January 09, 2005

Steinkoler, Manya
[FYSB BC1156/69] First Year Seminar: Legacy of the Mediterranean I

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

Arrogance is the word that comes to mind when asked to describe Steinkoler. I got to know her through the many visits to her office hours and she really is a very intelligent, capable woman who is just full of knowledge regarding psychology, literature, and politics. But hit on a topic that she doesn't know much about... and she will somehow link it to something she can talk about and then go on for another hour. She loves to hear herself talk and loves to win arguments.

That said, she is a great lecturer, she can go for hours on interesting topics and I found everything she said to be fascinating. But first-year english at Barnard was designed to be a discussion-based class, where students can exchange OUR ideas about great works of literature rather than listen to a professor drone on about her ideas (which she seemed to believe was the only right answer).
Example: I spent about 2 weeks writing my first paper, exploring creative ideas and doing a lot of research to back it... and she returned it with a D+ written on it. So I re-wrote the paper in one night, reiterating everything she lectured about the book in class and reinforcing her opinions and ideas and got an A.

I would happily go to her lectures, but in my opinion Barnard made a mistake when they asked her to lead a discussion-based class.

Workload:

2 papers, and probably a rewrite for each, and a final research paper. No rewrite allowed for the final research paper. -- Most students in the class didn't bother to do the massive amounts of reading because she didn't allow us to talk in class anyways.