[HIST 0286]
Modern Latin America

Rate This Class

Professor: Davis, D

Value of Course / Overall Score

Not Much (68.4%
Average (15.8%)
Valuable (15.8%)


Friendly (42.1%)
Average (47.4%)
Competitive (10.5%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (10.5%)
Average (89.5%)
Fascinating (0%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (26.3%)
3-5hr (68.4%)
6-8hr (5.3%)
9-11hr (0%)
12+ hr (0%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (78.9%)
Average (0%)
Easier (21.1%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (31.6%)
No (68.4%)

Would Recommend Class

Yes (21.1%)
No (78.9%)

Evaluation Comments for Davis, D

  1. No Comment
  2. This professor speaks in circles, is disorganized and extremely difficult to understand. He is also very boring.
  3. Everything written above and more! The readings were boring and pointless. Going to class was even more pointless, as he rarely covers the core concepts in an organized, coherent fashion. Everyone spends the entire period bewildered by both the "material" he is presenting and also the utter incompetence with which he lectures. Studying for his tests consists of spending several hours looking up his list of terms (which lack any sort of organization or coherence, like his lectures) on Wikipedia. Not once did I consult any of the readings assigned while studying for the tests, as doing so would drive me to the point of insanity. While his tests generally cover the key concepts of the material (a welcome surprise), he always manages to throw in a wildcard question that is dependent on your having done one of the pointless readings or seen one of the even more pointless videos he assigned. This wildcard question always counts more towards your grade than is indicated on the actual test, which even further lowers the already undesevedly low grades he gives. The research paper was actually valuable for exploring issues peripheral to the actual content of the class, but his grading standards are once again harsh and arbitrary. All that being said, Professor Davis is actually a pretty nice guy. Though I rarely attended class, he still treated me with respect as long as I tried to make a valuable contribution to the classes I did attend. Discussion sections are surprisingly loose and far more valuable than the actual lectures, mostly because the students know more about the material than he does and are more able to present their views in such an intimate setting. While I do not think he should be a professor here much longer, I wouldn't proactively seek his termination by the administration simply because he is a decent guy and seems to have a general idea of which concepts are important (as evidenced by his tests). I think with a little help, Professor Davis could restructure his lectures and actually create an interesting, stimulating class that is not dreadful to attend. If you read this, Professor, please take these comments constructively rather than personally so that you can make this class as valuable as it could/should be.
  4. Although the material was genuninely interesting, the way in which Professor Davis presented it was terrible. He is THE most disorganized teacher I have ever have and his lectures only confused me more. Exams were clear and straightforward luckily, and not too difficult although he is a harsh grader. He was not good at answering questions nor was he a good listener or explainer. Usually a nice and funny man, on occassion he snapped at people (sometimes even aggressively) when he didn't understand their questions. Never available for extra help, I felt rather alone and know most of us went onto wikipedia.com to study for exams since none of our notes made sense. Unfortunately, what could have been a fun, interesting class was ruined by the professor.
  5. Don't take this or any other class with prof. Davis. He's a complete stupid and shouldn't be teaching.
  6. this professor just doesn't seem knowledgeable most of the time. if a student asks a question, he will simply answer "we will get back to that..." and he never gets back to it. the advice i would give would be: if you are generally interested in the material, go for it. otherwise, take another class because he is not a very good professor. discussions are weak and overall it just isnt a very good class and i havent learned anything from him--anyhitng i've learned has been from the book. also, the class notes are incompetant because the teacher is spacy and unknowledgable as said before.
  7. Dont do it.
  8. Read all of the above. Nothing else needs to be said.
  9. From what i understand, Davis has made HUGE improvements. I have had him for two semesters now and he is absolutely fine. He is an average professor. In no way does he even come close to being as bad as everyone says. In fact, i think its ridiculous that anyone would write what they did. In my opinion, those who have such a negative opinion of him were total slackers who didnt put ten minutes into the class. Some people in my class skipped up to 9 classes, thats unacceptable. Quit complaining and do some work. This class is AMAZINGLY easy, if you try at all. Write one essay, topic of your choice. Easy. A mid term and a final. He tells you EVERYTHING you need to know for those. So do a little studying, learn some dates, and you will get an A. Anyone who is looking to take this class, do it. If you are interested in the subject you will enjoy it. Everyone could stand to learn a little about Latin America. Davis is fair, and if you respect him by showing up and doing some reading and participating then you will have a good experience in this class. Its one of the easier are more interesting history classes i have taken here. So for those of you who have taken this class already, please write davis an accurate review that reflects your effort.
  10. Davis is all over the place. His lectures are slow and uninteresting and he is unbelievably disorganized. Discussions are broad and never lead to anything. He is a really nice guy and shows he tries hard but hes just not fit to be teaching. Plus he grades very harshly. A hint if you take his class, embellish, embellish, embellish your writing because he loves that. But for the love of learning stay away!
  11. His papers are unreasonable, it seems as though he cares more about your sources and how you cite them than the actual content of your paper. The readings are boring and the subject matter he covers has less to do with latin american history and more with slavery and race. He should change the name of the class and call it "race and latin america" He is unable to shut down students who talk about pointless things and when somebody makes a point contrary to his own, he does whatever he can to marginalize that person.
  12. I will be the first to give a positive review of Davis, though I can understand where some of these other comments are coming from. I recommend this class to people seriously interested in Latin America because you will learn a lot, especially if you do all the readings - and you'll probably only be inspired to do the readings if you're pretty interested in Latin America. In terms of Davis' teaching style, he's disorganized but also knows a lot. Accept him for being disorganized - a lot of people are - and glean what you can from his lectures. You have to have the right attitude going into this class - you're taking it to LEARN something. And he may be a hard grader, but he'll reward you if you actually work hard - I am living proof you can get A's in his classes. Don't take his class if you want an easy out and aren't going to give it any effort. Be forgiving of Davis' downfalls, and it might not be such a horrible experience.
  13. Absolutely the worst class EVER. He cannot teach for his life and he gives you lower grades than you deserved. I got two Bs on the two midterms, a B- on the main paper and an A- on the short paper and ended up with a B-. He sucks.
  14. First off, allow me to preface this evaluation with the fact that I did not take modern Latin America with "Professor" Davis; I had him for Colonial Latin America and I'm sure, I am sure, that his teaching methods varied little if at all from the former to the latter. I must say, Darien is not such a bad guy. He means well and is typically friendly and approachable. However, and this is a big however, he is a terrible teacher. I thought I saw some bad teachers in high school, but apparently Davis found a way to make my high worst high school teachers look like Robin Williams in 'The Dead Poet's Society' or perhaps Richard Dreyfus in 'Mr. Holland's Opus'--mediocre films, but inspirational lecturers who face adversity in good stride and, well, let's not lose sight of this blurb. Davis is unorganized, unprofessional and not meant to teach at the college level. I don't think I need to say much more other than DO NOT TAKE A CLASS WITH DARIEN DAVIS unless you enjoy fruitless efforts to learn matieral that should be interesting, but is made horribly painful. Darien, if you ever read this, I hope that it serves as an inspiration to change your methods of teaching and seriously rethink your approach as a professor.
  15. I agree with everyone else and would just urge anyone to not take a course with Davis if possible. Truly, he is the worst that Middlebury has to offer. Furthermore, he is mean spirited and condescending.
  16. Professor Davis is not organized, as reflected in his teaching methods and his availability to help students. While I did learn a few things in this course, I could have learned (and wanted to learn) a lot more with a different professor.
  17. Prof. Davis is the worst prof that Middlebury College has. He was never available for help or for his office hours. His lectures rarely touched on any of the material we had covered. In my opinion he is more interested in his research than in his students or his class. I would strongly urge other students to take this course. This was by far my worst experience with a profesor at Midd.
  18. Just avoid this mess. Davis is condescending and arrogant. He believes only in one view point, and that is his. Questions are brushed off at best, or the questioner aggressively reprimanded at worst. The lectures are without direction and are essentially pointless to attend. I went to every class and was probably more confused than those who never came. THe readings aren't much better. FOr his exams he gives out a cheat sheet. This may seem helpful, but it is not. Rather it is a list of terms, concepts, etc. numbering upwards of 150 out of which he wil pick 3 or 4 for you to identify on the exam. HIs grading is incredibly harsh and nit-picky. Do yourself a favor, just avoid Darien Davis while at this school.
  19. Professor Davis is a very passionate man who loves Latin American history. Just sitting in his class, you can feel his enthusiasm for the subject. He tries very hard to make the subject interesting by engaging students in interesting discussions. His readings are pretty enjoyable and if you just read and analyze the readings, you will do fine in his class. He's a bit of a stickler for memorizing information, but besides that, this class was very enjoyable. The course work consists mostly of essays and group projects.

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