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Harriet Melrose

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This class will be even better once the kinks are worked out with coursera and some of the technical aspects are smoothed out a bit. The TAs, for this class, Julia, Kristen, Emily, Amaris (sp?), Dave, Allie, Anna, Molly, Max, and Jason are well-versed in the subject, are prepared in the videos, and go out of their way to be helpful. Chris on tech and the camera person are equally great for their parts, and Lilly, too. And the course would not be the same without Al Filreis whose breadth of knowledge is amazing and who genuinely cares about students and reaches out to them despite the daunting numbers. I cannot say enough about Al, the TAs and Chris. I would score them to infinity. It is amazing to me how often Al pops up on the forum. He seems to have an endless amount of energy. Chris was not quite as boundless, but he, too, helped countless numbers of students. Kristen and Julia did their part, too. I would say the class is more challenging at the start than as it goes along. This is partly because of the unfamiliarity with the software and the schedule of essays, evaluations, and quizzes, and partly because Emily Dickinson is a difficult but rewarding poet. The course is set up to give a clear sense of the different movements in modern and contemporary poetry from the 19th C to the 1970's, and the course teaches how to do close readings of poems. Al is amazing as a professor. The videos they have created and the webcasts give both a strong overview and teach how to parse a single word or phrase in a poem. You will leave the course wishing you could study with Al in person.