Wow. It’s been a really long time since I last posted properly. 9 weeks and counting in actual fact. The simple answer, ‘university’. The last 9 weeks or so saw Michaelmas Term 2012 flash by in a second and left me to awake from my work-induced coma just recently. There’s a million and one things that happened. Here’s the stuff that I can remember.
The flight back to the grand ole United Kingdom was enjoyable enough. despite of the massive Emirates queue that I managed to skip thanks to a little thing called online check-in, I quite enjoyed Emirates with large and spacious seats, an entertainment system that was operational even before we took-off and just about every amenity that one could imagine needing on a flight. I managed to watch Men in Black 3, The Avengers and even 4 episodes of Veep. I’d been dying to watch Veep for a while, especially after having dabbled in the West Wing and the Thick of It. Love the A380 we were on between Dubai and London, and Safe, Prometheus, Brave and Game Changer helped make time pass faster.
I had thankfully arranged to arrive in Oxford a few days earlier than most freshers were supposed to arrive. It meant that most of the accommodation and the college itself was empty and devoid of people. Thankfully, I was able to do quite a bit of shopping in the meantime, unpack my backs and sort myself out before everyone arrived. That’s when Fresher’s week started. I didn’t exactly go clubbing that often, but between the movies, musical shows, murder mysteries, Pizzas and work (3 tutorials on consecutive days!), it was all fun and good. I also managed to avoid Fresher’s flu, most likely the result of not having trade too many germs with others in the warm, sweaty environment of clubs. (more…)
Thus the discussion from the non-compromising parties at the Security Council demonstrated that the question of the peaceful use of resources in the Arctic calls for the development of global partnerships like never before – only the creation of an intricate and universally acceptable solution will ensure peace and stability in one of the world’s most politically, economically and environmentally fragile regions.
So a few weeks back we had AC MUN 2012 (1, 2, 3, 4) While organizing AC MUN 2012, we, the organizers, were inspired by the possiblities that non-UN simulations might have. We had quitely added the African Union, the European Union and even the International Court of Justice to our MUN conference, even though they are not all strictly UN bodies in the most traditional scenes. I was also reminded of a friend of mine who talked about having participated in a Lord of the Rings simulation.
That’s when we decided we simply had to have a Harry Potter MUN simulation before we left. And so we did, on Thursday last week since it was also AC’s Harry Potter Focus Week. At this point, I should probably credit Yale, Columbia, KCL and St John’s Prep whom we based our simulation on. It was an extremely fun MUN session and is a good sign for future ‘less serious’ MUN simulations.
Here are just some of the pictures of AC’s Order of the Pheonix Simulation. (more…)
The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. I was part of a gang of 5 that took up the task of organizing the conference, which had some 350 attendees. I had a sorta dual focus during organization of AC MUN 2012. On the one hand I handled most of the administrative tasks; the massive task of allocating all attendees to the right country and committee etc, talking to teachers to get rooms for committees, the website as well as a few other bits and pieces here and there. On the other hand, I also kept an overview of the conference, make sure that things were being finished.
Organizing the conference began well back in March when we learnt we had been given the mammoth task. Nonetheless, the pressure didn’t seriously turn on until we came back after Christmas. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best thing, but oh well. Although there were some frantic days and nights, we did manage to pull everything together and by-in-large I think the conference went better than it did last year. Of course, there are always areas we can improve on and getting prepared earlier is definitely one of them.
All in all though, AC MUN 2012 was fun and largely went quite well. Please, and now it’s time to catch-up on some sleep.
One of the most interesting aspects of Model United Nations is the use of notes. At HKMUN where I started, we had internet access during the conference, which made communication quite easy. Nevertheless, we still had a significant amount of odd notes that got passed around, with the usual flirting as well as just odd notes. It was at HKMUN that I got into the practice of picking up all my notes just in case the Press Corp ever picked up anything. This time, at AC MUN 2012, I was not a delegate, so I made an effort of going round to pick up notes lying around. Some of the notes were published in MUNk, the Press Corp’s publication. There are of course numerous serious notes, but here’s a cool collection of those that haven’t been published which I found interesting nevertheless. (more…)
The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. Since I was organizing the conference, I wasn’t able to spend as much time in committee as I wanted to. Though on Saturday I got a full dose as I ended up co-chairing the Crisis committee. We simulated Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz (thanks RCNMUN 2012) and I realized in the process of making the news articles the evening before that the situation wasn’t that stimulative as one might have thought. It mostly consisted of copying and pasting a news article and changing words like threaten to have. That was all it took. A few word changes and the world could be up in smokes. What if a real news aggregator mistyped or accidentally sent out the news that Iran had closed the Strait of Hormuz?
The crisis committee itself was fun. I ended up creating a few extra news reports than I had anticipated. I had some other stuff to sort out after lunch, but I did go back to the crisis committee about half an hour before it finished, and ended up being North Korea, introduced a few ‘interesting’ clauses and then headed off to the closing ceremony. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a crisis committee (the simulation sort, not the ‘we only knew about the topic today’ sort) so not a bad first introduction overall.
The 2012 edition of the annual Atlantic College Model United Nations conference was hosted last weekend. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights for me was that we had a significant number of students from outside Atlantic College who attended the conference.
Improving on last year’s conference, the gang of 5 students who set out to organize the conference had decided that we really wanted the opportunity for other UWC students to experience MUN at AC at the same time as we hoped to attend MUN conference at other UWCs. So I was overjoyed when we learnt we would not only have 15 students from Llantwit Major and North Liverpool Academy, but that we’d also have 5 students each from UWC Maastricht and UWC Adriatic.
If nothing else, I think the possibility of experiencing a little bit of life at another UWC is a benefit in itself, let alone being able to partake in Model United Nations at the same time. I know for a fact that I enjoyed visiting UWC Adriatic as much as I enjoyed AdMUN (1,2,3,4,5) itself. The fact that I posted as much about being and going to UWC Adriatic as I did about AdMUN is testimony to that fact.
Thankfully, after a long day of tiring and endless negotiations and conferencing, we were able to settle down for a good Adriatic dinner which I enjoyed on the porch like thing outside the ‘Mensa’. Adriatic have a wonderful sea-view and I’m not surprised they love enjoying their meal outside. AC also have a beautiful view, but it’s significantly harder to get to given that you have to walk pretty much all the way to the sea-front to enjoy the sea’s full blast, or dare to take your tray out (totally unadvisable) to the top lawn.
I followed Angus (my HK second year) to Lukeze (did I spell this right?) and stayed there talking, observing, playing until around 11 when I went back to the room to pack up, finish some work and sleep. Saturday night wasn’t quite as eventful as most people decided against doing odd things, especially after a very active Friday night. (more…)
Friday night, with all the committees adjourned, I joined Graciella and Merone at a nearby Pizzeria for… well Pizza. You cannot visit Italy without trying their pizza, and boy do they have large portions. I took me such a long time to eat al of it, though it is most appropriate for sustaining conversations like ours. I went back to the hotel shortly after that to do some work and catch-up on some sleep.
I later found out that, like most other UWCs, the night was an eventful one with two separate parties and a whole lot of activity. The stories that could be heard the next morning were not dislike those at AC. Except in a community of 180 people, just about anything you did is known to the rest of the school pretty quickly.
Friday arrived and the village was in full MUN spirit. We grabbed some breakfast at Fore house, a speciality of Adriatic where breakfast is put in the residences (cereal, croissant and milk usually). It’s probably good for people who are late wakers or who have the first class free, but sometimes I prefer the hot food provided by AC at breakfast. In any case, we went to the opening ceremony in the school auditorium where we had a flag ceremony, and a speech from the SecGen. After that, it was off to our committee rooms for the speeches, negotiating and arm twisting.
Coffee Machine in one of the houses
The Security Council in full swing
I was, by luck or by fate, France in the Security Council which meant I had veto power! Our first issue of discussion was the Korean peninsula where most of the discussion centered on how to reduce hostilities, whether reunification was desirable and who should be responsible for doing what. After a few moderated causes and the odd unmoderated caucus, a proposal put forth by Bosnia and Herzegovina was particular in that it suggested a new UN body to deal with Korean matters. Hating new bodies and hoping to keep power amongst themselves, the P5 countries pretty much rejected the proposal. In the need, we borrowed part of B&G’s proposal, and chose to bolster existing bodies rather than create new ones. I also slipped in a few things about UNHRC and the nuclear program while writing the final resolution. We eventually passed it 13-2 on Saturday just before lunch. (more…)