No we didn’t really have projects, we had assignments. But they were ‘project work’ according to the ICSE institution (or was it just my institution?) so yeah we wrote them up in outlined A4 sheets (no you weren’t allowed to get them printed) and attached a front-page titled <insert subject> PROJECT.
In 10th class (2009-’10), our Geography project was on Global Warming. Kavya was the only one I knew who wasn’t relying on the internet for material. Our Geography teacher had a piece of well-meaning advice herself for the class, “PLEASE pick up content from sources besides Wikipedia, I don’t want 45 projects with the same copy-pasted matter on my table”.
Also read as : Ignore first couple of Google search results, take pains to go beyond the first page, if need be.
After several clicks on >Next, I found myself in that eddyhole of the world wide web with URLs that read handmadeprojectessaysforyourhighschool.com and myawesomespeechthatwonthepulitzer.com – that’s right. I was one click away from unlocking the Dark Net.
Luckily I’m the queen of abstention, so I just carried on innocently with my reading without employing parseltongue. I was on a decent essay, even a good one considering the dubious title of the site. But then I came across this one subheading under EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING :
“Eradicated diseases will reappear” – As permafrost and frozen soil in the Arctic regions thaw, human bodies and animal carcasses will resurface. Hence diseases that may have been wiped off the earth may soon find their way to infect us again.
I thought it was a joke, just the author (probably another teen like myself, I thought) on a lighter note. Of course I didn’t go after research backing it I mean I just wanted some unsame copy-paste okay. So I copied the lines in my sheet, all the while wondering if I’d be summoned to the staff room to EXPLAIN WHAT MY UNSOLICITED IMAGINATION WAS DOING IN THE PROJECT WORK. I saved the link, just in case.
I also mentioned it to my friends and we had a good laugh (‘SO FUNNY right???!!’ ‘yes so weird…funny sure’). If only I’d been held up for it I could’ve forwarded the Current News to the teacher with a dramatic caption (“I told you so”?). But maybe it already was a hardfact then or maybe teachers don’t really read the 45 copy-pasted – technically it wasn’t even copy-paste per se, it was our sweat and Cello Pinpoint ink – assignments. Makes you wonder why you took the effort to click Next so many times after all. Life is cruel to us nice-people. I was 15, was I supposed to know that by then?
Anyway if you don’t read the newspaper like me from 10 months ago, it’s been happening – what sounds like a spooky SuperNatural plot – the rise of the dead. Anthrax triggered by reindeer carcasses exposed from frost thaw being among the latest incidents. I don’t know if it was really happening back in 2010 but I’m pretty stunned.
Full story (from August 2016) here:
Anthrax outbreak triggered by climate change kills boy – The Guardian