Project Description: The purpose of this project was to learn about how the UN works and participate in a Model UN conference regarding a certain topic chosen. In preparation for this conference we were each assigned a role as a country to support during this conference. Then there were two chairs to run and guide the conference. Once learning about our nations, we started researching our countries views on the issue. This first conference and issue was on the current Venezuela Refugee Crisis. There will be a second one in January, regarding the Nuclear Proliferation.
NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION MODEL UN
Reflection: a.) My thoughts on the United Nations and our international system of problem solving is good for the most part. I think the goal that Model UN has is great and I love to see that we as students can be involved in something that can be very useful in the future. I like the fact that we can address an issue in a fashionably manor through a country's position using a bunch of evidence and analysis. Taking all of that to form a consensus regarding the issue being addressed is what makes Model UN worth all this hard work and persuasion. I do think it can be hard to come to this consensus though when some countries don’t want to cooperate. This can cause the conference to extend and cause more issues because of each country's positions. I know that if you can have a common ground on the issue addressed and you try to meet everyone's needs in your resolution it will make tackling these global issues a lot easier. You also need to know what your country wants before you go be a signatory on someone else’s resolution, because you may sign onto one and not actually agree with what that resolution wants. Having a good idea of what to say in your speech and during caucasuses will most definitely help countries want to have your docket (resolution) being chosen. You just need to deliver everything with a well thought out plan and make sure it is reasonable. I say knowing your allies and seeing every country's perspective will help you the most, so you can find authors for resolutions and your signatories.
b.) I have grown in many different ways from the first Model UN conference to this most recent conference. The area I have grown the most in from these conferences is my work habits. The very first conference we had on the Venezuelan Crisis I struggled a lot keeping up on the work. I became very distracted a lot of the time, and procrastinated, so I ended up not turning in the research notes part 4 because I didn't want to do it and had no time left to do it, which dropped my grade from an A to a C. This impacted my work ethic. I decided the work wasn’t gonna do itself, and if I just do it and turn it in I’ll have less stress. This is why the Non-Proliferation conference went a lot better. I actually had less stress and more time to relax, because I turned all my work in on time for the conference. I also gained many skills during this conference like speaking and writing skills, and increased my knowledge on the issues and what Model UN is.
c.) The skills and knowledge I have gained from this project will most definitely be carried on and used in my future to come. I gained knowledge on what exactly Model UN is and how there is a whole schedule and rules of procedure that you have to follow. If you don’t use the exact terms like “ Point of Personal Privilege” you will not be able to move on, or do the actions you are wanting. Instead you will have to continuously say it until you have it correctly. This will be beneficial to take this into the future, because it has a lot to do with following rules correctly, and I know that following rules is something you need to have in order for things to end up well. I also gained lots of knowledge on how to research an issue regarding a country's position and taking that to write a policy paper, resolution, and speech on what actions my country would like to see happen and how they feel about the issue. This really helped me be prepared and ready for the conference, so when I got to it I was able to use my leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and communication skills to really show my country's position and what actions we wanted to be taken. The skills I used will for sure be needed for my future, because all of them are skills you need to have success, and they are also used in your everyday life inside and outside of school.
d.) If I could go back in time to refine this conference there would be a few things I would do differently to make this more beneficial to me. I would first start off by really getting a deeper understanding on the issues at hand and how it correlates to my country's position on them. Then taking that information I would make my policy paper and speech for the conference without getting distracted and wasting my time. Knowing exactly what my country's position is and what my country wants would really help make my writing so much easier to do. This would also help me use my time more efficiently because I will know what needs to be written to have this work in which I am proud of.
VENEZUELAN CRISIS MODEL UN
Reflection: a.) The most interesting part about this project so far is the fact that I get to learn about Model UN. I think it is really interesting learning the different systems there are and how it works. I enjoy getting to learn about 2 current issues in the world and seeing different positions countries have on these issues. I think applying all of this research on our chosen countries positions and using it during the conference helps me actually gain knowledge, and not just lose it in the next week. This is something I will remember for the future. This will come in handy when I need to give my position on a topic, whether it's with my parents or at work in the near future.
b.) Over the course of this project I have grown a lot in my work habits. I started off by procrastinating and not getting my work done on time. It made me really stressed out because I had loads of things that were due and I’m not just talking about Humanities, but in all of my classes. I didn’t know what to do, I was so stressed out, all I knew was if I was to get it done I didn’t have to worry anymore. That’s when I started working harder to get those things turned in, so I could actually have a social life outside of school and be stress free. I gained skills from this experience because I was able to see that when I turned my work in on time I was able to present quality work that I was proud of. I didn’t even need to stress much after turning everything in, because I was practically done.
c.) I would say for this first conference I was pretty prepared. During the practice conference I had no idea what was going on and didn’t know how it was run, so I sat there quietly. I was so lost I feared the real conference ahead, but with all the practice and knowledge I have gained from those practice conferences, I was so ready for the real one. I had all my work done and my speech well thought out. I knew what I was going to say, and I knew my country's position on the current issue (Venezuela’s refugee crisis), so it was pretty easy for me. I was ready and prepared for what was to come at that conference.
d.) I would like to improve my experience during this conference by learning exactly what my country’s position is on the current issue being addressed. I would also like to learn how involved they are with this issue and how they feel about it. I know that if I can research this and find the answer to these questions I will be able to be more involved in the conference. When there is more involvement in the conference it’ll help grow my knowledge, and I will be able to showcase that growth of knowledge through my speech and during caucuses to write my amendment.
ADOLESCENTS THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY
Project Description: During this project we learned about the development of adolescents and how the brain functions during this time. We studied the different theories and read the book Diary of a Part Time Indian and Brainstorm to help come to this conclusion. The project was to make questions surrounding adolescents and to interview someone about their adolescent years. Taking the answers you got from the questions you were to make a thesis, and write an essay on it using evidence and reasoning. Then you were to take a picture based on the paper. and showcase all of it at exhibition.
Reflection: a.) I am most proud of my essay. I am proud of myself for being able to incorporate morals and lessons into one of the most important and influential times in Christine's life. I was able to take her one of her experiences that didn’t have the best outcome, and I was able to show what impact it had on her and how she learned from it for adulthood. It influenced me and my life. It showed me what not to do.
b.) I ran into difficulty trying to start the essay. I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on for the paper. I wasn’t sure if I wanted there to be a lesson, or if it should be just about what adolescence is, or if I wanted to incorporate both. I had come to a consensus on what I wanted, but I had struggled to tie ideas into it. I then couldn’t figure out how to go about it. I knew I wanted to use one of her stories, so I could show what adolescence is and how it can teach you things for adulthood. I just couldn’t go about it. When writing my rough draft I didn’t know how to make it flow and make there be meaning behind it. It just felt like a story of her life with no meaning. I had struggled to incorporate that meaning though.
c.) I learned that knowing the content and being able to have good work ethic was an advantage in this project. When I needed to quote or reference a specific thing from the text it was helpful to already know where it was in order to back up my evidence in an efficient way. When I stayed on task and got my work done for those due dates I had less stress, and was able to refine it longer to make it even better. When I had slacked off sometimes I got stressed, because I knew I wasn’t gonna make some of those deadlines. Managing and learning to use my time was a really important skill I learned at the end of this project. I should’ve used it to my advantage a lot more.
d.) I would give myself a grade of 8 out of 10 on the Class Habits and Intellectual Presence Rubric. I am always on time with the necessary materials and technology, but I sometimes fail to have all my work done and turned in. I mostly am on task and try to finish my work in on time, but I’m not perfect so I don’t always stay on task. I try to have everything I need turned in or done, and I try to be a good student that stays on task 85% of the time. Just 15% of the I could be off task.