Medieval Civilization: Mediterranean Heartlands

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Designed for juniors/seniors. Survey of Western Mediterranean Europe, social/economic/cultural within political framework, including its relation with other cultures. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 2.7/ 5
Clarity 5.0/ 5
Workload 2.3/ 5
Helpfulness 4.7/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Professor Ruiz is charismatic. FIRST 4 WEEKS The first 4 weeks of class kind of dragged on about the political movements and many kingships - but he himself mentioned in lecture he grew bored of this, and began focusing on the cultural influences of the land. Things got more interesting then. HE WANTS TO MAKE SURE STUDENTS SUCCEED - He emails weekly outlines to students (which is overly generous) -He emails study guides for the midterm and the final so you have time to research and focus on one prompt -without any surprises on the exams (you can't ask for more from a teacher) KEEPING UP WITH HIS LECTURE STYLE It can be difficult to take notes at times because he is so interested in so many things - I found making mind maps was more helpful than using a computer or outlining as he many times would jump back to topics he'd previously mentioned. PRESENTATIONS OR 6-8 PAGE PAPER You could do a presentation/performance that related to the class or you could read a book (which was actually interesting). Presentations were graded very lightly. THE MATERIAL/LOAD Seemed a bit much, but I suggest - don't read everything (many got away with not reading Ambulafia, or another text) because his exams and papers will only require you to read certain or one text. I suggest you focus on what he focuses on, outlines, his study guides, and you can also skim much (as it's history and not a literature course). Choose what you focus on. ONCE HE ALMOST MADE ME MAD He was semi-joking, I think semi-echoing the prejudice voice, but perhaps with a purpose. He mentioned that California would be nowhere without immigrants, and the labor industry they provide - later he mentioned "immigrants "they breed like rabbits." He said this, then looked at me and smiled. I felt annoyed, but thought, given his previous comments, he was just trying to bring a sense of humor. I forgave him, he loves all students interested in the material and is wiling to help all, and connects with minority students (but he does this with everyone). I felt like saying in class though ("well, that's what they said about the Japanese and the Irish") but I held back. WHAT MY T.A. THOUGHT Adam Mowl thought Teo was trying to help students way too much, and felt it would be best if students were forced to ask questions on their own. I understand where Adam was coming from, but I also think that what Teo shares, as far as his thoughts, would provoke many to think about things differently. I got a bit frustrated with his lecture style because he jumped around a lot, but when he focused, I did enjoy coming to class. he is a good person, who wants to share knowledge and make sure his students can succeed in this great, hectic, tough university.
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