Most awesome UW teacher EVER! Best thing is Alena gives EXTENSIVE feedback on your writing, most of the time 2 to 3 pages single-spaced, no joke! That's like an essay unto itself! Once she told me she spent 2-3 hours per student's essay, which is insane but amazing. She is also incredibly nice and supportive, especially when you meet with her outside of class. Most teachers are nice outside, but Alena is supersweet during class as well!! She always encourages everyone to participate and put in their two-cents, and works off the points-raised very effectively. That is, it is not a free-for-all but she totally has a linear vision, which is great. Oh, and Alena brings in donuts and food for classes, which is awesome, and I mean, donuts, what can't they accomplish? I heart Alena.