I am an experienced knitter, but I have had the same struggle with the shape of the squares. I find that when I wet-blocked I was able to square it off quite a bit more. But I think the one weakness in the class was that it didn't spend much time on either picking up the stitches/proportional placement, and proper blocking.
Althea Snow answered:
I found that picking up the right number of stitches evenly across was challenging.