Karina Attar

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

May 2004

Karina is very nice. And her intentions are good. There, that's just about all I can say before I start complaining. So no CC teacher is supposed to be an expert on the texts, but her entire body of knowledge seems to come from SparkNotes and Google. She is only partially effective at regulating class discussion, so your experience will be subject to the luck of the draw regarding the class roster. Most importantly, though, is that her grading is entirely subjective. She likes to say that her grading is based on "improvement," but what that means is that she grades you on your individual perfromance, not compared to the rest of the class. Now, this is great for all you middle-of-the-curve students, but the truth is that if you're applying to grad school or competing for a scholarship or award, YOU ARE BEING COMPARED TO OTHER STUDENTS. That's what grades mean, and while you don't have to have a perfect curve in every humanities class like in SEAS, it makes much less sense to have one student get an A- because they achieved their low potential while another writes a better paper but gets a B/B+ because they didn't achieve their higher potential. It seems like grade-grubbing on my part, I know, but in the end it seems like I should have deliberately started the semester off in airhead-mode so that by the end I would have seemed to have improved drastically. Anyway, she's getting her Ph.D. this semester (Spring 2004), so she probably won't be teaching CC anymore. However, I doubt her methods will change much.

Jan 2004

Karina is detail oriented and straightforward. She has high standards but is fair and patient. She tells you exactly what is expected on tests and papers, and her grading is fair. She begins discussions with a short (10 min) lecture on background, then leads class discussion so comments are structured but individual according to students' readings. I highly reccommend Karina's class (although she will probably be teaching Italian after Spring 2004).

Aug 2003

A FANTASTIC human being. She made CC SO MUCH FUN! I hate reading, I hated LitHum and CC, but I really tried to read this semester just because she is so amazing. She has a good sense of humor, and I really had a better handle on the books and the philosophy behind the writing after leaving each class. I also love how she set aside time to discuss current events and to often relate that to what we were reading. I think that is the essence of CC. She is really, really nice. Take CC with her if you can - I've also heard she's a great Italian teacher, so if you have to take Italian, do so with her!

Jan 2003

Karina means well and is a cool human being, but that only goes so far to forgive the failings in her teaching. She just doesn't know the material very well. Oftentimes students in the class knew a far greater amount about the texts than she did. Her lack of knowledge and teaching experience make the class more or less dependant on the intelligence and discussion skills of the students, whom she gives a fair amount of free reign. Her grading is incredibly subjective, it's basically down to how well you match her personal style preferences. Also, she can be inordinately subjective in her opinions of students, and it shows both in discussions and grading. So get her to like you (I did, thank God) or else you're screwed.

Dec 2002

I liked her a whole lot. CC does not have such a terrific reading list, but Karina made things as interesting as possible. She (a bit passively) let us stray to more contemporary topics. After giving us a brief history on each book, she turned the discussion over to us. Doing all the reading comes in handy, but is not necessary, as with most core classes. Very sweet and very lenient. Our class saw Bowling for Columbine using the money provided by the Core office, and went to the West End for the last day of class. You can't beat that.