University Writing was the best class I have taken at Columbia, not because of the subject matter, but because of the teacher. In other classes, conformity was expected of my thought. Professors wanted a certain thing from me, and to my intellectual dismay, I gave it to them so I could see that A or A+ on my transcript. In University
Writing with Jan, however, free thought was encouraged. "Wake-up moments" could become a part of my writing. I was allowed to enjoy readings from my own perspective, not the perspective of an all-poweful professor who tyrannically forces his/her ideas upon his/her subjects. This class is one that helped me greatly and stimulated me intellectually.
Jan becomes friends with his students, but still has authority. It was a fun class, take it if you are looking for a laid back style that will really help your writing and thought process.