It cracks me up that people on this thread seem to think that your roommate's name is Eiffel, rather than the programming language.
Personally, I think the whole OO ball of wax is a little much for a beginner. I might start a new programmer with somethink easy like Basic or even... Perl. But he probably has no choice because it's for a class.
One thing I've noticed over the years is that while programming is pretty easy, many people just don't like it, or lack the patience for it. I tell them if it's not fun, don't bother. There are already plenty of us who like it. ("The first rule of Perl Club is...")