It’s only the second week of classes, and already I’m quite seriously behind. The reason is that there is so much remedial teaching I have to do that I keep running out of time before getting to the subject of the course.
It would be great if the students knew what the Roman Empire was, realized what the term “the Middle Ages” refers to, could find Mexico on a map, didn’t mix up Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and were aware of the fact that the US did not exist in year 711. There are also problems with vocabulary, and I have to stop every two minutes to explain words like “indigenous,” “feudal,” “aqueduct,” “nomadic,” “synagogue,” “lyrical,” etc. Several students didn’t know how to spell the word “Muslim.” The weirdest version that it took me a while to decipher was “moslium.” Maybe this student thought I was referring to a chemical element like potassium or cadmium. Several students didn’t know what a mosque was.
Explaining all this devours class time like I can’t begin to tell you.