the most gratifying and exceeding amount I have ever actually learned and walked away with from a language course, I feel there is a major disconnect between what I have learned and what I am being evaluated on. Even the collecting of workbooks, a minor twice-a-semester- inquiry, that inputs information of effort into the grey area of the grading process would be a fair and justifiable point of reference. I am well aware that this is Intermediate French and that comes with many assumptions, some soft-skills accompanying the hard- skills of language learning would be the icing on the cake. Lest I ramble…If I had to do it all over again, I would take any of her courses (ideally a literature course because her talent and artistry lie there) but with more forewarning. Be prepared to kill yourself with (sometimes un-rewarded effort) assignments compared to any of your other course load…but as they say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ Will my GPA (that sacred ground) suffer, probably, but am I getting my money’s worth, hell yeah. She packs a punch, every class (regretfully including those missed) is a bang for your buck. She is the antithesis of the professor that goes through the motions.

Mar 2006

This class was very stressful for me as I do not intend on pursuing French any further than I have to in order to fulfill the language requirement. I mean, seriously, my major is psychology. She is very thoroughand a good professor , but a bit much if you do not intend on continuing French or if you are not serious about it. There is a LOT of work: 3 composititions, 3 quizzes (with plenty of vocab you won't know), and a midterm adn final. She also assigns homework every night, and assigns little assignments that she thinks will be "fun" for us that se randomly thinks of in class. This class got annoying for me pretty quickly. But if you really want to learn the language and aren't just trying to fulfill the language requirement, than it is a good and thorough class, and I have to say, I did learn quite a bit.

Jan 2006

I loved this professor! I know some people in my class really disliked her, but this was one of my favorites. She is engaging and funny and her strange methods really do work if you have an open mind. While I think it involved a little more work than the other sections, it was all useful. We read interesting texts and had a fun writing assignment at the end of the semester. Overall, I found it a very stimulating and rewarding class.

Aug 2004

I am still taking this course, but I felt that I just had to say something about Greet. This is the second part of Elementary French and, naturally, most of us are far from being fluent. However, the amount of French that we have learned in this intensive summer course is tantamount to what one would learn in a whole year. Greet is as enthusiastic a professor as I have ever met and during the two hours/day four days a week that we meet, she keeps the group involved and constantly talking and discussing the nuances of the language. I would absolutely recommend Greet van Belle if you really, really want to learn French.

Jan 2004

Greet is odd and has a lot of quirks--this makes her interesting. Yet, she has a way of stressing you out during class. She asks you questions, but if you don't answer them she just looks at you frustrated. She expects you to know things just because you should instead of teaching them to you. Her quizzes have plenty of curveballs. I think she is a nice woman and she means well, but if you care about your grades and having fun in your class, I would consider taking another professor.

Jan 2004

She's horrible! I've never had such a terrible professor before. She never taught us anything. She expected us to know french and to say things naturally (I thought that it was her job to teach us this) So many people quit her class this semester, and if I knew better I would have too. Even when I asked her for explanations of grammatical things, she would just say that I should stop trying to learn it, and should just memorize it and say it naturally ( i never got that). we never did any of the compositions, the tests were terrible cuz they're from the department and she didn't prepare us for it. What ever u do don't take her class.

Nov 2003

I can not disagree more with the review from october 2003. i am currently in this course and must say that the overall level of french is very poor. Greet teaches this class how she should: it is an INTERMEDIATE language class. i wish to explain what that means : this class is for people with a basis in french. the majority cannot speak french nor does anybody know grammar; that is prob the reason why the reviewer didnt understand greet talking..regardless of the poor level, greet has to teach intermediate and not beginner french!! all i can say is: if you are incapable of conjugating french verbs take elementary french and study harder, but dont blame it on the prof!!

Nov 2003

Greet from Belgique...she is a linguist and the best foreign language instructor i ever had ( french is the 5th language i am learning..) she is extraordinary and not everybody likes her because she has her own ways to explain grammatical peculiarities--and there are a lot in french...but she gives you a foundation in french that is very solid and the tools to learn any other language easier...I love her style of teaching!

Oct 2003

If your french is out of this world and your knowledge of french grammar is over the top then this is the professor for you. If however, you have trouble learning languages, have any learning disabilities, or are just plain human then this is NOT the professor to be taking for french. I could barely maintain my sanity with this teacher. Her expectations were unrealistic and unwarrented. She acted as though the class ought to have been light years ahead of its time. She would give us homework assignments and expect that we should know the material inside and out by the next day. Forget the fact that one might have three, four, or five other classes--she did not care and assigned bizarre amounts of homework and then barely explained any of it in class. She was late everyday to not to mention that she did not post the homework until after 5:00p.m. and sometimes not until past 7:00p.m. It was even worse on weekends---class ended on a Thursday and homework would not be posted until Saturday and at times Sunday. It was crazy! She was not the most approachable teacher and she often became frustrated with people in the class if they did not know what she was talking about, half the time we did know what she was talking about. I could not take it anymore. Finally, I had to imagine I had been abducted by aliens who, sans the anal probe, were forcing me to learn french and would release me some time in December. That is how I got through this class with this teacher.

Jul 2003

Greet was wonderful. Because the class was too large (28 of us), she worked quickly to get approval from the registrar's office to divide the class into two. It must be difficult to teach the same class twice a day, each lasting 2 hours, but she came to the second class with great enthusiasm (often more than the students) and was always fair and encouraging. Made learning French a pleasure.

Jun 2003

I find this professor to be on top of things. She is also very passionate about teaching French, and really goes out of her way to make the class interesting. She also makes sure no one gets lost in the class. What I like most about her is that she's 'human.'

Jan 2003

While I agree with the previous reviews on the fact that Greet is always one step behind in bringing the right assignment to class and e-mailing us information, I have to commend her spirit. She has a way of bringing texts to life by reading aloud and assigning different affected voices to each character. Her renditions of the literature were often hilarious, even though she was sometimes hesitant to listen to students' ideas. I was always glad I went to class by the time it was over because in just one hour I had developped such a new and interesting perspective on the texts.

Jan 2002

While the previous reviewer was accurate about Greet's disorganization, I think that in terms of teaching she was quite satisfying, very passionate about many of the works, and was very open to hear students' comments about the texts (even when they were extremely unfounded). And while the workload is definitely above average, she is a very fair and lenient grader, and will not take off points for grammar/spelling mistakes. Besides, isn't this how you improve your French?

Dec 2001

The queen of disorganization and misinforation. Take the other section because you will learn a lot more (guaranteed!!) with less work. First of all she came to the first lecture thinking she was teaching Major Lit BEFORE 1800, so she basically didn't have anything prepared for this semester. She expected us to go almost weekly to the French department to pick up photocopied material, which was never there because something somehow always went wrong -- and then she'd be mad about it the next lecture because none of us could do the reading. Most of the time she was late to class. She assumed that the students knew more about French literature than they actually did so sometimes her so called lectures didn't make sense, and when asked to give a general overview of the genre of literature, she'd just sigh and said, oh that's very difficult, and end up going on a tangent, not answering the question. Worst of all, her assignments are unreasonable and ill-timed. Instead of a midterm, we had to write TWO 5-10pg papers (originally it was at least 15pgs each but we protested). The oral presentations were a disaster. The final was a take-home, and she said she would have topics in her mailbox and send it out on email. It was supposed to have been 2 essays as well, but when we got the topics on email, she had changed her mind and made it 3 essays, claiming she still thought it was a very lenient final.