professor
Massimo Grassia

Dec 2004

I highly recommend this class as long as your happiness isn't measured in A's. Class discussion often borders on brilliant insanity, both because of its intelligent students and a deeply knowledgeable and passionate teacher. He is also extremely friendly and approachable, and while he admits not to speak in "English idiomatic language" his Italian accent is far from unintelligible. Judging from the L + R reviews, people hated him for his grading. It is true, he's a ridiculously harsh and meticulous grader on his essays. I wouldn't call him arbitrary, as you will receive both of your papers back fraught with comments. Just be glad he doesn't use a red pen. And remember, you can make up ground on the midterm and final.

May 2003

I was fortunate enough to have Massimo Grassia as a teacher this spring. Massimo was a very helpful, understanding, and affable teacher, and he put a lot of thought and consideration into writing comments on our papers. If you take his comments seriously and attempt to incorporate the changes he suggests into your next paper, I'm sure you will do fine in his class. In fact, your grades on papers in other classes will probably improve. As with any core curriculum class, it takes work and effort to get a good grade, but it IS possible to receive an A range grade in Massimo's class. Someone previously mentioned that if you have him as a teacher stick with him, and if you don't, consider switching in, and I completely agree. If you apply his suggestions, you will see noticeable improvements in your writing.

Feb 2003

I completely disagree with the reviews that are up for Massimo. His English is very understandable, and the only barrier that has arisen so far is his trouble identifying colloquial expressions. He gives great insight into how to make your paper better during class by guiding class discussion really well. His grading is not as hard as the reviews make it out to be, and his comments really do help you improve your writing. If you have this guy, stay with him, if you don't, he is a good person to switch to.

Jan 2003

Horrible is perhaps the best one-word review of this TA. Once you get past the fact that the man is not a native speaker of English and has difficulty with the language he is ostensibly teaching, there are still his grading policies. He does not give A's, C's, or D's. You can either fail his class or get a B. It does matter how hard you try. It doesn't help that his comments can be confusing and his conferences are worthless. Quite possibly worth the effort of switiching sections.

Dec 2002

Professor Grassia is a very nice guy, but overall, he isn't a great L&R professor. He is well-organized in class discussions, but it can often be difficult to understand him through his moderately thick Italian accent. Oftentimes, he doesn't understand some phrases used in essays due to this language barrier. Professor Grassia is very unclear when it comes to assignment topics. He writes an ambiguous assignment down on a small strip of paper, and fails to explain what he has written in an acceptable manner. It can be quite frustrating listening to him fail to explain these ambiguous topics, and it is even more frustrating when you try to write the essay. Massimo's grading policies are quite unfair. He is one of those teachers that just doesn't give A's. He'll start the class at about a C+ or so, and gradually increase the mean grade to a B/B+ by midterm, but don't expect to get anything higher. He stops there... From what I hear, no one got an A on ANY essay, and there were very few A-'s. Prepare to be jealous at the end of the semester when your classmates in other classes walk away with As and A-s in L&R, while you get your B-range grade. If you have a choice in L&R professors, I recommend you choose a different professor.