June 06, 2009

Pedatella, Stefan Silver_nugget
[FYSB BC1156/69] First Year Seminar: Legacy of the Mediterranean I

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

If we're honest with ourselves i think there's one thing we all have to admit: Stefan is the best teacher any of us have ever had or ever will have. If good teaching is about knowledge of the books, passion for the books, and ability to inspire enthusiasm in you about books, then Stefan's just the best. He clearly thinks that these books are a matter of life and death and if you care even 1% about reading he makes you feel the same way.

My only objection about his style is actually kind of related to the great things about him: He care sooo much about making literature come alive that he sometimes forgets how important our grades are to us. I mean I haven't done badly, but staring at a B+ on your papers can dampen your spirits a little (even when you know you deserve it...).

An awesome experience sitting in his class though. I can't say I get the criticism somewhere in one of the other reviews that he "clearly thinks he knows more than his students." Isn't that what he's paid for? Would you want your prof to know less than you? But he's so nice about everything, and so easy to talk to one on one. And really, one of the best things about Stefan is the way he made me feel like my opinion really mattered, was really valuable, even though he's been reading these books for like ten years or more. It was his class, and talking to him during office hours that convinced me to stay at Barnard when I was thinking about transferring.

Definitely the best experience I've had at Barnard so far.

Workload:

Hard and easy at the same time. Easy in the sense that there isn't that much reading. Hard in that he demands a lot from you, especially in your essays.