May 20, 2007

Rosario, Nelly Silver_nugget
Narrative Forms

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

I suppose it's pointless to review the course since the department is changing so much into a major and all, but in the event that Prof. Rosario continues after the transfer, I'll continue. She was a really great professor with good insights into our pieces. She had gave detailed comments on everything from our short stories to the smallest assignments and activities. She had interesting writing tips and character suggestions, and the assignments were really helpful--I ended up using two as jumping-off points for two stories. I enjoyed the class, and I'm pleased with the works I've written for it.

Workload:

Just one portfolio at the end of the semester with 3-4 stories or a novel excerpt. You are expected to have two or three pieces workshopped over the course of the semester and to comment on about three pieces by other students each week. Every other week or so, there is a small assignment due as well.

April 04, 2006

Beller, Thomas
Narrative Forms

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

I agree with the negatives - the break, the late starts, the cancelled (and not made up) class - I was in the same class that went on the wild goose chase for the irrelvant novel.

However, one positive: excellent in office hours. Clear, concise, and helpful critiques.

Workload:

relatively light

September 22, 2005

Kennedy, Raymond
Narrative Forms

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

I really liked this professor and, although I had my doubts initially, I really liked this class. One of the biggest problems was that, because it was a summer class, participants weren't screened for writing samples, with the result that nearly half of the students in this class had very basic problems with writing, including spelling and grammar. Reading and workshopping these pieces was often, given that this was supposedly an intermediate writing class, a waste of time.
Despite that serious problem, Raymond, though he IS hard of hearing and DOES ramble, is great. It's amazing, as a young writer, to have a mentor who has been there. He doesn't really give a sh*t about a lot of the niceties of professorship and is kind of a renegade character, but that all just makes me like him more.

This class is recommended for anyone who knows how to write and doesn't have a stick up their *ss.

Workload:

A short vignette, three stories, no revisions.

September 05, 2005

Kennedy, Raymond
Narrative Forms

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

The class is a waste of time. You write short stories, workshop them anonymously (but since he calls on everyone else for feedback except the writer, it's obvious) and then at the end of the semester, you get a grade. How he grades it? Who knows. The point is, you won't learn anything about your writing or how to write "a good short story" Either he likes your work or he doesn't. It could be the best story in the world but if it doesn't go with his taste, forget it. He'll tell you he "didn't care too much for that piece" if possibly, point how a few good things he liked and that's it.

Workload:

3 Short Stories (though we only had to do 2).

August 19, 2005

Kennedy, Raymond
Narrative Forms

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

Perhaps the epitome of a waste of time. The instructor is old, hard of hearing, and has a tendency to go on and on without actually giving any useful information on writing.
Even in conference I found myself not really getting a lot of what he said, and I don't think I learned anything that I couldn't have figured out on my own. Grading, as is typical in the Creative Writing, comes at the end without any real evidence to back it up.
Avoid.

Workload:

A couple of stories that you have to workshop during the term. Light.

May 19, 2005

Rosario, Nelly Silver_nugget
Narrative Forms

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

Professor Rosario's insight really helped me improve my writing - the improvements were seen in this class but also in my work in other courses. She allows everyone to contribute to class discussion and provides assistance to the writer. She makes many "mark-ups" on returned assignments, a testament to her attention to detail. After taking this class, my writing became much more fluid and concise. The seven short assignments are based on specific assignments, while the three long works are on the topic of choice.

Workload:

7 1-3 page assignments, 3 long pieces - all for portfolio

May 02, 2005

Beller, Thomas
Narrative Forms

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

I second the will-work-for-money opinion. This is the first writing class we've ever had a break in (a less-than-two-hour class). The first class met for a few minutes and we were told to get a book that turned out to be near impossible to find. Sometimes class let out early. We didn't begin bringing in our own work until the third week. He never gave back our last papers. Etc. An expensive disappointment.

Workload:

Teading a novel and a few short stories - with response papers - in addition to our own writing. Too much unrelated reading. How much better if we'd have read each others' work and that's it.

March 13, 2005

Hershon, Joanna
Narrative Forms

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

I agree with the previous review. She really didn't seem to care. She didn't respond to my emails. She had a required conference after each story, but she was late both times and took personal phone calls both times, thus my 15 minute conferences ended up being abut 5 minutes.

Beyond that, she didn't give solid advice, it was sort of airy and I'd leave the workshop not having any idea of what worked and what didn't. Of course, a lot of the student work was abyssmal, pretentious and inaccessible (style over substance).

January 02, 2005

Hershon, Joanna
Narrative Forms

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

Joanna Hershon didn't seem to care all that much about the class. She makes good points about students' writing ocasionally, but she was boring and didn't push students. I don't know, in my opinion she kinda sucked.

Workload:

2 long short stories, weekly shorter creative assignments which were fun, final portfolio is a compilation of all writings and one major rewrite.

May 09, 2004

Wolitzer, Hilma
Narrative Forms

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

Like any writing workshop, this class will be a shooting star if the writers are all good, or will feel like banging a nail through your hand if the writers stink. In a class where the writers weren't always chomping at the bit to critique something, Hilma provided a decent substitute by stepping in and letting you know what she thought. She is very respectful of your writing but also able to give good criticism. I would have liked her to whip the class into shape a little more (people got away with handing in un-proofread first drafts for the whole semester and everybody always came late and often didn't talk), but all in all she is a nice lady, and of course, the class will get you to write.

Workload:

Three short stories, discussed in class, and revisions. The revisions do count towards the grade (in addition to perhaps polishing up what you hand in in workshop), so give them an honest effort.

December 15, 2003

Adams, Glenda
Narrative Forms

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

Although Professor Adams could win us over with her cuteness, she was largely unhelpful as a writing instructor. Classes consist of a few attempts to get students interested in the work of famous authors, some unhelpful diagrams on the board, and then workshopping up to four works each time. It turns out that there are too many assignments to allow for effective revision, not to mention the fact that her comments on your work are more analysis of its deeper meanings than critical suggestions. She expects people to read other people's work (I repeat, four stories each class) AND also read the copies of stories and other nonsense she passes out each time. Fortunately, she's too wishy-washy to follow up on most of this stuff. She's extremely sweet-tempered and she put up with the snide comments our class was continually making, but her teaching skills are fluffy at best. One good thing was that she seemed to get really involved in every story, resulting in her remembering everything that anyone ever wrote. Which, actually, might not be such a good thing after all.

Workload:

Almost weekly short exercises (some completely useless, like "A Sitcom Analysis"; three long stories for workshop (revisions allowed); an unrevised portfolio due at the end of class

May 27, 2002

Beller, Thomas
Narrative Forms

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

God damn, this guy is bad. But he certainly is tall. No one can take that away from him. This class was at its worst when Beller missed one week and then dragged us all downtown to attend one of his reading the next week. It was in an overheated office/art-gallery, but that's beside the point. Teaching Narrative Forms is clearly a means to a paycheck rather than an expression of any desire to teach. The point is that Beller is enamoured of David Foster Wallace and all the stylistic cocksuckery that made him famous. Look out.

Workload:

Two stories, participation in the discussions.

April 28, 2001

LaValle, Victor
Narrative Forms

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

Victor LaValle will be your best critic--he's brutally honest. He won't hesitate to rip your stories to shreds. But on the other hand, he will give praise where praise is due. He is meticulous in reading your story, going through line by line with substantial comments at the end. Great sense of humor, he kept the atmosphere relaxed, but he also made sure to encourage honest, fair critique in the class. Please check out his collection of stories, Slapboxing With Jesus! He is an extremely talented writer. Perhaps the only disappointment you might have is with the class itself and the quality of the students' writing. It was a mixed bunch of really good writers and not so great writers.

Workload:

2 stories which are workshopped and one final story which didn't count in the final grade, but was required so that we would be able to write more. Critique 3 student stories every week and be prepared for class discussion.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Jaime Manrique 2006 Fall T / 4:10- 6:00 PM 2
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Victor Valle 2006 Fall W / 2:40- 4:30 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Joanna Hershon 2004 Fall T / 7:10- 9:00 PM 2
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Glenda Adams 2004 Fall W / 4:10- 6:00 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Joanna Hershon 2003 Fall W / 7:30- 9:20 PM 2
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Glenda Adams 2003 Fall W / 4:10- 6:00 PM 1
WRIT / WRIT WRIT WRIT W3092: Narrative Forms Matthew Johnson 2002 Fall W / 4:10- 6:00 PM 1