Sunday, March 28, 2010


Position Paper
What Happened

I did something foolish on Wednesday night- stay up late to finish a position paper. First off, it wasn't a real work of art. It was enough to scrape by. Thursday night- oh then I realized I shouldn't have done that. Just try then to get a coherent sentence out of me. I probably turned the Dais off when he banged the gavel to end my speech and I squelched- "What?" The topic: "Virtual Nuclear States". Vague. Making details would certainly take time and effort. It sure did.

Friday, I felt bad for myself. I had come home late, did a tiny bit of homework, woke up school-time (what feels like "before the rooster crows"). The other delegations? Sleep in (to about 7:30am) and take excursions. I suspect the other regional schools let their MUN kids take Friday off. As a goodbye surprise (before spring break), I had the joy of an English test and taking "special delivery" status in the Ottermobile. Well, I had my fun the weekend before.

Friday? Not bad. A schedule fluke meant I came in late to hear a pro-proliferation professor preach his controversial view. I had to get in the game. Sleep-shorted or not, this was the right time. I found a way to become the leading signatory of a paper- write my own. I handed this, written on a 5x7 canary pad in pencil, to the Chair. "Well, can you make it nicer?". We had a swell classroom in the evening- the room in the School of Media Building was set up to replicate a cutting-edge newsroom you see on TV. GW's big on emulating 'real life'. I got my sentences straight, and rushed to finish transcribing that working paper of my own. It was not too long later before there were 8 working papers on the table. That was too many in any seasoned MUNner's opinion. As a diplomat, I merged my paper with that of Spain's. A lot of it was redundant, and, as the college kid had just spent 30 minutes typing my'comprehensive paper' into the computer, must have annoyed the Dais.

Saturday? Great! This was crunch time. I understood that any prize or commendation hinged on this day, and I respected this fact. I tried not to do anything outrageous to annoy the Chair, and I think I succeeded that day. Basically, we spent all six committee hours repping the paper and making it digestible to the most countries as possible. Clauses of mine came and went. Seeing that the main authors (sponsors) of papers were spending 'quality time' with the Dais, I decided that I had to boost my role as a non-nuclear state and make my contributions seem, well, important. I felt I did the best I could. Next topic, I assessed myself, I would dominate. The vote came late in the day. I spoke eloquently against closing the list without wasting my minute. In a committee of 80 with an inclusive Chair, you don't get a lot of speaking time. Especially if it's DISEC and you don't have nukes. The vote came. Res. 1.1 cleared the hurdle. I was not enthusiastic about it, but sold my vote for two votes on the Spain/Ireland paper (1.4). Res 1.2, written by a classmate (Slovakia- M.C.) to get brownie points, also passed, albeit being a short addendum 'to any suitable paper'. Res. 1.3, was weeded of conflicts with already-passed 1.1. The cruel, pro-proliferation paper, failed, to my pleasure. Res 1.4, my 'baby', won yea vs nay, but failed because of the high number of abstainers (38 yea, 32 nay, 11 abstainers and some who didn't vote). Hey, they were afraid to say no! Res. 1.5, Portugal (classmate's- YO-A) paper and Res. 1.6 failed as well. Time was up. I had done alright. Our delegation as a whole rocked the committee.

Sunday? I was on fire!! The stars were lined up for me. Every Palm Sunday I've been alive I've been at church. I didn't want to break the record of 15/15, but realized that the non-faithful college students running the show had me in a tough spot. 9am start for committee vs 10am on Sunday. Deliberate, I thought. But 7:30am mass at my parish just off of GW worked just fine. I felt- delivered. I used a Starbucks gift card I had to buy a Pike's place to wash down the sugary aftertaste of the fundraiser donut I had just bought and took the pretentious white cup to committee with me. We were ready to move to topic B- India vs Pakistan re Kashmir. Within 10 minutes the Japanese delegate had working paper 2.1. The Chair was convinced it was pre-written. Ireland strategic victory! But the Dais looked at it. It was rejected for the mention of "Santa Claus". I called for a 5 minute Unmoderated Caucus. I could then blow my paper through as WP 2.2. I collected signatures- I needed 16. The Oman decided to help me with the paper. He was intellegent about weeding out things that DISEC was not authroized to do- military withdraws, for example. We also didn't have to worry about funding. That would be a great relief for me (I added bonuses for all those nations that voted yea on the Resolution). Japan removed Santa claus and reintroduced. The chair swiftly moved to voting procedure. I motioned. "Wait, there's another one coming" "That was not a point or order, Ireland." The prim demeanor of the room was devolving. Portugal put on sunglasses to complement a cream colored suit to become the "Great African Warlord". Oman, rushing to get brownie points, continued to push that paper of mine. I know that feeling all too well. Voting procedure. At this point, one could only stall Darth Vader with an Unfriendly Amendment. Girl Scout Cookies for all were unaminously (let DPR Korea- our own R.S.) approved. To all those who downvoted the Resolution and promoted Independence of Kashmir would get big cash payouts from the UN 'general fund'. Using the only bit of Irish political position in existence, I required that no lard would be used in cookies distributed on Fridays and that states in violation of this would cede their batch to Rome. The amendment was shot down (what, they don't want money?). Both India and Pakistan nuked Ireland. Ah, you know you did something wrong if that happens to you. Then for superlatives, I was called "most likely to become a politician". Oh well. I was also called the best leprechaun. Wink.

After committee, I refilled my Decaf coffee. They gave me a new cup, too, on account of Swine Flu- all for 55 cents. Some other classmate-MUNners came by: "Say, Deng Xiaoping (M.McC.), if you won some award would't you have to share it with everyone?" "Theoretically". The slideshow- it was great. STAMUN (our delegation) didn't get a lot of awards. Except for our committee. We took the lower rungs by force. Malaysia (CMcC) and the man dressed for success (Portugal- YO-A) were commended. Ireland wasn't cited, neither was Res. 1.2's author and key voice Slovakia. Deng won his award. As an involved fan, our Faculty Advisor noted the trend of less awards. "But, it's not about the awards". Slovakia on the UNDP (not M.C.) promoted his traditional views on human reproductive health. Abstinence, Chastity. Not incredibly popular among the young, but the man deserves a commendation by our school's Youth Christian Fellowship Group. I had my beliefs: Travel cutbacks by other schools because of budget issues. WAMUNC feels a need to make as many long-distance travellers feel welcome. They know we'll be back- but the school from Honduras? So here's another year to STAMUN! "Next year, the game plan will be different". No matter how much I dwell on the topic of awards, remember, Model UN isn't about awards. Initials were given to protect conferenceers' privacy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kairos, Open and Shut

I have been up for the past 38 hours, save a 3-hour and 1-hour nap. This is what you do when you're at one of these certain events shrouded in secrecy. Actually, we had the opportunity to get a 'sleep', an offer I did not take. I'd say more, but I don't want to ruin any surprises for future generations of Kairoseers.That said, I strongly encourage all sophomores to come. In fact, depending on my level of conviction, I will zealously recruit you all to go!
LTF man!!!
This page has been censored beyond belief.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Off again, half past 8.

Four Days. That's the time I'll be away. After all, the Kairos experiment seems to be more than a build-up- to the encouragement of self reflection. There will be a bus, and one that has an undercarriage for luggage- one of those hoity-toity coach buses. We also brought in snacks- for "long, discussion-filled nights". And on earth I've been asked to bring Crisco! Won't Sterno do just fine? Or, I hope he just means "Nabisco". As a practical matter, bags needed to be packed. No punchlist. I've done "away from family" trips before, up to two weeks' length, in another continent. But there was an item-by-item checklist! So, we'll see how the packing goes. One note- admin didn't tell us to stay under 50 lbs. Then there are the subjective things. Is there a gift shop? Rest stops? (btw I'm not sure what state we're going to! 3 hours can mean anywhere from New Jersey to West Virginia!) Any faculty members riding along? Better be a sycophant. Religion department? Pack Pieper, or the Catechism. History teacher? The Cold War by Gaddis seems fair. My plans for going to bed early? Squat! I have four days of internet social life to do, violin-playing, and so on.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Long Week

What a week. If you're hooked to my blog, you'll see that something strange happened this week (hint: no posts!). There was a lot of play practice, a lot of assignments to pass through the chute, and SAT prep. So, here's a little story: Wednesday, second period. I settle down for ethics class, and in comes a classmate from French IV. "Doug, Atticus. Test." "Huh?", we muttered as we threw our books into our bookbags and quick-stepped to the test (uhh- those middle schoolers are so loud when they move from class to class!). But our messenger got more than us- a hysterical department head to pull him from Chem class. National Exam. French, 2010. Level 4.
The next day was the latin test (didn't take it); the Spanish (not taking it) will be next week. Homeworkwise, there was not much in the past week; upcoming SAT, school play, sports try-out, an absent english teacher (who did not forget to leave work for us!). My mantra has been, for the past busy month, "March 15". That day, I am free from the Play, free from tryouts, free from SAT prep. That day is coming soon.

DOn't forget to Spring Forward- and check your safety devices' batteries.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sing and Run in the Snow

In spite of all the February snow, the tennis season intended to start on time. This, however, could not be done with three inches of the white stuff on the ground.
So the first two days were indoors.
But what do you do if you're activities are overlapped? Fade out, say hello, excuse yourself and dissapear into wood work.