June 08, 2002

Kogler, Aladar Silver_nugget
Fencing

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

One of my goals in coming to Columbia was to expose myself to experiences that I otherwise would not get to experience in the real world. Taking this course helped me work towards this goal. You won't learn how to fence worth anything - can you imagine learning to speak French from only 2 hours a week of class, for one semester, with no time outside of class expended? - but Kogler realizes this (and says so), so organizes the class based on this, so that by the end of the semester you are able to perform the basic moves and techniques used by real fencers, albeit rather sloppily. The early part of the semester is a bit slow, as you're learning the footwork, but once you pick up the foil, it becomes more interesting, until at the end, it's free fencing. The class is divided between periods of lecture/demonstration and periods of practicing moves in pairs. If you miss class, you'll fall behind, unless your partner can fill you in. Overall, it's a class that I'm glad that I took. Oh, and besides being the Columbia team's head coach, Kogler is also the coach of the U.S. Olympic team. Just cool to know.

Workload:

It's phys-ed. If you spend one minute practicing the sport outside of the 50 minute period, you should get yourself a real major.