Hilary-Anne Hallett

Feb 2012

I am only half way through this class with Prof. Hallet, but it is already one of the worst I have ever taken. The title made it sound like it would be a fun course to take for my last semester at Columbia, but I was wrong. All she does is stand at the front and read of a piece of paper, basically a difficultly worded essay that she has written about the days topic. One day she could not locate her piece of paper and was unable to start the lecture until she found it. This paper reading approach also makes it difficult to take notes since the wording can be tricky at times and she reads it pretty quickly. I have taken many lecture classes and I find the ones with more discussions and interactions to be more fun as well as more memorable when it comes time to take exams. Our midterm is this week and I'm hoping I will actually remember something from the many boring articles and handful of songs, for the short answer format it's supposed to be in. This class is definitely more about American History than it is about music. Although, it integrates what music was popular during different periods of American History, it does it in a very matter of fact way with a very dry manner. I am so bored by her paper reading techniques, I'd much prefer she just email the class what she reads so we could read it at home and just study on our own instead of wasting our time sitting in the classroom unnecessarily. This should really be an online course, class is a waste of time. So much so, that most people rarely come to it, even though attendance is 10% of your grade.

Dec 2010

Like all history professors, Prof. Hallett is extremely intelligent and communicable. Her lectures were a good mix of historical background and discussion of the films we watched, as well as discussion on our own lives. She chose some really great films, all which made for good looks into how gender changed from 1910-1960. The biggest downside was that for the first half of the class, she required us to come to screenings of the films on Monday nights (class was Tuesday Afternoon). Not only do the Hamilton projections change the aspect ratio, but it was late on a Monday when a lot of us had to give up other stuff we were doing. She eventually nixed the idea late in the semester thankfully. Also she was rampant at making sure we were working on our final papers—much more than my actual thesis I did this semester. It probably made our papers better, but it was quite annoying.