professor
Andrea Libin

Aug 2006

I was in Andrea's UW section in the spring of my freshman year. I'll be a junior this fall; this review is a little overdue but incorporates some valuable retrospective. There are probably worse sections for UW, but Andrea's was a rather bad experience for me. I got an A (the grading didn't seem as tough as the previous reviewer claimed) but I felt like I didn't get anything out of the class. The feedback I received on papers was vague and my writing barely improved. My political views are conservative compared to most of Columbia's and I felt a little annoyed sometimes - most of the readings were from very liberal writers. We were broken up into pairs for various writing assignments; I was consistently paired with either the athletes or non-native English speakers in the class. It was valuable getting to know a young man who grew up in China, but editing his papers was just impossible. I don't mean to be denigrating to athletes and foreign students. They are entitled to learn and be full participants in the Columbia academic environment. They probably got even less out of the class than I did. If you're looking to learn English, Andrea's section is not the place. I'm an engineering student (don't laugh) who's applying to law school, and I haven't had much opportunity to improve my writing in an academic setting. I went into UW expecting that; instead I found myself being forced to help some very poor writers with little guidance to enhance my own. Maybe I'm just pining for L&R. As for Andrea's teaching style, she seems to get very wishy-washy and unfocused. Maybe the 9:10 class time and preponderance of athletes and foreign students contributed to the atmosphere, but the bottom line is that Andrea is a bad teacher. Switch if you can.

Dec 2005

She's really nice and down to earth, but sucks at grading, she grades so freakin' hard. All the guys in my class got B+'s, and all the girls got A-'s...I don't get it, stay away from her, there's got to be a better teacher...and one more thing, EVERYONE GOT THE SAME GRADE ON ALL OF THEIR PAPERS!!