Robin Kirman

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Feb 2007

Professor Robin Kirman is not only a dedicated and brilliant professor, besides mastering her field- she is publishing her second book now in a very short time span- she is genuinely concerned with her students. I am a transfer student myself and I have had the opportunity to attend college for 4 years before and I hardly see in one person such a balance between being competent and really caring about the people you are teaching. Robin starved in class for everybody’s participation, specially with the shy students which she was sensitive enough to detect at an early stage during the semester. No matter how extreme and bizarre our personal experiences were, which they were because we admittedly have peculiar stories to tell as GS students, she would pay close attention to our arguments and politely urged us to elaborate on them on the fly and get at the bottom of things. If you get a chance to enter one of her classes you will find a sensitive sweet human being who inspires you and encourage you to feel confident about expressing your thoughts, you will hear constantly phrases such as “I am willing to be convinced”. In terms of feedback, it does impress me how quickly she finds ways of detecting what needs to be fixed in your essays. She is blunt when she needs to get a point across and will not hesitate to ask you to re-structure your essays if they need to, but she just does not only tell you to do so, she works with you, like a partner and builds up with you your own arguments. Unlike many other professors, she is not afraid to spend long hours outside of the classroom to work with you individually on a single essay, however she manages to use that sensibility she has as a writer to inspire you to be the agent of your own ideas. She is just great. To be honest I was so happy with her class and I began to do the assignments with such passion and high expectations that she made me even hesitate whether or not I should continue with my current choice of major or switch. When you go to her class you do not feel like you are going to a classroom, you feel like you are entering a territory where ideas you did not even know you had are both challenged and refined.

Apr 2005

Personally, I think Ms. Kirman was an amazing teacher. I came into the class with the belief that I had given up on writing and I would do just enough to get by but she very much changed that for me. She is very good at critiquing papers and knowing how to improve them. She is really great at constructive criticism and is very sympathetic to her students without being a pushover. She reminded me of what I used to like about writing and she is definately one of my favorite teachers.

Mar 2005

This class was by far my favorite part of my first semester at Columbia! Granted, I was already passionate about writing going into the class, but the way the class was run, I feel like writing became somewhat less of a chore even for those who absolutely loathed it. Ms. Kirman created a comfortable atmosphere where everyone felt they could share their opinions and critiques of each other's works as well as the various essays we read throughout the course. The exercises were creative and actually helped with the larger essays. It was rare, if ever, that I felt that we were just doing work for the sake of work. Ms. Kirman also spent a great deal of time with students outside of class to help us with our essays. Rough drafts came back with writing all over them, which meant we had lots of help when we began the final copies. Ms. Kirman was definitely a veyr involved and enthusiastic teacher who was genuinely concerned with the progress of every student.

Mar 2005

You can make what you want of University Writing in Ms. KirmanÂ’s class. I went in wanting to become a better writer and I think I did. SheÂ’s in the creative writing department. SheÂ’s supportive and inspiring, always willing to give leeway if you are passionate and honestly working. A few kids in the class took advantage of this lenience, but I donÂ’t feel this affected my experience. If you want a teacher who will believe in you and push you to be a better writer, thatÂ’s Ms. Kirman. I know this review sounds really corny, but IÂ’m being honest.