Sunday, January 16, 2011

U.N.-believable

              What’s the one piece of advice that you get over and over again as a freshman? “Wrap it up.” Oh, I’m sorry, I meant high school freshman. The sentence that’s spoken at orientation at least 12 times- “Get involved.” These seniors leading you around your home for the next four years tell of a rich, cultured mini-civilization inside your high school’s walls. They promise a wealth of friends and experience that you will take and carry with you for the rest of your life. “High school is tough,” they say, “but with friends it’ll be the best time of your life.” I decided to take their advice and join SODA (Students Okay without Drugs or Alcohol). Surprisingly, I probably found more potential alcohol hookups than a functioning support system. Disillusioned (and lazy), I joined no groups for the next three years. And just like those seniors prophesied, high school sucked. Sports afforded me my only organized activities, and many a cold night was spent driving to and from basketball games alone.
               
                But senior year, I saw the light. Clubs would be terribly awesome and provide for some social activates. I joined SODA. Subsequently dropped out of because I didn’t need to buy that much weed. I joined FBLA but decided a drunken state conference was not worth $15. Finally, I set my sights on Model U.N.
               
"Do you want to be like the real U.N. or do you want to squabble
 and waste time?" - Principle Skinner
                Now, I had gathered all my info about Model U.N. from the Lord of the Flies Simpson episode (Goooooo grapefruit!) which also includes the B-plot that bequeathed this blog with its name. I prepared myself for a heap of meetings in school detailing exports and national dances, but was pleasantly surprised to learn most meetings were simply updates on the state conference and organizing the semi-bi-annual U.N. Blood Drive and Cookie Giveaway.


                This fundraiser was among one of the most successful on campus for two reason- high school students will go through even having their blood drained out of their body to get out of class and two, our aggressive sign up techniques. The club set up a table at the busiest intersection in the school before class started. Pat, a fellow club member, and I signed up for the second day of sign up. Out of probably 150 blanks, we received a sheet with 10 or so names. Pat and I returned that sucker FULL. Our masterful technique? Yelling.  Shouting at people we knew (and some we didn’t) got many more responses than we had planned. If anyone expressed reluctance, we told them they weren’t heroes.
               
                But enough about the journey, this post is about the destination. At 9:00 am on a Thursday morning in spring, the Bosnian and Portuguese delegation departed for the state U.N. conference in Cedar Falls. I’m sorry to say I was a part of the Bosnian group despite my fervent Serbian loyalties.
               
                When we arrived in Cedar Falls my worst fears were realized- we sat in a large hall, arranged by country, and pretended to be discussing and resolving issues. I tried to participate in the activity at first, and my boy United Kingdom showed me the ropes. But my interest dropped as time went on. Lucky for me, the sheets for submitting resolutions were nearby, and I took it upon myself to stick it to the man by introducing the silliest resolutions possible. Just a small sampling;

-          Send U.N. weapon inspectors to Taco John’s to determine just how much Mexican was going on.

-          Outlaw grenade launchers, claymores, and heart sensors from being used in war due to being “totally gay.”

What a n00b.

-          Declare pregnancy and kids as sexually transmitted diseases.

-          Remove sanctions on countries due to genocide if they can prove that they are “super duper sorry.”

"Man, just.. My bad, is really all I can say."- Pol Pot

-          Declare the country of Kazakhstan to be “very nice.”

Delegate from Kazakhstan, please be seated!

                All of these resolutions were signed by multiple other countries (I usually just looked for the boredest kids around), but my dreams were shot down by the totalitarian student coordinator. Also, to amuse myself in dark times, I began writing haikus and limericks, which you can find at the end of this post. After the first day of conferences, we got to the reason we were there: the dance.
               
                I don’t know what stereotypes you’ve come up with concerning what kind of kids would willfully volunteer to sit in delegations for twelve total hours, but you’re probably right. In addition to the kids who found parliamentary procedures interesting and pretend law making engaging, there were the students that figured anything was better than school. You could stand at the front of the room and separate these two groups. If their head was not on the table, they probably were there for serious reasons. Occasionally, you’d get me, sitting up straight, trying my best to either undermine the system or get a cute girl’s number.
               
                But as night fell, the roles flipped. The UNI union was transformed into a dance floor and a turntable was set up. Those who had ruled the delegations with an iron fist were now back under foot of those who had come to dance and hopefully get pretend-foreign nooky. But this dance would be different. Not enough of the members were drunk for any grinding to begin so those of us who were just plain hyper (namely, the Bosnian, Portuguese, and Djibouti delegations) had to stick to raving. For the first half hour, it was mostly these countries (all from Cedar Rapids schools, curiously) acting like small children that have been given too much sugar. Then, slowly but surely, others started to join in as the temperature in the room sky rocketed. With the help of Djibouti, we got at least half of the dancers doing the pump up circle from the Almighty Headbutters pregame (think a precursor to the UNI Interlude). 


                Suddenly, Sandstorm came on, and all bets were off. The dance floor became what the U.N. was meant to be - people from different backgrounds and hometowns working to make the world a better place. The union became a bright light in a world marred by delegate arguments, fake declarations of war, and me getting rejected by Saudi Arabia for her number. For the two hours of the dance, we had become separate from high school norms and clichés; jock was dancing with nerd, and ugly guy impressed hot girl with his ability to do the hammertime dance. We had become above labels (other than our country names, which replaced actual names in conversation), and instead creating a world (no matter how small) of dancing, sweat, yelling, and overpriced soft drinks.
               
                The next day, conversation between strangers became common, numbers were given out easier, and resolutions grew humorous. Although my resolutions were still not accepted, I was given the chance to give what ended up being the closing speech, getting applause afterwards:

If we pass this resolution, Italy the worst decision ever this conference has made. There is Norway it should pass. If you vote for this, all these compromises will Serbia right. What chu China do, wreck this world? This is Syria's business. Oman. Iran from this resolution as soon as it was announced. I know this guy named Chad, but that's not related. If you vote for this, Algeria in the ribs, and I Haiti to do that. Ukraine try to change my mind all you want, but you Congo soak your head. I'm Ghana keep opposing this resolution. I Japan Djibouti if you oppose me. Oh Yemen! Belize it. Quit being such India-tes. I'll Peru-se my surrounding delegates for support. 

                Then, after awards, we parted ways, each person returning to their hometown and high school, all sharing the well kept secret of the bright, sweaty night in the union. 

Needs to stop writing blog posts during Personal Wellness,

Mick (Bosnia) Dickinson

Shout out to Turkey and South Africa up in here. 
Bonus content- haikus and limericks I wrote during delegations after the page break!
A Model U.N. Haiku
Model U.N.- Bored
Why am I writing haikus?
Dude, f**k Italy.

Going crazy now
Needs more Taco John's Speeches
Hey look, there's (girl name)!

Magnifico, right?
There's no way that's a real name.
Actually a spy.

Czech Republic boobs
Not the womanly kind though.
That'd be tops. 

A Model U.N. Limerick
There once was a boy named Mick
He thought of a very good trick
Gonna be F-U-N
At Model U-N (yes it's a lazy rhyme)
But Italy's too big of a dick

Yemen's also a jerk
Putting in too much work
Turkey's cool
They pity the fool
Who isn't from the land of Turk

I still can't find my friend Mac
He's probably in the back
Can't look for sure
Greece thinks it's for her
And that is creepy, for a fact.

Makin' due with my friend Zafir
It's alright, he's not a big queer
He's really quite straight.
Looking for a prom date.
He likes boobs, butts, and beer.

People are meowing like cats
And assumably making suicide pacts
Going all nuts,
Sitting on our butts,
Oh how I wish these rules would lax

I'm getting even more bored
Gotta find myself a sword
Death is better than this
Grim Reaper's sweet kiss,

I hope I'm not being untoward. 

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