Erin Curren

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2004

Erin is a great French instructor: she is devoted, kind, and always cheerful. She is enthusiastic about the language and really wants all of her students to improve over the length of the semester. She is available quite often during office hours, and will always free up time before quizzes and exams for extra review. Her grading is fair, but she always wants her students to do well, so she may bump you up a few points if she knows your potential. Erin is fun and you will learn a lot from her -- hopefully you'll get her in class!

Jan 2004

Erin likes to teach, and she wants you to enjoy the class as much as possible. This, I think, best summarizes my impression of her from the semester, and I think that's very important to making the class bearable. The problem is that learning a language can be confusing, overwhelming, and flat out difficult. Erin cares about the details, like spelling and pronunciation, that can make the class a bit more tedious in the shortterm, but it seems to me that an insistence on caring about those things is important for actually learning the language (and preparing you for more advanced classes, assuming you're taking it for the language requirement, like I am). For example, if a student reading a response to an exercise omits an elision or liason or mispronounces a vowel, she will prod the student until he or she pronounces the word correctly. Her grading is similarly demanding. The only thing is that since it is her enthusiasm and energy that keeps the class going, if she runs out of steam for whatever reason (in particular, I can't imagine it is easy to keep up that kind of pace in front of a tired, impatient group of students for 1 hour 15 minutes on a friday afternoon) the class starts to seriously drag. This only happened a few times throughout the semester, and less towards the end when we started to understand what she was saying more and so were more involved. She is serious about running the class in french except for grammatical concepts, housework type thing, and when students are completely, totally, and irreparably confused. She doesn't require students to try to ask question in french (at this level that would have been pretty much impossible).

Jul 2003

I must disagree with the previous reviewer. I did not care for Erin's teaching style at all, and I could not wait to get out of the class. I did not like her skits and games that she designed, and I it did not seem to me that she gave it too much thought. She is not as patient as I would have hoped a french teacher to be, and she is a VERY rough grader. Unless you are extremely enthusiastic about the French language, seek another professor. She also has a very loud voice, and yells a lot, which if you are sensitive to this kind of display, it is most unpleasant. Listen, if either Joanna Augustyn, Tracy Adams, or Vincent Aurora is teaching, get yourself into one of their classes no matter what. They're the best and the most patient.

Nov 2002

I can only reinforce what the previous reviewer has said. Erin Curren is one of the best professors I have ever had. She is enthusiastic, even in the early hours of the morning. She is caring and responsive to the needs of her students. And she is an excellent teacher. I recommend her to anyone. All professors should be as talented and excited to teach as she is.

Apr 2002

Erin is the best instructor of any sort that I've had here at Columbia!!! If I could suggest one singular improvement to the university, it would be to give Erin tenure. Regardless of the fact that she's "just" a Graduate Assistant, she is the most enthusiastic and motivating instructor at Columbia. To give you an idea as to how much she has done for her students, she has taught the 9 am class both terms this year. And this semester, it was so full that students were sent to other classes. For a 9 am class to be full over later classes says something. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of 9 am classes, and I very well could have taken a later course. But you don't feel like you're working, nor that getting up at 9 am is hard, with Erin as your instructor. In lots of other language classes, you feel like you can't make a mistake. In Erin's class, making mistakes is as crucial as speaking the language perfectly. There's little competition, and people share in each other's experiences. Erin's comfortable acknowledging her own mistakes but won't make you feel embarrassed with your own. The skits you'll do at the end of term are tribute to this--everybody has a great time writing ten-minute sketches in French. At the end of last term, the entire class was rolling in laughter by the presentations. Overall, it's a warm, comfortable environment. You'll love class and the French language if Erin's enthousiasm takes over. Amidst the blase attitude of many of the tenured professors here, Erin is a shining jewel of an instructor.