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Harold Bloom

cprr12cprr12 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
edited July 2010 in Yale University
Perhaps this is a way too specific question. I'm looking at all the classes I could take next year (I'm in the class of 2014) and Harold Bloom is teaching two classes. Now, I won't say this man is THE reason I applied, but he was up there. For his classes, there no prerequisite, but it says "permission of instructor required".... does that mean a meager freshmen has no hopes of being able to take it? I can only imagine it comes down to seniority, as he's a rather popular figure on campus.

Many thanks!
Post edited by cprr12 on

Replies to: Harold Bloom

  • Gryffon5147Gryffon5147 Registered User Posts: 3,765 Senior Member
    As you have mentioned, he is a very big figure on campus, and if it is a small class, then you'll most likely be on the bottom of the waiting list as a freshman.

    But you should ask around... and never give up.
  • SmyttySmytty Registered User Posts: 215 Junior Member
    From what I can tell, the first meeting of every class he teaches is basically you writing an essay on why he should take you for his seminar. So yes, it is possible for a freshman to get in if you make a good impression on him.
  • mochamavenmochamaven Registered User Posts: 878 Member
    You can try, but it is EXTREMELY unlikely. I had one friend get in as a sophomore, and that was a pretty big deal. I guess it wouldn't hurt to show up, but the odds of getting in as a freshman are extremely low. Honestly, I'd recommend using those time slots to shop other classes. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

    One thing that most freshmen don't know: If the Blue Book says "permission of instructor required" for a class, it is an upperclass seminar (unless it also says "enrollment limited to freshmen," in which case it's a freshman seminar). The odds of your getting in as a freshman will be very low, and honestly, the workload will probably be a bit more than you can handle.
  • johnshadejohnshade Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    Bloom's health has been a bit iffy in recent years: Yale Daily News - Cross Campus - Bloom to resume teaching ? maybe
  • amciwamciw Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    I took a seminar requiring permission of the instructor as a freshman, and while I was lucky to get in (the professor was a first year professor, which helped), I found the workload more than manageable. Seminars are generally not painful academic experiences assuming you have some work ethic and good writing abilities.
  • orchardorchard Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Let me put this as honestly as I can: are you an attractive female?
  • Nikkor50mmNikkor50mm Registered User Posts: 633 Member

    Wait, are you serious? That's how he picks students? Because that's totally creepy...
  • amciwamciw Registered User Posts: 1,755 Senior Member
    Its creepy but true. Although if you want my opinion, he likely just uses that criteria because its the easiest way to select fourteen students from a typical Yale population.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 17,067 Senior Member
    Bloom has a long history of creepy behavior towards attractive undergraduate women. One who later spoke out publicly about the experience is Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth and other books. Sex and Silence at Yale Even back then, however, it was merely creepy and sad, not actually threatening, although it was rare for young women to be very good at dealing with it and deflecting it. As a result, while good-looking women may have had an easier time getting into Bloom's classes, it was very hard for any undergraduate women to sustain a relationship with him over time.

    Anyway, Bloom IS old and sick. (And brilliant, and weird, and creepy, and sweet, and greedy. Really the whole package.) Don't count on his having a big effect on your education at Yale. Do try to talk yourself into his course if you want, although you would probably do a better job of that if you waited a year, assuming he is still teaching in a year.
This discussion has been closed.