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study abroad under scrutiny....

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Offline stewarthome2000


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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:47 am

Posts: 152

Location: Perugia, Italy

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:07 pm   Post subject: study abroad under scrutiny....   

I just read the article from Nadeau who states,
"Knox, 21, who was a fresh-faced, middle-class student on a study-abroad program from the University of Washington"...
UW does not have a study abroad program in Perugia!

I have read this countless times that Knox was on a "study abroad program". It is precisely that she was NOT on a study abroad program that she was able to adopt a lifestyle that led her to where she is now. To go on a study abroad “program” means that you attend an organized and SUPERVISED educational program abroad most often with peers, faculty and/or at the very least a local administrative staff assigned to at least periodically look after the participants behavior and well-being.

Knox took the non-conformist path to study abroad. I recall she purposely did not want to go on a program to not follow the group so to speak. She did it cheaply, outside of the University of Washington, and completely on her own. This is characteristic of at least two type of people..those wo are adventurous and want a true full-immersion experience into the cultural (usually Italian majors), and those who want to be un-tethered and have total freedom and no one to answer to so they can do as they wish... I have no doubt Knox is the latter.

Parents especially should know that if she had attended a legitimate study abroad program, her attendance in class would have been monitored, and any behavior that would upset roommates may have been reported. In these programs for the most part there are strict housing rules... not overnight guests, let alone bringing guys to sack up with, ...most of the times other roommates complan to the program admin that they have an out of control roommate bringing guys home, drinking excessively or doing drugs. Not always of course, but programs with the proper supervision have enough of a presence to let the participants know that someone is at least checking up now and again and as a result they watch their behavior.

In addition, they are given significant preparation about living in the host country with pre-departure materials and perhaps meetings, talking with ex-participants, and attending an extensive multi-day orientation where staff and even local police lecture them about the many pitfalls of living in a foreign and new environment away from home…..the laws are different and more importantly there are some bad people walking the streets... enjoy yourself and learn, but also be careful, stay alert, out of trouble, etc.

I work in study abroad and we know what unleashed unsupervised colleges students get themselves into; we are trained to look for potential problems and we visit all students accommodations at least once per month and speak with everyone. We have open-door counseling and professionals with years of experience on staff. We watch out for all our students regularly... we know what behavior to look for and when to intervene...well most of the time.

Yes..it costs more to attend the Universita' per Stranieri through a legitimate US-college or - university sponsored program, but the situation Amanda has created or at least found herself in, is much less likely to happen to students on a proper accredited study abroad program. Let's face it at the age of 20, 21, 22, many are still kids, naive and vulnerable, especially those who have yet to explore their “wild side”, they sometimes see this as an opportunity to make up for lost time. Bottom line, they need guidance and no more so than when they are 8000 miles from home and on their own.

Knox took the "I am too good to go on study abroad program with fellow students" route and the cheap way out....not so cheap anymore. He parents should have known better. Either make sure the students are mature enough, or make sure they have a structured environment that can assist them while abroad; it’ well worth the extra cost and peace of mind.

So all you journalist please get it straight… Amanda Knox was NOT on a study abroad program. She took a leave from the University of Washington to study Italian at nothing more than a glorified language school which ANYONE, and I mean anyone can attend, and she did so on her own, the cheapest way possible with no supervision. She most likely would have a very difficult time getting credit from UW as well. It is obvious she was looking to break away.
basta...
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Offline mikegjames


Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:19 am

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:40 am   Post subject: Study Abroad Program   

The points in this essay are well taken with a couple of exceptions.
It certainly makes sense that enrolling abroad in a supervised program is a more secure and likely safe way to study in another country. Many students, though, choose a more independent path so they can, as the writer indicates, really immerse themselves in a new culture, with the potential to learn much more than in the rather confined order of a structure program. There are good arguments for both approaches.
What bothers me is the writer's assertion that Amanda Knox chose the independent route as "a cheap way out," that she felt "I am too good to go on a study abroad program with other students." How does he/she know this? Where's the evidence? Does he/she really know anything about the Knox family finances? We do know that Ms. Knox worked and saved her own money for this trip in the months before she went to Perugia.
Further, how does the writer know that Knox felt she was "too good"? Where's that evidence? It's certainly contradicted by her athletic and scholastic record at her high school and at the University of Washington, as well as by the testimony of her friends.
We're all entitled to our opinions, but not to our own facts.
I'm still waiting for Mignini to produce evidence of the "satanic cult" to which Guede, Sollecito and Knox supposedly belonged. Where are those facts?
Best, I think, to see what reliable evidence is actually presented in court, and how it is answered, before making sweeping judgments.
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Offline The Machine


Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:43 pm

Posts: 2306

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:12 am   Post subject: Re: Study Abroad Program   

mikegjames wrote:
I'm still waiting for Mignini to produce evidence of the "satanic cult" to which Guede, Sollecito and Knox supposedly belonged. Where are those facts?


Mignini has never claimed that Knox, Sollecito and Guede belonged to a satanic cult.
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Offline mikegjames


Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:19 am

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:50 am   Post subject:    

Mignini "never claimed that Knox......" belonged to a satanic cult."
??
From the Associated Press:
"After a pre-trial hearing behind closed doors for Knox and Sollecito, defence lawyers told reporters that the prosecution had claimed that Ms Kercher's murder was part of a Satanic ritual. The prosecutor "alleged it was some kind of Satanic rite, with Amanda allegedly first touching Meredith with the point of a knife, then slitting her throat, while Sollecito held her by the shoulders, from behind, Guede held her by an arm" and tried to sexually penetrate her. Sollecito's lawyer Luca Maori told the Associated Press. Mignini declined to elaborate on his allegations, AP reported."
Just like Mignini's fantasies in the Monster of Florence case, where he falsely accused and jailed Mario Spez, a journalist for La Nazione.
I'm still waiting for facts in the Knox case. No need for a rush to judgement.
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Offline Skeptical Bystander


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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:36 pm

Posts: 7006

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:12 am   Post subject:    

Mike wrote:

Quote:
Mignini "never claimed that Knox......" belonged to a satanic cult."
??
From the Associated Press:
"After a pre-trial hearing behind closed doors for Knox and Sollecito, defence lawyers told reporters that the prosecution had claimed that Ms Kercher's murder was part of a Satanic ritual.


Notice that it was the defense lawyers (for Sollecito as it turns out) who made this claim, not Mignini. In fact, this was corrected in the press some time ago. Also, a minor point, but even if he had said this (which he did not), the statement "the murder was part of a Satanic ritual" is not the same as claiming someone belongs to a "satanic cult." Most people here do not believe that membership in a Satanic cult played any part in what happened to Meredith Kercher. We are focused on the evidence and the facts.

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Offline mikegjames


Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:19 am

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:17 pm   Post subject:    

Well, there's certainly agreement here in the statement that "We are focused on the evidence and the facts." That's all anyone brought to trial would want.
Understand, though, that there's a fair amount of skepticism re: the credibility of Mignini given his actions in the famous Monster of Florence investigations (i.e. among a number of things, falsely accusing and jailing the La Nazione correspondent Mario Spezi, and threatening American writer Douglas Preston with arrest should he ever return to Italy - all based on what seem to be, and in the dismissal of the Spezi case a higher court agreed, zero facts.)
We can argue over what Mignini may or may not have said re: satanic cults, but if it never becomes part of the Knox/Sollecito case, it doesn't matter.
Let's go with evidence that holds up, and patience.
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Offline Skeptical Bystander


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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:36 pm

Posts: 7006

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:49 pm   Post subject:    

Mike wrote:

Quote:
Well, there's certainly agreement here in the statement that "We are focused on the evidence and the facts." That's all anyone brought to trial would want.
Understand, though, that there's a fair amount of skepticism re: the credibility of Mignini given his actions in the famous Monster of Florence investigations (i.e. among a number of things, falsely accusing and jailing the La Nazione correspondent Mario Spezi, and threatening American writer Douglas Preston with arrest should he ever return to Italy - all based on what seem to be, and in the dismissal of the Spezi case a higher court agreed, zero facts.)
We can argue over what Mignini may or may not have said re: satanic cults, but if it never becomes part of the Knox/Sollecito case, it doesn't matter.
Let's go with evidence that holds up, and patience.


This may be where we have to agree to disagree. I don't think there is any connection between the Monster of Florence case and this one. The saga of Preston and Spezi versus Mignini (and Guetari) is more complex than Preston's account would have it. Incidentally, Spezi was recently convicted of illegally taping an audience with Mignini. The two men - Mignini and Spezi - have a fairly long history of animosity. Preston and Spezi's Italian publisher said the two should have come forward with their information rather than running interference with a parallel investigation. And I am skeptical of Preston's reasons for inserting himself into this story. Did it help him promote his book? Sell the film rights?

We do agree on one thing, however: it is best to look at this case, this trial and this evidence. The FOA-led effort to discredit the prosecutor has failed and should be given a rest. Knox's own lawyers asked FOA to cease and desist. My sources in Italy say he's not the "Monster" that he has been made out to be. Frank at Perugia Shock presented a much more nuanced view of the man and his work. Personally, I think FOA would have been more credible had they stuck to the facts rather than distorting them. This comes out clearly in the WS Herald article written by the hapless Steve Shay. He erroneously speaks of other "cases" of "alleged abuse" when in fact there is only one and it has yet to be heard in a court of law. My sources in Italy tell me it is a routine administrative matter.

Moreover, FOA (and Steve Shay) speak of Mignini being mentally unstable according to legal experts in the US and Italy. When you dig a little, you find that in connection with MOF, one judge remarked that Mignini's theory of the crime (which he inherited, by the way, when the case was reopened) was "crazy." In French, when someone says "tu délires," it means "I think you are totally off base in what you're saying." It doesn't litarally mean "You are delirious," i.e. "crazy." It is this kind of dishonesty that has gotten FOA in trouble. And it hasn't helped Amanda Knox in the least.

The other thing that bothers me is that this focus on Mignini ignores the larger issue: if he were to step aside, nothing would change. Comodi would take over (she seems quite competent and I have not heard reports of her being "delirious" - yet) and the trial would proceed.

I have the same approach to Knox and Sollecito on the one hand, and to Mignini on the other. Their case is being heard in a court of law and my personal decision on their guilt or innocence in this case only will be based on what emerges. Similarly, Mignini faces charges - let's face it, not as serious as murder and altering a crime scene - and he will have and deserves to have his day in court. He probably has his side of the story, and he deserves to be heard.

I lived in Europe for more than 20 years and know Italy quite well. For me, and for many others, the portrait painted of Europe, Italy and its civil servants is offensive and off-base. That too has not helped anyone gain a better understanding of the current process in Italy or the death of Meredith Kercher.

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Offline Fly by Night


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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:09 pm

Posts: 1014

Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:11 pm   Post subject:    

mikegjames wrote:
Let's go with evidence that holds up, and patience.


Welcome, mikegjames. Nice to hear you desire to look at things our way.
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Offline Michael

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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:06 pm

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:50 pm   Post subject: LOCKING THREAD   

I am now locking this thread. Too many open threads make the forum confusing for visitors and place more demands on Moderators who are already spread rather thinly, to monitor them. If you believe any points raised in this topic to be worthy of further discussion, please debate them in the Main Discussion Thread in The Murder of Meredith Kercher forum.

Thank You

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