Paul Weinfield

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

May 2010

Let this be a requiem to Paul’s CC career, seeing as he’s no longer teaching this course after this year. In short, Paul makes CC the enjoyable experience that it is supposed to be while also imparting the information within the texts in a brilliantly efficient fashion. He's laid back, catnip to the ladies, and still committed to delivering a quality education. Your notes in this class are as good as gold; Paul covers EVERYTHING you need to know about the texts in class. Additionally, his essays stray from the classical CC model of strict adherence to text and verge into creative writing. Your grade on essays is based not only upon your philosophical arguments but also upon how creative and “fun” your essay is. The essays are also shockingly manageable because of Paul’s aversion to quote overload. Paul is quite simply everything a CC professor should be. If there was justice in the world, Paul should be put on tenure track now. Of course, this is still Columbia we’re talking about.

Jan 2009

Yeah, Paul's laid back, brilliant, good looking, etc., but don't expect an easy A. He's not extremely difficult, but I found his grading surprisingly harsh for the sort of Culpa reviews he's getting. It's definitely not true that he doesn't care about deadlines. He's flexible about setting them, but he would also lower grades if papers are late. And just for kicks, YouTube him. (or see him live, which some have done)

Jan 2009

The previous statements about Paul maybe playing favorites (though maybe not females as some suggested) might be warranted, and his grading is completley ambiguous, but these reviews miss a crucial point about his class. Not only are they fun and entertaining, but I walked away actually thinking I knew the material. Paul let you get away from reading often, rarely citing the text, and often simply focusing on the arguments and the formation. If there was a question he asked and nobody responded, he wouldn't chastised the class but instead simply said the answer himself. He also used modern day examples a lot (and strangely a lot of drug references, which seeing how he's in a band might make sense...) in order to see how we could apply it to today and not 3000 years ago. Sure he might not give you an easy A for just reciting the text (both papers and exams required your own thinking), but he's definitely worth learning from.

Jan 2009

I think that you should come away confused from a discussion about a philosophy text, and feel equipped to explore your confusion using the text, and your mind. This does not happen in Paul Weinfield's class. He gives you "take away" points from each author- it feels like a spark notes version of the texts. Everything is very clear after his classes- not because we have thoroughly dissected the texts, but exactly the opposite; we stay away from the texts (he hardly ever references a passage), and simply move down the bullet points that he has in front of him. He tries to explain many concepts using cocaine or sex analogies- as though the only way we could grasp these ideas is if he relates them to rock 'n roll. He's a very minimalist commenter. I've never tried to talk to him about my writing, so maybe that woudl be helpful; I can't complain about his comments utnil I've done that. In general, it sounds as if very few people have caught good cc professors. I would not switch out of his class because the chances that you are going to be even less satisfied are very high. He is a nice guy. he's not boring. and it's kind of fun to have a professor who's a singer/songwriter . it's always fascinating to listen to his songs on his myspace.

Dec 2008

The previous review was totally unfounded. Paul's favorite students are not female. Simply, Paul is their favorite professor (for various reasons--both physical and intellectual). These two are obviously not the same. Paul doesn't play favorites, but is equally kind to every student and gives everyone a chance to speak freely--even those who have nothing of substance to say and after which you are left scratching your head wondering what/why/how??... Yet, Paul even manages to turn even these comments into a productive, thought provoking class discussion, which was thoroughly enriching and enjoyable. As mentioned, he is very chilled. If you come in late or have to miss class, he understands that life doesn't always bow to his class. A concept many professors find unintelligible. I cannot imagine that there is a better CC professor out there. Having had my share of depressing professors in Columbia, Paul was the one that gave me my faith back on Columbia faculty. If you have him--for anything--CC a religion class--whatever he is teaching--keep him!!! He is a rare gem.

Dec 2007

Nice guy, but be aware that his favorites are female students and a** kissers. If you don't fall into one of these categories, don't expect your grade to boost your GPA. Sure, you probably won't get anything lower than a B-, but in a 4 credit class, that could be brutal. Lame comments on papers that have nothing to do with the grade you receive. Grading seemed arbitrary.

May 2006

He's awesome. Take him. Super easy, but you still learn everything you need to know. He actually befriends his students and is very good at promoting discussion. I guess the only downside would be that sometimes he lets the discussion run off topic, but he does a great job of making sure you understand the material. On top of all that, he also is an amazingly generous grader!

May 2006

Paul is certainly a laid-back guy. He is very understanding about the need to miss lectures, the reality of having to read obscene amounts for a class (he often encouraged people to speak about the part of the text they may have perused,) and was very approachable outside of class. He is really knowledgable and isn't afraid to speak honestly about his personal feelings towards the philosophers we discussed. His teaching style could use tweaking, perhaps a little more direction for class discussions, but that's to be expected for a first-time CC teacher. All in all Paul made CC a thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you end up with him, you're lucky.

Mar 2006

Paul Weinfield is one of the most laid-back and cool teachers that you can hope to have at Columbia. He's a grad student in the Religion department but he is very well-informed about philosophy (and other areas of study that he occasionally brings up). He really tries to make CC as painless as possible. He doesn't lecture too much but rather guides and mediates the discussion between students. He also doesnt take attendance and is understanding about needing to miss class. He is a pretty lenient grader. My only complaint about him would be the classes lack focus and sometimes direction. But in general, he is a good instrutor to get for CC. His strength is probably his personality, he is so approachable about anything and is always willing to go over things with students. But that doesnt mean that he isnt extremely intelligent!

Jan 2006

Paul is great.Laid back but committed to giving us a "good education" and he knows his philospphy and is good at explaining the more difficult topics.There is an equal amount of lecturing and discussion in class,interspersed with philosphy jokes from Paul.His classes have a relaxed feel and are usually fun.I would have preferred if his classes were more structured because many of the discussions lacked direction, continuity and a unifying theme.Paul is a fun, cool guy and a kind grader, I don't think he'd give anyone below a B.