Collomia Charles

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Apr 2016

In my entire university experience, this is the best professor I have come across till now. She is extremely passionate about her subject(s), is so knowledgable and is just full of amazing anecdotes about people from the classical world. I have no Latin or Greek knowledge whatsoever (was not required for the class, its a lit class) and she made it so interesting to understand. I recommend this class x 10000000. Totally have a crush on her, its literally impossible not to.

Dec 2013

I had Collomia for Intermediate Latin II. It was a tough class but she definitely knows her stuff! She can come across as fairly intimidating and cold- she has no qualms about making you translate a difficult passage at sight for the class. Yet, on a one on one basis she is very friendly and helpful! She'll help you with any Latin problem you will ever have along with advice on where to move forward, etc. Half poetry with Ovid and post midterm was prose Sallust- both fairly tedious and difficult. The class could be difficult in terms of keeping up. Each class she would assign a chunk to translate for homework. Be ready for fairly inconsistent assignments- sometimes an incredibly long passage which will be impossible to finish, sometimes just doable. Quizzes were once a week and a major part of our grade (she normally asks quiz questions from the beginning of the translation!). This class was a lot of memorization for me and as awful as that sounds it pays off. Be careful with just looking at online translations- she can tell when you are straying from literal Latin. But if you do the homework EACH CLASS and review for quizzes, memorize for midterm and final, you will easily get an A in the class. Participation is basically mandatory. She is the most generous grader I have ever seen. She will take off 0.1 for mistakes rather than an entire point. Hard work and memorization pay off.

Apr 2011

Ms. Charles is an amazing professor and the definition of cool. I initially thought she was quiet, almost cold, but after a few classes quickly discovered otherwise. She has a great sense of humor, is supportive and encouraging in her own, off–beat way, and lends her brilliance to the class with absolutely no pretension or attitude. The class atmosphere she inspires is perfect: she is totally nonjudgmental. Don't be put off by her quietness or occasional poker face: she never looks down on students, and is nurturing in ways you wouldn't expect from someone who looks so tough! If you're a hardcore literature fan and want to be challenged, take this course––Ms. Charles will meet you step for step and totally enhance your understand of the texts. If you're shy, maybe intimidated by seminar settings, take this course––Ms. Charles never calls people out for not contributing, and honestly responds to each comment thoughtfully and without judgment. The readings were awesome, ranging from Greek tragedies at the beginning of the course to modern noir/hardboiled crime novels at the end. Even if a text isn't totally your thing, Ms. Charles' cool enthusiasm and fascinating side–stories makes it almost impossible to be apathetic in this class. She is a completely fair, even generous grader, which definitely encouraged me to take risks with my papers. (Which were rewarded!) When I was taking the class, I couldn't stop raving about her––she's simply one of the best teachers I've ever had. I'm definitely going to try and take another of her classes. She's just too good to be missed.

Jul 2010

Few words seem more apt to describe Collomia than "badass." Covered in tattoos (though she hides them well), keeping a stoic air about her wherever she goes, Collomia is truly a pleasure to have as a professor. Though not the most personable of professors (then again, what professor is?), she is one of the most helpful, patient language teachers you will ever have; she may never look you in the eye, but she will get you to understand the meaning of "participle" and "gerund" inside and out. I was also astonished to find out halfway through the semester that Collomia's area of academic specialty is not Latin, but Greek: had she not told us, I would have been convinced by her confidence in and utter adoration of the language that Latin is her favorite of the two. Also delightful are her many bloody and hilarious stories from Greek and Roman history that she tells with an exquisitely deadpan humor, and her encyclopedic cultural literacy (she once paused mid-lesson with a sudden revelation about a scene in Heart of Darkness) always left us giggling with joy. She is also exceedingly fair, perhaps even generous, when it comes to giving and grading assignments. On the last day before spring break, for example, she asked if all of us had studied for the quiz; when we nodded, she said, "Good, I don't have to give it to you. Let's read some Latin and go home." Finally, another favorite anecdote: STUDENT: How do you get into grad school? COLLOMIA: Don't go.

May 2010

This was by far one of the best classes that I have ever taken. I am not a literature major, and I found it to be thoroughly fascinating. Initially, half of the class dropped due to what they considered to be a "long book list". Although we did read quite a bit, it was all worth it. I never thougt that I would be saying this about a literature course. Professor Charles made this class enjoyable and thought provoking. Her understanding of the material, coupled with her enthusiasm for the topics that were discussed made this class something to look forward to. Again, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be saying this about a literature course. The rest of the the section had the same opinion. This was one of those classes that you will put a lof of effort into and really feel as if you have learned something and covered new ground. I highly recommend this course, but more importantly, this professor. She really is a phenomenal person.

May 2008

I cannot say enough good things about this woman. Her command over the subject matter is incredible, and she is fully capable of helping you appreciate the beauty of Greek language.(granted you put in the time, of course) She is kind to a fault, and exceedingly merciful when it comes to missed quizzes and assignments. Her intelligence, her patience, and the richness and excellence of the text made this class a very pleasant experience.