I had this whole review written out, in which I tried hard to find flaws with Professor Pedatella and inflate them so that my praise would seem balanced and objective, because I’m suspicious of simplicity. Purely rave reviews tend to leave something out, and to feel a bit blind or even biased as a result. I really wanted this to not be one of those reviews.

But then I saw the below review, realized I was being ridiculous, and wrote what I actually think instead.

Professor Pedatella treats the material like something young and alive, as if despite however many years of teaching, To the Lighthouse can still surprise him. When he lectures it’s as if he’s been thinking about these theories for years and this is the first time he’s ever gotten to tell someone about them. (Not to say that his teaching style is at all amateurish, far from it, only that his enthusiasm is beyond anything I’ve ever encountered in someone who’s been teaching as long as he has). Additionally, he seems to know more or less everything related to the Western canon, and is happy to explain intertextual allusions that would otherwise be almost impossible to catch. However, in spite of his, quite frankly, intimidating knowledge base, Professor Pedatella never acts like what a student has to say is obvious or unintelligent. He will disagree with students from time to time, but he is always very clear that his opinion in nothing more than just that: his opinion. In the class or in your essays it’s easier to simply agree with him, because he will smile and nod and move past you, but if you ever come up with something that’s yours (whether it clashes with his point, drives it forward in a direction he hadn’t considered, or ignores him altogether) that is when he will challenge you, and in doing so make you feel a real connection with the text, as though you are a participant in this millennia long conversation, just as much as Virgil or Chaucer or Keats. (Okay, maybe not just as much, but pretty damn close.)

A friend of mine who entered his class with almost no literary background, having gone to fancy music schools her whole life, put it nicely when she said, “He makes literature sing.” I’d have to agree. His interpretations helped me write a response to Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale (which is far and away the most ambitious poetry project I have ever attempted), and class discussion has prompted me to write quite a few short stories.

In sum, Professor Pedatella is the most inspirational teacher I have ever encountered. I really cannot recommend him highly enough.

Oh, and to address the below review directly: I’ve never known anyone to give participation credit for note taking.

Workload:

Two 5-6 page essays and one 8-10 page essay, with a fair amount of reading. He's flexible with deadlines if you ask in advance.