I thought Prof. Mesch was pretty good; I've had better, but I've certainly also had worse. She's friendly and well-organized, and she conveys her points clearly, but I also have to agree with another review, at times it can stray into boring. If you're looking to take a class, and she's teaching a section of it, you could do a lot worse. You'll come out of it with a good understanding of the works you read and the course material, but you may not come out with a love for it.
For most students that take this class, it is their first intensive look at french literature. This class, in a few ways, is like Lit Hum part deux, but luckily for you Rachel also teaches Lit Hum. She knows a lot about classic French literature, and makes it engaging even when you've had a tough time making it through the texts. She discusses themes and character development across the syllabus in ways that you probably would not have thought of yourself, and there are some really great texts on the syllabus. The oral presentations are tedious, and you probably won't learn anything from anyone else's, but you'll learn about your own subject since she won't let you read your presentation from a piece of paper. She's a real sweetheart, though, and makes herself available if you need help.
Rachel Mesch is the best French professor I've ever had, although that might not say that much. She is a good professor though - she explains grammar very well and clearly and always has an intelligent answer to our questions. She is very passionate about French literature and tries to bring that into the class. We had fun assignments, like reading Baudelaire and watching a French film. I could feel my accent, particularly, improving over the course of this class, which was mostly review for me. She is very understanding about any trouble you might be having, and is great to talk to.
I would beg to differ with the previous reviewer; Rachel Mesch is indeed a professor and perhaps even a good one. She never seemed to pick favorites, or not in our class at least. Students both new to and familiar with the material did fine unless they didn't study. Professor Mesch spoke and taught with great clarity and I never felt lost or confused. She moved quickly but presented the material with plenty of helpful tricks but without any extra bells and whistles. Yes, sometimes I was bored and sleepy, but I was just happy to be learning French in a clear-cut, user-friendly way. Our end-of-the-semester project was a little silly, but not difficult. I only wish she taught Intermediate II.
OKay, so I'm not quite sure what these previous reviewers were thinking but there is no way that you could classify Rachel Mesch as a good professor. I hesitate to even call her a prof at all. She is ridiculously mean to those she forms a negative opinionof the first day (i wasn't one of them, but was appalled at her treatment of her least favorites) and basically uses the class to parade her VERY limited knowledge of french. I corrected her once because she was explaining a concept completely wrong and she just totally ignored me. The class was really easy if you were okay at French in high school, but if it's anything other than review i would switch prof's immediately. No one new to the material could figure out any of the grammer and she would get so angry when they all bombed the quizes. She assigns ridiculous group projects which make you feel like you are in 6th grade, and then chastises you for not taking it seriously, someone actually brought in playdough to show what french sculpture was all about, then we spent the rest of the class, yes, you guessed it, playing with playdough! FUN! although it would have been better without mesch. She's not a horrible person which makes me feel bad about writing this scathing reveiw i just felt i really needed to clear up the misleading reviews that were posted. If you are good at french and need a class to blow off, by all means go, be bored, and then get an a, otherwise if you are interested in actually learning more french,well then i'd think very hard about with who m you are entrusting you language skills.
Prof. Mesch was an interesting teacher - I wish I'd had her for a class that was more lit based than pure grammar, cause when we did plays or short stories she'd be great, but as a grammar teacher she was pretty dry. She explained things relatively clearly, but unfortunately I wasn't engaged enough to actively pay attention. She's a really nice prof, though - I would reccomend taking her non-language courses.
Rachel is a very young professor (she looks about 20), but she is extremely knowledgeable about the material she teaches. She is very bright, remembers all sort of historical facts (and what she doesn't remember/know, she is happy to look up, and doesn't seem to mind when people tell her stuff she didn't know about before), and encourages plenty of class discussion, although she is almost always able to keep it on track. The syllabus is great; there is definitely a slant toward French literature, which is to be expected with her background. But the class is enjoyable, not hard at all, but not mind-numbing either.
This class is very thorough, and you definitely feel your french improving. The work isn't too bad either, a few quizes, 2 or 3 papers, and it goes very very slowly. You start with definitive articles, and do some pretty simple grammar, which is interspersed with some interesting selections of french literature, like Ionesco, and even Charles Aznavour songs