Coffman, Lisa  

English

2.97/4.00

37 evaluations


ENGL 251


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Mar 2010
Hate her grading policy.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
Professor Coffman is amazing and very intelligent. She genuinely cares about her students. Sure, she comes off a little tough at first but if you take the time to go to her office hours and get to know her you will see what a nice person she is. She is more than willing to help if you are confused or just want to talk about the assignments. The class has a lot of reading, and you do need to do it. She gives students lots of opportunity to discuss the reading during class, so if you do it, you will be rewarded. A lot of your grade rests in a project and final essay at the end of the quarter. This was a little frustrating because I didn\'t know what my grade was going to be since a large percent rested in these two assignments and her expectations were a little vague. However, I went to her office for clarification and put in my best effort and pulled an A-. If you are trying your best and putting in the effort, she will recognize this and you will do fine in her class.

ENGL 253


Senior
C
General Ed
Mar 2004
Dr. Coffman did all right within the constraints of the course. She encouraged constant class discussion, which is pretty much the only way to teach a class where you just read. The grade was based on participation, three tests, a 1500-word paper, and a rewrite of that paper that must improve upon the original to maintain the original's grade. I read about half the required reading, spent twenty-seven minutes taking the final, and managed a C-. Put in a more reasonable amount of effort than I did and you'll do fine.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jun 2004
Ms. Coffman is by far the best teacher I've had at Cal Poly. She is brilliant. Class is such a pleasure to go to. I was bummed when I had to miss one. The class is all discussion on the reading. DO THE READING. It's what makes the class so awesome. Even if the material blows she makes it interesting. For the paper, I STRONGLY suggest going into her office hours. She is very insightful and overwhelmingly helpful. Her tests aren't that hard, but watch out for the final it's tricky. Remember all of the foreign quotes and their translations. You are lucky if you get Mrs. Coffman. She rocks.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Dec 2004
I loved this teacher and would highly recommend her for ENG 253. Just go to class everyday and you should easily pass with a B. There are 3 tests and 2 papers, no final. The second paper, the final paper, is simply a rewrite of the first. I would recommend going to her office hours because she will help you with the papers. Just read the assigned readings and I found the tests to be pretty easy. Make sure you memorize the definitions of things like modernism and romanticism and then she will ask you to give an example of each characteristic from the readings. The readings are not hard and pretty entertaining. It was fun going to class because we just discussed the readings. Not a hard class to go to at all. Her class is straight forward and I would definitly recommend her!


Junior
A
General Ed
Jun 2005
Lisa Coffman was a good instructor for our 253 class. She was very tolerant, even though our class was quite whiny. Although she gives the appearance initially of being a really tough teacher, authoritarian and difficult, she is not either. But be forwarned, this class is a lot more work than your normal braindead GE class: at times, sometimes you'll only have to read one or two pages of poetry, other times you'll have to read 60 pages/night of a novel, and not just skimming: you'll have to come up with material to contribute to the class discussion. This is a very open-ended class, as far as these things go: there aren't really right answers, and although the tests do include questions to see if you read the book, the class is more about what you take away from the reading. It's an English class for people who aren't wild about English, and even if you like Literature (as I do), you'll still probably enjoy it. Grade is based on three short answer tests and two essay tests (45% and 20%, respectively), a paper (20%) and class participation (15%), although you can elect not to take the essay tests and make the other stuff count more. If you have a somewhat easy quarter and you want an interesting Gen Ed class, this is one that I would recommend.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Jun 2005
...So the post below covers basically everything that I was going to say...but just to add on...Coffman really is a good professor. She is very patient and is always willing to help out students even if it requires extra office hours. She is amazingly helpful in the paper that you have to write and she will even read over the entire thing. The test are doable if you know your material. If ever you are unclear about the poetry or any other reading assignment, Coffman will go over the poetry line by line with you...obviously she can't do that for the novel assignments. Class is always enjoyable...it's not boring because it's not lecture. It's discussion. Either than that, this class was awesome and Coffman was awesome. The best way to go to get rid of the literature GE.


Senior
B
General Ed
Jun 2005
WOW, she is so awesome!! I was dreading fufilling this GE before taking this class with coffman...she makes everyone feel like they have a grasp on poetry and novels...no matter how dumb a comment is she never shoots down an idea, just gives her own take on things....the class was a joy to be in, and despite some nights with a lot of pages to read, she makes up for it with nights of 2 page poem readings...the tests are fair and she is doing you a favor by giving you discussion questions...my advice is take 253 with her! you will def. get the grade you deserve in this class, and with her teaching style you will want to work very hard!


Junior
B
General Ed
Apr 2006
I believe the saying is, (or at least should be in this case): if you can't write, teach. well, coffman can't write. i don't know what to say except she should go back to cheerleading.


Freshman
A
General Ed
Oct 2007
Professor Coffman is my favorite professor that I've had at Cal Poly! Make an effort to get to know her, and let her get to know you, and you will be rewarded - she is full of wisdom and will gladly share it with you. The class itself made my quarter! I absolutely loved walking into class every day, and always walked out full of inspiration. I have always liked reading novels, but I never enjoyed poetry until she taught it. I learned so much about life from every author we read (novels and poetry) and was sorry that the class had to come to an end. There is only one major paper, and the topic is broad enough that you really get to choose something you're passionate about. She will help with your paper a lot, especially if you start early enough to beat the rush of students. A chunk of your grade is participation, which I was initially skeptical about, but it proved to generate lively discussion so in the end I liked it. If you take her, please just put your ideas out there (after you put some actual thought into them). She loves to hear new perspectives and they make the class interesting for her as well as you.


Senior
D
Required (Support)
Feb 2008
Like most of us, I look to Polyratings for some guidance when it comes to picking professors, so naturally when it came to deciding a professor for Great Books (for which there are at least 20 sections each quarter), I was impressed with what I read about Coffman. So I signed up for her section. Bad idea. People describe her as a nice lady and whatnot, but on the first day of class, she tells everyone that the average grade she gives out is a C. Awesome. She has a huge emphasis on participation in her class and will call on people at random and ask them what they think, but 8 times out of 10, she seems less than impressed with what people have to say. Overall, her standards were just very vague and she seems very difficult to please. While I don't think I deserved a good grade given the fact that I had a really hard time keeping up with the mass amounts of reading she assigned, I do think she was unnecessarily harsh. I took it for the English minor, but bear in mind that this is one of the standard GE classes and if it was difficult for an English minor, it was probably worse for the people who rarely take English classes. Now I'll probably take this class again for the English minor, but you can bet I won't be taking it with her.


Sophomore
A
General Ed
Mar 2008
Okay, so I am hoping to clarify some of the comments on here. Just because I people love professor Coffman doesn't mean her class is easy. But put yourself in her shoes: you go to class to teach material that you're passionate about only to find that 90% of your class wants to skate by with as little thought/effort as possible. Sucks right? Now I do understand that Poly is hard, and GE's are a nice grade-booster, but I guess I'll just say this: for your sake (as well as for hers) take Professor Coffman only if you want to put some effort in. If you do that, you will be greatly rewarded. One of my favorite classes at Poly. Changed my life.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Mar 2008
In my two years at poly I have never felt the need to evaluate a teacher on polyratings despite the fact that I use it every quarter to choose my classes. With this said, I absolutely loved professor Coffman. Ya she makes you work hard but its the only class i've actually felt like i learn more on a daily basis. She loves to help students outside of class and every class period consists of an open discussion between her and the students. All of the material she chose for the class was very interesting or at least she found a way to make it interesting. I would definitely reccomend her to any one even if english isn't your strongest subject.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
May 2008
spent the entire class telling you her opinion. asks for participation then if you tell her your opion she grades you down if it's not hers. bitch.


5th Year Senior
B
General Ed
Apr 2009
If you take a class with Professor Coffman, you will need to DO THE WORK. This means do the reading and think about what you read. Plan to be busy outside of class. She emphasizes participation because oftentimes students have a different perspective that can clarify the meaning of the work. Actively participate in discussions because she'll ask for your input if you don't volunteer it. Half of the assigned reading was poetry and did not take very long to read. The other half was novels, which did take much longer. Tests are set up to make sure that you did the reading and understood it. They include long answer, short answer, passage recognition, quote recognition, and vocab. You will have to hurry because they are long. There is a 2000 word paper due in the final week of class where you need to tie a theme from an author to a theme in your own life. Depending on your life story and your experience with writing this could either be a very easy or a very hard assignment. Professor Coffman is an accomplished poet with an astonishingly beautiful Tennessee accent. Hearing her read is a fantastic experience. TAKE a class with her if you're willing to put in the effort to get something out of the class. You will be rewarded. DO NOT TAKE a class with her if you're looking to skate through a GE. You will be miserable.


Junior
A
General Ed
Apr 2011
Lisa Coffman is one of the best professors at Cal Poly!!! She makes each student work hard and expects a lot out of you but I learned so much in this class it was worth it! The way she presents the material is very easy to understand and she tells you what to look for when you are reading so you can pass the reading responses that you write EVERYDAY in class. You get two passes. There is no midterm or final, just a lot of class participation and a final essay that you pretty much get free reign to write about whatever you want. She is especially good in office hours so I highly recommend going if you don't understand something. All that said, if you just want to take your C1 and not have to think at all this is not the class for you and you should skip taking her so someone else who actually wants to learn can have a spot.


Junior
A
General Ed
Dec 2011
I loved Professor Coffman, but this class is not for everyone. It will be virtually impossible to skate by since you are required to complete a reading response every class period meaning you must keep up with reading. No tests or quizzes, just the responses and a final paper at the end of the quarter. Lectures are interesting and she is good about clearing up and misunderstandings about the readings. If you put in the work its a pretty easy A/B.


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Feb 2013
Coffman's class requires you to read. There is a reading response every class, however, there's no right or wrong answer. As long as you have support for your beliefs you'll get a decent grade. Sometimes she'll talk about the more difficult readings before she gives you the response to help you out. The class is not really lecture based, it's more a discussion and participation is a small part of your grade. You have a midterm and final paper, but the prompts aren't boring, and give you freedom to write about your personal experience. I would definitely recommend taking the time to go to her office hours as often as you can. She really helps you and practically gives you material to write on for your response. She expects you to try your best, but overall is a really nice lady.


Junior
B
General Ed
Aug 2014
I don't say this about many of my professors, but I truly, TRULY, liked Dr. Coffman. She not only encourages participation in the class discussions (which make up most of the class time), but also understands that not everyone is quite the outgoing speaker. She realizes that a student may get just as much from sitting and listening as from arguing why a character did what they did and what it meant. Dr. Coffman made ENGL 253 (even an 8 am summer course) enjoyable to attend. Every day starts with a reading response of the given assignments, but she'll often go over the details and meanings of the more complicated readings before the quiz. She's extremely open to various interpretations of material and will openly congratulate a student who points out something that she hasn't seen before. Overall, I would highly recommend Dr. Coffman as a professor for this course. Oh, and she's just plain adorable.


Senior
A
General Ed
Nov 2014
Professor Coffman is easily one of my favorite professors at Cal Poly. She genuinely cares about her students and is just an all around great person. This class isn't an easy A though. She gives reading responses everyday so you have to read and you have to show up everyday. And it's a lot of reading, by the way. The final paper isn't too bad. She lets you choose a topic your interested in (with some restrictions), which make it more enjoyable. My one bit of advice is to go to office hours if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat. She really wants to give every student individual attention.

ENGL 302


Sophomore
N/A
General Ed
Feb 2010
Coffman is a ridiculous teacher. She has no consideration for the fact that her course is a GE for half of her students. It is a guaranteed drop in your GPA. Do not take her unless you love English, can think outside of the box 100% of the time, and will be new and original. Getting an A is SUPER rare in her class. Extremely boring lectures. Wayy too much reading assigned. It is unrealistic.

ENGL 341


Junior
C
Elective
Dec 2007
Coffman is a really nice lady, don't get me wrong. However, her method of grading is very vague. I had no idea what I got on the 4 papers that I turned in until, suprise, my final grade. Because of this I wasn't able to improve my papers to her grading standards to get a better grade. The class was ridiculously "touchy-feely": Everything we wrote was "peer evaluated". Then our classmates graded us on our peer evaluations. Overall, I found the class to be 1) boring 2) very wishy-washy and 3) impossible to get an "A" because of such loose grading standards. I would not recommend this class or professor.

ENGL 351


5th Year Senior
A
General Ed
Nov 2004
What a wonderful professor! She epitomizes classic teaching and really fights hard to help students learn and enjoy the material.


5th Year Senior
C
General Ed
Dec 2004
Lisa is a nice person, but her class, Modern Poetry, should not be taken if you are looking to take the GWR and do an upper division elective. There are a lot more time efficient ways of doing it. She has you do two essays, which she grades like a nazi and their worth about 1/3 of your grade. She says if you follow all of the directions, you'll get a C on the paper. Then she has you memorize poems and recite them infront of the class. There are 4 of those. And her midterms (3 total) are very difficult to study for. She takes roll and gives points for people who speak in class. She'll call on you if you haven't said much in class. This class is good for english majors, but not the rest of us.


Senior
A
General Ed
Dec 2004
I would highly recommend this class to fulfill a GE requirement. There are 3 tests including the final (not cummulative), 2 papers, and very very little reading throughout the quarter. She is spunky, remembers everyone's name, and enjoys her job which shows. I'm engineering, not at all a poetry person, and still did well. If you just pay attention in class you can easily get a B.


Sophomore
B
General Ed
Dec 2005
This class is pathetic unless you love the lameness of poetry. Lisa totally favors the poetry lovers and each class is completely dreadful. If you enjoy a bunch of lames disecting pointless poems for 2 straight hours, then this class is for you. Or you could take it from me and skip this hellish nightmare of a class.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jul 2006
Poetry taught from an award-winning poet. What more could you ask? By the way, if you think this class is easy because you'll only be reading poetry and not lengthy novels, think again. If you love poetry, this is the class to take!


Senior
B
General Ed
Feb 2007
Teacher was a b$#(@. I worked my ass off for a B and I dont even know why. I should have droped the class. I started the class with a love of poetry and ended hating it. She might be a decent poet, but she is a horrible teacher. One of the few classes I ever dreded going to.

ENGL 386


Senior
B
Elective
Feb 2008
If you don't like Coffman, fuck you. Seriously. The only downside of her class is that there is a huge emphasis on group discussion, so if there are a bunch of idiots in your class, then it could suck having to listen to pompous people going off about symbolism or something. Luckily for me, I actually learned some things from my classmates. People have mentioned the ambiguous grading, but if you *gasp* actually talk to her throughout the quarter, you can have a good idea of your grade. I took the class when I was younger, so I didn't, but I still got a B, and learned more in her class than in any other at Poly.


Junior
C
Elective
Jun 2008
Has an ego the size of Titanic. Very good at making students feel like third graders. Have fun!


Sophomore
A
Elective
Dec 2008
Best class I've taken so far at Poly. Coffman is a breath of fresh air amongst a throng of professors who really don't give a damn about your life outside of class. She's genuinely fascinated with all her students and is such a positive, encouraging mentor. If you don't like reading/writing, this probably not the class for you. But if you've been searching for the "college experience" where you can go to a prof's office and discuss books and philosophy and juggling and the human spirit, take a class with Coffman.

ENGL 388


Junior
B
Elective
May 2005
Lisa Coffman is Fantastic!!! The BEST at Cal Poly!!! My Story- I hated poetry. I even cheated when I was a kid in a library poetry contest. Lisa Coffman changed that. Her extreme love for the subject matter and, great care for her students combined to win me over. Now I am a poetry lover who, is planning on entering in a poetry contest today. The class room environment is great. I consider everyone in the class a friend now. Her grading is very fair. The work load is manageable, just write a poem a week. Take this class if you have any sense of decency!@!


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jan 2007
Coffman is amazing. I loved going to her class. She drew out the poet and critic in every student. Everyone should take this class! There is a healthy amount of work (nine well-drafted poems, critiques every class of about six poems by other students, and the assigned reading) but it is worth it. I grew in my ability to write and in my desire to write. Take her!


Junior
B
Elective
Aug 2008
Not a fan of poetry but took the class because it was something new, and not some bullshit like British lit from the 1800s or something. Anyway, other than the 'touchy-feely' discussions, which are heavily dependent on the people in your class, I really liked it. Lisa knows her shit and has infectious passion.


Junior
B
General Ed
Mar 2017
Coffman clearly has a deep passion for what teaches that you don't always see in teachers. This was an interesting class - grades consisted of weekly page long responses, 8 poems, 3 recitations, and participation. You honestly have no idea what grade you are going to come out with because nothing is in polylearn until after class ends. Putting this aside I thought the class was pretty interesting. Sometimes the questions Coffman asked about poems in class left me a little confused, ("how does the shape make you fee" and similar; what can you say to that?) but she knew how to lead a discussion and get the whole class engaged. Grading was quite harsh but you can't blame a teacher for that. It's hard to put a grade on a poem so I can't fault her for her opinions on mine. A good class for your upper division english GE.


Junior
B
General Ed
May 2017
I love Professor Coffman! She's so sweet, intelligent and genuinely cares about your writing. I would take this class over and over again with her if I could. I'm an animal science major and this was a GE for me, but this was one of the best GE's I've enjoyed taking and I would do it all over again with her. It's a very thoughtful class, its a lot of reading but honestly if you love poetry, you're going to enjoy this class so much. I really appreciate her, and every class you basically go over each others poems and its a very open and honest discussion with your peers. I was a little shy at first sharing my own personal poems, but it ended up being so fun and it really helped me understand more about myself as person! She's so great, if you put the effort in and sees that you're really trying, she'll give you a good grade and reciprocate. Take her!!! She's amazing.

AGB 694


5th Year Senior
B
Elective
Nov 2016
During this entire quarter all I could think about was how this professor reminded me of that small little dog that runs through the back of scene 23 in The Incredibles by Pixar. Seriously, if you look it up you will only be able to see it...