I'm finally crawling into bed with blistered feet, sore back, and weary mind. We spent over 15 hours today in committee debating, negotiating and working with difficult personalities and I'm beat. It was an incredible day and I had an absolute blast, so I really can't complain. For some reason, passionately arguing about the rights of internally displaced people or refusing to back down regarding the necessity of safe drinking water is really fun, even if it's just a simulation. As a Permanent Representative, I'm not on an official committee, bur rather am in charge of seven "Zambian" delegates who all have free reign to ask me any question at any time. Literally. I spent over 15 hours today writing speeches for them, researching for them, making coffee for them when they had to be in committee past midnight, siting in for them so they could go to the bathroom or smoke a cigarette in stress, drove them to get lunch, and hovered around in case they had a question on policies or foreign relations. My phone was vibrating off the hook all day long today with texts or calls for help.
Additionally, the vice president of ARC was here today, so it was partially my job to entertain, inform, and impress the socks off her so we can get increased funding next year. Thankfully, she left conference incredibly excited about what we do - hopefully she'll spread the word.
Today was so very long. Fifteen hours of committee does things to a body. Andrew, goofy, brilliant Andrew (he was president last year) was so exhausted Professor Collihan gave him a powerful caffeine pill which, on top of his strung-out nerves, made him jittery and spastic. Clara withdrew into exhausted, moody silence around 6:00pm and when I got back from taking a group to In-N-Out, she looked ready to fall apart. Molly *did* fall apart around 10:00pm and we retreated to the bathroom so no-one would see her tears. People were snapping left and right. It's the third day of five, people are exhausted, pushed to their physical mental limits, their brains have been in top-gear for three days straight, and they literally have to perform all.day.long.
I look around at the excited college students walking around in sharp business suits and high-heels, giant dark bags under their eyes, giving rousing speeches filled with political brilliance and solutions to controversial global problems. We're rather strange. We spend five long days in committee with people we've never met, negotiating problems from the point of view of a country we spent a year researching, thinking so critically it hurts, and living on granola bars and multiple cups of coffee.
As president of the Model United Nations club this year, I was a little nervous going into conference this year. Were my delegates prepared? Did they know what to do or expect? Would they stay in character and accurately represent their countries? Would they be active members of the competition? Had I done a good enough job getting them ready?
As the days progressed I only became more and more proud of the wonderful people I call my delegates, and my dear friends. They did such an incredible job and we showed-up the 4-year universities who love to snub us for being JCers. We were on all the speaker's list, continually shook committee with our radical views or leading policies, were commended on our high quality work and were especially recognized by Dr. Nancy Roof - a regular speaker before the UN and founder of the award-winning Kosmos Jounral.
The Model United Nations Club of American River College
The PRs; Molly (France), Me (Zambia), and Andrew (Iran)
Tomorrow we start again at 9am sharp, which means I'll need to have my delegates fed, pep-talked and ready to go around 8:15ish. Tomorrow is going to be intense and exciting; the committees are on the verge of passing resolutions which means it's down to the final polishing and editing. So fun!! People are starting to get to know other delegates well and I can se friendships forming even within my delegations that I haven't seen before. It's exciting to see the growth in the younger delegates and the thrilled light in their eyes when they emerge from committee. Their eyes sparkle as they recount their moving speeches or the fact that they exposed another country's internal governmental corruption and called them out for it. It's an exciting place, MUN. Yes, it's a simulation and therefore ultimately fake, but you feel so important debating these topics. You feel like you're making a difference, you're standing up for the voiceless masses, working to be an instrument of change in a desperate world. I know we're not really, I know I'm not really a delegate from Zambia, and yet this is so invigorating, rejuvenating, and inspiring. MUN teaches you international responsibility, the fascinating interdependence of the world, and how to navigate through frustrating quagmire's of bureaucracy. It's incredibly fun and oh so very addicting.