Journal & Reflection
Category: Activity / Service
Total Duration: 3 hours
Our seniors (IB-DP Batch 2) have their IB examinations are just around the corner, and their school days are coming to an end. After several years of schooling, they are finally going to move on to the next phase of their lives. Therefore, all of us had taken up the responsibility of giving them a fabulous farewell, so that the memories of their last school days have an indelible impression on their minds. I felt that we organised the farewell much better than we had expected, and it was a new experience for me as well because I have never organised such events before.
As I have written in my 2nd journal, through this experience I have realised how powerful a team can get when it is faced with problems. Working together as a team, as well as the contribution of every member to organise the event, were crucial aspects for the success of the game “Treasure Hunt” we had organised. I have also learnt that organizing even simple games such as these are not easy, as I had previously thought. Although the ideas can be framed rather quickly, it takes a lot of time and effort from everyone in the team to actually get the work done. We also had to believe in ourselves and boost our confidence, whenever things were getting out of hand, that we could successfully conduct the game.
I have also improved my communication skills from this experience. I had to explain the rules and instructions of the game clearly to all the 5 teams all by myself, which greatly increased my confidence of speaking. This experience has also made us closer together as a batch, as it was an event organised with the effort from every single one of us. It was such a joyous moment for all of us when the seniors had told us that their farewell (which we had organised) was much better than the one they had organised for our super seniors. I wonder how our juniors would organise a farewell party for us next year…
Tomorrow is going to be a momentous day for our seniors (DP-2 batch). We have planned to give our seniors a farewell party (tomorrow evening at 5:00 pm) before they write their final exams. We divided ourselves into different groups, to split all the arrangements and games which had to be organised. I was an integral member of the Treasure Hunt team, and I had already came up with 7 clues based on the locations around the school. Today, all of us in the Treasure Hunt team had a meeting, where we decided on how to organise the Treasure Hunt game, as well as finalizing the clues and locations around the school.
We decided to have a total of 12 clues and hidden locations around the school, and I made sure the clues were difficult enough for even the intellectual ones who would be participating in the game. Our teachers had told us that there were around 20 – 25 seniors interested in the game. So we decided to split them into 5 different groups, and each group would be designated a colour.
The clues as well as the hidden spots for all the teams would be the same, to ensure that the game was fair for every group. But we had to write the same clue in 5 different coloured papers, so that the teams take only the clues of their designated colour, and move on to find the next location. We had also prepared a list of instructions and rules, to make the game clear for everyone participating in the game, and to prevent cheating as much as possible. We had set out this entire plan to carry out the Treasure Hunt, and I explained this plan to our DP teachers (Mdm. Nanditha, Mdm. Pranaya and Mr.Rolf), and they were pleased to see the clues, and where they would be hidden.
I thought we could start writing the clues and hiding them at their locations, but then somehow I found myself joining in another event for the Farewell: The Flashmob. Throughout the entire afternoon, about 15 – 20 of us were practicing several but simple dance steps, with the help of our school dance master. We practiced to dance continuously for three songs, and I had a bit of trouble remembering all those steps in sequence. Hopefully with more practice tomorrow, I can be ready for the surprise dance performance tomorrow. But most importantly, tomorrow we have a lot of work to finish up for the Treasure Hunt.
Wow, what an incredible night! The farewell had definitely exceeded our expectations, and I am sure that our seniors had a pleasant surprise as well. Let me begin recalling all the events from the start of the day…
I was very stressed out in the morning, as we had so much work to do for the Treasure Hunt. First, we had to get 5 different coloured papers, and write the same 12 clues on each paper. Then, we cut out every clue and folded them in small bits, carefully securing them with a rubber band. This was a tedious process, and took us about two hours. Moreover, we also decided to have some fake clues, to notch up the difficulty of the game. After that, we had to roam around the school and hide the clues at the respective locations (with the help of tape), which was another laborious process. However, we were not able to place all the clues before lunch, so we still had work for Treasure Hunt pending.
After lunch, we were immediately called for dance practice for the Flash Mob. We took some time refreshing our memory on the dance steps we had learnt yesterday, and moved on to learn the steps for the final song. I still had the problem of forgetting the steps once in a while, but there was no time to worry about that as there were only 2 more hours for our seniors to arrive. I just hoped for the best, and went back with my group to finish up the work for the Treasure Hunt, placing the rest of the clues in their locations.
After placing all the clues, we went around to check whether the clues had been placed properly according to the planned sequence, and we found that one set of clues was placed in the wrong location, another set of clues was missing, and another set was blown off by the wind. I was panicking at that moment, because there was only an hour left to rectify all these mistakes. But it was at this moment that I realised the true power of a team. A part of the team immediately ran back to the classroom to re-write the missing clues, a few of us had set off to relocate the clues which were in the wrong place, and meanwhile I was gathering the clues which were strewn off by the wind. In about 45 minutes, we were able to set everything as it should be, and I heaved a sigh of relief.
With only a few minutes remaining for our seniors to arrive, I rushed to the school hostel to freshen up and change into the dress code for the farewell (black shirt and blue jeans). Just as we stood at the entrance to welcome the seniors, they started coming in pairs, oozing with style. All the boys were dressed in full formal suit (mostly black), which was just pure class. The girls were dressed gorgeously in traditional sarees of vibrant colours. They walked on a red carpet leading to the seminar hall, taking pictures at a photo booth on the way. The seminar hall was absolutely stunning, beautifully decorated with a theme of “House of Cards”. The lighting was changed by sticking yellow filters on the lights of the ceiling, and the decorations were top-notch.
At first, we had a short video directed by a friend of mine, in which the DP teachers talked about their experiences with our seniors, as well as wishing them good luck for their future endeavors. After that, we had a momento distribution for each student of DP-2 by the teachers, and each one of them was called out with a nickname (also thought by ourselves, and even I had given some ideas) which was a lot of fun. After that, a few from our batch started the first game of the evening, Mafia. Unfortunately, it ended out being really boring, as they had to keep their eyes closed for very long. The seniors then proceeded to the auditorium, where a game called “Nerf Wars” was organised by another team of our batch. It seemed to be going well at the start, but it turned out to be chaotic, and ended up in the seniors randomly shooting at each other, disregarding all the rules.
And finally, I lead all those interested in “Treasure Hunt” out of the auditorium, and divided them into 5 teams. I was delighted, because we had initially expected only around 20 seniors, but there were 35 seniors who came forward to indulge in our game. I went around explaining the rules of the game to each team clearly, told them their designated colour, and gave them their first clue. “3… 2… 1… GOOO!!!” I shouted at the top of my voice, and off they went, rushing to the first location. We stationed ourselves at different places of the school, and we only told them “hot” or “cold” if they were stuck trying to figure out a clue. I was ecstatic to see most of the seniors enjoying their night, running here and there to figure out where the clues were hidden. All of our hard work had finally paid off as the game was a huge success, undoubtedly the best of the three. At the end of the game, I was given the mic to announce the winning team of the game, and I invited the school chairman Mr. Ashok to give out the winning prize.
The DP teachers came forward and congratulated me and my team for organizing the Treasure Hunt. All of us had an appetizing dinner afterwards, which was sponsored by everyone from our batch (DP-1). Just as the seniors had finished their dinner, all of a sudden we stood in front of them and began our Flash Mob dance performance. Then, the DJ continued with the music after our performance, and the seniors joined dancing with us. The final event for the night was the lighting of paper lanterns, which reminded me of one of the scenes in “Tangled”. We helped the seniors in lighting the lanterns, and they flew off into the dark night, a symbolic representation of the teachers lighting up the students’ lives, in order for them to reach great heights in their future. Describing this event with the word “magnificent” would be an understatement.
Soon after my first MUN experience from IIMUN – Coimbatore, I was very keen to participate in another MUN conference. So, my friends and I decided to take part in one of the most prestigious MUN conferences in India, that is Harvard MUN, held at Hyderabad. This MUN conference brought together thousands of delegates from across the world, to debate and discuss major issues in international affairs, by simulating committees of the United Nations and other international bodies. Moreover, it is held only once every year, so I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to improve on my communication, debating and diplomatic skills.
Speaking in front of a huge crowd is a vital life skill, and through this invaluable experience I have become more confident in doing so, by voicing out my opinions in front of several people. My perception of MUNs has totally changed after going to HMUN, as it was on a much larger scale and much more professional compared to IIMUN, and made it seem trivial when compared to HMUN. I have also learnt that communicating with new people (lobbying in short) is crucial in order to become a successful delegate. I have realised that this is also a skill very much needed for our future, when we will have to work constructively and make contacts with unknown people.
From this MUN, I have also become more cognizant of important world issues which are happening at present, as well as issues we might face as global citizens in the future. In order to find a possible solution for these issues at a MUN, we have to establish a group of people with similar views, and form a reasonable solution as a consequence. I have learnt this does not only apply for MUNs, but it also applies for real life situations, to listen to others and work together in order to form an appropriate resolution for the issue.
Altogether, I have to say that HMUN was an exhilarating experience, where I was able to acquire indispensable communicating and debating skills, as well as have loads of fun at the same time. (Did I forget to mention about the scrumptious food provided for every meal?)
After my first MUN experience at IIMUN Coimbatore, our CAS teacher Mr. Rolf had informed us that another MUN conference called Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) was coming up, and it was to be held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre. HMUN is a prestigious conference bringing students from across the world to discuss and debate about critical world issues which we might face as global citizens of the next generation. When we were informed about HMUN, I knew that I shouldn’t miss this golden opportunity, as it is organised only once every year in India, and moreover this year it is held in India’s best convention centre.
So today, I started researching for this grand scale conference. I was the delegate of Belgium in the 130th session of the International Olympic Committee, and our topic was the future of the Olympic Movement, where we had to discuss our views in electing a host city for 2024 Olympics. My good friends Abhishek and Hariharan were also participating in the IOC along with me, so it was great because we could enjoy this experience together. I had to submit my position paper tomorrow, so I hurriedly started my research to give the stance of Belgium on the agenda.
Tomorrow is going to be the first day of HMUN. I am at a loss of words to express my excitement. Almost the entire day I had spent researching on the problems of the Olympic movement, as well as the possible solutions for them. I did not prepare my opening speech yet, but I think I can frame it during my flight tomorrow, as it is just going to be a concise version of my position paper, giving the stances of Belgium on the agenda. I had taken print outs of necessary documents and filed them in a research binder. Now, all that is left is to pack for the 4-day trip to Hyderabad, and I am ready for HMUN!
I had woken up early in the morning, and my dad had dropped me off at the airport. I rejoined with my friends waiting outside the terminal with our luggage for Mr. Rolf. In total, there were 30 of us from our school (DP 1 and DP 2) participating in HMUN. Once all of us had reached the airport, we finished the checking in and immigration formalities, and we bought ourselves some snacks for breakfast in the airport. By the time we knew it, we were already boarding the aircraft, ready for take off. In the one hour of journey time we had, I finished penning down my opening speech, and brushed through my research binder.
Once we had reached Hyderabad, and checked out of the airport, we boarded a bus (provided by HMUN) which brought us to our hotel – Formulae 1, and we were graciously given double occupancy for each room. My good friend Abhishek and I were allocated in the same room, so we were elated. The rooms were pretty decent, and moreover we were given free WiFi! We freshened up for a while, and then we had to get ready to board the bus again, to get to the convention centre for our first day of HMUN.
When we reached the place, my eyes widened with wonder and amaze as I stepped out of the bus. The surroundings were so neat and clean that I had almost forgotten that we were in India. We were standing outside the convention centre, and it was amazing to view the architecture and elevation of the building, as well as the surrounding environment. As we were quite late for the explanation of the Rules of Procedure (ROP), we decided to take photos tomorrow, and we finally entered the centre. The convention centre was posh and lavish, and it was truly one of the most spectacular places I have been to. It was then I actually realised the heat of the competition, where everyone seemed to be professional and experienced. My hands were actually trembling of nervousness (and also partially because of the cold atmosphere in there!). The only thing which lightened me up was the food available at the cafe, but it was really overpriced (I pity Mr. Rolf, who had bought all 30 of us lunch there!).
We then attended the ROP event from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, where the various points and motions to open caucuses were explained, so that we know how to effectively participate in our committees. After that, we had a short break, where we saw the committee halls in each level of the centre. Each hall had almost around 200 seats, and there were several of these halls in each level for each committee in the UN. The opening ceremony of HMUN had commenced in the largest hall (which could seat around 2000 people) in the centre from 4 to 5:30 pm, where we enjoyed a few versatile dance performances, followed by speeches given by the chief director and the secretary general.
At 6:00 pm, we had our first committee session until around 8:30 pm. There were about 200 people participating in the IOC, and in 3 delegates were seated in every table. That was perfect for the 3 of us (Abhishek, Hariharan and I ) to sit with each other. The chair first introduced himself, then explained the ROP briefly for the first half an hour. Taking the attendance of all the delegates present in the hall, and receiving our placards took up so much time that we only had about 45 minutes of committee session left. A few delegates were recognized to present their opening speeches, but due to the lack of time and my nervousness, I decided to give my speech tomorrow. At the end of the committee session, many experienced delegates were already forming lobbying around to form potential blocs with the delegates. A few of them approached me as well, and by conversing with them I came to know that these delegates had been to various MUNs abroad as well.
At around 9:00 pm, it was dinner time. The aroma of scrumptious food led me into the dining hall. There, we rejoined with our friends (from our school) from different committees, and we started helping ourselves with heaps of food on our plates. The dinner was absolutely splendid, with various varieties of food for non-vegetarians, as well as for vegetarians, and there were deserts too. In fact, I would say that the dinner was the best part of the day, because I really did not expect the food to be of such divine standards. After dinner, we boarded our bus (after a long wait, of course) to go back to the hotel. I was too tired to think of preparing for tomorrow’s committee sessions as my eyelids drooped down to force my eyes shut.
Today I had woken up at about 7:40 am, and had a delicious breakfast provided by the hotel. We had to board the bus by 8:30 am, and as I was a bit late, I hurriedly stuffed a few muffins in my bag and off we went to the convention centre. It was a picture perfect day, and all 30 of us posed for photos in our respective committees that morning, dressed up in our formal attire for the 2nd committee session at 9:30. Even for a few minutes before the committee session started, many of the delegates had formed groups and were lobbying around with each other. Soon, the chair had arrived, and the roll call (attendance list) began.
After several attempts of raising my placard, I was finally recognized by the chair to give my opening speech. As I started off my opening speech, I could hear myself stuttering because of nervousness, but as I went on, I felt I became more consistent and I ended my speech well. But the main highlight of the 2nd session was that motions for moderated caucuses had started, and the delegates were recognized to discuss and debate about certain aspects of the problems of the Olympic Movement, for example, discussing about the politicization of the movement in the recent years. I realised that getting recognised in such a big committee was very VERY difficult, as the chair had to choose random placards, and give chances to those who hadn’t spoken yet.
The 2nd session had ended at around 12:30, and we had lunch soon after that. I don’t think I have to tell you how scrumptious our lunch was, and it just seemed as if the food got better and better every meal. We had a HMUN Leadership Forum and a few other minor events till 4:00 pm, and we had our 3rd committee session from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. We continued with moderated caucuses, but I didn’t get recognised at all throughout the entire session. From then, I made a decision to raise my placard for every moderated caucus, so that I can get a chance to involve in the debate. But in that session during unmoderated caucuses, I went around to different blocs and gave my signatory to Draft Resolution 1.3 which had taken into account most of the problems faced by the Olympics, and the solutions stated in it also seemed to be reasonable. After the session, we had an appetizing dinner, with some sort of mango dessert which was impeccable.
From 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm, all HMUN delegates were invited to an event called HMUN India’s Got Talent. Quite a few delegates showcased their wide range of talents (such as beat boxing, dancing, singing, mimicry, comedy, magic), and we even had a special dance performance from the directors of the event, as well as the chairs of each committee! A few of the performances (which were the dance and the beat boxing) were captivating, while the rest were somewhat entertaining. After the event, we went back to our hotel by bus, and I reflected on how I could learn from my experience during the committee sessions in the morning and evening.
Today we had three committee sessions, and I was delighted with my performance today. I was lucky to be recognized twice during the 3 committee sessions. By the time we were in the third committee session, we had already finished discussing about the problems of the Olympics, and moved on to select a host city for 2024 Olympics based on current issues and affairs. There were 4 blocs formed, hence 4 cities proposed – New York, Lisbon, Buenos Aires and Athens. I found Buenos Aires to be the most logical choice among the cities, as they have already hosted the Youth Olympic Games and hence they would already have the facilities to host the Olympics, drastically reducing the cost of the Games. So, I joined their bloc, and so did my friends Abhishek and Hariharan.
Each bloc had to present in front of the hall to convince the delegates why their proposed city is the best for hosting the Olympics, with 5 representatives from the bloc. After the presentation, the other delegates could pose questions to the representatives if recognised by the chair. I raised my placard to ask a question for Lisbon, the only bloc which seemed to threaten our chances of hosting the Olympics in 2024. Luckily, I was the last delegate to get recognized by the chair for the day, and I confidently stood up, and posed my question to them. I was on cloud nine when all the other delegates in the hall had heard my question, and applauded when I had finished asking. It felt like a remarkable feat for me, that too in such a huge event such as HMUN. It was really a confidence booster, and I had a whole-hearted dinner after that session with a huge smile beaming on my face.
At 9:30 pm, we had delegate dance! All of us from different committees rejoiced and started dancing excitedly to the beat drops. It was great to see a few random people all of a sudden joining our group and dancing with us, and we had a great deal of fun. That night, we reached our hotel rooms at around 11:30 pm or 12:00 am. Since that was our last night, we were allowed to stay up late till 2 am and have anyone over to our room till then.
My friend Reshma had invited me and a few other friends over to her room, and there were 9 of us: Anushka, Nivetha, Mariza, Deeksha, Hariharan, Shreepathi, Kavya, Reshma and I. At first, we spent our time watching a movie on TV, then we decided to have a bit more fun and we started playing “Truth or Dare”. Whatever we heard in that room, remained within those four walls, and we enjoyed ourselves staying up till 2:30 or so. Tomorrow is the last day of HMUN, so we didn’t mind sacrificing a few hours of sleep to enjoy our final moments of this wonderful experience.
Today was the last day of HMUN… and we checked out of our hotel in the morning and went to the convention centre with our luggage. We had one final committee session left, that was to vote for the host city for 2024 Olympics. New York and Athens were eliminated due to very little support, and the final voting for each delegate was either for Buenos Aires or Lisbon. It was a thrilling and a close contest… and it ended up in Messi (Argentina) vs Ronaldo (Portugal)! And in the end, after the dramatic drum rolls (by banging the table), the chair had announced the final votes: Buenos Aires – 84 and Lisbon – 91. We had lost by 7 votes… and it was hard to accept defeat. But, I was content that being one of the proactive members of the bloc, we gave a close fight to Lisbon.
In the last few minutes, we ended up taking pictures with the chair, and as well as adding our new friends from our committee in social media. We bid our final good byes to most of the delegates in the committee, and off we went to have our last lunch of HMUN. “I am going to miss this food so much” I thought to myself as I savoured my final spoon of ice cream. We had the closing ceremony from 12:30 to 2:00 pm, where a few speeches given by the director and secretary general, and the award winners of each committee was then announced. None of us from our school received any delegation awards, but nevertheless it is the journey of the experience, not the destination that counts. Moreover, we were amateurs compared to professional delegates who had several international experiences of MUN.
HMUN had officially ended. All of us had changed into our normal clothes and boarded the bus to go to the airport. Our flight was at 7 pm but we reached very early, at around 5 pm. My uncle who was living in Hyderabad came to the airport to send me off, before I departed to Coimbatore. I was able to spend about half an hour with my uncle (with Rolf sir’s permission), and later on I cleared through the check in and immigration process on my own. I rejoined the 29 others at KFC in the airport, where Rolf sir had generously bought each of us a meal. After we had suppressed our appetite with the KFC meals, it was time for us to board the flight, and within no time we had reached Coimbatore. My dad picked me up from the airport, and I eventually reached home at around 10:00 pm. What a journey this has been!
Today, all of us (DP – 1 students) were asked to assemble in the school football field during our last 2 hours of CAS. However, none of us had any idea what we were going to do, and when we went down to the ground, we were surprised to see our school dance teachers waiting for us. “Oh god… Why are we going to dance today?” I asked our CAS Coordinator Mr. Rolf with disappointment. “Cheer up man… It’s not just any form of dance, you guys are going to do aerobic dance!” replied Mr. Rolf.
The dance teachers and sports staff had set up a laptop and the speakers at the control room, to play music for the aerobic exercise. We arranged ourselves into 5 rows, one behind the other. Luckily I was in the last row (as the others wouldn’t see me dance), and I was able to get a good view of everyone in front of me. Once we were all spaced out evenly, the dance teachers started to teach us a few simple moves without music, which were very similar to the stretching exercises we used to do before playing sports such as football or basketball. We did each move for 8 – 16 counts, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the process of learning the moves, as it was hilarious to see some of my friends dancing in an eccentric way. Some of the steps we were taught were also extremely similar to swimming strokes, as we moved our hands just like how we would do while swimming freestyle, breast stroke and butterfly strokes.
After practicing the same aerobic exercises for several times, we were given a short water break, and we returned back to the field to perform the same steps, but with music played from the speakers this time. The song was groovy, and the tempo was allegro (fast in music terms), hence each count was actually much faster than we expected. But somehow, after laughing at each other trying to keep up with the music, and after a few attempts, we were able to dance all the moves together, with some coordination. Finally, in the last few minutes before the end of school, we were allowed to play games (football & basketball), even though we were quite exhausted after the aerobic activity.
Although we danced a few simple steps which was very similar to warm-up or stretching exercises, the activity slowly drained out or energy in the course of the two hours. Before this activity, I had no clue what were aerobics, and I had thought that it was for fitness freaks who indulged themselves in excessive physical training. However, it obviously turned out to be entirely different from what I had thought, and I experienced the benefits of this exercise myself. In the stressful life of IB, with “n” number of assignments, tests and exams, it diverted my mind from all these stress for those two hours, and my mind was refreshed and relaxed at the end of the activity.
Moreover, these aerobic exercises have many other benefits to human health, such as increased endurance, improved sleep, maintaining a healthy BMI. What’s more is that people of any age group (from kids to elderly) can indulge in this simple exercise. I look forward to do other similar activities, where we can enjoy some time with friends, and at the same time relieve ourselves from our stressful lives.
Organising the football tournament held in our school – TIPS NACE Soccer Challenge – was much harder than what I had expected, even with the help of the school’s sport faculty. We were assigned our roles and tasks the day before the competition, but during the event most of us ended up doing a part of everyone’s jobs. I am glad that through this experience, I was able to show my interest and passion in the sport, as being an avid football fan, I was very enthusiastic while giving running commentary for the important matches.
I believe that my communication skills have improved through this event, as I had to go around and ask the participants to line up in an orderly manner, and bring them for lunch. In addition to that, we also had to work together as a unit (although we were divided into teams) and had to communicate with each other to keep the tournament running efficiently. Furthermore, my confidence level of giving a speech has raised significantly, as I was able to pull off a sudden and impromptu speech to thank the referees who ran the show on-field for the past 3 days.
Not only that, I also never expected myself to be giving a dance performance for the closing ceremony. Somehow, by hook or by crook, I was able to perform the dance steps in the eve of the final day along with some of my friends. In the end, the tournament turned out to be a delightful surprise for all of our school students, as we were able to successfully organise the district – level competition, and moreover, our school had also won the competition in both the U-10 and U-12 categories.
Although we were exhausted after each day of the tournament, I believe most of us had shown perseverance and resilience to continue carrying out our duties and tasks, till the last moments of the event. Overall, this soccer challenge has brought the DP-Year 1 students together, and has helped us to bond with one another as one cohort. Personally, it has enhanced my ability of delivering a speech confidently, and I also feel that my sense of responsibility has slightly increased, after involving in a few major tasks of organising the event.
A week ago, our CAS Coordinator Mr. Rolf gave us (IB-DP Year 1 students) the mammoth task of organizing this district-level football tournament, which was held for Under-10 and Under – 12 football teams from several schools in Coimbatore. Yesterday, all DP-1 students had a meeting with Mr. Rolf, to briefly discuss on our roles and tasks for the event. I was part of the arrangements team, and I volunteered to give live commentary during important matches of the tournament.
Today was the first day of TIPS NACE Soccer Challenge. We had our breakfast, and we were issued our CAS T-shirts the first thing in the morning. The participating teams for the day arrived at about 10:30 – 11 am, and the reception team started their job of bringing them to the gallery. Meanwhile, during that time I helped out in setting up the score board across the field, pinning up pictures of famous football stars on the board.
Although there was no opening ceremony, a few my friends were part of a small football play to kick off the tournament, where they passed the ball to each other and tried to score a goal. The play would have almost been disastrous, as one of my friends who took the shot missed the goal, and very luckily the ball deflected off the woodwork. Somehow after the deflection, another guy tapped in the ball into the net, and finished off the dramatic play. After the play, the first soccer match had begun, and all of us went around carrying out our responsibilities.
One of my tasks for the day was to inform the coaches of the participating teams in the gallery that it was time for lunch. I had to get the kids to line up in two rows, and bring them to the lunch hall. I had to give them instructions to stay seated in the lunch hall until everyone had finished eating, so that I could bring them to the gallery again. In fact, I myself sat down with those kids and had lunch with them, to make sure that they don’t go off by themselves.
After lunch, I mostly helped out with the score board team, where I had to keep track of and write down the number of corners, fouls, goal-kicks and goals scored for each team in every match. It was a tedious task, but with keen observation and friends to help me out whenever I missed a foul or a corner, I was able to quite accurately tally up all the statistics for about 3 – 4 matches. Although my task was only to make arrangements for the teams, it was fun and engaging to take up different tasks of others for a while.
Once we had arrived to school and had breakfast, the first task in the morning was to pick up stones from the football field, and throwing them away. The white powder used to draw the penalty box, half line and out lines had many white lumps or stones in them. To prevent the inconvenience of the participants during the match, we were told to pick up the stones and to throw them away. Once the matches had started, we had to carry out our duties similar to yesterday. From today, some of my classmates were running a food stall, and I helped them out by squeezing a packet full of lemons, to prepare the lemonade puree.
After lunch, my friend and I were giving running commentary for a few matches, but we had to stop in a short while, as the school coaches informed us that running commentary was only to be done for the Under 10 and Under 12 finals tomorrow. After that, I did the score board duty again, updating it every now and then, and changing the school names for different matches, and announcing the names of the teams at the beginning of each match. I got bored after some time, hence I gave my duty to someone else and decided to go up to the audio control area. I added a few music tracks to the laptop, which was played during half time and after the match. The area was also where the sound for the microphones used were controlled, hence it was an important part of the event.
Just an hour or two before going home, I joined some of my friends to learn a few dance moves with our dance teachers, which we would have to perform for the closing ceremony tomorrow! Initially, the dance teachers were in the process of choreographing the moves, and we were trying out many different steps. But later on, some of the steps were removed and some were refined. It took us about an hour and a half to finalize all the steps, according to the timing of the music. Although it wasn’t very coordinated and we kept forgetting some of the moves, we still have time to rehearse tomorrow.
Today was the final day of the soccer tournament, and for most of us, the workload we had today was greater than the workload of the previous two days both combined. We had to carry out various tasks from 9 in the morning till 9 at night.
Right from the morning, all the matches were the most crucial ones of the entire tournament, as the day began with the quarter final matches for U-10 boys. I took up the role of announcing the teams participating in each match, and informing the teams to get them prepared for the upcoming match, according to the schedule planned by school management. Moreover, once each match had finished, I also had the responsibility of striking out the team which had lost, and writing the team which had won, and hence qualifying for the next match. My friends and I also brought refreshments (juice cartons) for the referees toiling hard throughout the day, and for the coaches who were screaming their lungs out to motivate the kids during the match.
Moreover, later on in the afternoon, we had our final dance rehearsal for today’s closing ceremony. It was then I found out that we were actually part of a larger dance performance, and we had to join in a few minutes after the 6th and 7th grade students’ start off the performance. Even though I initially thought that I would have definitely forgotten most of the steps, as we practiced again and again, I was able to cope up with the tempo of the music, as well as perform the steps to some extent. The dance coaches guided us whenever we struggled to do some of the steps during the practice, and they were pleased with our final practice. After that, the dance teachers gave us a few words of encouragement, and we were back to our duties in the evening.
The tournament had reached the last semi-finals by then, and my friend and I were getting ready to give running commentary for the finals! We were really amped up just before the finals, because both of us had waited for the past 2 days to give running commentary, and we were finally allowed to do so. Before the finals, we had to announce the names of the sponsors of the event, who had just arrived to watch the finals. Moreover, I was also asked advertise the menu of items which were selling in the food stall, to further boost their sales before the audience had settled down for the finals.
“3, 2, 1.. and let the finals begin!” we started off the match excitedly, and the kick off whistle was blown. The U-10 finals was truly a nail-biting match. The teams which had made it to the finals were TIPS Erode, and our own school team – TIPS Coimbatore. Our school boys were down 1-0 against TIPS Erode during the first half. And in the dying minutes of the second half, our school team finally managed to find the back of the net, and kept our school’s hopes alive for winning the trophy. Just when we thought the match was heading into extra time, our school team had scored a second goal in a quick succession, and that was the winning goal! The ecstatic kids and coaches were already celebrating soon after the goal, and the final whistle confirmed our school’s victory for U-10 finals. It was absolutely splendid to give live commentary for this match, especially during the final moments, as we were able to add on to the intensity and excitement of the game.
Soon after, the U-12 finals had begun, and the finalists were our school team again – TIPS Coimbatore, and KSIRS. We gave the countdown again, and the match had begun. However, there was not much competition, as it was very clear that our school boys were easily dominating the match. By half time, our school team was already leading 3 – 0, and the final score after full time was 6 – 0. Our school boys easily won the trophy, and there wasn’t much to give commentary, as the match was so one-sided. It was a fantastic achievement that in such a huge competition, with so many schools participating, our school were the winners for both the U-10 and U-12 category.
Once the finals were over, the closing ceremony began, starting with our dance performance! The other (6th and 7th grade) students started off the performance, and we joined in when it was time for us to perform the moves we learnt. The entire performance was about 4 minutes long, where we danced during the last 2 minutes. I felt that all of us had performed well, and the hours of practice and rehearsals had finally paid off.
After our dance performance, we had the presentation of awards to winning teams. I helped out by holding the certificates on a tray, as the chief guests and sponsors presented the certificates and trophies to each team member. In the end, I was called by Mr. Rolf to give an impromptu closing address, to thank the district level referees who organised the event on-field, and to present them with a token of appreciation from the sponsors. I was glad that I was able to pull it off in the last minute, reading off the names of the referees from a piece of paper, which I had written down quickly as Mr. Rolf listed the names. Although today was a long and tiring day, we enjoyed working together as one CAS team, to successfully finish organizing this football tournament.
IIMUN was a new and an enjoyable experience, being my first MUN event, and it was not like a usual debate competition which I had expected before. Even though we had numerous practice sessions in school before the event, I still was not able to understand the ROP (Rules of Procedure) and how the argument was going to be put forth, until I had actually experienced it myself in the first committee session. In the very first session, I realized the importance of carrying out extensive research on the agenda as well as on the country given as our delegation. With no prior research or information on the topic, it is almost impossible to provide valid points or answer other delegates’ questions during the moderated caucus.
I was having the preconceived notion that the competition would be fairly easy, and to be honest I think I was a bit over-confident. Only when I went there I realized I was competing with other delegates who had 5 – 6 MUN experiences before, and moreover I was in one of the toughest committees in the competition, with a very powerful country – USA. I did not like the agenda set to be discussed in the committee, as it was too long and there wasn’t enough information to be discussed on, and moreover even our chair had agreed with us in the first session that the agenda was a poor topic for HRC.
In my point of view, the experience that I had gained through this MUN was invaluable. I would know exactly what to expect the next time I participate in a MUN competition, with no doubts or whatsoever I had initially before this IIMUN. Moreover, another salient skill that I developed from this MUN is lobbying around – talking to other delegates and convincing them to join our bloc, which is also crucial to become a successful delegate. Gaining the support of the majority of the delegates is vital for a bloc to pass its resolution, and I learnt this skill quickly from other delegates who tried to convince me to join their blocs!
This IIMUN has been a fresh and a delightful experience, and it has already provoked interest within me to participate in other MUN competitions. I have a strong feeling that I will participate in another MUN conference sooner or later… Only time will tell.
Today was the first day of the Indian International Model United Nations – Coimbatore, and there were about 70 people from our school in grades 8, 9 and 11 (DP Year – 1) , taking part in this MUN conference. I was given the delegation of the United States of America in the Human Rights Council (HRC), which was one of the most prestigious committees in the event. The competition was held in CS Academy, and today, the opening ceremony of the event was held in the venue. I was so glad that there were no committee sessions on the first day, because it was my first MUN, and honestly I did not prepare much for the event, being the delegate of a major P5 country – USA.
Before going off to CS Academy, we had to change from our school uniform to the formal attire (a suit with tie) prescribed for the conference, in our school hostel. We all looked quite classy in our formal look, and we were engrossed in taking group photos in our fancy look. By the time we knew it, we were already off to CS Academy in our school bus.
The opening ceremony was scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm, and after registration we had some time to wander around the campus, grab a few snacks and click a few pictures. When we entered the event hall, there were hundreds of chairs neatly arranged in rows, occupied by competitors like us from different schools. As we took our seats in the hall, a few students from CS Academy had just begun the opening speech. There was a beautiful lamp placed on the stage, and it was lit by Loraine, the director of IIMUN – Coimbatore. After the official inauguration of the event, a list of opening speeches were given by the director, the secretary general, and a few other leading personnel of the event. We then enjoyed a couple of dance (Indian classical) and musical performances put up by the school students, and the opening ceremony soon came to an end.
Our first committee session had begun today. In fact, we had a total of 3 committee sessions, and today was quite exhaustive. The dress code for the day was Indian traditional, and I wore a dhoti! In the first session, our chair briefly explained to us the Rules of Procedure (ROP), and generally discussed about the committee’s agenda. Firstly, before starting the debate, the chair initiated a roll call to note each delegate’s presence in the committee, where we had to raise our pluck card when our country was called.
The agenda of the committee was Implementation of Social Media with access to Information and Technology as a basic human right. It is such a long agenda, and there are so many aspects of it to be discussed in the committee session. As I felt quite unprepared yesterday, I spent a few hours researching on the topic last night, and prepared my opening speech on the agenda for the GSL. After the ROP was explained and the instructions were made clear, the formal debate began. In the 1st and 2nd committee session we had the general speakers list (GSL), where every delegate had to speak regarding the agenda, with relation to their country’s policies for about 1 minute. The GSL was in a random order, and I was one of the first countries to be called. I walked up to the front of the classroom, and with a deep breath, I started off my speech with a loud and asserting voice. In my speech I voiced out that the government of the US was in support of the agenda, so that other delegates with similar stances could collaborate together with me, and form a bloc to draft a resolution for the agenda together. In the end, I felt that I delivered my speech with clarity and confidence.
In the third session, we had a few moderated caucuses, which is an informal way of debate, where a delegate recognized by the chair would propose a sub-topic under the main agenda which he/she would like to discuss in the committee. This would be followed by an informal vote by a show of placards, and a 51% or more majority is required for the motion to pass. If the motion fails, the chair would move on to recognize other delegates, until one of the motions passes. But alas, to my luck, I was unable to get recognized by the chair to propose a moderated caucus during the session. However, I was able to get involved in a moderated caucus proposed by another delegate. There was a heated debate between those for (including me) and those against the agenda. Although the delegates of China and Australia were against the agenda (and hence against us), they were able to come up with good points, and presented their arguments very well. After the moderated caucuses, we had to write down our working papers by the end of the session, where each delegate had to write down their viewpoints and stances
After three tiring committee sessions, we finally had some time to enjoy ourselves and have dinner during the social event – DJ Night. We changed into casual clothes from dhoti before going for the event. Music and songs were played through huge woofers, and colored lights were flashed across the dark hall. Although only some of my friends were able to take part in the event, we had great fun watching others dance, and throwing in a few moves ourselves!
It’s finally over, and we (TIPS) had won the overall best school delegation award! Today was the final day of IIMUN, and our committee had proposed 3 resolutions in the 2 sessions that we had for the day. Today’s debate and discussion seemed much more interesting than yesterday, as we had more interaction with other delegates to form a bloc, and to draft a resolution together.
In the first session, before forming blocs and drafting resolutions, the committee re-initiated GSL so that the delegates who did not speak yesterday were given a chance to speak today. After that, we had a few more moderated caucuses on the agenda, and I could see that today many delegates were willing to participate in the session. There were more placards raised today than yesterday, and getting recognized to speak during the debate became much harder.
By the end of the first session, we had 20 minutes of un-moderated caucus to form blocs and to create our draft resolution. The committee was split into 3 blocs, where 2 blocs were against the agenda and 1 bloc was for. I was part of the bloc which was for, and although there were 2 blocs against us, we had the most number of signatories for our resolution, and we were the largest bloc in the committee. The delegate of Mexico and I, were the main authors of the resolution formed by our bloc. I am content that in my very first MUN experience, I was a main author of our bloc’s resolution, and that I was able to make a significant contribution to the resolution.
After lunch, we had the last committee session of IIMUN, where we only discussed one draft resolution proposed by the other bloc (which was against). The key members of the bloc came in front of the class, projected their resolution on the screen, and started reading and explaining every point that was present in their resolution. Unfortunately, two blocs, including our own, did not have enough time to present their proposed resolutions. We were very disappointed that we couldn’t present our resolution, however we knew that our resolution still had a good chance of being passed in the committee, by the rule of simple majority, as our resolution had the most number of signatories compared to the others.
The last committee session was coming to an end. The voting procedure for drafting one resolution out of three proposed ones had begun. The resolution with the least number of votes was eliminated first, and there were two resolutions left, our bloc’s (for the agenda) and the main rival bloc’s (against the agenda). It was a really close contest of votes between us and them, but I was quite confident that we had the edge of winning. The number of placards raised also seemed to be more for our resolution, when compared to theirs. But to everyone’s utter dismal, the chair declared that the rival bloc had won with 2 votes more than us. The announcement was quickly followed by a lot of jeering from the delegates, because we were so sure that our resolution would be passed. It was really a shock for us, and we were left with no words. After the drafting of the resolution, the committee adjourned debate, with all of us having no choice but to accept the rival bloc’s resolution. Nevertheless, I went forth and congratulated my rivals (Delegate of China and Australia) for their astonishing win, and we proceeded to the main hall again for the closing ceremony.
We had the award presentation ceremony, and a few classmates of mine had won best delegation in their respective commitees! It was such a proud moment to cheer for them, as they walked up to the stage to collect their awards. Although I did not individually get any awards, I was personally content that i had spoken well for my very first MUN experience. After the individual awards, all of us jumped in joy and ran up the stage (all 70 of us!) when our school was proclaimed as the overall best delegation of IIMUN – Coimbatore! Our CAS supervisor Mr. Rolf received the trophy from the IIMUN director Loraine, and it was an ecstatic moment for all of us, when our school had won the best delegation amidst so many schools which had competed in the event.