The TRU Model UN club held its first General Assembly over the weekend. The two topics we faced were the weaponization of space and stem-cell research. Each of the ~20 participants were assigned a country to represent. The real challenge for our delegates was to research, not just the topic itself, but the official position of the government whose viewpoint we represented. The event represents the closest thing our university has to a proper debate club, and does not lack the energy as everyone gets their blood boiling while passionately arguing their points.
I must say I was impressed by the wealth of information presented by my colleagues. The night before, as I was reviewing my material, I took one last look online. I knew I was working too hard and it was time to sleep, when I almost thought this was from the official White House website:
POPULAR SCIENTIFIC MISCONCEPTION: Studying a newly discovered species helps us better understand other organisms within its genus.
DR. LAURA [BUSH] SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT: “What nonsense! We don’t even know that learning about something will teach us anything – much less that it ever can! Besides, I don’t know about you all, but I get to the point where my brain just says, ‘Hold your horses, Laura! That’s enough information and ideas for this month.’”
I kept re-reading the text and thinking, “this can’t possibly be right.” Once I stopped tuning out all the anti-bush images, I got a grip and realized I was working too hard. I don’t know how many times I taught students to differentiate between whitehouse dot-gov and dot-org. It was a truly dumb moment, but it gave me a laugh and helped me relax a bit.
Anyway, the General Assembly was a lot of fun. I was the delegate representing the United States of America, and I think I didn’t do too badly. I was really surprised to be named 2nd best delegate by my peers; I was so impressed by everyone else, I was shocked to be in the running. Now that I know how it works, I can’t wait to do it again in January at the much larger conference hosted by UBC.