Patricia Grieve

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

May 2021

Professor Grieve is a super kind woman. However, much like the reviewer below me, I also do not believe that she deserves a golden or even silver nugget. The reading for this class is unbelievably long (for one class, we had to read a 400 page book, an article on said book, and watch a 130 minute movie). I am the type of person who does not usually care about reading length and will do it all, but this was simply too much. That being said, you don't absolutely need to do it all. Doing half of the reading and reading summaries is more than enough to get by. Classes are painful, and that is the brutal truth. She rarely has plans or structure for the seminar and relies heavily on students asking questions or suggesting discussions. It makes two hours feel like four. The material is interesting, but it is too much and professor grieve does not seem to know how to use it. Much of it is left undiscussed even though we often have extra time left at the end of the class. Overall, I do not recommend this global core class. I'm sure there are much more productive ways to use the requirement in a more enjoyable manner. I tried to drop the class but you have to reach out to the professor directly to drop it and I was too scared of offending her.

Nov 2018

I took Hispanic Cultures I with Professor Grieve. Overall, she is a sweet woman who definitely has a passion for what she teaches, but I do not think she deserves a silver nugget. First and foremost, she is not a native speaker of Spanish, which I normally don't care about except with her you can hear it. Often in class she would not know the Spanish word for something and would have to ask one of the native speakers who was taking the class. Secondly, her grading style is too severe and you will lose multiple percentage points for leaving off an accent mark or making minor spelling errors. Thirdly, she has a rather antiquated way of structuring the final essay and requires you to find sources that quite simply are no longer in fashion or are not relevant to many students' topics, creating an incredible amount of work on the part of the student to try and meet her requirements. She's not a terrible teacher, but at the same time I would not take another class with her.

Apr 2016

I took this class senior spring to fulfill the Global Core elective. I truly despised this class, and I dislike the Global Core requirement in general for how it completely lacks direction and does not fulfill its purpose. This class was a small discussion class twice a week that was in Casa Hispanica (painfully far from EC) in which attendance was mandatory. No one ever spoke (or quite frankly touched the reading, which could have been very interesting if the professor could in any way teach it) and when people did you could tell it was just to get their participation grade up. This class was my least favorite kind of joke class: just persistent enough that you had to stay semi checked in to do well. I much prefer the kind where if the class does not give you a reason to take it seriously, it acknowledges this by allowing you to gracefully not show up. Grading was totally arbitrary as I knew many people who got 95/100 on the midterm and the final seemed to be graded on improvement rather than performance. For context Patricia Grieve runs the Global Core requirement department (or whatever it's called). She is a professor of Spanish literature. This class was, except for Arabian nights, entirely focused on European literature and culture (we read Cervantes and Chaucer, for example). I do not know why it counted as a Global Core course except that she is the one who gets to make those decisions. She is also the one who decided that some History and Econ courses about Asia (among others, I'm sure) do not count as courses about "non-Western culture." Imagine that, another white person pretending to be an educator of non-Western cultures by teaching Western culture.

Jan 2012

Professor Grieve is super sweet and tries her hardest in the class. There is a ton of reading to do (even after she shortens the workload) and most don't do it, producing stale class discussion. By the end of the semester, she would simply ask a question, hear crickets, and then point out the part of the reading that she was referring to and ask her question again. This is not the fault of Prof. Grieve, but the course itself as the amount of reading to be done was just unreasonable. Professor Grieve was very knowledgable and passionate about the material. She is also from Indiana, so she doesn't speak too quickly and does not have a strong accent. Being a non-native speaker myself, this helped me a lot. It is very easy to do well in her class. There are 4 compositions with a max of 400 words, each with a re-write. I found that as long as I put in some effort, I got a solid grade. The exams were also a cakewalk, especially on the last 2 since she gave out the questions on the test a week in advance, and for the last exam, allowed us to BRING IN materials (essentially, I just copied from one sheet to another on that one). I barely studied for the exams, but because I paid attention and class and did the readings (somewhat) I was able to get good grades. You won't be sorry if you take the class with Grieve. Sometimes discussion can be dull as with all spanish classes, but chances are you'll get a very good grade. It was easy to tell that Grieve wanted the class to learn the material and not worry so much about grading, which is why she simplified things so much.

May 2011

Professor Grieve is a very cheerful and pleasant professor, who also made the long 2hr classes seem relatively short. I would suggest taking notes in class as your move through the books and she points out specific passages, because those are likely going to be on the midterm, and even a couple show up on the final. She has been the chair of lit hum a few times, and definitely has a more methodical approach to teaching this class. Her questions that she asks in class are very pointed to a specific answer she wants, and at least for our class, we did not stray away from her teaching itinerary much. She discusses themes pretty well, but what I felt was that we did not connect the themes and ideals of the texts to our own lives. We usually only reached a literary analysis instead of critical thought about personal relevancy. Overall she was a pleasant Lit Hum professor, and I think it might have also been our own class that stopped the analysis short, because most of the people in it seemed pretty over it by the second semester of reading the texts. The books are much better second semester than first semester in my opinion, but they are also much longer and more difficult to finish. Don't let Don Quixote set you back for the rest of the semester like it did most people. Like others have mentioned, if you are concerned a lot about grades (like most are), make sure to go to her office hours and talk to her about both papers to make sure she likes your thesis. I know our class overall did poorly on the first paper, mainly because she did not like the specific theses/topics chosen. Also, she adds Old School on to the syllabus, which is a great book and she allows it to be used on the final for the essay or passage analysis. A lot of people, however, use this on the final, so it might make grading a bit tougher/more competitive.

Dec 2010

Overall a pretty good class. Professor Grieve is very nice and tries hard to stimulate discussion. Class can be a bit boring at times--just discussing the reading every class, but its definitely tolerable. The first test was pretty hard, but for the next two she told us exactly what would be on the exam which made them much easier. The compositions were a little annoying but definitely boosted my grade, and you can write on pretty much anything you want. Also there's no book to buy which is nice, and there are three unit tests instead of anything cumulative.

May 2010

I found Professor Grieve a refreshing way to return to Lit Hum spring semester. The nine oclock class was often hard, but she was always in a good and perky mood, which helped make us more enthusiastic (or at least that was the intent.) She was always available to meet outside of class, and was willing to look over paper drafts and outlines. She gave good comments and feedback to help me asses my own work and figure out what she wanted out of my papers. There are two responses to each book, but it really is not that much extra work (just a few paragraphs) and she does not grade them harshly. She is part of the core board, and so she often knows whats going on and how to prepare you for the coursewide final. Overall I was pleased with this class, much better than my first semester!

Dec 2008

Professor Grieve is really amazing. She is obviously extremely knowledgeable and she is really passionate about learning as much as she can now. She was an excellent counter to Professor al-Musawi's somewhat scattered lectures and she was always willing to meet with students outside of class. She's a very fair grader, and has this knack for making each student feel extremely comfortable in class and with the material. She's one of the professors I've been waiting for -- the kind that are so smart that they are intimidating but so nice that they are encouraging. She really gives me faith in Columbia, and this class was SO interesting. The readings were all relevant and she made sure we used the books we bought so we didn't spend unnecessary money. I loved this class and would encourage everyone to take it -- it's relevant, fascinating and something that everyone should know more about although many do not.

Dec 2007

Professor Grieve is fantastic! She really deserves a star, and I hope that my review will contribute towards one. She is one of the kindest profs. I've had at Columbia. For this class, we read a lot of early modern english drama (e.g. Thomas Middleton, Philip Massinger, etc), Othello, and Cervantes' novelas, which are really fun. It will help you understand the period a lot better: i.e. Shakespeare wasn't the only dramatist at this time. The correspondences among the works made the class really special. We would go over the text very carefully in class so those who didn't understand the spanish reading or didn't have the time to finish the reading emerged with a good grasp on the text anyway. And discussed the issues brought up, like the Spanish-English war-faring dynamic, and their common fear of Christian converts to Islam. The class deals a lot with Spanish contact with North Africa, too. She's brilliant and nice: what more could you ask for? She photocopied all the material for us from her bilingual parallel-text edition to save us money and time.

May 2006

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS SECTION. switch out if you want to keep your sanity. Prof Grieve came in second semester after the best prof ever, and all fun aspects of the class died. She tries to connect to students through strange comments about pop culture and weather and her family. It's so aggravating. I didn't even read all the works, but sparknotes did the trick. Discussion was stunted and it focused not surprisingly on the sparknotes major points. Sometimes she ran off on strange tangents about spanish culture, her specialty. GET OUT OF THIS CLASS. fine grader, i got an A, but still, i would rather have gotten any other grade WITH ANOTHER PROFESSOR.

Dec 2005

Prof Grieve is the best teacher that I have had at Columbia, and I am a senior. She is extremely intelligent and has mastered the material. She brings incredible insight to the class regarding the material and is a genuinely kind person as well. She is very concerned with the students both learning from and enjoying the class. You should not miss out on the opportunity to have Prof Grieve, even if you are not interested in Don Quixote she teaches other classes you could take. Prof Grieve is such an inspirational person that if I had taken this class earlier on I probably would have majored in spanish or a humanities. Do not miss this opportunity, she far exceeds the expectations of an Ivy League professor!

May 2004

Prof Grieve likes to be very nice and happy all the time. Her eternal sunniness and tendency to spout aphorisms can be grating. She is familiar with the works, but sometimes has strong emotional opinions about them. Make sure to approve any paper thesis ahead of time to make sure she agrees with it. The paper topics she offers are repetitive and usually obvious (you can find a hundred high school essays of the same topic online). She's a reasonably fair grader but she won't give much feedback on papers. Her corrections and comments would dwindle as the paper went on and sometimes I wondered if she even read the last two pages. She also doesn't direct class discussion when people begin to repeat each others comments or its clear no one really understood the question. If you stray from discussing the "major themes" that you would find in cliff notes etc, she will sometimes be interested but usually have little to say. The midterm required detailed knowledge of the texts rather than just of the major themes. She's very friendly and helpful outside of class since she wants everyone to be happy just like her.

May 2004

Prof. Grieve is a really great Lit Hum teacher. She's incredibly smart and really friendly. I thought she did a really good job of framing the essential questions of each book we read and of fostering class discussion. I thought she could do a better job listening to students' comments and responding to each one individually -- sometimes she seemed a little bit detached -- but maybe it's just her style. Comments on papers were incredibly thorough and helpful. I learned a lot from Prof. Grieve and would recommend her section.

May 2003

Class performance is key. She grills you in class, she encourages a lot of participation from everyone, but she's a fairly easy grader (a classmate of mine handed in a paper a week late and still got an A). Don't show up late to class, she hates that. She's a bit quirky but she's a very nice professor. Be alert in class, meet with her outside of class about your papers, and you'll be fine.

May 2003

Professor Grieve is the nicest, most intelligent woman I have ever encountered. She arrived second semester, and breathed life back into the section. She is ricidulously knowledgable, and amazingly friendly.