Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Model United Nations

The MUN has taken three stages

In Stage 1 the students were divided into groups and from there they were introduced to the topic of Syria. There was some discussion of the topic and what the problems in Syria were. The homework was to go away and research the countries that they were represented.

In the second stage the students were then asked to think about how their country was affected by the Syrian conflict, what they wanted to happen and which other countries were their allies and enemies. Countries ranged from US, UK, Russia and China, regional powers such as Egypt, Iran and Syria and some countries that had experienced genocide such as Bosnia and Rwanda.

The third stage was hosted at City Hall and the students were allowed to use the council chamber where Norwich City Council have their debates. The students had microphones and were sat in the proper horse shoe shape. They had to fulfil all the same protocol of the United Nations and could raise points of order and points of principle. Students wrote a position paper from which they adapted an opening speech. There was then a debate and question session where the delegations explored each others positions on the Syrian debate. After that there was the possibility of formal and informal caucus where there were a set of chats and discussions. This was followed by more debate and a working lunch. At the working lunch a series of resolutions were put forward by the students, these were then voted on although a two thirds majority was not reached. The resolution was redrafted and put to the vote again reaching a majority.

It was lovely to get to go to the city council chamber and see the students engage in a real debate on a real topic following the UN rules and a reminder not to write off yousg people as there are always capable of surprises.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Due to the way that the timetable falls this year means that on a Thursday morning I don ‘t teach until 11am. This is very handy because Wednesday is Orange Wednesday and one of my most favourite things to do is take my wife to the cinema. In the last weeks we have seen a wide range of films including, Silver Lining Casebook, Skyfall, Argo Ted, Hope Springs, The Bourne Legacy, Anna Karenna, Loopers and Sinister.

All of them comprise a wide range of different viewing but generally avoid the superhero genera and avoid sequels.

The following awards have been given out by me

Biggest plot hole – Loopers – if you have a time machine I wouldn’t send people back 20 years to kill them. How about 65 million.

Biggest paradox – Loopers – so many paradoxes you could drive the Millennium Falcon through them.

Scariest movie – Sinister – above average scary movie that means that you may never want to move house again.

Most under-rated movie – Argo – A proper spy movies with lots of very tense moments, a credible set of bad guys, interweaving of historical footage and brilliant performances but odd timings and empty cinema did not seem to get the recognition it deserved.

Best couple – Silver Lining Casebook – A very interesting film involving a man with bipolar disorder and his drive to win back his wife and the dance teacher that will act as go-between due to the restraining order.

Best moustache – Matthew McFayden. Anna Karenina was a good attempt at a new take on the costume drama. Basing the whole play in a theatre worked well with excellent costumes and good performances meant that it was enjoyable if not spectacular.
Least impressive comedy – Ted – the idea of a walking, sweary, teddy bear who is getting between a man, who has been his best friend since he was little, and his girlfriend was an interesting premise but the joke wore thin quite early.

Best film - Skyfall - just terrific