professor
Tina Helynn Rivers Ryan

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2015

These reviews really do give a great representation of Tina, and it's easy to see why. The fact is, great professors are often polarizing, and Tina is no exception. She has an effective teaching style, with an approachable personality conveying a dense amount of information that is made easy to understand if you put in the effort. If you come to her class with an open mind, you will learn a ton. She is a tough grader on papers, but she gives good criticisms and guidance for how to rewrite your paper for a higher grade and just expects you to write well-thought arguments. She includes readings for every class, which greatly enhance the class and while not strictly necessary, if you don't do them you'll miss out on a lot of what's going on and only superficially understand the lectures. As these reviews show, if you're like 95% of students, you'll love her. She is accessible during office hours, and still takes time to help former students long after they've taken the class (especially if you go on to more Art History), which is why so many of us think highly of her. Unfortunately, if you have the stubborn arrogance to suggest that you know more about a subject matter than the professor (while simultaneously not being able to appreciate the depth of her arguments and differentiate them from wikipedia), if you are the type of humorless misanthrope to become enraged by the fact that your professor has a personality, and if you have a frail ego that cannot accept having your superficial, elementary opinions questioned and corrected, then you will no doubt have that illusion shattered by a professor like Tina, who refuses to feed your delusions. If you're that guy, you should probably avoid her class and just read wikipedia instead. Otherwise, you'll end up here a year later, still nursing a grudge that she didn't give you the A that you didn't earn (but you still felt entitled to), and trying to exact your revenge by impotently lashing out in multiple negative reviews, failing to understand why most people actually love her class and unable to just let it go and move on. For the rest of us--healthy, well-balanced students who just want to learn from someone who knows their stuff and isn't boring--you will be glad you took Tina's class. If she does ever teach Art Hum again in the future, I can't recommend her highly enough. At the risk of repeating others, she's pretty awesome.

Jan 2015

Once again, someone *cough* Tina or her friends, is writing reviews for her because she desperately wants that Gold Nugget. Exhibit A: look at the review on January 18, 2015. This student mentions that he/she took her class “last year”. In the fall 2014, Tina didn’t even teach art humanities according to the course directory. In spring 2014, I was one of the students in her class, and my classmates can attest to the fact that there were NO freshmen in that class, thereby making one question the entire review. Exhibit B: Review on December 10, 2014. Not many students write a review a year after they’ve taken the course, yet this “student” wrote another glowing review of Tina. Seem similar to exhibit A? Exhibit C: Look at the number of disagrees with all the positive reviews of Tina. Exhibit D: Look at the writing style of the positive reviews. Do they seem similar/use similar adjectives/sentence structure? These reviews are extremely positive and completely unfair for students who want to get the whole picture of Tina. While she may be okay at teaching art humanities, her personality, particularly her stubborn nature and her arrogance, are a huge turnoff for the class.

Jan 2015

I took Art Hum with Tina as a freshman last year, and I consider myself really lucky to have had her as a professor. While it seems that some reviewers don't share my opinion, I can only speak of my own experience, which was excellent to say the least. That said, I won't argue that there are probably easier art hum teachers out there who won't push you to delve into the material like Tina does. She is a serious art historian and is fully prepared to offer a wealth of knowledge about the subject, for those who are willing to listen. As an economics major who may never again step foot in another art history or related course, I think it will carry some weight when I say that this was one of the most valuable classes I have ever taken. I say this because having taken art hum with Tina I now feel comfortable approaching works of art that before, would have intimidated me. Taking her class will give you the tools to interpret and unpack any work of art - from the Parthenon, to Pollock. She will teach you that art is not made for memorization, and that approaching art with curiosity and persistence can grant you a remarkable sense of understanding. Part of the reason I chose Columbia was for the unique opportunity that the Core presents - namely, the opportunity to learn about Western art and culture in a way that will be advantageous for years to come. And, I think many will agree that this was a big part of their decision, and that this is what the Core Curriculum is all about. The goal isn't, and shouldn't be, to pick up an easy A or to snooze through a semester of lectures. The goal is to walk away with a more complete and meaningful outlook, in this case with respect to art. In sum, I can confidently attest that learning about art and how to approach it from Tina has been one of the highlights of my time at Columbia so far. As with many things in life and especially the Core, this class and all of the things you can take away from it are fully dependent on how much you are willing to put in. Should you be so lucky as to have Tina as a professor in any capacity, I hope you will jump at the chance to learn from her a new way of looking at the art around you.

Dec 2014

Tina is an amazing professor. I was not looking forward to art hum that much, and certainly not any more excited about it after hearing other students' experiences with it. But, the way Tina taught the class made my experience fun and conducive to willful learning. She cared more about teaching her students how to understand and interpret the material than about meaningless regurgitation of dates and associations. I took so much more from her class than I expected to and I am truly grateful for that. Her tours of the Met and the MoMA were fantastic. Also, meeting her in office hours was a huge help to my understanding of the material and how to interpret it in my assignments. She was open reasonably often for in person meetings and always provided fast and fruitful feedback to e-mails.

Sep 2014

Tina is an exciting, dedicated, friendly, and knowledgeable teacher. I'm an economics major; I've never really been interested in art, so I wasn't looking to this course. She succeeded not only in keeping my attention through the three-hour summer lectures, but in convincing me why good art matters. She's excellent at bringing complicated ideas down to a simple level. She's informal; she doesn't expect any background knowledge. And she's very willing to sit down with students and talk over ideas. I found her paper feedback in particular to be very helpful.

Aug 2014

Tina is, hands down, an incredible professor. When I first signed up for Art Hum, I knew virtually nothing about art and was taking it to fulfill the requirement. However, after taking the class with Tina this past summer, I feel like she's truly helped me gain an understanding and appreciation for art. Her class lectures were very thorough, interesting and well-organized, and it’s clear that she put a lot of effort into making sure that she provided additional depth and explanation to supplement the presentation slides and handouts. She was really good about returning papers within just a few days, and more importantly, always included a lot of useful feedback to help us improve. In addition, she went above and beyond standard office hours in proactively offering other times when she could meet with us for help. Where Tina especially shined was on our field trips. Seeing a painting in a museum is so different from seeing it on a PowerPoint slide, whether it’s the vividness of the color or the texture of the canvas, and she did a great job not only explaining the often complex message each work of art was sending, but also asking critical, probing questions that would allow us to discover art on our own—and this approach was absolutely enlightening, better than any tour I've taken at several world-class museums. Art Hum was a great class, but what really made it stand out was how amazing Tina was—she was the best professor I've had at Columbia. If you ever have the chance, TAKE HER CLASS!

Aug 2014

Tina is an amazing teacher – and Art Hum course with her was one of my best core classes at Columbia! She is excellent in what she teaches! If you are genuinely interested in understanding art, then this is definitely the class you should go for. This class meant a lot for me because I had always loved looking at the artworks, but had felt inadequate in my ability to analyze or appreciate those earlier. This course had been a transforming experience for me, because Tina not only gave us a strong contextual understanding of art in the different eras, but also helped us develop an overall appreciation of the artists’ genius by thoroughly explaining what really lies at the heart of each masterpiece. Her descriptions were complete, accurate, and flowed in a very clear , sequential, and logical way, which really helped us grasp the developments in art really well. Her lectures are engaging as she has an extensive knowledge of this subject and is very supportive in guiding the students to perform better. She is very articulate, explains the concepts with a strong interest and passion, and motivates the students to do well and to participate in the class. I will definitely recommend taking the Art Hum course with Tina.

Aug 2014

I just finished the summer session with Tina Rivers Ryan. She is a top notch instructor. She is extremely knowledgeable and well-versed on the subject matter. Her lectures were well organized and well presented, verbally and visually. Summer session classes are 3 hours long, which I thought would be awful. However, each class flew by. I learned so much in this class. Tina's lectures were carefully structured and very interesting. She had terrific slide presentations to enhance her lectures. In addition, Tina encouraged class participation and has a great manner when dealing with her students. This added to the learning experience. Our class experienced very fast turnaround on our papers and Tina's feedback on them was thorough and very helpful. Tina teaches her class with great energy and enthusiasm. Absolutely one of the best professors I have had at Columbia. I would love to take another class with her. Highly recommend!

Jul 2014

There is no need for you Culpa staff to post this review, but please read it carefully so that you do not further deceive students. It's ridiculous at what lengths Tina will go to get back her gold nugget. I don't usually write culpa reviews, but I feel like Tina is deceiving all the other culpa users in the future looking to receive an accurate review of her. I have a feeling many of these reviews are written by Tina, or her close friends. She is good for Art Hum, but definitely not as "awesome" as most of these reviews make her seem. Any professor that can get greater than 40 Agrees on a positive review, let alone an Art Hum Professor who only has 20 students a semester, is suspect to careful review. I hypothesize she either up votes herself, or has friends do it for her. It is absolutely atrocious and unethical. Look at the December 10, 2013 in particular. How often do reviews come in so closely packed, all positive, same writing style, etc. Look at the agrees. Just carefully think about it. In conclusion, please review her previous posts, the amount of agrees on the positive reviews and disagrees on the negative reviews and carefully reach a conclusion about whether she really is so "awesome".

Jun 2014

I was shocked when I came on here to see the most recent reviews of Tina, so I thought I would offer my experience with her. Pre-assigned to ArtHum in the fall as a freshmen this year (as a former visual arts student in high school), I stuck with the class. Everyone told me it would be good to "get it out of the way" as one of the pesky Core classes all students are required to take. I had many older friends at universities pursuing degrees in visual arts who hated their art history classes, so I wasn't too optimistic. I was so pleasantly surprised! ArtHum with Tina was an incredibly fantastic and inspiring experience. She began the course slowly taking two classes to go over Roman/Greek art easing us into the class as most people in ArtHum don't have experience in the subject area. She then picked up the pace to complete the entire standard curriculum units and an extra unit. She also didn't give any artists/time period more attention than another which some professors in another classes. I thought this was more judicious and allowed for a more comprehensive experience of Western art history. Classes typically included a large portion of Tina lecturing as well as discussion time. Discussions were often preceded by blogging online which was a good way to flesh out thoughts before class and required us to do research on our own. She also commented on some of the posts online too which helped get everyone engaged. I disagree with the comments about her personality/teaching style below. I personally found her a very healthy, wonderful mix of relatable and professional. She speaks eloquently and in depth as she teaches but can also have a very casual conversation before class begins or while on the trip to the MET. The instances of casualness made me more comfortable participating or making mistakes in class, because she didn't seem a distant, serious professor only interested in students who can constantly impress them. The culture of perfectionism and elitism at Columbia can be absolutely suffocating, so I was so thankful for her being a human being I could actually engage. Overall, this was the best class I had first semester and inspired me to pursue art history as a concentration or double major. I never even considered art history before her class, and now I am indebted to her for making me fall in love with the subject. She is a brilliant, charming, and engaging individual that I am so happy to have had. Take her class! Find her at the MET next year when she is completing her fellowship there! You won't regret it.

Jun 2014

I literally never write culpa reviews, but a couple of the reviews for Tina lately seem unnecessarily harsh. I felt I needed to put another positive experience out there as somebody who recently took her class. I won't pretend like she was the perfect instructor with absolutely no criticisms -- nobody is. However, for short bursts of an hour and fifteen minutes she managed to cover an amazing amount of material and clearly was knowledgable about all of it, at least a couple steps beyond what we needed to know for art hum. My biggest criticism, which isn't even big at all, is that since she tried to fit so much material in, it sometimes felt like she was steamrolling through lectures with limited time to entertain questions or comments. Sometimes students would raise their hands to speak, and she said they would have to wait until the end if there was enough time. She was always open to people discussing their thoughts with her after class, though, which was a generous way for her to make up for it. Overall, she was fun, really approachable, and tried to make the class as enriching as possible. It was beyond obvious that she cares deeply for teaching and her students. She has a bit of a "too-the-point" personality, which some people may mistake for rudeness or standoffishness, but if you get to know her, either after class or in office hours, you will quickly see that she is not only a great, effective instructor but someone you wish could be your friend after the semester ends.

May 2014

I have mixed feelings about Tina. While I think her past reviews overrated her (I've taken very few profs that are actually 'gold nugget profs' in my opinion), I think the most recent reviews are kind of harsh. Overall, I thought Tina was a pretty good professor, very knowledgeable, fairly nice and understanding -- I just didn't really agree with some of the things she said and she doesn't leave a lot of room for argument with her own opinions. So, long story short, I feel like I learned a lot in this class. I know way more about visual art and art history than I did before I took the class. But I didn't enjoy the class as much as I had hoped to, and I think that just might be because Tina's teaching style isn't really my cup of tea (but that doesn't mean it isn't effective). More specifics: Good: (1) No exams in the class, so it was pretty low stress most of the time except when we had a paper due. Not exactly sure this is a good thing -- three papers are worth 90% of your grade (10% participation), so if you're not a good writer and you prefer exams (easier to regurgitate) you might do better in a different section. Also, no incentive to do the reading if there are no exams ... Tina would get annoyed that we didn't do the reading, but they were helpful but not * necessary * to contextualize the classes. (2) She has a pretty high standard for essay writing and offers revisions, which is awesome. This is one of few classes I've taken (and I'm a humanities major) that I felt pushed to flesh out my argument and figure out exactly what I was saying because she offered a revision for the first two papers (most humanities classes, especially lectures, don't offer revisions, understandably, but this makes improving upon one's writing less critical). I think her grading is generally fair, though she definitely prefers less complex, clearer arguments over more sophisticated, more convoluted arguments. (3) She's overall a really nice, approachable person. She was always willing to answer questions and held lots of office hours. On the other hand, as previously mentioned, she doesn't leave that much room for argument re: her own opinions on the art we studied. (4) Field trips! I personally enjoyed them. Not many classes go to the MoMA and because Tina focuses on modern art she gave us a tour there which I thought was pretty cool. Field trips are fun. (5) She says in the beginning of the semester that the class will be mostly a lecture with some discussion when it's appropriate, which I found to be really great given that my Music Hum prof basically tried to make it a discussion 24/7, which made no sense since like no one knew anything about music. So it was refreshing to have her be honest and upfront that we'd learn more in a generally lecture setting with some interesting discussions throughout. (6) She tries to get everyone to talk during discussions which is cool, especially for people who don't really like talking in class, but in an interesting discussion she basically only lets any person say one thing and then refuses to call on them again, which is... silly, in my opinion. The not so good: (1) She is SO SLOW at grading. I know she's busy cause she's getting married and has a lot of other stuff going on but for someone who's taught the class quite a number of times in the past it seems like you'd think she could grade a bit faster. Also, TurnItIn is really annoying. I get why she uses it (as explained below) but it's still annoying on our end. I had a TA once who graded on his iPad and he did it through Adobe Acrobat PDF so I definitely don't think this is the only option. (2) Honestly, I just don't think I meshed that well with her personality. (3) She has this thing about writing papers, which is basically that art history papers (for us lowly art hum students who know very little about art -- no disagreement on that last part) are less about what we say about the artwork/what visual details we see and more about how we organize these visual details into an argument. In class she said that regurgitating what we'd already discussed over and over in class in our papers was fine, and she was more looking to how we could synthesize what we had learned. This sounds fine and makes some sense, but you could really write a paper and not write anything new that we hadn't discussed in class and it'd be fine, and that's not really how I'm used to writing papers for other humanities classes (like, yes, it's true that we probably can't say anything * new * because we're just students or whatever, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try). i.e. you could pick two works of art we'd studied, like a specific Rembrandt and a specific Warhol or a specific Pollock, regurgitate every single visual detail we'd discussed in class, but pick and choose which details to include based on a thesis you came up with. I guess it's alright, just again, not really what I imagine paper writing to be. Overall, could have been much worse, and I'm glad that I was in this class -- if you get Tina, you should stick with her, unless you are completely averse to writing papers, in which case, get out.

May 2014

Unremarkable teacher. She thinks very highly of herself and tries too hard to the point of communicating humor over knowledge. Sometimes her attempts to make art hum "fun" interfered with actually learning in art hum. There are no tests, so you could definitely do worse for art hum, but you could also do better. Also, the essays are graded on a point scale instead of letter grades, which is bizarre for a humanities class, and everything goes through turnitin.com because Tina apparently thinks we're all committing plagiarism.

May 2014

Her knowledge of the works we studied was fair at best. She will tell you at the beginning of the semester that she studies 20th-century art from a "social Marxist" perspective, and it is clear that this is all she's capable of. Her explanation of the Parthenon was elementary and idiotic - ie, "the proportions of the Parthenon are [such and such] because the Greeks cared about balance." Gee, thanks, Wikipedia. She took over a month to grade our essays, to the point that we got one essay back a day before the next one was due. She was always ready with an excuse about how "crazy" this semester had been for her. She also seemed to think she was young and cool, and overshared details of her personal life - did I really need to know that she met her fiance online? No, I did not. I have never written a CULPA review before, but Tina's reviews are so inaccurate as to warrant at least a lone voice of dissent.

Dec 2013

Tina Rivers is the best teacher I've had at Columbia so far and one of the best teachers I've ever had, period. She's an incredibly knowledgeable, thoughtful, and no-nonsense instructor. I actually wanted to do the readings and I turned in the papers early because her class was so wonderful. I had never taken art history courses before and now I'm taking two next semester and considering doing an art history concentration. Tina inspires that kind of interest in what she teaches. I know that if I'd taken Art Hum with a less interesting instructor, I would most likely have skipped most of the work and gotten far less out of the course. Seriously, if you have the chance to take her class, DO IT.

Dec 2013

I can only hope that one day I will be as brilliant, compassionate, hilarious, well-rounded, articulate, and kind as Tina. She not only is the most inspiring professor I have ever had, but she's an incredibly interesting individual. As someone who had never taken an art history class before, or any art class for that matter, I would often stay after class and bombard Tina with questions. She always answered my questions with a smile, and often our conversations would branch into larger discussions of identity, individuality and expression, love, life, and all that cheesy cliche stuff. She genuinely cares for her students, as evidenced by her extensive comments over our papers, her frequent field trips to eye-opening exhibits, her option of re-writing papers for a better grade, among a slew of other things. In our first class, Tina explicitly stated that her goal was NOT to force us to robotically memorize dates, but to teach to be artistically literate. Tina showed us a video about how people flock to museums just take a picture of famous artwork and share it on social media to prove that they "saw a Picasso" or "spent time with Monet." She pointed out that although we are taught to read words, we are never taught to read art. And Tina successfully accomplished her goals. I can actually enjoy the Met now, instead of wandering aimlessly trying to find all the famous works. You're probably rolling your eyes, thinking "ok this is just another anomalous fangirl, and she's not representative of the class opinion." I understand how this review might give this impression. Yet, for our last class, we all got together outside of the set class-time to talk about art, hang out (and Tina bought us all dinner and cannolis!), which testifies to our communal respect for Tina. Really, I cannot articulate enough how much I respect Tina. I am definitely going to keep visiting her during office hours!

Dec 2013

Tina is a fantastic teacher – always interesting and engaging, down to earth and funny, and above all, an inspiration. She is super passionate about what she teaches and communicates that well through her Art Hum class without ever being overbearing or annoying. I appreciated her version of Art Hum because, while she taught the entire syllabus, she also encouraged us to question what it means for something to bed a "masterpiece." The essays are totally manageable and you get to pick your own topic, which makes them super interesting. Her grading is very fair and if you work hard you will absolutely excel in this class. Take Art Hum with Tina!

Jun 2011

Fantastic! What can you say except that she's an amazing teacher. She clearly knows her stuff and makes this class extremely enjoyable. If you ever have any questions or clarifications on assignments, readings, midterm etc, she's always willing to put in the extra effort to meet with you and talk. She absolutely made this class more enjoyable than any other Core class I've taken. The readings can at times seem long but if you get into them, they're really enjoyable. She knows that very few people are going to be engaged by tediously boring material, so all the readings are interesting, even if you don't have any inclination for art. Besides knowing her stuff, she's super friendly. She held a pizza/movie night at the end of the semester and is really just great to talk to. Definitely take this class with her!

Jan 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed the class with Tina. Apart from a very personal & friendly attitude, she explains art in comprehensive, easily digestible way often making her classes quite fun as well. She's very open to discussion and variety of opinions. The bottom line is: everyone knows ArtHum is the core requirement. There are those teachers that will make it hard for you because of that, and there are those that will make it fun and as stress-free as possible while still interesting and academically challenging. Tina opts for the latter. Highly recommended

Jan 2011

Tina was my discussion leader for Crary's 19th century class and was fantastic. Even though she admitted that her speciality was 20th century, not 19th century, she seemed to really know her stuff. Discussion sections can sometimes really lag, but Tina was great at clarifying the often dense and theoretical reading, and also brought a lot of humor and enthusiasm to the class. She was also incredibly helpful in helping me to identify weaknesses on the midterm and improve for the final, as well as refine my essay outline.

Jan 2011

Tina is an incredibly effective teacher. Her art hum class was my best experience with the core. She transformed what has the potential to be a rote core class into something tht felt both current and necessary. She is young and "cool" so she gets how to connect with her students, but also super super super super super smart so no information is sacrificed due to her trying to be the fun teacher. Her lectures were always well prepared. She never faltered for lack of knowlege about an issue. And her tatoos are pretty sweet. Take this class.

Jan 2011

Tina is fantastic in every respect—dynamic and engaging with course material while expertly managing the line between being approachable personally and impressive intellectually. Would recommend her Art Hum course to anyone (I took it having absolutely no experience with art history and a lack of interest in the subject which Tina's enthusiasm and solid presentation quickly changed). Her modernist bent means that she's thankfully liberated from stodgy art historical dogma and is able to put things in neat and sensible perspective. Can't say that her class is necessarily easy (at least by art hum standards) but Tina makes it so that the work isn't a burden and is actually meaningful to you, no matter your area of study.

Jan 2011

I took 20th Century Art, expecting to be blown away by Branden Joseph. While Joseph did do a great job teaching, I was much more impressed with Elisabeth, aka Tina. Tina has been the best TA I have ever had at Columbia or Barnard—and this is coming from someone who has had a lot of TAs. She is extremely knowledgable, approachable, and straight-forward, and this is reflected in her teaching style. With Tina, don't expect an easy A—she can see through the BS that usually fills art history discussion sections. If you put in the work and really think about the readings before and after class, though, you will be rewarded for your efforts. Tina really goes out of her way to help her students understand the tough material Joseph assigns, and she is very willing to help students with their papers. In short, Tina is amazing, and you'll probably learn more in her class than the actual class itself.

Jan 2011

Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome Awesome

May 2010

Tina is a fantastic TA for this course. Although at first she seemed somewhat strict about the requirements to the point of being unfriendly, she was very understanding and accommodating, and very easy to talk to outside of class or section. Moreover, she was incredibly knowledgeable, very down-to-earth, and excellent at explaining what at times were very esoteric philosophical or critical concepts. With Tina as a TA, the otherwise unwieldy reading assignments are both easily understood and distilled down to their essence. Every week before section, she would send out discussion questions, which made readings more manageable as they guided the reader to the most important aspects of each reading. Also, I found her to be a fair grader, and if you apply what she goes over in section and what is discussed in class to the assignments, you should have no problem doing well. Highly recommended. Also, I hear she is teaching Art Hum next year, so if you have her for that prepare for a fun class.

May 2010

Tina "Nobody calls me Elizabeth" Rivers is a great art history TA. I had her for Jonathan Crary's 19th century survey and when I saw she was doing a discussion section for Alexander Alberro's Barnard class on late 20th century art I took that too. She's got a lot of knowledge about the theorists and critics at play and she is able to pull them all out of her head to help clarify discussions or meetings. An hour with her can sometimes give you more information than 3 weeks of lectures (especially in Alberro's painfully slow case). She keeps it all focused though by sending guiding questions along with corresponding page numbers to find the answers for each reading so you know how to read the essays and find what she wants you to find. Depending on the group and topic she may race through a lot of incredibly dense theory or break down one idea into a simple concept but always brings a lot to the table. She'll work really hard for you and meet as often as necessary to discuss papers or ideas and give lots of notes but she won't punish you for not taking her up on that either. She runs a pretty relaxed discussion and any comment or question is always treated with appropriate respect and humor.