Professor Weber is an amazing teacher. She is very intelligent and well versed in the texts that she teaches. I had her for a first year seminar class at Barnard and she was a pleasure to have in a smaller setting. She is very approachable during office hours and grades pretty fairly. She holds her students to a very high standard, but at the same time it is your imperative to meet this standard. My only qualm is that she is a little disorganized from time to time. Although she isn't on top of every detail, she is always apologetic when she makes mistakes, which makes everything okay. Professor Weber is definitely a good choice.
Professor Weber is a fountain of knowledge on French literature and history. Her long-winded, spirited, and detailed explanations demonstrate her passion and intelligence, and she also conveys information clearly and is unfailingly engaging. Her sense of humor is self-deprecating, she has a strong European flair, and she is DEFINITELY not one of those boring professors--she is a character, a social performer, and she has a lot of personality, demonstrated through her avant-garde or trendy attire and funny anecdotes alike. Professor Weber can sometimes be short or snappy with students for a moment or two, but this is just part of her personality--she has a bit of a bite. I thought that made her more interesting and complex, but you may not agree. Furthermore, Professor Weber makes up for moments of impatience with copious amounts of affection doled out in a faux lofty tone of voice. "Ma chÃ¨re Julie!" Generally pleasant. Tests require either extremely pointed and concise answers or a motorized pen: you'll write a lot. There are review sessions for big exams, which are helpful. Though there is some pure regurgitation of information required on tests, you'll undoubtedly learn a lot in her classes, and in classes like Surrealism, so much of the material--visual and written works--will be relevant to today, at museums and cocktail parties, in pop culture. If you are a person who must take notes in order to recall anything mentioned in class, you won't stop writing for a second. The same information is often repeated and gone over again throughout the semester, which is helpful, and the same themes are revisited and applied to different works. This repetition and active synthesis leads to true learning. Students leave with a fluency in the material. Professor Weber is thoughtful. She listens to what students say and responds encouragingly, more so than most professors. This usually leads to a lot of raised hands and an enthusiastic general atmosphere. Professor Weber seems to have a knack for presenting interesting and relevant information in a clear and direct way. She knows it inside-out, that's for sure.
I took this class Spring 2007 so it has been a while but I still remember it clearly, mainly because I DID NOT LIKE Caroline Weber!!! She was pleasant enough in class to most everyone but would cut me off when I spoke. I am not the best at french but had placed out of the requirement and I told her this at the beginning, but she strongly encouraged me to take the class anyway, yet throughout the class, she would take me aside to belittle me and my french abiilities, despite the fact that I was getting A's in all of my compositions (which admittedly weren't that hard). It was mentioned before that not doing compositions (which never occurred in my case) and turning them in late (which happened twice with reasons provided) would simply cause her disappointment. This is untrue, she's a grudge bearer and just when you think she's getting over it she'll come back and bite you in the ass with a spiteful unprompted email. I found her ridiculously unreasonable, but still wouldn't have written this review if 2 of my friends that have taken the course since hadn't confided similar experiences with her to me. I ended up withdrawing from the class with special permission (it was past the withdrawal deadline) because I hated her so much. If you're interested in this class take it with someone else!! If you absolutely have to take her class here's a tip: she's partial to people who compliment her sense of style.
Basically you read the textbook chapter, do the workbook exercises for that chapter, and then come in twice a week to go through the material with Weber and ask any questions. At the end of each lesson she'll hand out answers to the workbook exercises. A worthwhile class and not impossible, but this is the nit-picky type of grammar that you need for composition and conversation beyond the basic level. The workload is average, but don't let this deceive you - you will have to know the complicated grammar rules cold to do well on her exams, which are mostly translating sentences with very complex and idiomatic grammar constructions. Weber is nice and cares about her students but there isn't much for her to do beyond go over the grammar rules with the class. Not the most engaging class, but it is nuts and bolts stuff necessary for a better command of the French language. The dullness is due to the material, not to Weber's teaching.
Weber was definitely distracted when I took this class (1st semester), seeing that she just published a book on Marie Antoinette and has gotten a lot of publicity for it throughout the city. She was a pretty nice teacher and the class was a LOT of fun but I only worsened in my language skills. Too many of the other students lacked advanced french skills so we ended up speaking a mix of franglais and english. Take this class for fun but don't expect to improve on your french in any way.
Weber is awesome! No doubt about it. She knows her French, definitely knows how to have fun with the class, and as long as you like speaking French, and are trying to expand your vocab you will have fun with the class. She really is such a nice woman, and you'll have fun waiting to see what outfit she'll wear to class that day. I wish I could take this class every semester with her, even if I didn't get credit, it was the most fun, relaxing class of my entire courseload! I HIGHLY recommend this class, especially if you are coming right out of intermediate french, or haven't spoken in a while, she'll get you back on track and make you want to take another class after the semester is over!
Creme de la creme! This year, which was her first, there were only 4 people in the class, so one couldn't help but prepare and participate extra thoroughly (which is not to say I wouldn't want to if there were 20 or 30 because she provokes so much thought). But Professor Weber still took the time to review a lot of 18th century history and philosophy to make the class even more fulfilling - she knows each work inside out! Whoever avoided the class because she was new is really missing a great and dedicated professor. She cracks jokes all the time and is often quite explicit - throwing to the wind any kind of proper academic conventions and making it a true learning experience (how appropriate for the Enlightenment) and often going on tangents with stories about her husband to illustrate a point. She is also extremely accepting, and almost to a fault, of anybody who wants to make a comment in English, often taking the time to explain something in English herself to be extra clear to everybody. Nonetheless, your French will improve, and you're going to read great works that are generally not taught in other classes on the period. She is consistently encouraging and complementary to students (although not excessively), which makes it even more enjoyable to being in the course.
Professor Weber is brilliant and engaging. Somehow, she manages to make old fuddy-duddies like Rousseau, Diderot and d'Alembert interesting--which isn't to say that's all we read. We read some great epistolary novels (think a la Liaisons Dangereuses) and some scandalously-steamy texts about nuns-gone-wild. She's head-over-heels about the eighteenth century so she knows the material inside and out. With every new text we read, she prefaced it with super-interesting factoids about the fashions and vogues of the decade, and author's quirky idiosyncrasies to draw us in. She wants to hear your opinions, but she will let you be if you don't want to give them. She's really funny, too.