professor
Benjamin Breyer

Apr 2021

Professor Breyer is a really great guy. Had him for his comic book class: very enthusiastic, very into his lessons. He is very understanding and will constantly encourage you during discussions. I took his FYS pass/fail and I didn't put as much work in it as I could've (because yk p/f) but despite this I got a lot out of it

Jan 2021

Professor Breyer is great! He's really funny, and the class is VERY chill. Most of the books are really good. If you want a low-stress class with an interesting topic (and a ton of freedom to write about whatever), I highly recommend it. He has funny stories to tell you, and he always hypes you up in class. You could say the dumbest thing and he'll spin it and offer some insight (I speak from personal experience).

Dec 2020

Great class. I genuinely enjoyed 2/3 of the books that we read. Professor Breyer is really funny in his geekiness and makes a lot of little remarks that make the class a lot more fun. However, he stays on task for the majority of the time and is very open to discussion.

Nov 2020

I had a great experience with Professor Breyer! You can tell he cares about actually helping each student, and overall his feedback was very constructive. A few times, he changed due dates because students were feeling overwhelmed. While group conversations could be difficult over zoom, he did his best to keep everyone engaged. If you have him as an option, I would definitely recommend Prof Breyer for your FYW.

Dec 2018

Professor Breyer is a really good professor, in my opinion. He incorporates a lot of different perspectives into what is normally a very Eurocentric class/syllabus. The readings can sometimes be dense (especially since most of it is poetry), but he is really good at leading discussions and is also very supportive of people's opinions. My main critique of him is that he takes literally forever to grade things. He sends people's grades out as he does them, so your classmates might have something back in two weeks and you get it back a month later. He also can be kind of unclear about when readings and assignments are due. But, I would honestly say that I am glad I was in his class.

Nov 2018

Breyer is a pretty ideal FYW professor. He is extremely patient, thoughtful, and supportive of each and every one of his students. He knows how to keep a class discussion both focused and interesting, and is very good at validating people's ideas and connecting them to other concepts. He is also good at throwing in a smattering of funny personal stories, awkward jokes, and the like. He really, REALLY cares about helping his students improve their writing, and this is evidenced by the detailed notes you will receive on your drafts and the time he takes at one-on-one meetings to explain his thoughts. Although he is a little awkward, he totally rocks it and he knows that. He also does fun things like brings in snacks for people's birthdays. Overall a really good intro into college writing. This class shows that it doesn't matter what the material is (Legacy is certainly not the most interesting FYW offered at Barnard), but the professor makes all the difference.

Dec 2017

Professor Breyer is very approachable and gives awesome feedback. His office hours are very helpful to discuss paper topics and he really pushes students to delve into the texts in their papers through analyzing the texts thouroufhly. The classroom is an enjoyable space when he's teaching, however one on one meetings with him are much more productive.

Dec 2017

Professor Breyer is very approachable and gives awesome feedback. His office hours are very helpful to discuss paper topics and he really pushes students to delve into the texts in their papers through analyzing the texts thouroufhly. The classroom is an enjoyable space when he's teaching, however one on one meetings with him are much more productive.

Dec 2017

Professor Breyer is a truly wonderful person as well as teacher. I had him for legacy of the mediterranean. He is very understanding towards people who struggle with writing (as I do) and he puts in the extra time and effort to help you. 10/10 would recommend his class especially if you need someone who will help you be a better writer while also being reasonable about workloads.

Nov 2016

If you're wondering whether or not to take a class with Professor Breyer DO IT. Just do it. He is one of the kindest professors I have ever met and genuinely cares about his students to a degree that I have yet to see in any other professor. I had Prof. Breyer for First Year Seminar at Barnard and, thanks to him, I feel much more comfortable in a seminar setting and in writing college-level essays. He is encouraging but also honest and gives good guidance, and if you have any questions or are just plain confused, Breyer is always willing to meet with you for as long or as often as you need. I think that some people are put off by his somewhat awkward demeanor, but, in my opinion, that just makes him all the more genuine and approachable. And, if nothing else, he has some pretty crazy and hilarious life stories that are 100% worth your time. I feel very lucky to have had Professor Breyer, especially in my first year, and would recommend him to everyone.

Dec 2014

I went into this class with mixed feelings and expectations, because I had poor English teachers in high school. Professor Breyer met these mixed expectations. The books for his class were moderately interesting, but there truly was a lot of reading, and a lot of writing. We had two five page essays and one ten page research paper, along with weekly short papers on the books we were reading. As long as you raised your hand to speak once in a blue moon you wouldn't get called out to speak against your will for participation points. Professor Breyer himself I am ambivalent about. Did I emerge from his class a better writer? Yes. The writing fellows especially helped. Professor Breyer was more than willing to meet with someone one-on-one and give feedback. However, he also seemed incredibly awkward around people, and constantly talked very quietly - even when we asked him to speak up. He also never made eye contact with anyone. Overall not a bad course (complete with field trips out of your own free time) but I wouldn't go out of my way to take this class.

Sep 2009

All in all, I was pretty pleased with Ben as a UW instructor. He definitely made it a priority to meet with his students before handing in each paper (which I really advise that you do) and basically tells you what you should do to improve on it. That being said, if you do what he asks it shouldn't be too difficult to get some form of an A in the end. In class he acts serious but does joke around more near the end of the semester. In conclusion, he's a nice guy who cares about his students.

Dec 2008

Count yourself very lucky if you get Ben for U. Writing. Although he seems to make every effort to come off as a no-nonsense hard ass in the first few classes (he told us that if we missed more than two class periods he would lower our final grade by 1/3 of a grade, and he let us know that we should expect lots of homework and a serious time commitment), you'll soon realize that its all an and that he's actually an incredibly understanding and nice guy. Ben really wants his students to do well, and he is eager to meet with his students about their papers as much as possible and willing to give students extensions when they feel overwhelmed with work. Ben is also an excellent teacher and he will teach you to appreciate complex essays and will make you a better writer than you ever thought you could be. While many freshmen complain that U. Writing is difficult and tedious class, my experience in Ben's class was great.