Review Comment

First-Year Seminar: Ethnicity and Social Transformation

January 20, 2015

Ellsberg, Margaret
Ethnicity and Social Transformation (First Year Seminar), First-Year Seminar: Ethnicity and Social Transformation, and Ethnicity and Social Transformation

The texts were all right, but my experience was overall not so great.

Prof. Ellsberg was consistently 5-10 minutes late, and a bit disorganized as well. She often went on long tangents that, while interesting, had nothing to do with the class. Consequently, we spent maybe 20 minutes per class actually discussing the reading, which was incredibly frustrating for me, and we were way behind schedule. Additionally, she often forgot whether she had handed back papers or not (usually the answer was no), and she never knew any of our deadlines (literally we'd all have our essays and ask whether she wanted them at the beginning or end of class, and she'd sometimes seem surprised that they were due that day).

She often made the class environment feel unsafe for several students of color, myself included (I have not discussed this subject with the white students in our class, but on some occasions they were quite vocal about disagreeing with some of the casually racist things she said). I honestly don't believe that she knew the impact of what she was saying, but sometimes what she said was totally inappropriate and quite offensive.

On the upside, she didn't penalize us for her disorganization and tendency to run behind, adjusting her syllabus as necessary to fit. Additionally, she gave good feedback on our essays--I do believe that my writing improved over the course of her class. We workshopped several papers in class, with Prof. Ellsberg explaining her reasoning for making changes and often having us suggest changes by the end of the term, so we could do the same thing on our own as we wrote our papers.

She also had us take field trips to various museums around NYC on our own time, which I really liked.

Workload:

Not too bad. The reading is a lot to do if you try to do it in one day, but it's not bad at all. The papers are all short (2 pages). You write two essays and one field journal (2-3 pages), along with revisions for each, and then a couple of book reviews.

April 06, 2010

Ellsberg, Margaret
Ethnicity and Social Transformation (First Year Seminar) and First-Year Seminar: Ethnicity and Social Transformation

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

She was always late and constantly unprepared. But she knows her shit and has a lot of really interesting things to teach. My writing became much more concise because of her.

It's easy to get an A if you stay on her good side. She tends to ramble about random things,but just accept it and be entertained.

She wears the most absurd outfits ever and I'd recommend taking her class JUST to see the outfits. They are that crazy.

The essays are peer-edited and you get a grade at the end.
She was always late and constantly unprepared. But she knows her shit and has a lot of really interesting things to teach. My writing became much more concise because of her.

It's easy to get an A if you stay on her good side. She tends to ramble about random things,but just accept it and be entertained.

She wears the most absurd outfits ever and I'd recommend taking her class JUST to see the outfits. They are that crazy.

The essays are peer-edited and you get a grade at the end.

Workload:

4 essays, all graded at the end of the term.

December 18, 2005

Ellsberg, Margaret
First-Year Seminar: Ethnicity and Social Transformation

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

She's disorganized, she digresses like it's her job, she specializes in amusing stories, and she is one of the more excellent writing instructors I've had. She teaches through the editing process-- gives you her basic Five Great Laws and Ellsberg Style Sheet and holds an in-class writing lab for each person's paper throughout the semester and, bam- you're bound to come out at least a slightly more concise, sharper writer. Almost ALL the reading is pleasurable, too. And she once said: "If you wake up ANY English professor in the middle of the night and ask them, 'Who's your daddy?' they'll surely say 'Strunk and White's Elements of Style!' Seriously."

Workload:

Totally manageable. The books will be your semester's pleasure reading. You don't HAVE to read all of them toward the end when you have more options. Only criticism- no grades until really near to the end of the class, which is a pain for all of the anal retentive Barnyardians. But she'll push back a deadline upon request and is tremendously fair/accomodating. Take a class with Pellsberg!

January 17, 2005

Ellsberg, Margaret
First-Year Seminar: Ethnicity and Social Transformation

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

This was an overall enjoyable class. Professor Ellsberg is a good teacher but she has a tendency to tell A LOT of stories about nothing. Her comments on papers are excellent. I felt like I learned a lot of general writing skills which is the point of first-year classes. Definitely take this class over any other first-year seminar.

Workload:

Very managable. Six (excellent) short novels. Two critical analysis papers, one narrative, final paper all 2-3 pages.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section