New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers—What Could Go Wrong? (Spoiler Alert: Nothing)

by Kathryn Goebel ’15

[This is part 10 in a series of 10 pieces of student writing about the Inly Middle School’s experience at Montessori Model United Nations in New York City.]

Throughout my two years as an Inly Middle School student, I have had the opportunity to travel all over New England with my teachers and peers. I have sailed from Boston Harbor to Connecticut. I have camped on the Boston Harbor Islands and rowed all over Boston Harbor. I will live on a farm in Western Massachusetts later this year, and I will create something at the NuVu Studio in Cambridge in a few weeks. But nothing has compared to this year’s Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) trip.

IMG_1707Working as part of the NGO Forum instead of as a Country Representative, I stayed with my closest friends and got to meet people from 15 different countries. I had the best time. In the conference, you could tell everybody wanted to be there and wanted to help change the world. While mostly all of my experiential trips were with Inly students and mostly Inly teachers, I got to step out of my comfort zone at MMUN. Collaborating has been a consistent theme over all of my Middle School experiential learning field studies, but collaboration and communication were heavily emphasized for MMUN. I could clearly see the difference between Inly students and other students. Inly students speak out. Inly students lead conversations. Inly students aren’t afraid to speak their mind and take an opposing view. While working with others was important, seeing my friends and classmates in action was pretty powerful.

Leadership is what I think Middle School—especially eighth grade—is all about. Other than experiential trips, we do special things around the school. We go to Middle School assemblies, the eighth graders help TH, CH, and LE teachers by teaching the students and we have more freedom than the younger kids. But we also are regular Inly students. We go to the Morning Shares, we go to the marionette shows and we perform in the winter concert. MS students are constantly the big kids, so we need to act like it. We need to set a good example, pay attention and not mess around. We lead and the younger kids look up to us. At MMUN, it’s a different type of leading. You can take charge of a conversation about solar panels or human relations in the Middle East. You can set the good example and the next generation (as well as the rest of ours) will follow.

I am very excited to announce that my group’s NGO (East Coast Solar Development Program) will be continuing past the conference. We are currently collaborating with Jim Sherlock of Reborn International. We plan to put solar panels in under-developed countries. To buy the solar panels, my group and I would like to hold benefits at our school to raise awareness and take donations. Overall, MMUN has been the most rewarding and powerful experience I have ever taken part in.


For more in this series, check out these links:

“Montessori Model United Nations: In Their Own Words” by Paran Quigley and Jen McGonagle, Inly Middle School Teachers and MMUN Advisors

“Montessori Model United Nations: Work Worth Doing” by Benjamin Bison ’16

“One Delegate, Two Model UN Experiences” by Jonah Lee ’15

“Developing a Global Perspective” by Alec Perez ’15

“Follow the Leader” by Emma Kahn ’15

“Are You My Mentor?” by Alexander deMurias ’15

MMUN Reflection Excerpts by Mia Bilezikian ’15

“When I Grow Up…” by Gaby Munn ’16

“Global Group Dynamics” by Marty Morris ’15

“How It All Stacks Up: MMUN Compared to Other Field Studies” by Justin Cokinos ’16

“New York, Model UN, and Middle Schoolers — What Could Go Wrong?
(Spoiler Alert: Nothing)” by Kathryn Goebel ’15

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