Doug Greenfield

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

May 2006

Although discussions with Doug were dry and, a lot of the time, unbearable, he is a very friendly teacher who really cares about his students. He definitely tries to understand everyone and is very considerate with due dates and extensions. He really improved my writing because he wasn't afraid to really tear apart my papers; I felt like he was actively reading them and giving me very constructive criticism. Meetings with him about papers always left me feeling enlightened by everything I could still talk about, and, in response to one of the review below mine, I was never asked to change my topic. Doug is very intelligent and is always willing to meet with you to discuss any questions you may have (even if you don't have anything written down yet). Class discussions were very dry, but I feel like this was not completely his fault.

May 2006

I want to start by saying that alot of you out there reading this review probably think CULPA reviews are only written by people who love/hate, and therefore must be taken with a grain of salt. This is usually true, but it doesn't exclude the validity of some of these reviews. A positive review of Douglas is not the outlier, it is the norm. Douglas is probably one of the most intelligent professors you will meet. His tangents are not irritating, they are often humorous and insightful. His long pauses when he thinks are not annoying, they are, as other reviewers have said, endearing. I have even picked up some of his mannerisms. Doug is a very spontaneous teacher. He knows the material so well that he delivers his opinion with almost no notes, straight off the top of his head. His grasp of literature and culture is such that he will often corroborate a students' statement with examples, very often outside the curriculum. Some reviewers have been critical of his discussions, but as with all discussions, they are what you make of them. If you are willing to read the texts beforehand, I think you will find his comments very accurate, inspiring commentary by the students. Although he does seem to have a core of beliefs, they are generally very correct. If you disagree with them, it is probably more your fault than his. Even so, he is receptive to any and all analysis, as long as it is reasonably well-argued and supported by the text. He is a very lenient teacher who will give long extensions, and is a fair and generous grader. Perhaps his best characteristic is his willingness to help his students. He encourages you to write essay proposals to him, which he then replies to with detailed analysis, essentially outlining the essay you want to write. He brings cookies to class, he organizes trips to see some of the plays we read performed in the city, movie nights, class dinners. I'm not sure if he is teaching Lit Hum again, but if you ever take a class with him, consider yourself lucky. You can do far worse, and little better. Douglas has my highest recommendation.

Apr 2006

Class with Doug can't be summarized in one word. He's a nice guy and he's very knowledgeable but he's a bit...interesting. I feel like he has brought up uncomfortable sexual references in every single discussion without fail - and it's not that he's just doing it to make us uncomfortable. Sometimes there are valid references but most of the time it's just way out there. It's really amusing but also very strange on the other hand. I've never been able to see any of his references (nor have my classmates) but apparently he is able to see them. I feel like he doesn't really listen to you either. If you go to talk to him, he monopolizes the discussion. He doesn't seem to care about what you are saying and he'll go off on a tangent. Even during class he'll just stare off into space for a while (while he's thinking) but that's really bad for discussion since everyone else starts thinking about other stuff too (usually not English related)...Essay revisions with him are really irritating because he doesn't really offer any suggestions (other than to change your topic completely) but nothing useful. This class is, in my opinion, less painful when you just look at your notebook for the whole time which is a sad thing because I really did want to take this class.

Dec 2005

For a required class in which every good professor is seemingly balanced by five horror stories, Doug is a miracle. Sharp, funny, honest, and endearingly sweet, Doug is the rare professor who works hard to relate to his students, genuinely cares about them, and also manages to effectively teach the material. Within a few sessions, his class had stopped feeling like a Core requirement and started feeling like a friendly literary discussion over breakfast. Doug's knowledge of the material is unparalleled, and his syllabus is packed with pop culture references, movie clips, song downloads, and links to artwork. Discussions, assignments, essays, and even the final focused on themes and patterns in the texts, which is a huge plus for people like me who are horrible with names and dates, and Doug encourages creativity in all writing assignments. Class discussions have a tendency to drag when the more boring material is addressed, but Doug always tries his best to make even the most obtuse material interesting. Readings, assignments, and active classroom discussion are mandatory, though, since written and verbal "participation" is 40% of the final grade in his class.

Nov 2005

I like Doug. He's a really nice guy (he gave me a crazy long extension for my first paper and didn't penalize me) and is ridiculously intelligent. He brings up excellent arguments and often brings in funny cultural references to prove points. His Courseworks syllabus postings are always entertaining. BUT - even though he's nice, lenient, and endearingly awkward, he has absolutely no skill in leading a good discussion. Although I can give him props for always sticking to the topic, he has a concrete set of interpretations of the readings that are indispuatble. He's not mean about it or anything, but if you don't come to the conclusion he's thinking of, you're wrong. Thus, there is no argument in the class. Discussion is almost always stale and boring. Bottom line: great guy, great ideas, bad class. But is any lit hum class good?

Apr 2004

The sweetest guy on earth. He gives funny, intelligent lectures (introduces themes by talking about chocolate-flavored laxatives, capuchin monkeys, obscure Western movies) and comes up with interesting and unique connections within texts and thought-provoking questions. However, he does ramble on (endearingly) and the abrupt pauses in his speech might make time slow way down or make you fall asleep. Students tend not to participate in class, either. He makes useful comments on papers. Overall, a recommendable and happy experience, even if the time spent in class itself might drag by a bit.

Dec 2003

Doug is the nicest goofiest guy on Earth. He is so willing to help and wants everyone to understand everything. His lectures put people to sleep, even though it was a 9am class. he tries valiantly to encourage participation to no avail. He grades fairly and talks incessantly about latent sexual content in the Iliad. Fun, but dry.