professor
Julia Sable

Sep 2010

Most frequently heard phrase upon asking "Dr" Sable any question: "I am not a .... but..." "I am not a neurologist, but I would imagine that...", "I am not a physician, but..." "I am not a cardiologist, but..." I was left with nothing but to wonder what she actually WAS. In other words? She's clueless. And certainly not a teacher. Her 9am classes are a pathetic waste of time that teach you absolutely nothing. Sheer torture. And they won't prepare you for the multiple choice tests - read the book for that. The labs are little better, filled with elementary experiments and a milieu of useless, repetitive write ups. Mind numbing. Advice: stay the hell away unless you have the patience of 100 year old tortoise. You WILL be driven nuts. NUTS I TELL YOU!

May 2010

First and foremost, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! If you need more convincing, read on… I’ve just finished up a full year of Introduction to Biology with “Professor” Julia Sable, and I’ve never had a worse experience. To start, the syllabus is ever-changing and never-accurate. She mentions no assignments until, at most, two days before they’re due—and they are anything but short. Therefore, if you had designated your Sunday for another assignment, and Professor Sable assigns you a massive assignment at 12:30 AM on a Saturday night due that Monday, good luck… and this happens regularly. She even assigned a ridiculous and absurd “Self-audit report” only a week and a half in advance and due the last day of class, which was a remarkable level of wasting time. Additionally, her actual class-time (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:00 AM) is a COMPLETE waste of time. Yet, you cannot simply skip and do something more productive, because she randomly assigns in-class assignments for participation points. To prepare for an exam, you must teach the entire subject to yourself. Professor Sable also manages to make this difficult, as in addition to assigning chapters in the textbook, she also assigns arbitrary articles and literary novels (for example, Barbara Kingsolver’s Vegetable Miracle). So when attempting to teach yourself all of the material for a test, materials are all over the place and difficult to place. Most importantly, Professor Sable refused to curve up the first semester, when the class average was a “C,” but curved DOWN the second semester. Professor Sable is by far the worst professor I’ve ever taken. She even announced in the second-to-last class of the second semester that only then had she gotten around to reading our evaluations from the first semester which were meant to correct her terrible teaching strategies for the second half of the year. If you’re considering this class to fulfill your science requirement, take anything else. Even if you already have credit from AP Bio, take two semesters of Environmental Science or Psychology over one semester with Julia Sable.

May 2010

I spent an entire year going to this class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9am and it was such torture!! Her lectures are totally disorganized, and she teaches mostly from power points that she didn't even create (she gets them from the book). So basically if you're in this class you have to learn the material on your own, she doesn't add much to it. She's completely unavailable in terms of office hours. Sometime she does little activities during class but they end up being more annoying than just sitting there. She has this thing called "participation grade" which she compiles from little assignments she asks for throughout the semester that are not graded for effort. But half the time she uses these assignments just to punish you -- she assigns them in class to turn in during class when she sees that a lot of people are missing. It's just plain mean! Her tests are pretty hard, but if you work hard and get a good grade, it's not rewarded. SHE CURVES DOWN! This semester to get an A- you had to have a 92%, to get a B+ a 91%. Below 91% was B. It's absolutely crazy. It seems like she doesn't care about her students, she just wants to get through her powerpoint and go home. In her defense, she was pregnant last semester and has a newborn this semester ... but it shouldn't affect her work as much as it does! Seriously guys ... if she's teaching bio and you're looking to fulfill your lab science requirement, consider taking another science!

May 2010

I have found that most professors at Columbia engage in a form of reverse snobbery by asking you to call them by their first name rather than "Dr. Whatever" because it's just assumed you have a doctorate. Dr. Sable reminded the class frequently that her phD was in science education rather than biology. She should really stop because it's terrible PR for her program. I had her for intro level biology and she seemed to assume she was teaching a roomful of 5th graders. Honestly, the activities she had us do during class would probably be great in a fifth grade classroom. But a room of 18-22 year olds doesn't want to move around the room at 9am pretending to be water molecules. Now, I enjoy an easy class. Who doesn't? Unfortunately the tests are not at the 5th grade level to which the class is taught. On top of all this, she seemed to think it was acceptable to send out assignments with practically no notice. I went away for fall break and, when I returned, discovered that she had assigned homework due the first day back. I understand assigning work due right after break, but don't assign it DURING break when people might not have email access. The two semesters I have spent in her class were a complete headache and I would advise others to avoid her class if at all possible. And I just received an email from her, noting that the class curve was skewed to the right and she adjusted to that. That's right, folks, she CURVES DOWN. My A minus is now a B.