Experience

Order of the Pheonix MUN Simulation

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.
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AC MUN 2012 – Part 4

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.

AC MUN 2012 – Part 3

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.
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AC MUN 2012 – Part 2

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.

AC MUN 2012 – Part 1

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.

4th Term Madness

Life as normal, or as normal as it can get here at UWC Atlantic College, and with the IB. It was probably a good decision not to go to WSDC 2012, because life is getting as busy as it can get, without debating eating up time. Mock exams are starting the week after next and coursework final deadlines are starting to creep-up on me. I am spending more and more time holed up in my carrel unit studying away, and my vow not to bring work back to the house after check-in has been broken numerous times.

This weekend we had AC MUN 2012 which I was organizing and took up quite a bit of time. More on that later. Our 2nd Math IA is due today, World Lits next week and mock exams looming after that. Lots of revision to do and I’m starting to realize how messy my notes are. All the academic work aside, life at any UWC is busy as usual. Activities and various initiatives are taking their own time slots in my timetable, although I’ve come to realized that subtly and strategically dropped about a ton of stuff at the start of this term was a good decision.

Just a quick update. Time to get back to work!

Awaiting the end

We’re hitting the month of December and the countdown begins. There’s another two weeks until I get back home but boy is it a busy two weeks. Classes, coursework, homework, activities, arrangements to make and the UKMT Intermediate Kangaroo Challenge in Friday. Saturday sees our end-of-term party, and once again Morgannwg *cue applause for the best student house*, we’ll have ours in the library.

As things begin to wind down, I’m allowing myself a little more breathing space. The day before yesterday, I attended what I had thought was a concert performed by students, only to find that it was in-fact student compositions performed by their music teachers. The performance was lovely and reminded me of something that I had not touched for a long time but still thoroughly enjoyed.

The winds are picking up and the number of hours with light is slowly shrinking. Getting up in the morning has never been so hard since it is literally pitch black when I go down for breakfast. Dinner at 5 is experienced in much the same conditions. I’m hoping that we get some snow before we leave, although that seems unlikely. We did have snow around this time last year, but it appears to have been an anomaly so this may turn out to be a snowless winter.

The countdown has started. now there’s just a final sprint to the end and hopefully a little more relaxing December to look forward to.

TEDxYouth@Bath 2011 – Live Art

During the recent TEDxYouth@Bath 2011 event, Nat Al-Tahhan, who designed the TEDxYouth@Bath graphics and t-shirt designs, made some live-drawings, visualizing the many ideas that were presented. Here’s her work:


Click image for full size.

From http://www.natalt.co.uk/2011/11/live-drawing-at-tedxyouthbath.html

TEDxYouth@Bath: The Guardian Report

Just got back from TEDxYouth@Bath. Haven’t had time yet to really write much on it, it has definently be a worthwhile experience. But the first thing to catch my eye was The Guardian report on the event. Here it is, complete with a photo of a UWC Atlantic College student!

Photograph: Stephen Shepherd for the Guardian

Over a buffet lunch a huddle of teenagers is trying to work out if any have yet had their “ah-ha” moment – the instant when an inspiring, perhaps life-changing thought hits.

Across the room at the TEDxYouthDay event in Bath other young people are discussing the meaning of happiness with a bright-eyed adventurer who gave up his nine-to-five job to skateboard across Australia. More than 100 teenagers are crammed into a theatre in the Georgian city to hear talks from artists, entrepreneurs, travellers of all sorts who, organisers hope, will help them shape their lives.

“We’re learning more today than we would at a normal day at school. It’s opened our eyes,” says Indra, 16. “Usually when you go to talks it’s about being a doctor or accountant or something. Here we’re talking about jobs you’ve never even heard of and thinking about concepts that aren’t tangible – that you feel but haven’t got a name for.”

The TED (Technology Entertainment Design) concept appears unstoppable after beginning as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago. It became an annual event to which the world’s leading “thinkers and doers” are invited. They speak for no more than 18 minutes and the best “TEDtalks” are posted on the TED website. Bill Gates and Al Gore have contributed.
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November Nights

Life in Wales just keeps getting tougher. As usual, there’s the mountain of work that inevitably finds its way into my diary. Things just keep piling up and you never seem to be able to get rid of them quickly enough. Honestly, sometimes it drives me mad. You can’t go without sleep. But you can’t seem to not work either.

To add fuel to the fire, the school just introduced a new rule that means we have to ask for permission to work between 11:30 and 12:30. Not the best idea in my personal opinion, but we’re running with it for the time being. We’ll see how things go, doesn’t look like they’ll get much easier.

And then there’s the weather. Winter is approaching, leaves are scattered all over the ground, and while I look forward to snowy days, the cold isn’t really that welcome. Thankfully I’m next to the heater again this year so warm November Nights.

Yesterday, we had the first of what I call ‘Days in the Dark’. As usual, I was up and out pretty much before the sun had risen. And because it was Friday and we don’t finish classes until 4:45, the sun had already set by the time classes had finished. So essentially, the entire day occurred in the dark.