professor
Babak Ebrahimian

Dec 2002

Psycho, but incredible. He is the most passionate teacher i've ever had, who intensely cares about the material and about his students. Class is interesting and Ebrahimian is likely to entertain you by jumping on chairs and other displays of emotion. He gets to know each student and knows how to get discussion going. Somewhat tough and takes things personally, but fair.

Dec 2002

Prof. Ebrahimian is an overall great professor. There are some things that distract students from his insights such as going off on tangents, mispronunciations of words, and the occasional but very infrequent fit of rage. However, despite these things he is extremely knowledgeable on all the texts, especially the Bible. He is very committed to his students, and he is always willing to meet with his students outside of class. In order to get the most out of his class it's necessary to do ALL of the reading before class, however the first few days of class you will have enormous reading assignments so don't worry if you finish the readings a little after the due date. For instance, the first day of class our as signment was to read the first 10 books of the Iliad, which amounted to 260 pages of rea ding from Tuesday to Thursday. Realistica lly, no one in the class got that far by Thursd ay (the second day of class), but everyone eve ntually finished it by the weekend. He creat es big assignments as the beginning o f the year to scare off people who are not really interested in the class, which actually e nds up being much better for class discus sions in the long run. The normal amount of reading between classes consists of 50-10 0 pages worth of reading, and a we ekly one-page (no more, no less) position paper on any topic you choose that pertains to t he weekly reading. In order to gain his respect you need to be attentive, part icipate in in-class discussions. Besides the p osition paper (which is not graded) t here are three three-page papers (g raded) that entail a good deal of work if you want a decent grade. The midterm has a very similar format to the final, which ma kes doing well on the final much less of a task. I was originally hesitant to take the class, but I could not be more happy that I actually ended up taking it. If you are seri ous about Lit Hum and truly want to learn the material Prof. Ebrahimian is the right teacher for you.

Jan 2002

Ebrahimian is an enigmatic man. He's quite smart, but his unpredictible and strange behavior - ranging from sudden fits of rage to periods of weird, sleepy docility - can distract you from his insights. Intellectually, he seems quaintly set in his ways - he loves to try to disillusion the whole class with his sweeping definitions of "love" or "romance" that contradict everyone's previous understanding of the terms, but any arguing with his pronouncements only earns you ridicule. He dismisses your ideas mercilessly, is a little too quick to use labels to describe students (he doesn't hesistate to call certain people "intellectuals," others "fraternity types," "grinds" and so forth), and his mispronunciations of names and foreign words are often embarrassing for everyone. But he's a nice guy, and, for better or worse, he sincerely wants to have a personal connection with his students. If he seems to like you and you agree to meet with him outside of class, he'll become a helpful advisor, willing to meet, talk, or write you recommendations any time.

Jan 2002

At first he seems like an extremely hard professor; he tries to scare off unmotivated students off in the first class. But don't get too scared. Once you get used to his humor and personality he's really a nice guy. However, he still expects a lot from his students and in order to do well, expect to read every or almost every book. Classes tend to be in the form of lecture. He has very strong opinions and unless you can really back up your point with A LOT of evidence, don't bother trying to argue with him becuase you will lose. Therefore, discussions often are just him stating his opinions. Don't get me wrong, he's right a lot of the time...so you're glad that he's explaining underlying themes and ideas because you probably won't come up with them on your own. In sum, if you're not prepared to really do work and learn don't bother taking his class.