By: Quinn H.
On February 20, 2018 the 8th graders in Junior High embarked on a journey to New York City. The reason for this trip was a conference called Montessori Model United Nations, otherwise known as MMUN. MMUN is a program simulating the actual United Nations. Fourth through 8th graders from around the world participated in this event. Some of the international countries were China, Mexico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Peru, and Germany. Our students got the opportunity to report, debate, and discuss world problems within their respective committees. Problems ranged from disaster risk reduction and the eradication of poverty to solving the issue of gun violence and the effects of radiation.
Some of the highlights during the conference were the informal consultations. An informal consultation was when the committee got to break up and start discussions on possible ideas and solutions for the problem they were facing. One of our participants, or delegates, actually liked the formal consultation opposed to the informal consultation. During a formal consultation, delegates must sit in their respective area and may only go up to the stand to speak if called upon by the Vice-Chair of the committee. Several of our delegates chose to volunteer to speak at MMUN in front of their entire committee. Two of our delegates were given the rare chance of speaking at the real United Nations during closing ceremony, a feat that they will remember for years to come. At the end of the day, everyone made at least one new friend from places such as Canada, China, and Peru, while partaking in this wonderful experience.
Though the main reason we went to New York was for the conference itself, we also went to do some sightseeing. A few highlights included going to see a live Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera. Everyone walked away from the show in tears, in shock or in awe of how amazing the actors really were. We all would have gone back to see it a second and third time if given the chance. The Statue of Liberty was interesting. Yes, it was an amazing view, but everyone hated the trek up the very narrow, spiral stairs to get to the top of the crown. However, we got to walk away with the bragging rights of saying that we climbed to the top of the Statue of Liberty. We also got to go to the top of the Empire State Building. It was a gorgeous view, with lights shining in all different directions. We ended up walking away with some spectacular pictures. We also got to see a real Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet at the Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA. We got to see the real Starry Night. Incredible doesn’t begin to describe the experience of seeing that painting.
Food was also a highlight on this trip. We got to go to a great restaurant called Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a restaurant whose staff is composed entirely out of aspiring Broadway actors. One could argue that we got a live show while we ate a very late lunch. This destination meal was quite a crowd pleaser. We also got to go through Chinatown. Dim Sum GoGo, a restaurant owned by a relative of one of our delegates, was our rest stop for a delicious dinner.
The inspired but tired delegates arrived back home on February 25 in Milwaukee. Some of the delegates are even interested in doing the training to someday be asked to serve on the bureau in a future MMUN event. All in all, this trip was very successful and exciting for one and all who participated in traveling to Montessori Model United Nations.