Stupid internet — and other things

The internet at home is being annoying. It was so yesterday too. It’s being really slow and sometimes refusing to load pages or pictures at all. I had to reload one stupid article five times before it finally loaded. Grr. Hard to update under those circumstances, aye?

I’m thinking of doing a kind of study on the lifespans of parents of missing people. Of course it wouldn’t be scientific and I don’t know how much data I’d be able to collect, but I’d like to know if my hypothesis “having your child go missing tends to shorten your life” is accurate or not. Certainly I’ve made several entries on the parents of MPs dying before their time. But Connie Smith‘s father was still alive last I knew, and she was his only child, and he’s got to be in his nineties by now.

I’m taking a course in Latin American History and this week we have to choose topics for our term paper. We can choose almost anything we’re interested in, as long as it’s relatively modern (late nineteenth century to present day) and deals with South America. A few people in the class want to write about sports in various South American countries and the prof said it was okay. He shot down my suggestion of writing on the life of Pablo Escobar, but he liked my idea about writing on “The Disappeared” in Argentina. He knows about my interest in MPs.

I still don’t see what’s wrong with Pablo Escobar though. The professor didn’t even know who he was. As soon as I said, “He was a Colombian drug lord,” he made a face and said, “No.”

25 thoughts on “Stupid internet — and other things

  1. Dust April 5, 2011 / 9:31 pm

    That’s too bad,sounds like the Prof could’ve learned something. Also seems he should’ve known who Escobar was,teaching Latin American history and all.Is this Prof younger than most?I think it would’ve been an excellent topic for a term paper-lots and lots of info….but the missing thing will be a good subject as well,and you really are good with that area..good luck

    • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 9:48 pm

      He’s a little over forty, I believe. His specialty is Brazil.

  2. Marlene April 5, 2011 / 9:46 pm

    and yet he didn’t mind all those people writing about sports! why is that?

    • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 10:08 pm

      Perhaps it was the whole stereotype thing he disagreed with, that Latin America = drugs.

  3. Dejah April 5, 2011 / 9:46 pm

    Amazing how Professors (not all!) try to steer us to study something they want us to study and not what we are interested in. Think of how much easier school would be if we could ‘report’ on our own interests? A’s for all!

  4. Kat April 5, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    Ah….give me a minute here. I’m trying to think of the name of an MP who went up against a regime and was most likely killed. Jeez, back in the 50’s? I think I have the wrong continent though. I always found it so interesting, that case. Oy. Going to have to look that up. Oh, and the internet was a pain here too, for the last day and a half, I think it has to do with that hacking stuff (that’s what my husband’s company said). MSN and Hotmail were soooooooo slow. Gad. I didn’t even turn on the computer till three hours ago. Wasn’t worth it.

      • Kat April 5, 2011 / 10:27 pm

        Oh, whoops. Thought he was Spanish. I think I read to fast lol.

      • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 10:30 pm

        Well, he was, technically. He was born there, then moved to the DR, then to the US.

  5. Kat April 5, 2011 / 10:05 pm

    Never mind. It was Jesus da Galindez. Spanish. Oh well, I tried. I hope you find someone good to write about, since creativity seems to be at a premium….I’m glad I’m not in college anymore. I don’t miss writing papers or arguing with professors.

  6. Princess Shantae April 5, 2011 / 10:18 pm

    There’s Che Guevara. He died in South America.

    • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 10:24 pm

      Someone wanted to do Che and Dr. B advised against it because most of the stuff on Che is out of Cuba.

  7. Kat April 5, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    Is there anything your professor does approve of, exactly? Couldn’t he have just given a list of possible topics if he’s shooting stuff down?

    • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 10:33 pm

      He at first said we could do “anything that does not involve aliens.” (By which he meant, don’t write about that stupid theory that aliens built the Incan pyramids.) We had a discussion in class today and he questioned each person about their interests and abilities. Like, one woman who was a business major and only taking the class for a requirement, he said maybe she could write about commerce and trade in some specific country. Some woman who was really interested in women’s history was told there was lots of stuff on the women’s movement in South America.

      We’re supposed to meet with him at his office later this week (me, tomorrow at one) to confirm our topics.

      • Kat April 5, 2011 / 10:39 pm

        Actually, that sounds like it makes sense. Do you have any other ideas for the paper? And no, I wouldn’t write about alien temples either (thank you, Indiana Jones. Horrific.).

      • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 10:59 pm

        I suppose I’ll just do the Disappeared. It’s a good idea with a lot of research done on it, and I can’t really think of anything else to do.

    • Meaghan April 7, 2011 / 1:32 pm

      In my meeting, Dr. B said if I REALLY wanted to do Pablo Escobar, I could. He said his main objection to it is that writing about one specific person (who isn’t, say, a president or something), you don’t usually have the opportunity to focus on the broader issues of the country’s history, which is what he wants us to do.

      I told him I wasn’t absolutely dying to write about Escobar, and would be willing to do the Disappeared instead. He has a colleague from grad school who focused on that topic and wrote a book on it, and he will try to track the book down for me.

  8. forthelost April 5, 2011 / 11:01 pm

    I was Pablo Escobar for Halloween the year I was eleven. (I had watched too many episodes of America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries.)

    • Meaghan April 5, 2011 / 11:10 pm

      What did you wear exactly?

      One year I wanted to be Vlad the Impaler, but Mom said no one would know what I was talking about. I dressed like a crayon instead: in a red sweatsuit with black felt Crayola labels glued to it, and a red felt pointy hat.

      • forthelost April 5, 2011 / 11:25 pm

        Dark clothes and a drawn-on mustache. It didn’t matter that much, as the night was so cold I had my winter jacket on.

        My sister has been both a birthday cake and a Chinese communist.

  9. jai April 6, 2011 / 4:35 am

    Meaghan, you may find interesting for your paper, a podcast from the “Being” series about an Argentinean forensic anthropologist who did a lot of work to identify many of los desaparecidos. I listened to this one a couple years ago when it came out. http://being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/laying-the-dead/

    program summary

    With an Argentinean scientist, we explore the human landscape of forensic sciences and its emergence as a tool for human rights. Mercedes Doretti has unearthed bones and stories of the dead and “the disappeared” in more than 30 countries, including victims of Argentina’s Dirty War, over two decades. She shares her perspective on reparation, the need to bury our dead, and the many facets of justice.

  10. Princess Shantae April 6, 2011 / 8:16 am

    Its news to me that Cuba isn’t considered Latin America. I don’t think the Cubans would like that very much.
    Here’s another idea. You could write about that plane that crashed in the Andes where the survivors had to eat each other. They made a movie about it called ALive.

    • Meaghan April 6, 2011 / 9:59 am

      It is part of Latin America, but the professor is focusing the course solely on South America.

  11. Hillary April 6, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    I think your topic sounds great. I always wondered about families of missing victims. Not knowing where your loved one is…whether dead or alive has to be very stressful. Then there’s the one’s who don’t move from their homes out of fear their loved one will return. The magnitude of it all must shorten their lifespans.

  12. Katja April 13, 2011 / 3:59 am

    I just found out that there’s a German movie that recently came out that touches on the topic of Argentina’s “Disappeared”. The title of it is “Das Lied in Mir”, which translates to “The Song Within Me” but apparently they have altered the English title to “The Day I Was Not Born”. The IMDB entry can be found here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1398029/plotsummary

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