Usha Nathan

Apr 2018

Usha goes to great lengths to make the class feel comfortable and manageable. She gives great background on the books, encourages a great discussion, and goes above and beyond in preparing class materials. She is understanding in terms of grading and specific in her criticisms. Great class, great discussion, great instructor (sometimes she even brought little treats to class which was incredibly kind and often listened to the class in regards to extending essay deadlines and making easier quizzes). If you're interested in philosophy, you'll enjoy the ways that she brings in her philosophical experience into the discussions. If not, you'll find the discussion interesting and applicable to your own studies anyway.

May 2015

Usha led one class in the semester. Although she gave students the chance to engage in dialogue about the text, which was helpful and insightful, she also made the students engage in an unbearably infantile exercise in which students would form groups and answer a set of easy and uninteresting questions. This kind of exercise really belongs in middle school, not in college. This infantilizing attitude pervaded her entire interaction with students; she was more interested in proving her competence than in teaching. In addition, her feedback on papers was incredibly subpar. This has nothing to do with the grading, by the way, which I thought was entirely fair. But she never offered any ground or reason for her comments. She would just write "irrelevant," "not detailed enough," which hardly explains or even describes the irrelevance or lack of detail of a passage. Otherwise her comments would be themselves petty and irrelevance, such as claiming there is a strict rule for when to use commas instead of dashes, which is false -- and if it weren't, I'm sure there were a hundred things more interesting and important for her to tell me than that.