Karen Swenson

Jan 2007

Prof. Swenson intends well, but is missing something in the way she teaches class and interacts with her students. Too much time is spent reading poems that interest her at the beginning of class, and on listening to each student comment on which lines of your poem they "liked," before expounding otherwise on a written copy returned to you at their leisure. This process seemed like a waste of time, and too few of the Prof. comments were returned with our work anyway. In addition, the basis for understanding one's final grade seems to be based entirely on a two page paper barely explained in class, which is something largely unacceptable for a two-hour seminar that required a new piece of work each week, class participation, peer editing each week, and revisions. No attention whatsoever will be given to the amounts of work you may or may not put into editing the work of your peers-- which is required each week. I feel cheated out of a more cohesive learning experience (not to mention a better grade) because of the lazy, self-centered method of teaching and grading in this class. Just wait to take Saskia's class. Yes, writing poetry is subjective, and Swanson is certainly a kind and interesting woman who has taught all over the world, but there were more than enough opportunities for her to point out areas of our work that needed improvement. Assigning more work that dealt with understanding poetry would have been helpful instead of writing a paper on poetry journals?