Harry Kavros

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2010

Kavros will not provide the typical, quintessential lit hum experience, but he's certainly far better than most other options. He tends to run the class more as a lecture than as a discussion, going on about various vague and abstract ideas meant to help elucidate the texts. Fond of drawing charts and graphs on the board, Kavros rarely provokes spirited class discussion. Kavros did help me think in a new way and write in the academic style that many professors at Columbia prefer. Overall, I think that Kavros is genuinely concerned with the growth of his students and passionate about the texts. Beware, Kavros does make some syllabus alterations. But compared to the workload of other sections, Kavros' seemed light. If you make a definite effort to participate, do all the readings, and stay focused, there's much to be learned from Kavros.

Jan 2009

Kavros is a good professor. he knows the material well, which sometimes leads him to lecture a little too much, but if students have something to say, he encourages them. in fact, my main complaint is that he can be a little too encouraging, validating even the most ridiculous observations. he does not force things out of you, though, so if you're a quiet student, don't expect to be pulled out of your shell, and hope that the rest of your class isn't quiet, too, because then it just becomes a lecture.

Jan 2009

He is a good professor. He has content mastery. I am a math major, I am not good at reading or writing but he was nice enough and helpful enough for me to get a B+ for his course so far. 2 papers, midterm and standard final. He weights things to help you get the best grade possible. Definitely a good Prof.

May 2008

Harry is great. He always had interesting stuff to say about the books, and made sure the class stayed focused on teasing out the meaning of the text and didn't go off on irrelevant tangents. Some people didn't like that he made kids raise their hands to speak and would sometimes lecture for a while about a particular topic, but I thought he gave the class necessary structure. He is smart and a fair graded. In short, you are lucky to get him.

Aug 2006

Harry Kavros is the man. He always brought insightful views to the table. He even brought in a bible expert to explain specific language details of the bible. Harry was always engaging and led discussion very well. Discussion wasn't focused on any sparknotes points, but on new ideas that I'd never thought about before. I definitely recommend taking a class that he teaches if you can. He's awesome.

May 2006

At first, taking lit hum with a dean of Columbia Law School would prove to be an unforgettable experience. I regret that it was, an experience I hope not to relive. Although the cause of this dull experience is debatable, I would definitely go for the "pre-med excuse" in order to switch lit hum sections. The only part of me that appreciates this experience is that students who stuck with this section for second semester had an even worse experience. 9:00 AM, a gang of football players, the Iliad for weeks on end, all contributed to an impossible task for Harry to stimulate class discussion and class interest. Well, he failed, in most respects. It got to the point that each student had to come into class with a prepared discussion which still did not rectify this problem. Towards the midterm and final we just spent all class testing each other on passages for the tests. Very approachable during office hours, and a down-to-earth person all around.

Jan 2006

One would think that an assistant Dean at the Law School would have better things to do than teach Literature Humanities to a squadron of freshmen. Wrong: Harry was engaged and enthusiatic in his work, and has devoted much of his time to the study of the Classics, particularly those in Greek. For a teacher of first-semester LitHum, it doesn't get much better than this. Dean Kavros has taught this course several times, and read through the syllabus' works more times than he has taught them. A short visit to his office confirmed that he's been reading up on just about everything in the field. This comes in handy when you are looking for inspiration - he's glad to have students in his office hours, and to acommodate at other times; detailed, accurate, and constructive commentary on written work only comes to those who take advantage of office hours, so do. Harry's teaching style is not perfect: while he is a clear speaker who managed even to make sense of the catalogue of ships in Iliad II, he is often too permissive. That is to say, if a student goes off on an unproductive tangent or incorrect commentary, he will try to make sense of it rather than bringing the conversation back around to something useful. The result can be a choppy discussion marred by bad student preparation. Nonetheless, Harry is engaging and gets something out of every class.