i am floored by his brilliance and wit. i will spend the rest of my columbia career trying to find another classroom experience that was equivalent to this.
As close to a perfect human being as you are likely to find.
Matt Laufer is the best Lit Hum teacher out there. I looked forward to his class like no other class I've had this year. He really knows how to orchesrate class discussion in a way that allowed us as a class to make our own discoveries about the texts, while still making sure we took what is important from them. And he really knows a lot about literature, so he really was good at giving us a literary understanding of the works. You really have to work hard to do well on the essays. I've written some of my best stuff for him. When he gives you your essay back, it's covered in comments, whether or not it got a good grade. His comments are the most helpful I have ever had, and have done more to improve my writing than any writing class. He's also really nice and wants to help you get as much as possible from the course. I'm going to miss that class! *sob*
There is one person I know who had a better L&R experience than I did--he had Mr. Laufer in the fall. Laufer came off as harsh in the beginning of the semester, but that was just to establish himself as the boss. Later on it became clear that he's a good guy, and as he said in an email to the class, he truly cares about the degree to which our writing improves over the semester. Mine definitely did (and I considered myself a pretty good writer before L&R), though I enjoyed class discussions more than any other aspect of L&R. He brings in lots of fascinating material, and even though he went to Yale (which automatically makes him God's gift to Columbia University), he's willing to lower himself to discussions of the Simpsons, the Onion, and Austin Powers. "Lucky us," you say ironically (or do you?), but if you're looking for a great writing teacher (he's teaching the GS comp. class next fall), landing in Mr. Laufer's class will be like picking #37 in the housing lottery.