I asked my students to write about the most surprising thing they learned from our Hispanic Civilization course. Here is what they wrote about:
1. Columbus was not a hero. (37 out of 66 students).
2. Columbus didn’t “establish the US” (8 students).
3. Nationalism is not an ingrained instinct we are born with. (1 student)
4. Christians committed atrocities (12 students).
5. Even before Hitler, Jews were “persecuted and sometimes even killed” (2 students).
6. There was a Spanish Empire (4 students).
7. Even jerks (sic!) like Quevedo could
create beautiful literature (1 student).
8. Don Quijote is more than “just a book about this crazy guy with windmills and what not” (1 student).
Yes, my course is full of surprises.