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What Students Think

We have had many students in Berkeley and Fremont. From SAT prep to college and creative writing, our students are consistent in their feedback. The following comments are excerpted from university course evaluations, emails, and other notes we've received from former students. Here's some of what they have to say about our writing instruction, classroom style, and individual mentorship!

 
 
 
Wow. Wow. Wow. First, let me just start off by saying this was a delightful, enlightening, brilliant class that not only taught me valuable SAT strategies but the importance of an individual. Attending those classes did not feel like a burden foisted on me by my parents but instead made me feel excited, energized. I felt like I was in a Berkeley class honestly! I could hear so much passion in both you and Serena, I could see so much passion in your eyes! It made me actually excited to face my future.

- SAT English Student
 
 
Alex is truly one of those once in a lifetime Graduate Student Instructors that encourages students to think outside the box and encourages them to take risks (like in terms of pursuing paper topics we are passionate about). His responses to written work are like lengthy letters that not only are genuinely and personally written, but extremely helpful for improving the next paper... He goes above and beyond for the well-being of his students and offers amazing help academically, as well as life advice.

- Berkeley English Major
 
 
I don't think there's a more perfect person who could have taught this course than Serena. She is the most dedicated, supportive, innovative teacher. Serena anticipates the needs of her students and is creative in her approach to teaching based on their individual needs. She has so much great knowledge, wisdom, and advice. She gently but surely inspired me to grow as a writer and a more confident individual in general.

- Berkeley Creative Writing Student
 
Alex, thanks for being one of the best teachers I've had my entire life. You put so much effort into making sure all of your students feel included and you have helped everyone reach their full potential. Summer '16 was definitely my favorite summer yet. I looked forward to going to class everyday and was legitimately very sad when it all ended. Thanks for being such an inspiration... If I ever were to become a teacher, it would be because of you.

- SAT English Student
 
Serena's is the most interactive class setting I have ever had. She engages with the students, asks for their opinions, and then reflects herself, giving us a different point of view of the subject matter. The readings were hard at times, but she guided us through understanding them by breaking them down, and over the semester, I have noticed that I have improved a lot in interpreting my readings. With respect to written work, she gave the most in-depth responses I have ever seen from a teacher... Even though I am not an English buff, I found myself really enjoying this class.

- Berkeley Pre-Business Student
 
 
Serena made this summer at school one that I will never forget. She showed me that I could write — that it was okay to be honest with myself and my words. And she helped me make my words better. I'm so grateful for this course and all of these millions ways to see the world.

- Berkeley Creative Writing Student
 
I never imagined that I would say this, but I'm definitely grateful towards my dad for forcing me to attend these classes. I have met many people who I probably wouldn't have encountered elsewhere and was taught by cool individuals who actually didn't blow off their teaching. Thank you for your hard work in creating this brilliant program.

- SAT English Student
 
 
Serena is everything I want out of an instructor. She is learned, wise, patient, understanding, deeply respectable, and kind. I just want to keep hearing her speak, but she's too good of an instructor to only talk. She listens and respects. One can see her learn as she teaches. The best instructor, professor or not, that I've had at Cal. I feel fortunate.

- Berkeley Creative Writing Student
 
 
I was very grateful for Alex's insights into my written work. He helped me get over a major hurdle and it will benefit me for a long time. He was always very understanding of my disability and willing to meet with me at special locations and times. This was so helpful and his advice was always on track. The whole course was exceptional.

- Berkeley English Major
 
 
Serena, I would like to say how eye-opening, transformative, and incredibly entertaining I found your course. I am truly grateful for my experiences and the profound impact they have had on me as a writer. Additionally, I would like to thank you for being such an engaged and caring instructor over the past six weeks. Despite my having very little background in creative writing and being quite nervous at times to share my work and input, you always made the conversations supportive and fun.

- Berkeley Creative Writing Student
 
 
Alex's ability to direct me individually as a writer as well as a student within the classroom has helped me improve my writing skills to a level that I had not anticipated to reach in the span of a semester. Both as a lecturer and a director of discussion, Alex urges our class to think critically by asking questions that require in-depth thought and discussion. During office hours, his ability to help push the limits of my analytical skills as well as academic styles has enabled me to view works through a more critical lens while allowing my voice to come through in my writing.

- Berkeley English Major
 
 
 
It means a lot to me when there are people who are supportive and aren't just there to do a job, but to understand who they are working with so it benefits both sides of the party and the community as a whole... Thanks for EVERYTHING and for letting me open up my "true self."

- SAT English Student