Review Comment

Nonfiction Workshop

May 23, 2011

Beam, Cris Silver_nugget
Nonfiction Workshop

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

Cris Beam is a passionate, personable, unorthodox professor who's is also on-target with her readings and writing exercises. My afternoons were always brightened by her humor, and she always allows a break during class. Though she is unusually empathetic to students' needs, she isn't unconditionally supportive--she will provide constructive criticism and admit her own biases and weaknesses in her points of view. She does offer her own experiences as a writer, which I think are helpful, rather than annoying, as the previous review suggests.

She is a progressive thinker who offers perspectives that are refreshingly different from the often stuffy Columbia atmosphere—giving voice to queer, gender, "the other."

Professor Beam is also totally energetic and works hard to keep up class morale. She will use diagrams, systems, tricks to help approach the writing process strategically—right brain+left brain. My only issues with the class is her kindness allows for long, labyrinthine elaborations from hyped-up students; I'd rather hear more of her comments and feedback, especially more line edits in the papers.

All in all, a professor who is an example of what professors of the future can be.

Workload:

manageable weekly readings and sometimes reading responses, one midterm paper (draft and final), one final paper (draft and final).

June 10, 2006

Bowers, John
Nonfiction Workshop

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

Simply, if the opportunity arises, take a class with Professor Bowers. He's insightful, witty, and (most importantly) thought-provoking. He takes the time to give each person the thorough criticism, constructive or otherwise, his or her piece deserves. One can tell he genuinely cares about each student's progress.

Even if nonfiction is not your genre, take this class as it will strengthen your writing and help to cultivate fiction you may have in progress.

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