UN Models

Rhino took a shower this morning

An atypical teen, and a typical teen

Atypical in that he doesn’t generally smell unless he’s really worked up a sweat

Typical in that showers aren’t a priority

So while we’re not quite at ‘you need to shower every day’, we’re definitely in the realm of ‘hygiene matters’.

This morning’s shower was unexpected and telling, though. Prepping his game face, all grown up, easing into a suit and tie as he readied for model United Nations debates.

High school students are visiting from schools around the region, pondering “What can we do to bring balance to the growing asymmetries of power?”

What can we do, indeed?

These are weighty, adult topics.

Questions demanding seriousness, young minds attuned to complex nuances around global power structures.

And yet

I consider how I’m just a kid disguised as a real person.

How we, the people, walking around calling ourselves adults

Have none of these answers.

I want to expose our charade to the youths, shout from the mountaintop


And I reflect on how working with high schoolers is very similar to working with ten-year olds. They fake us out and we put our adult lenses on them.

Think they’re older than they are

And then we see them, during breaks from contemplating growing asymmetries

Dancing on the footie pitch, swinging from the monkey bars, gliding on the swings

and sending us texts from the MUN banquet, letting us know

I won musical chairs

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. As a parent of teens (and a tween) and an 8th grade teacher, I couldn’t agree more! These beings are such a quirky, unique, surprising blend of predictable and unpredictable, more mature than I think is possible one minute and playing musical chairs the next. I love the observations that you gathered in this slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So good! You’ve articulated and illustrated well an idea that many of us have thought but been unable to pin down in words. Bringing global peace and winning at musical chairs, a fine day indeed.


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