I’m dedicating this list to the incoming first-years and to all who need a reminder that CULPA will always need you and will be waiting at the end of every Columbia journey. Likewise, you will always need CULPA. Maybe not for the most reliable, snark-proof professor reviews, but to fulfill all your curiosities, share your woes, feed your deepest anxieties, and certainly have a good laugh. As always, take the reviews with a grain of salt—read them, but don’t let them easily hinder you from embarking on a fresh adventure. The bizarre, frustrating and asinine experiences you encounter along the way could make you a CULPA legend.
In compiling these excerpts, I carefully a) did not pick from the same instructor’s collection more than once, b) only searched reviews from the 2013-14 academic year, and c) deliberately picked from a diverse range of course types. For more context (and hilarity), I encourage you to follow the links and check out entire reviews both new and old.
10. From a review of Vincent Racaniello (Virology):
... However, I took the final this afternoon and went out to dinner. I'm usually fast to decide what to eat I had a very difficult time choosing. Chicken..hmm.. H1N1, I don't think so .. Flank Steak.. Prions ... maybe not.. and finally Fish, but then I remembered Norovirus... But I also remembered that Viruses are everywhere, in everything we eat, including retroviral DNA in our genome, and ordered a cheeseburger, hoping there won't be an misfolding going on when i'm sleeping.
This review had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. A thrill ride. Four stars. Two thumbs up. Certified fresh (and blight-free).
9. From a review of Alma Mora:
MUCH MORE THAN ANY OTHER SEMESTER OF SPANISH THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED
The class? 2nd Semester Spanish (V1102).
8. From a review of Terence D’Altroy (The Rise of Civilization):
I think the best thing that happened to me in this course was when I beat 2048 that fateful wednesday afternoon.
It’s a bit sad when you juxtapose this undoubtedly common circumstance with the name of the course.
7. From a review of Kathryn Sullivan (Ballet II):
She dyed her hair pink this semester, if that says anything.
It says everything.
6. From a review of Shlomo Hershkop (Data Structures and Algorithms):
The biggest problem is that his assignments are a poorly made Ouija board.
That’s only a problem if you’re a Hermione. Parvatis and Lavenders should have no trouble.
5. From a review of Kathleen Taylor (Behavioral Neuroscience):
I am the Aplysia sea slug. Professor Kathleen Taylor is the squirt of water that makes my gill withdraw.
Like so many of us, if your spirit animal is also a sensitive sea slug, you indeed may want to consult CULPA before embarking on any perilous enrollment journeys.
4. From a review of Graciela Chichilnisky (Globalization and Its Risks):
Add to this bizarre class the phone calls Professor Chichilinsky answered during class time, the awkward moments of her climbing on a table or fighting with the microphone and you receive a world-class show. The only thing you will need in this class is a partner to look at during such moments for mutual laughter and understanding. I had one – we didn’t know each other’s name yet we understood each other - and laughed. I never tried to introduce myself as it was our own special moment and I wanted it to remain that way.
Professor Chichilnisky: professor, performer, CULPA legend, and now… matchmaker?
3. From a review of Nicole Horejsi (Literature Humanities):
She never exactly figured out the grade break-down either, which was confusing. We also never got those damn cookies.
The funny thing is that we all subconsciously empathize with this reviewer and thoroughly share their scorn, whether we’ll admit it or not.
2. From a review of Irwin Gertzog (The American Congress):
I suspect Professor Gertzog got a silver star by petitioning President Eisenhower for one, as 1952 was probably the last time this man organized a thoughtful and coherent lecture.
I should point out that Professor Gertzog has CULPA reviews dating back to 1999, when he was “over 70 years old.”
And finally, presented without comment:
1. From a review of Tina Rivers Ryan (Art Humanities):
…did I really need to know that she met her fiance online? No, I did not.