International Crisis at 2:30 A.M.!

Harvard Model UN

It’s 2:30AM and someone is knocking on my door yelling at me to get up. This is crisis session: an invention at the Maine Model UN Conference where they wake up a subset of the students in attendance and present them with a crisis in the inhumanely early hours of the morning. An hour later, I’m arguing with the United States during a unmoderated caucus about their navy stationed around Ukraine and though my heart is pounding from the Red Bull I’ve chugged and I’m exhausted, I’m also exhilarated. This is what I love.

Every year, Waynflete sends the largest delegation of students to MEMUNC. This is because we all love it, three days of living in dorms all together and learning the basics of diplomacy. Model UN is sort of like a roleplay where you get awards if you get really into it. It’s large rooms full of students debating each other, and we tend to only know people by their countries, so during mealtimes it’s not uncommon to hear something along the lines of “seriously, Japan is actually annoying me so much and refusing to compromise on this friendly amendment.” Personally, I love it. For me, the experience is well worth months of studying procedure and doing research, as well as the work of writing the two “Position Papers” required to attend. Clearly it is for everyone else as well.

This is my fourth year of Model UN. Waynflete has led me to the discovery of my passion for diplomacy and international affairs. I look forward to conferences for – and I’m not exaggerating – months. When Ben Mini – our coach – sends out the email announcing a new year of Model UN, my response comes within minutes. Model UN has given me insight into what I want my future career to look like, and taught me so much about negotiation and compromise.

Because Waynflete often sends upwards of forty kids to the Maine conference every year, our team doesn’t go to many other Model UN conferences. However, I went to the Harvard conference last year with a smaller team coached by Debba Curtis and chaperoned by Juanita Nichols, which ignited my passion even more. After the Maine conference last spring, I talked to the USM team that put the conference together to ask if it would be possible to look into joining the collegiate circuit for my senior year and to follow this passion I was discovering.

Waynflete helped me immensely in the achievement of this feat. This past semester, I left school early twice a week to attend a USM class on the United Nations. We attended a conference in Philadelphia, which was my first conference on the collegiate circuit. The experience was so exciting: with over 1300 college students representing countries from every region of the world. Our USM delegation won two awards, our first ever for the team, and had a ton of fun discovering Philadelphia as well. I’m planning to take another course next semester in order to learn about organizing the conferences and work on the staff for the upcoming Maine conference this spring.

I owe a lot to Waynflete. This is just one instance of the unwavering support the school has provided me in discovering and following my passions academically and beyond. As I enter my last semester of twelve years at Waynflete, I’m trying to soak up everything this school has to offer, and a part of that is recognizing how accommodating the school is to students, and offering my heartfelt gratitude. I can’t thank Waynflete and its incredible teachers enough for everything.