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I'm taking French 3 with Makdisi right now and figured an eval before finals and grades come out will be the best and unbiased. Most of the things written about her are very true. She teaches grammar EXTREMELY well. That I am very thankful for. Yes, she does have her favorites, but you don't need to suck up for a good grade (at least I hope not.) I don't suck up and I'm not too worried about my grade. I've gone to her office hours once and she was very warm, welcoming, and helpful. I've never seen her laugh at a student for asking a dumb question, but I have seen her make a face while the students are presenting. But hey, can you blame her? I was making a face too. In our class, everyone is pretty chill and open and we laugh at each other's jokes and presentations anyways. And the face she was making could just have been her zoning out face. I did notice that she grades harder than my French 1 and 2 lecturers, but it could just be that the material is tougher... I'm not sure, but all in all I'd say she's a fair grader. She likes to do group work type stuff that is not in the book. It's a nice change from just sitting in our seats and listening to her talk and call on people. I would definitely recommend taking French with Makdisi.
Makdisi was very effective and taught grammar extremely well. However, she was very impersonal and lacked friendliness and often laughed at students when they asked questions that she thought were stupid. She prepared us well for the second exam but failed to do so on the first and third. Especially on the third since she was absent for 3 straight days and had a student teacher come in who taught us nothing. When she came back she didn't even graze what we had missed with her. When the exam finally came, the grades were not stellar.
You pretty much have to kiss a lot of ass to get on her good side. I would not recommend taking this class with her.
Makdisi is one of those professors that likes to choose favorites. I took French 3 with her so it was a small class and you can tell who her favorites are and who is not. She also grades the tests extremely difficultly. A whole point off for missing an accent on a word? seems a little ridiculous to me. We had three tests in this class. The second one she prepared us well for and that reflected in the class grades. The first and third test though she did not prepare us well for and that also reflected in class grades. Prior to the tests she does not help us review in class, but instead makes us do pointless activities that have nothing to do with what we would be tested on. Even the students who were at the top of the class commented on how poorly she prepared us for the 1st and 3rd tests. This professor also lacks sensitivity. I had not taken French for 2 years before taking this class so I got a C- on the first exam. She had me come into her office hours to literally tell me that I am not up to the level of the rest of the class and that I had a 50/50 chance of passing class even though we had three essays, three more exams and homework to still count. She did not encourage me to work hard to get better grades on these upcoming assignments but baisically implied that I should drop the class. After the first exam 7 people out of a 25 person class dropped. I did not however and ended up turning my grade around. I do not recommend taking a class with this professor!