Review Comment

Structure & Style

September 13, 2009

Ziegler, Alan Gold_nugget
Structure & Style

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

One of the better, possibly among the best professors I’ve had. He comes off as very caring and tries to draw out what’s best in your writing. You can’t help enjoying this class and teacher. And he worked with Vonnegut! Really wish I could take another course with Ziegler.

Workload:

Responses to short readings, unchecked journal entries, a few writing exercises, a play, two short stories revised for the final portfolio

February 11, 2007

Becker, Priscilla Silver_nugget
Structure & Style

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

After having taken over 6 writing courses as a CC undergraduate, I feel compelled to elaborate on my experience in Priscilla's Structure and Style class.

There are several recurrent problems in the undergraduate writing program here. One, it is difficult to suit the needs of all the students since they come from such diverse backgrounds--CC, GS, Continuing Ed, etc. Two, considering the diverse makeup of the classroom, it is very challenging to find a teacher who can actually teach transferable technical skills while accommodating the style and voice of such a distinct mix of students. Professors tend to handle this problem by completely ignoring the individual needs of their students, teaching whatever they want to teach and ignoring the rest. Alternatively, they don't teach at all and focus solely on anomalous personal concerns, which is a true waste of time for a student who wants to learn about the various forms of poetry or how to structure a conversation.

Aside from Priscilla, I have never had a teacher who could perfectly balance these concerns. Priscilla's class is, by far, the best writing class I have had at Columbia. She managed to suit the needs of every student in the class while bringing all of us together in learning invaluable techniques regarding style, voice, form, and structure.

It is incredibly refreshing to have a teacher to takes writing seriously. Most students take Structure and Style as a blow-off class, hoping for an easy grade. However, with a second-rate teacher, they'll walk away having learned absolutely nothing. With Priscilla, such is not the case. Not only will you enjoy interacting with her as a person, you will thank yourself for having had an instructor who is so dedicated to actually teaching you about writing.

Consider yourself very lucky if you have Priscilla as an instructor. She's not just some writer who is trying to make some extra cash by teaching a class or two. She's the real deal.

May 03, 2003

Rose, Louise Silver_nugget
Structure & Style

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

My initial excitement about the class was completely quashed by Prof. Rose - she generally offered shallow praise, and was quite harsh on pieces that left the "normal" undergrad subject matter in any way. She said I had no "personal philosophy" coming through in my work, then inquired about my age, decided I was too young to have a personal philosophy, and then graded me down for not having a personal philosophy in my final story. Although she was very nice during everything. And she has a good sense of humor.

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