Laurie Postlewate

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Jan 2021

I absolutely loved this class, Professor Postlewate is an amazing teacher! Although our classes were 3-hour intensives and completely over zoom, Professor Postlewate managed the time very well, and class discussions were always engaging and fun. We read from Marie de France, Rabelais, and Moliere.

Jan 2020

Gamemaster Laurie, as she has us call her, is awesome, as is this class. At first, I was afraid about what I signed up for when we were given a bunch of dense primary source readings about Athens for our first game, which is Athenian Democracy, but once you get through the stage of reading and discussion before the game starts (which is not very long), it's amazing. Anyone who likes arguing and debating will like this class, and there are all kinds of fun things thrown in to lighten up debates when things get tense, such as snacks, and random tasks like wearing a certain outfit or writing a poem. The last game, which is Greenwich Village 1913 during the suffrage and labor movements, is personally my favorite unit, since the characters are often people you have heard of and you can talk about interesting issues. Being that it's a small class, you also get to work with people and get to know them, something I could not get in any lectures. GM Laurie is very kind and also has a good sense of humor, and really makes an effort in working with her students by encouraging one-on-one meetings. The class is quite a bit of work at some points in the semester - the Athens game, for instance, has a lot of reading and a strict format for speeches, and sometimes you'll have a speech and a writing assignment close together, but it's one of those rare classes where it is still manageable and working hard often yields good results. I highly recommend this class for FYS.

Dec 2019

Professor Postlewate was one of my favorite professors in my entire time at Columbia. She's very kind, always available to help, and extremely knowledgeable in French literature. If every professor at Columbia was like her, stress culture wouldn't exist. She's always super understanding and you can tell that her main goal is to help you learn the material, not give you a hard time. She gave extensive feedback on both content and grammar on essays, and we were encouraged to meet with her to go over her feedback before writing our revisions. She also provided us with a lot of supplementary material to help us understand the reading (glossary for difficult terms in older French, etc.), which I admittedly didn't use but I'm sure was very helpful to those who did. This class was very small (maybe 6 people) so participation was a huge part of the class (structure-wise, not necessarily grade-wise) and she was always encouraging of everything and anything people had to say - no such thing as a stupid question or comment type attitude. I definitely learned so much in this class and I'm so glad I took it with Prof Postlewate.

May 2014

Prof. Postlewate is a great teacher, she's friendly, funny and engaging. This class is participation based, but it's not daunting. The class breakup is very reasonable and it's really easy to do well. She makes herself really available for help if needed. We use voice thread a lot to practice our French speaking skills and engage the vocabulary in different ways. We also have 4 debates (you only participate in one for your grade, though) about things like marriage equality, the French vs. American school system, freedom of speech and privacy and I forget the last one. We watch one film, La faute à Fidel!, though I'm not sure if it changes with each class. Overall this class was great, and it's the perfect amount of work. The grade breakdown makes it relatively easy to do well if you try. She's also really understanding if you have to turn in something late, just be honest.

Apr 2013

I can't believe Postlewate doesn't get a gold nugget. She always encourages participation and she's really funny. In general, this class is really cool, but mostly, I just really like her. She's must be the kindest professor I've met, especially since she goes to incredible measures to help you do as well as possible. Even if I come out of this class with a not-fantastic grade, I'd still say she's wonderful because she does truly anything that she can fairly do to teach you and give you the best experience possible. All in all, really cool lady, pretty cool class. What I will say is, don't mistake her for having low standards for giving easy tests. She wants you to learn so her tests are pretty difficult. She also expects you to take your time and put in an effort when you write her a papers, though you get two drafts (the first one counts for part of the grade). If you want a French class for an easy A, I wouldn't take this. It's a real class, and a good one.

Dec 2011

Postlewate is amazing. She inspired me to do so much more work that was required in this class. She's also an extremely clear teacher. I was nervous about learning grammar in french, but she does a very good job of explaining grammatical concepts without switching into english. Talking in her class wasn't an intimidating experience. She's extremely friendly and wants everyone to talk. We read a murder mystery and a satire in class and for homework, which lead to some funny french discussions. The point is, Postlewate rocks. And, for what it's worth, she also has an amazing sense of style as well. =]

Jun 2010

At the beginning the material is somewhat boring, starting with some cumbersome 7th century texts, but the course moves very quickly into more modern and interesting territory. Studying the early development of French in France provides a foundation for analyzing later linguistic developments in the areas that France colonized. You also look at issues of language politics in education and government. By the end I loved the course. (Note: If you don’t study Latin, don’t be scared away by the half-Latin half-texts in the beginning. I just read the translations and everything worked out fine in the end. You move past this quickly.) Professor Postlewate is awesome. She is very approachable during class and during office hours.

Dec 2008

Professor Postlewate is excellent. She is really sweet, really understanding, and makes the class interesting and lively. The conversations were great and the readings were really useful. It is a great mix of literature and history. To give you an idea of just how understanding she is she allowed us to rewrite a paper and she boosted our grades. She makes out of class appointments and is very encouraging. It is great. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to read but also be given a historical context for the readings. Prof. Postlewate rocks!!!

Dec 2006

Professor Postlewate is one of the sweetest and most helpful professors that I've ever had. To make it even better, her French is flawless, so she knows what she is talking about. This course was a great review of French grammar, and I even learned a few new things. Writing compositions in French was not always fun, but she's very flexible with the deadlines. However, don't always expect papers to be returned promptly; while sometimes she'll have them back to you within hours, most of the time it will be a week or two, after which you will have to do revisions on the paper. However, if she does not return a paper to you until the day the second draft is due, you will have an extra week or so to hand it in. Overall, I highly recommend Professor Postlewate. If you're interested in improving your writing in French, this is definitely the class for you.

Dec 2006

Take this class! Gamemaster Laurie gets really into it and has so much fun teaching it. Reacting is the kind of class that the more you do for it, the more you get out of it. If you do all your readings, the class will be a lot more fun than if you have no idea what's going on... but you can probably get a good grade in it either way. Reacting was such a great relief from my other classes. While my friends were slaving away on their research papers for their seminars I was preparing fun speeches and having fun in class.

Mar 2006

Great class if you are interested in history and not afraid to talk in front of the class. Laurie is a very sweet, enthusiastic woman who is eager to meet with her students outside of class as much as necessary.

Dec 2005

I absolutely loved having Gamemaster Laurie, as she calls herself, as my professor this semester. She got really into the games and advised us really well on how to play our roles. She was also a fair grader and my writing skills really improved. Only good things to say about this professor.

Jan 2005

Professor Potlewate is one of the best professors I have had for French. She is a very articulate and clear professor, who really looks out for the best interests of her students. While the class covers different topics quite quickly, she will spend time on things that her students seem to not be comprehending and is quite flexible with assignments. I would highly recommend her for French.

May 2003

Professor Postlewate is THE BEST!!!! If you ever have to take French as a language requirement, DEFINITELY take it with her. She is sooooo sweet, and she goes out of her way to help you. She has such a genuine interest in the subject matter, and she always tries to get students involved and interested. She even shows us movies! She is a very good and organized lecturer, and she goes over everything, which makes it a nice review for those of you with the background in French. She is extremely knowledgeable and is a great professor. Take this class!!!

Jan 2003

Absolutely one of the best professors out there. This course is basically a history of France from the very beginnig (Celts), to Louis XIV. Professor Postlewate makes, as cliched as it sounds, history come alive. Although readings are (with the exception of perhaps one) all in French, as is the class, but surprisingly nothing seems dry when she teaches it. Cannot reccomend this teacher enough. A must for anyone who says they don't like history (and can speak French). She is also extremely understanding and accomodating (for example, she put off our papers another week when she thought we didn't have enough time), and is very easily approachable. Again, a wonderful professor to have.

Jan 2003

Professor Postlewate is an organized and caring teacher who makes an effort to have all the students in the class understand and appreciate the material that she teaches. She is always open to questions and makes sure that the whole class grasps material before testing.

Jun 2002

Professor Postlewate is one of the most helpful French language professors in the French dept. Her classes are very organized and completely easy to follow, interesting (occasional video viewings), and most importantly, she's very friendly to her students. She's a fair grader, and she makes sure that every student gets an equal amount of attention in class.