Saturday, March 24, 2007

NMUN, SIDS, Project PEACE and other obscure acronyms I

Last week was spring break. I was not lying on a beach somewhere sipping margaritas. Nor was I in some obscure library/bookstore. Nor was I doing my homework. I attended the NMUN, which for the uninitiated stands for National Model United Nations. It is the biggest competition of its size. And the whole thing was totally awesome.
I might do this in three episodes I guess.
The bus ride is almost uneventful. We check in our rooms in Sheraton. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I pass the exact spot where I had called GTSA before embarking on this journey. So even if we're technically incommunicado, the ball is in my court to return her call. So, I actually call to tell her of the reason for calling her and about the competition. I know, lame.

Bloody Sunday:

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

We find that unlike every year, the opening ceremony is going to be on the second day instead of the first. And that's supposed to make sense. Oh and some Presidential hopeful called Hillary Clinton usurps the room where our committee is supposed to meet. So we're transferred to Hilton... by that I mean, we must walk two blocks down the road to Hilton.
So we had a pretty rough start as far as the first sessions go.
Turns out, I'm going to be the first speaker of the day. Knowing this... I begin to hyperventilate.
I churn out some canned speech and think that I can remember it all and go there in front of everybody without my notes. Only to forget most of what I have to say. I remember the beginning and an excellent finishing line. And blob through the rest.

Monday Night Raw
{Monday's child is fair of face.}

We were supposed to have the opening ceremony on this day. I discovered that our blankets are troublingly staticky. And throughout the day, whatever things I touched, I'd get a nasty shock. The opening ceremony was nice but very short. The wait and security check outside the UN was longer than the ceremony itself and so it kind of pissed some people off.
At the committee, it was the second day and most people still didn't know where Mauritius [which we(my partner and I) were representing] was or much else about it. I tried to get the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) together, so that there might be some group that Mauritius could be leading. And SIDS are spread throughout the globe so that could be a significant plus point.
So, I first tried Cuba. Now Cuba as we all know, has this very 'unique political structure' and they were unwilling to join us at all. Pffft.
Then I found and tried Jamaica. Jamaica was a double delegation and both the girls had very genuine concerns. Let me explain: at any competitive MUN session there are two types of people- the players and the 'lost sheep' (I know, we're kind of mean about it). The players totally know what to do and are very strategic (aka sneaky). The 'lost sheep' are the people who are so awed at even coming to New York, the UN, Sheraton and all that glitz that they have no clue whatsoever to do. Let me make it clear that we're not either of these. We are here to win, but we refuse to be sneaky.
The delegates from Jamaica (if you remember that's about whom I was talking about) were however, neither of these two groups and they did not seem to want to win either. Their questions were well thought out... kind of a critical look at the whole process. And it was one of the delegates who kind of dominated the whole conversation too. So as any girl who actually portrays critical thinking ability would; she piqued my interest (aka I had a crush on her).
But my agenda wasn't working. I couldn't find Bahamas or Costa Rica that day and the idea of bringing SIDS together was a flop.
This was a brief session and it was over before we could make any more progress. It was 11 pm at night.
However the night was far from over.
On Sunday, most people had apparently made a lot of noise. Due to which the hotel management decided to provide an entire hall downstairs for people to socialize or to relax.
Imagine a hall full of teenagers from all over the world. Yeah.
I went there initially to check whether the Jamaican delegate would show up. Once down there, I meet my partner. We then sit together and he brings out beer and pours it in a cup for me. To appear polite, I accept and slowly sip it. I look around, she is nowhere to be seen. The night has just begun, hasn't it.
An Italian/German/English birthday song later, more alcohol is brought down. A group of people (including my partner) start playing flip-cup. And people are chugging beer all over the hall.
I leave the place after I hear the director coming down and announcing "Delegates, please do not have sex on the floor".

This is Jon Stewart's take on MUN. Note this is the MUN I was part of too. His studio was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel. Darn, I should've gone there.

Coming next:
Meltdown Tuesday:
Where, I come up with a plan to bring the whole committee together
And Mauritius is on the lips of every person.
And more in the next episode- "Meltdown Tuesday".

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