Now it's official: everyone involved in any capacity with the Priya Venkatesan affiar annoys the hell out of us. To recap, Ms. Venkatesan was a Dartmouth lecturer who decided to sue her students for harassment or something because they heckled her. She is clearly a pompous tool. Her students are also probably pompous tools. Now a pompous tool who writes for the Wall Steet Journal editorial page weighs in with an indictment against academia. Joseph Rago attended Dartmouth, you see, though he totally didn't like it very much and didn't even try very hard in his classes. Because of post-modernism. Writing papers for lit classes is just like "filling in Mad Libs," he explains. Writing indictments of academia for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, on the other hand, is more like Pictionary. After the jump: amusing student reviews of Venkatesan's class from an internal Dartmouth page. The kids didn't really like her!
1) If she teaches here... don't take this course. Period. She defines a terrible prof, she is offended when people ask questions about her lectures and does not grade/give feedback on papers. Grade based solely on if she likes you/ you writing reflects her "sophisticated" ideas.
2) WORST CLASS EVER horrible professor, doesn't know what the heck she is doing, can't lecture, can't grade, can't give her students feedback on their essays....
I you were interested in this class because it is about global warming( like i was)... think again, we spent maybe two classes on the subject and the prof. didn't even know how to properly explain the green house effect!!!
i think she is gonna get fired
3) interesting topic, boring prof The course material was not as interesting as its ORC description said, and Prof Venkatesan is a boring lecturer, the assigned reading is ridiculously long and dense, but the course is ok in terms of workload,
4) Do NOT take this course Aside from the fact that I learnt nothing of value in this class besides the repeated use of the word "postmodernism" in all contexts (whether appropriate or not) and the fact that Professor Venkatesan is the most confusing/nonsensical lecturer ever, the main problem with this class is the personal attacks launched in class. Almost every member of the class was personally attacked in some form in the class by either intimidation or ignoring your questions/comments/concerns. If you decide to take this class, prepare to NOT be allowed to express your own opinions in class because you have "yet to obtain your Ph.D/masters/bachelors degree". We were forced to write an in-class essay on "respect" (and how we lacked it) because we expressed our views on controversial topics and some did not agree with the views of "established scholars" who have their degrees.
Additionally, your essays will (at most) receive 2 lines worth of feedback, along with a miserable letter grade.
All in all, there are much better ways to understand science, technology, and society than to suffer through ten weeks of emotional battering.
5) HORRIBLE This was the worst class I have ever taken. The professor was rude and a horrible teacher...don't take this class.! hopefully she will get fired
6) insecurity, ego, and more Professor Venkatesan should not be a professor... here or anywhere.