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Tufts University: Brigitte Lane - French - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Brigitte Lane | FR125 - French Regions thru Lit & Film| French2005-04-04

Review:
No one should be penalized for being soft spoken, let alone sweet! This seems to be the case of the (only!)review on Professor Lane that I came across with today; a quite unfair 'review' of someone that claims that Prof. Lane's soft spoken style and sweet personality works (in 5 minutes) like codeine. A soft-spoken person is not, however, necessarily a boring one. In Professor Lane's case, at least, her voice and calm temperament only helped me (and others) feel heard during her classes, when I would feel totally distraught and disoriented with some bombastic professors who were hammering on my brains and ears at the time I was a student there. But whether you find a certain tone of voice stimulating or not is a very subjective matter, and not a fair basis for judgment. A soft voice can be very stimulant to some people.

Furthermore, bringing to attention a preference of Prof. Lane for graduate students is equivalent to not making the slightest effort of acknowledging how impartially kind and altruistic she is to each of her students. When I was there, among other classmates, I didn't hear a word of dissatisfaction regarding her way of treating the students. Quite the contrary, everybody was impressed with how caring and devoted she was, in giving each one individual attention, no matter if it was during office hours or class hours.
Everybody wanted to speak in her classes, whether they were undergraduates or not. She would remember each ones names - and her classes were typically not very small...

I didn't, by the way, see a soul sleeping there either... I who, by the way, I happened to have been someone who took four courses with her in a period of only one year, exactly because her classes motivated me.

Workload:
Professor Lane's readings were in fact very (but not insanely) abundant, and she would in fact many times summarize a book. But it did not get even close to taking most of her class time! Furthermore, it never came to my attention that she sacrificed the analytical part of her classes to book summaries. Quite the opposite, she enhanced the portrayal of a social condition with 'strokes' of book - and many other kinds of - excerpts. And the transition from summary to analysis was so perfectly woven that it would transform an apparently disengaged and complex pile of articles, books and films into a comprehensible and sensitizing body of study. Puzzling pieces of story and history together, making them understandable through that puzzling is the essence of Prof. Lane's workstyle. And, what is more remarkable, she works effortlessly with authentic and updated material about 20th- century France in squeezed 3 weekly hours. With alive, raw, non theoretic material, she combines her natural ability to analyze and summarize. And she fits a world into a classroom.

Before - and way before each of the assignments - Prof. Lane would give us an extensive list of carefully elaborated themes and thesis we would be free to choose from, instead of a couple of vague ones given by other professors, in which we either had to sink or swim. This doesn't mean, however, she was giving anyone crutches - just guiding us through some aspects of a vast sea called post-modern France.

Each question she raised in her assignments were very straightforward, but also very challenging, because, as I have mentioned, they deal with the complex issue of what is France today.


professor rating: | course rating: | major: French


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