by Kayla Justice, International School at Ho Chi Minh City
While delegates have been busy debating and revising resolutions, some select individuals have been equally busy working behind-the-scenes.
Each school participating in the conference this year has brought with them not only a group of enthusiastic students, but also their doting chaperones. Day-in and day-out, one can see them floating from room to room, taking the occasional photograph, having the occasional hushed conversation amongst themselves, and drinking the occasional coffee.
Despite what we may think, these teachers have facilitated the inner-workings of this conference from a distance – a prime example of this being Mr. Longbotham, the advisor of Munity-East, who has supported the press team throughout the duration of this year’s THIMUN-Singapore. “[I’ve] mostly been watching a lot of talented people do their thing. This has been such a great year; I’ve been able to step back and watch a lot of people work.”
Teachers from all these schools have also provided us with transportation, enabling us to come to the conference, get home and, of course, shop. Mrs. Kenney from Senzoku Gakuen High School, has a similar mindset as Mr. Longbotham, saying that as “all the work’s done before” the conference, the advisors mostly let their students do the work. She claims that the conference is “very much about the students,” and is an excellent opportunity for students to become more “open and welcoming” to other “interesting perspectives.”
When asked about rule-enforcement, Mrs. Kenney just smiles and says, “Don’t make me bust you, I don’t want to have to bust you.” With this said, she adds that there isn’t really a need for said “busting”, seeing as the delegates are responsible, engaged participants.
Beyond the occasional need for their intervention, delegates should appreciate their supervisors’ presence and tolerance; after all, without them, none of us would be here.
(photography by Cody van Kampen, layout by Wei-Wei Lin)