Again we did a conference this time we studies the issue of nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.
Shaw Kassay Humanities 1/24/20 Policy Paper Egypt has a firm belief that eventual nuclear disarmament is the best option for a better world.
At one point in time there were only 70,300 muscular weapons in the whole world (Kristensen and Korda). It only takes about 100 small nuclear warheads to create a nuclear winter halting all life on earth(Loria). The world does not need so many weapons at our disposal. Egypt has not had a very interesting past with nuclear weapons. At on point there was an investigation by the IAEA into possible weapons but that was never proven. Egypt supports full nuclear disarmament but it is hard for them to agree to lots of treaties because of the instability of the middle east. Israel and Iran are very unstable in their nuclear program. This has scared egypt into not wanting to sing many deals without them singing it first. Some might say that the deterrence theory works fine and if we all have weapons then we can have peace. If we fully disarm the world then we will not have any room for errors. There is always the possibility of hackers getting in and launching the nukes. Taking away all of the nukes takes away all of these concerns. It makes things a lot less complicated than it is right now.
I think that the best option to continue with disarmament is to increase IAEA funding and power (Stewart). One way would be to redirect some country’s nuclear funding to the IAEA (Nuclear Weapons Solutions). The IAEA safeguards countries nuclear programs making sure they don't get in the hands of terrorist and making sure they are stable and taken care of. With more funding the IAEA can stay on jobs longer to make sure everything is safe. There is also a major increase in countries using nuclear power. This means that there are many more places that the IAEA will have to travel to to make sure the nuclear power does not turn into nuclear weapons. Right now they do not have the funding to send people to all these places to check up on the countries. If funding was increased we be making sure that all the weapons that are owned are safe. They would also make sure no more are being built. This would help greatly with the eventual goal of full disarmament by making sure they are safe in the meantime.
Works Cited “8.3- Strengthening Non-Proliferation.pdf.” Google Drive, Google, drive.google.com/file/d/1Aa9nd027skxNmOltVTQUgdcXncK6iCw8/view. Fas. “Status of World Nuclear Forces.” Federation Of American Scientists, fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapons/status-world-nuclear-forces/. Loria, Kevin. “Even a 'Limited' Nuclear War Could Trigger Cruel Nuclear Winters and Global Famine.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 10 Aug. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/nuclear-explosions-earth-atmosphere-temperature-2017-8. “Nuclear Weapons Solutions.” Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/solutions. Accessed 20 January 202
I think that right now our system that we have in place for problem-solving in the world is mainly good. I think that there are defined some small things that need to change like budget priorities and some responses. After going through this project I think that the most important steps to solving a problem are organizing and hearing both sides fully. During the conference, I was pretty sure that I was not going to budge on my personal opinion throughout the conference I heard all the argument and realized that there were other plausible options that I had not thought about.
I do not think that I grew as a learning very much. I felt very confident in both conferences. I think that I prepared myself for the first conference in a way that made it go very well for me. There are some small things that I grew on like the flow of the conference and the schedule. I did feel more confident on my speech this was because I took a lot more time to prepare it before the conference. I think that the second conference I understood our issue more so that helped out a lot in arguing my points.
Some skills that I will carry away from this conference is the ability to have a professional argument. I can listen to both sides and compose my words in a way that works best. I also take a lot of knowledge away from both of the conferences. I went home to my parents after both conferences and had great discussions with them about the issues that we studied. I feel that my learning about these issues is very deep. I remember it very well and I can talk to many other people about it.
Right now looking back I don't think that if I had the chance to do this again I would change much. I was very happy with what I said at both of the conferences. I think that all my arguments were factually and well put. One thing I would change would be to put more effort into the resolutions so that maybe mine would get chosen for the docket. Next time I would have chosen a more important country so that I was a little more involved.
Model UN Conference
For this project we did a model UN conference. We studied how the UN works and what they do. We then studied the Venezuelan refuge crisis. Finally we debated over way to solve the crisis.
Shaw Kassay Lori Fisher Humanities 10 13 November 2019 Although Venezuela has an ongoing humanitarian crisis the United States gone to many lengths to help them with no positive response.
At one point in time, Venezuela was considered the richest country in Latin America. In the past years that has changed dramatically. Venezuela has quickly become a country with a large crisis. Upwards of 5000 people are leaving the country every day because of a lack of resources (Reid). The citizens are not supplied with enough supplies to sustain themselves or even a family. 80% of household food are insecure to buy (Van Praag 3). This is a major crisis for the people of Venezuela. If they do not get adequate supplies to support their household then the people are going to continue leaving at alarming rates. Since Egypt does not have an opinion I went with our greatest ally the United States. The US has tried to help multiple times. They have offered aid to help with food shortages. After all of this Venezuela has refused all of the outside help.
After the United States trying to offer help with no response they have now taken to imposing sanctions to try and cut them off from the outside world. What we are trying to do is stop them from getting imports into their country. If they can't import outside food and resources then they hopefully with eventually have to surrender because they can't survive anymore (Taj). “We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution” (Taj). The US is recognizing that the sanctions may not work. Venezuela may find ways to make or import their food and supplies to sustain the government. If this is what happens then the US recognizes that a forceful over through of the government may be the only option. While this is an option it is the last resort. Forcefull intervention in the last 120 years in Latin America has not had positive outcomes (Kinzer).
Highlight: The highlight of the whole project was the final conference. I did not think I was going to enjoy it. I was actually kind of dreading it because of the speech that I did not do over thanksgiving. I enjoyed being able to argue but that was proper and in character. Alos my country seemed to have the same-ish opinion that I would have so it was very easy for me to argue my point with passion. I also enjoyed seeing how they would resolve problems in the actual un. The set up seemed to work very well for concluding peacefully. Growth: The main thing that grew over this project was knowledge. I now know all about how the UN works and what they do to resolve issues. I also know all about the crisis in Venezuela and how it is affecting their people and the countries around them. Another thing that I learned more about writing in general. We had to write lots of paper and reflections throughout the project. I now am able to start easier and get my ideas out onto the paper well and fast. Conference Preparation: I felt very prepared coming into the conference. I had good quality background info on my country that helped me when arguing my point. I also felt that I know exactly what I needed to know about the crisis and what was happening and why. The country research helped me with this project. The one thing that I felt underprepared was the rules of the conference. I did not know how to start talking by saying the right thing. I didn't know how the general flow of the conference would go. Refinement: I don't feel like I want to change much going into the second conference. I think that I could do just a bit more research on my country and some more of their allies and their opinions. I was only going off of the opinion of the united states. The one thing that I do want to research is the sanctions that the United States has on different countries. This came up a lot of times at the first conference so I thought it may be good to know for the second conference.
The Work of Adolescence
During this project we studied the differnt theiror on addolecents developments. Each student was tasked with interviewing a infulental person in their life about their adolecence.
Interview Write Up
Shaw Kassay Rob Nichols During adolescence, teens are likely to take more risks. I interviewed my bike coach Rob because I think he has a lot of interesting stories to tell about his younger years. He wears daisy dukes on the daily, even when its cold out. He's a long skinny Italian guy. He lives with way too many people so he can pay for his bikes and rent. Just like me his life revolves around bikes. He grew up in New York, rode motorcycles and fixed lots of cars. Ever since my first practice with him I have always looked up to him, he puts a lot of work in to fund his passion. He lives the way I imagine myself living when I am grown up, just working as much as possible to fund what I enjoy doing in my free time. I chose to interview him because I wanted to see how he achieved this lifestyle. During the interview, he talked a lot about how he would get together with his friends and work on car make them more efficient. This lead to one thing, driving his car really fast, as fast as possible. At the time he did not see any problems with this, he just drove his car fast and he enjoyed that. He did not realize the fact that he was putting himself and others in extreme risk of death or injury. “I don’t know if I felt like it was risky because all I wanted to do was ride my motorcycle fast and jump things”.(Rob) As you can see from this he did not understand the risks that he was taking. He just wanted to get the sensation from driving and taking risks.
I saw that this interview connected a lot to what we were studying in class. There is a point where risky behavior is a necessary evil. When adolescents take these risks, they can look back and understand that it was a mistake and not do it again. If they don't make these mistakes they can make them later in life where they may have worse consequences to themselves and others. I feel this need to separate from my parents in my life right now. I am about to get my license and this is going to distance me even more. I think this is a good thing. My parents, not so much. His relationship with his dad was what really made him think about how these actions could affect other people other than himself. He said that it was hard for him to understand that if he messed up, he would be messing up other people than just himself. A quote from the book Brainstorm says this very well. “When an adolescent gazelle runs up close to a cheetah to inspect its potential predator is risking its own life, not the life of its fellow gazelles, adolescents or adults.” This is what Rob thought he was doing but in reality he was also pulling the rest of his fellow gazels with him. Therefore also putting them in danger. His dad helped him to understand the benefits and consequences of what he was doing. He started to realize that maybe it wasn't worth it. The excitement of driving fast may not overcome the consequences of maybe crashing and maybe really messing yourself and others up. At this point he talked about distancing his life from his parents. As an adolescent, this is a natural thing for the majority of teens. They need to slowly distance himself so that when they do have to support themselves they can actually handle themselves without their parents by their side every step of the day.
After this interview, I understood that he now has a much better grasp on the pros and cons of situations. He is able to go into a situation and analyze them and see whether the risk is worth the reward. Some lessons that I took from this interview was really thing about the risk vs reward. If you can critically think about this then you will be able to keep yourself out of situations that you really don't want to be in. Risk taking is a very necessary evil, even if you need to take these risks there is a responsible way to do it.
When I first wrote my interview right up I was not proud of it at all. Then about halfway through the exhibition my mom came up to me and said that that was some of the best writing she had seen from me. My first reaction was no that can't be possible then I realized how much effort I had put into the writing. I had rewritten many parts of this essay. The grammar and flow of it I had put lots of effort into getting the best I could. Once I realized that I was proud of this it was a nice surprise because all the effort that I put into paid off.
The most difficult thing on this project was getting enough information out of an interview that I thought did not go very well. When I first finished the interview I thought that I had lots of good information I could use. When we started to write out write up I realize that the interview was very surface level. To deal with this I inferred a lot of the information based on what I had already known about rob. Next time it would have been beneficial for me to redo my interview when I had the time.
The most important thing I learned over this project was the ability to evaluate risk vs reward. I also learned the importance of risk-taking at this stage in life. It is important to take risks and learn from them to help you understand your future and what to do in life and what not to do. This connected to my final project because it was the main theme I found in the interview. For the start of the semester, I feel like I deserve a nine. I feel that I am always on time for class. When I enter I listen to Lori or look at the board to see if we have a starter or not. I think that I am very good at using my class time wisely. For example, I was very surprised at how far ahead I was on my project. This was because I have had trouble using my class time wisely in the past and have gotten much better. Usually, I am not engaged in humanities but this year I feel that I am most interested in this class. I feel that I participate in class because I am interested. I think that most of the time I listen to the teacher and my peers. At the beginning of the year, this was harder for me. Now I think I am doing better at it. I still think I can improve on this by trying to stop talking to my friends when the teacher is talking.