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Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview with TAS Upper School MUN Coordinator Ms. Sinclair

UNiTAS journalist, Edward H. (10, TAS), spoke with Ms. Sinclair, Coordinator of the TAS Upper School MUN Program.

Edward H.: What were your first impressions of the debates and opening speeches?

Ms. Sinclair: I was really impressed with not just my own delegates, but also with others--the time that they spent on caucusing seemed like it was longer than usual....It really showed the creativity and the way that they were approaching the challenges of solving these problems....I think the enthusiasm and the effort they were putting forth was more than I had seen in the past years.

Edward: Did you see any differences between Thursday when the delegates arrived with their prepared resolutions, and Friday when they had had time to interact with other delegates and share new ideas?

Ms. Sinclair:...I think that they warmed up a lot more today.  I think the fear was gone.  I felt that ideas started to flow and that the delegates started showing...the personality attributes of not only themselves but the nations they represent....

Edward: Have you attended the previous MUN conferences TAS hosted?

Ms. Sinclair: Well, we have hosted the MS MUN conference at TAS for three years now, with students from seventh through ninth grade participating in the conference.  What’s fun for me is that many of these students I’ve seen since they were twelve or thirteen years old, so now to watch them blossom at this stage is cool in the hard work that can be observed.  They’ve become so much more open and confident regarding the issues they speak upon.  Personally, I’ve been to four IASAS MUN conferences, and I think each year TAS improves.  We don’t necessarily have the oldest team, but I think that it’s nice that we always have some 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the teams.  I actually remember when I was a student going to Jakarta International School that I watched it for two years.  We were able to just lean over the balcony and observe....The discussions and fighting within the General Assembly was always fun to watch.

Edward: What do you think of the atmosphere of this year’s debates? Sometimes delegates are dead serious, while other times they are more relaxed, referencing pop culture in their speeches.

Ms. Sinclair: That is pretty common.  I feel like we need to find the...balance.  We want to be creative at times but not to be too obscure and silly or use references that are rude.  I feel like they have done a good job of [maintaining] their level of maturity while keeping it fun and engaging....

Edward: Lastly, what aspects of MUN do you like in addition to debating and public speaking?

Ms. Sinclair: For me, to be honest, MUN is not only about debating or public speaking, even though it is important for the school.  For me it’s more about creativity and the challenge of problem solving.  It’s about getting the students to think beyond themselves and recognize the complexities of many of the world’s problems....They should also recognize that it’s not really about just being a diplomat or politician.  No matter what career they choose they can influence and will be influenced by these key issues.  Really, by understanding these issues, they are understanding the challenges and problems of their generation, getting a head start and being able to address them.

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