Nathaniel made this class one of the most enjoyable English courses I've taken so far. He supplemented the (somewhat patchy) syllabus with well-chosen and manageable readings; he was extremely flexible about meeting outside of class, providing valuable feedback and suggestions that really did help with the papers. It's rare to find a professor that alters the class to fit the students' needs without weakening the academic demands, but Nathaniel does this. If you take CRCW I would highly recommend his section.
Nate is definitely an amazing teacher. I walked out of his class knowing more than the conventions of writing a good paper. I've heard horror stories about University Writing, but not with Nate. His assignments are to the point and for a purpose. It's needless to say that Nate will not give you busy work. Overall, Nate's class was great and he is very helpful. He is a great resource to keep.
Nathaniel is a wonderful wonderful teacher and person. He is a fair grader and puts SO much thought into his comments. He may take longer to grade, but its truly worth it. If you take time to read his comments and meet with him, then you will really do well and learn a lot. He doesn't ask for much really, there are no needless assignments or unfair workload. At the beginning there are some managable readings, and maybe one or two response paragraphs. The emphasis, however, quickly is put on papers and drafts. His draft process is very useful, because it forces you to right much of the paper and revise it. He is also very aware of time constraints and understands if you need an extension. The final paper, the CCP, can seem very daunting, which he knows, so he gives an inordinarily long amount of time to research and revise it, which is unbelieveable generous. I give him an A++
If you love thinking about or living in the abstract, as Nate once claimed that he does, you will love Nate's class. However, if you're more into concrete ideas, you will be bewildered and frustrated. However, Nate is really open to just about anything you want to write, which is pretty awesome if you have a great idea. But on the other hand, if you have trouble, Nate is more than willing to meet you for office hours...he is extremely extremely nice, and tries to accomodate to your schedule. As long as you know what to ask him, he is more than helpful with your essays, though his comments are sometimes overwhelmingly long. I actually looked forward to this class, and the class discussions were pretty insightful and fun. Although, there was often confusion as to what the assignments required...or even as to what the actual assignment was, but as long as you tell him so, he tries his best to make it clear. Overall, Nate is a really intelligent guy and he knows what he is doing, and you'll have an awesome time if you enjoy thinking conceptually and don't mind the occasional confusions.
Nathaniel Farrell is nice. He understands the common Columbia undergraduate, as he was one himself not too long ago. He also understands that he is the instructor and thus must try to keep an objective distance to be able to comment and edit the essays fairly. He is a fun guy, but I don't think he intends much to be, he wants the class to be more structured and intellectual, so most of the class ends up pretty much covertly laughing AT him. Almost half the class is habitually late, which doesn't help much to make him happy. However, he seems to maintain a somewhat happy mood most of the time, even when a student is ridiculously late, condescending, or belligerent. When students question his opinion or his ideas or his assignment, he talks too much. The more he talked, the more his students became more and more confused, and some of the time it led to misunderstanding in assignments, which can cause contention after a rough draft has already been produced with much hard work. But do not get me wrong, he was able to produce a cohesive environment for his students to bond in the ostensible torture that is the Core Curriculum. In terms of him giving comments on papers, sometimes it's almost bewildering, sometimes it helps, but to what extent is unbelievably hard to comprehend. He, however, listened to students' concerns and would push back deadlines if the class had a desire for it. He would also make assignments a bit more experimental, making it a much nicer experience of one of the more unnecessary core classes. Overall, with knowledge that this was his first semester of instruction, is a FINE teacher. Definitely a Fun time, if it was nothing else.