Have you ever imagined discussing international problems, human rights, nuclear control and similar interesting issues in a class where four totally different languages can be heard? Have you ever tried doing model U.N. around a Harkness table? But this is only the tip of the iceberg of what we do in the United Nations class.
Multi-cultural diversity leads to a wide range of different experiences. We share our memories of participating in protests, witnessing the problems and changes in the places where we live. I notice how much my peers care about their countries, their compatriots, and the world as a whole. We talk about regional conflicts, education systems, gender equality, freedom of speech and media censorship. No matter how different our cultural backgrounds are, no matter how far the distance between our countries is, we are brought together to this single round wooden table this summer. We are here with our common concern about the world, with the world, for a better world.
It is a class of democracy. We are given a full chance to decide how we run the model U.N. During the process of choosing the topics and countries, divergences and disagreements inevitably happen. We feel free to deliver our different opinions and vote to make final decisions. Even if there are times when the final result may not be personally satisfactory, we have learned how to listen, discuss, make a compromise sometimes and reach a common consensus with everybody else in an acceptable manner.
It is a class but also a family. Sometimes when we are in a heated discussion, we stand up and debate. When someone’s computer doesn’t work or somebody is going to give a speech, we are always eager to help. We have tensions and laughs, but after all, we are a big family. I remember the time we first met, we were too shy to talk with each other. In the first two model U.N.s that we did, we had fierce fights. Gradually, as we got to know each other better, we learned to understand each other and care for each other. Although we are so different in many ways, I can feel the stronger cohesiveness among us.
The U.N. is a place where differences and disagreement can be easily found. While at the same time, it is also a place with help, cooperation, understanding and love disregarding national, racial and ethnic barriers. The art of communication makes a difference. In the United Nations class, we are all diplomats and socialists! At the same time, we are all dwellers in the global community.