professor
Dehn Gilmore

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Jan 2009

Dehn is a terrible teacher! Avoid her if you can help it. She is nice...until she starts grading papers. What a hard grader! There were more C's than not on the midterm and papers. She also doesn't know how to lead a discussion. She didn't engage the class at all. Dehn was so bad, in fact, that at least 3/4 of my class switched to a different lithum section to avoid her.

Jan 2009

Dehn is a fabulous teacher with a real instinct for leading a discussion. But even if you're stubborn and don't want to answer, even the simpler questions that seem like an insult to your intelligence (or an insult to the depth with which you read the sparknotes) she's prepared with another question, or (gasp) a group activity. That would be my only complaint. But they aren't activities, really, they're just smaller group discussions. Dehn is young, approachable, very smart, and most importantly, manages to get all the important stuff about the books out in the discussions while keeping it interesting. You can, though I wouldn't recommend it, not read all the books, sparknote them well, PAY ATTENTION and take notes in class, and do ok to well on the midterm and final IDs. Not neccesarilly the papers and analysis stuff, but you knew that. Tough grader on papers, but she'll bump you up on your final grade for class participation if you are engaged. And if you go meet with her, as she encourages, you will learn to write better.

May 2008

Dehn is an extremely good teacher. She went to Harvard and is now getting her Ph.D at Columbia but you wouldn't think she is so busy because she puts so much effort and passion into everything she does for the class. She knows her stuff perfectly any question you have she can answer it and she's great at striking up good discussions. You'll learn so much from her, more than you'll ever expect. Because she's very smart, though, she's a hard grader when it comes to the papers. She loves when you make an extra effort to meet with her and is super helpful. If you're not a great writer though, beware. I wasn't but she was too good to give up. Participate and she'll love you.

May 2008

Dehn once gave us very practical advice on how to conduct our lives once we all became Victorian scholars. (Obviously, she never questioned that we would eventually become Victorian scholars.) That’s her sort of humor— dry, deliberately divorced from reality, and delivered in monotone. Though it often takes a few seconds to realize she’s cracked a joke, her sense of irony is incomparable. I was in Dehn’s first year teaching Lit Hum. I didn’t know she was the instructor until she introduced herself—she’s young (mid-20s?) and asked us to call her by her first name. But don’t expect her to act like a student (like other PhD candidates sometimes will). She’s been educated at Harvard and Cambridge, and fully embraces her role as professor. This means tough grading (once she said a paper that does everything right gets a B). At first she created a tense atmosphere by telling us how many As she gave out on an assignment, but this stopped second semester. Thankfully her individual feedback will teach you more (though it can be a little vague and abstract). She reads papers especially closely and will criticize any sentence that doesn’t make perfect sense, or any idea that’s not fully developed. I often felt depressed reading through the many negative comments, but she’ll include a nice thoughtful paragraph at the end (though even that one sometimes has a few barbs). Pay attention, though, and you can’t help but become a better writer in her class. She sets very high standards for her students, but you’re always encouraged to meet her expectations. Sure, they’re impossibly high, but you’ll always be challenged. Time in class, for the most part, was well spent. This could partly be because there were lots of intelligent and interesting students in the section, but Dehn also did a good job leading discussions. She’d give a short-and- sweet introduction, generally avoiding lectures. Discussions stayed on track (sometimes a specific track, she’d rather talk about punctuation than religion). She does a great job encouraging students who don’t shut up during the entire class. She often split us into small groups to do some project, which was sometimes helpful and sometimes a time-filler. But the actual conversations were always interesting, mostly because she won’t put up with nonsense. Sometimes you’ll make a comment and she’ll be all, “uh-huh, does anyone else have an interpretation?” It’s crushing but educational. Despite the intensity, morale was high in the class. She took us to the Met for a class trip, and totally outshone the tour guide. Afterwards, another student told me, “God, that tour-guide was so jealous she couldn’t be as cool as Dehn.” She’s sort of strange, and extremely intelligent. You can’t slack off her in section, but you’ll get a real education. And students outside of your section will know who she is, because her students love to love/hate her. You won’t forget her, or the class.