Saturday, May 17, 2008

Davis MUN

It was only eight students that wanted to attend the Davis Model United Nations, but I figured that anything that encourages student interest in academic competition and rigor should be followed, so I told the kids that I'd take them.

It has turned into a very entertaining trip so far.

About two weeks ago I made the comment that we were going to make a side trip to Sacramento and watch a River Cats baseball game. For those that don't know, the River Cats are the Triple A team for the Oakland A's. It was totally commented on tongue-in-cheek, I'm a joker like that. Two days later a student comes into the room with a folder and ten tickets to the Friday night game between the Sacramento River Cats and the Salt Lake City Bees (the Angels AAA team). How cool is that! The parents thought it would be cool to make a weekend out of it since we would be in Davis anyhow. Talking about total kindness and generosity.

A couple of kids had never been to a baseball game before, which made the evening more fun because a couple of us ended up describing the game as it went along. Add to that the $1 hot dogs and ice cream cones, and the really neat fly-over by a pair of F-16's, and the general glee of teenagers, and the evening turned out to be really fun. Highlight of the evening? During the seventh inning stretch, they belted out "God Bless America", but didn't play "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", which could be considered treason in some states. With looks of shock on their faces, my students took the initiative and started to bellow out the anthem with vigor. The shock was then mine as two whole sections of fans joined in and then gave the kids a round of applause and high-fives. It was just a really neat moment. The van ride back to the hotel (at 10:30 at night) was then a song fest with tunes ranging from The Beach Boys to Bob Marley to fat Toby Keith. All in all, it was just a cool experience and good for the kids.

I'm now at Davis, typing away from a kind student that logged me on through his account. For the third time in a row, the university students failed to get guest access for the college Internet for us. Stanford didn't have it the first night, but immediately fixed the problem in a couple of hours. Berkeley said they couldn't do anything about it, and Davis is just unaware that a problem really exists. Here's a little note for all those Model UN conferences that are run by college students; teachers need the net. Grades, lesson planning, updating blogs, gathering resources.......it's a lot like being a college student. Access is wonderful and we multi-task just like you do.
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