I took Professor Rosenthal's First-Year Seminar (The Americas I) and First-Year Writing (Americas II) and honestly cannot recommend her courses enough. Professor Rosenthal puts her all into the class and takes the time to create a class community and foster interesting and engaging discussions. While I wasn't particularly interested in the material at first, I found that being open to learning about topics I hadn't previously explored helped me gain a tremendous amount from my classmates and from the general atmosphere. I really appreciated that Professor Rosenthal's classes were structured to help the students both learn and do well in the course, a balance which is sadly hard to come by at Barnard/Columbia. The best part about Professor Rosenthal's courses was the chance to actively learn from mistakes made in writing and correct them before the final grades were due. The first essay I wrote in college after taking a gap year abroad was for her class; let's just say I needed the extra push. Professor Rosenthal made herself available for office hours and took the time to give precise feedback on my work in a way that both boosted my confidence and bolstered my ability to write precisely and clearly. Her grading style is quite fair; she rewards good work when she sees it. By the end of the semester, and certainly by the end of the year, I could see a tremendous improvement in my own writing and ability to express, which I believe is a product of the nurturing environment that Professor Rosenthal created. If I haven't convinced you yet, these classes also include fun excursions to different neighborhoods and performances throughout New York City. If you want a course that will shape your Barnard experience for the better, this is certainly the class for you.
Jennifer Rosenthal was not my top choice for FY Writing, but I enjoyed this class anyway. She does a really great job of helping you get to know your classmates, which was a little awkward and forced at first but eventually, I was saying hi to every girl in my class when I saw them. She also invited us to her apartment twice, which was very sweet. The class was my easiest in first semester--the readings are fairly short and not difficult. This also meant that it wasn't an especially intellectual class--I don't think I gained THAT much from it--but it was a nice transition into college (I took it first semester).
I have nothing but positive things to say about FYE and FYS with Professor Rosenthal after taking both semesters. Her class was engaging, always interesting, and I couldn't have asked for a more caring, invested professor. Class discussion was usually pretty invested and I thought Prof. Rosenthal gave solid feedback. Her assignments required running around New York, which looking back was a really great experience, though perhaps occasionally tedious. I also got a lot out of her requirement that we engage with archival/manuscript materials--this was the first (and last, to date) time I've done so. I'm glad to have had the excuse. Both of these assignments now stand out to me as important experiences of my first year at school, getting to know the college and the city. Overall the Americas were a great choice for me as far as a required course goes...much more interesting reading list than other FYE offerings and you can't go wrong with a professor so invested in your success.
I had Professor Rosenthal for my First-Year Seminar. I found the course to be great. The texts that we read were really good and I found her overall enthusiasm over what we were learning to be contagious. This seminar was not an easy course but that did not mean I did not enjoy the class. Professor Rosenthal works hard to get everyone into the topics we're learning about and she encourages us to stretch our learning by helping us look deeper into the texts we're reading and expanding our learning beyond the classroom. She shows a genuine interest in helping her students improve their writing which can be seen in how she is eager to meet with you even outside of her office hours and helps set up meetings with the Writing Fellows. Many times I would visit Professor Rosenthal's office and as we would go over my paper she would not only advise but also show me how I could make my writing better. The First-Year Seminar course "The Americas" is a great course to take with Professor Rosenthal. From her class, not only do you get to read great material and grow to appreciate it but you also get to work on your writing skills. I found that my semester in her class was a great learning experience.
I had Professor Rosenthal for two terms of "the Americas", both for FYE and FYS, and had an amazing experience both semesters. After the first semester, so many people enjoyed her class and teaching that 90% of the students chose to sign up and take a second semester with her. I really appreciated her effort to get us out into the city and explore what the city has to offer. I ended up at the New York Public Library in one of their special collections looking through Nathaniel Hawthorne's personal diaries and sketches, which was super cool and exciting. And then I got to write a paper about it! Professor Rosenthal really cares about her students and really takes the time to read through papers, often more than once. She takes your writing very seriously and writes incredibly detailed notes when grading- it would be a missed learning opportunity to not carefully go through her comments, and discuss them with her if you are confused. She really pushed us to come up with our own original ideas when writing papers- which was really empowering and a skill that I have come to appreciate throughout my time at Barnard. You really have to put the work in to get the grade that you want, but if you put the effort in, in the end you will learn a lot about structuring your arguments and writing a good, cohesive paper. I recommend going to the writing center as much as possible! They will help you immensely and improve your writing.
Jennifer Rosenthal is a nice lady, for the most part. She can turn bitchy in about two seconds but still uses a really annoyingly sweet voice- sounds like poisoned honey. I was in her seminar class as a first semester freshman and it was a horrible introduction to Barnard. Rosenthal was always disorganized and babyish. As far as writing goes I did not learn a single thing. I met with her for conferences, worked hard to meet her requirements, and edited my papers non stop and I never once got a different grade. Same grade all the way through. When I met with her to go over my final paper Rosenthal said to me, "I'm sorry I just cant seem to stay awake while reading your paper!" That was when I knew I hated her. Our first assignment was to write an alternate ending to our play and then write a review on it, but after the final draft Rosenthal decided that she wanted the review to be more of any essay- but she failed to tell us that!!! So we were marked down if we didn't read her mind. We wasted insane amounts of time in class because Jennifer refused to participate in discussions, so a lot of time was spent in silence when everyone ran out of things to say. When she finally did participate it was to give us a boring summary on what she thought of whatever we were reading, which honestly just sounded like the analysis section of Sparknotes. This confirms my suspicions that she is not very smart. The most unbelievable part of the class was how much time Rosenthal spent accusing us of plagiarizing. She would conference with us and then ask us if what we had really written was our own work- every. single. time. It was extremely rude and also a little unnecessary how much she went into it. We were forced to do a plagiarism test online, so we wouldn't be confused on what is and what is not plagiarizing. Also, we had to cite in class discussions, FROM THE CLASS, and other ridiculous things like our old high school english classes. Totally unnecessary and also offensive because she obviously didn't believe that anyone was smart enough to write what we had. Do not take this class if you have another option. The material is interesting enough, but Rosenthal makes it absolutely boring. On top of that she is an idiot, and a real bitch. Oh- I got a b+ in the class without doing too much, so this is not a vengeful review- she is just awful.