See below for selected written feedback from students and observers.
Please contact me for complete PDF copies of evaluations.
"I can honestly say that this was my favorite course this semester, and that's saying a lot from someone who is very science-oriented. Instructor was great, approachable, understanding, and clear. The goals of the course were laid out in a way that made students know exactly what was expected of them."
"Deanna is super enthusiastic and helpful, obviously enjoys teaching and does it well. She is clearly skilled in her field and managed to pass on both her enthusiasm for and knowledge of writing."
"The nature of class discussions required reflection, listening and responding, connection across works, and in general a high level of thinking."
"I think Deanna definitely made the class interesting. A lot of the readings had the potential to be hard to read, but our in class discussions about them helped a lot. She's very helpful and wants everyone to do well in the class.
"Students were highly encouraged to participate in this course, which was great. In most other classes students have to sit through boring lectures, but in this class students were given the opportunity to lecture a bit themselves."
"Deanna is always incredibly enthusiastic about the class even at 8:30 in the morning and her passion for the subject comes through in her teaching."
"Not only was the prof. very enthusiastic about her specific course, she was also very willing to meet outside of class. She helped not only with things relating directly to the class but also with other things we needed help with that were relevant to her background. (For example, advice on majoring in the humanities)."
"Super available for help -- both through appointments and email. Easy to talk to and get along with. Went to great lengths in class and through handouts to explain assignments -- really helpful."
"I thought the course offered a good balancing of teaching technical skill and theory. The schedule of readings developed nicely - adding on top of one another. I also found that the course and class time used time very efficiently yet productively."
"I learned to really take mastery of the writing process for myself, and not to be afraid - as a "junior" writer - of expressing myself fully."
"I feel that this class tremendously helped my writing skills. It was very helpful doing our final paper in steps and having peer edits throughout the entire process."
"So glad I took this Writing 20, I really think it will influence [the] rest of my Duke career."
"Instructor was extremely helpful, knowledgable, accessible, and enthusiastic. Feedback on writing assignments were very relevant and helpful"
"A lot of the readings I had seen in high school, but our discussions were much more advanced. They often developed into relating the themes to our lives here at Duke, which made the works much more interesting."
"Really enjoyed the readings - Whitman in particular. This class reminded me of how much I enjoy English, books, and the nuances of the English language. Good number and variety of assignments. Liked the in-class exercises."
"To me, it seemed that the readings and assignments were always relevant. My favorite part of this course was the discussion. Students surprisingly do not have a lot of class time to ACTUALLY talk about what they ACTUALLY think, and this class provided a great atmosphere for this type of intellectual stimulation."
"...Her exuberance and passion shine through in her teaching. She taught us an incredible amount without it ever feeling forced...Deanna is the single best teacher I have ever had."
"She's accommodating of different learning styles, encourages mind expansion, and brings a lot of enthusiasm."
"...She is always encouraging and happy to be teaching. She made me excited to learn..."
"Deanna's classroom is the perfect balance between lectures and discussion. Other instructors often lecture too much, or leave more time to discuss less material. This class was a good balance..."
"...Deanna taught in a both informative and an engaging way, from an informed position. She also engaged us individually and encouraged us academically. It's really fun to be in a classroom taught by her, but it's also really interesting and informative. I learned a lot in this class, but I also really enjoyed it."
"Deanna manages to teach well while still giving the class both room to discuss and room to have fun. We all respect her, and she keeps control of the classroom without keeping us from enjoying the class.
"Deanna has an incredible ability to instantly put everyone at ease so they're not uncomfortable...She is really great at making personal connections with students through the curriculum so she can simultaneously get to know them and challenge them."
"Deanna is so talented, nice, enthusiastic and helpful. She is a great teacher. She cares about every student as individuals."
"Deanna is awesome and super funny! She's a great teacher -- really open and super smart."
"...she is wonderful and fun and intelligent and kind and the best instructor I've ever had."
"I would definitely recommend this class to anyone who had the opportunity. It is a challenging course and you have to put a lot of thought into the work you have to do, but you come out of it with a better understanding of philosophy and the knowledge of the texts we read."
"...I found the content stimulating and challenging - I think quite a few different people could find something to get excited about."
"I would definitely recommend this class because it is very interesting and thought-provoking. I was excited about going to class every day and learning new things.
"You are such a great teacher and I learned so much, and you are such an inspiration. You know how to be a good teacher and have fun at the same time."
"This biggest one I have right now is how I can use my work to actually make an impact on the world. I want to write something that matters and...now I feel that I have the ability / potential to..."
"How can I be a part of this wonderful field?"
"The most important thing I learned is that there is so much more to learn...it has inspired me to go out and learn as much as I can."
"Deanna has created a cheerful, affable relationship with her students that serves her well with the dark, often upsetting content of her class. She establishes a trust that they will let her guide them through the end of the world. She has done this expertly with readings from poets, analysis of coverage from 9/11, very sobering and real, all the while maintaining the trust and fellowship of her students. Be it Lord Byron, I am Legend, or the Holocaust Museum, Deanna and Corinne [TA] have done a fine job in making the end of the world educational and deep."
"There is great energy and much affection for one another in this class. There's a strong community here..."
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