Let’s face it: no matter how hard you try, some students stubbornly refuse to learn what you teach them in class. Or, more to the point, they manage to learn things that you didn’t teach them. Two recent examples from a course on sacred sites:
a) a student declared in his paper that Catholics worship the Virgin Merry (apparently a fun person to have around)
b) a student declared in her paper that the rounded shape of the synagogue was clearly meant to evoke the pregnant belly of Mary, with Jesus in her womb
And they think we need to cut funding for education, especially the humanities, at a time like this? This post is mainly meant to highlight two amusing recent student misunderstandings, but it does also beg the question of how we expect to develop a respectful and harmonious multicultural society when regular people are ignorant of some very basic facts about their neighbors. . .