Flame-Breathing Sparkle Dragons


Question: what do bow ties, nuclear arms, and middle school students have in common?

Answer: all were present (some figuratively) at our first-ever middle school Model UN conference, run by BUA’s own Model UN delegation.

Bright and early on the morning of February 2nd, 150 eager 6th-through-8th graders converged upon the halls and classrooms of the Academy to tackle serious issues like nuclear proliferation in the Korean peninsula, unrest in the Kashmir region, and the ongoing slaughter in the Syrian Arab Republic. Much to our (rather pleasant) surprise, these students had done extensive research and had given some serious thought to the topics they were to debate. The energy throughout our building was absolutely incredible, and the professionalism and cheer of the Academy students running the event rivaled that of college-level conferences such as BosMUN and BUSUN, hosted by BU and Brown, respectively.

Some of the finer moments from the weekend:

  • Rachel Demma encouraged her delegates to write the remainder of her thesis (Rachel’s committee was a reinterpretation of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, something that is a major part of her Senior Thesis).
  • Phill Giliver was voted “least favorite staff member” in at least 3 separate committees, an honor Phill has never yet received. Phill was also given the moniker “Phill the Exterminator” from a particularly loving delegate.
  • Embarrassed at not being in vogue with conference attire, Dr. Horn (our keynote speaker) was forced to don a bow tie before getting up on stage to speak.
  • Joe “Crazy Joe” Walsh was voted best vice-chair for a committee which he did not vice-chair.
  • Sophia Ling, Sarah Hough, Ella Hathaway, and Katy Brown took turns dressing up as disgruntled hippies and delivering news to the delegates of the DNC.
  • 26 various coffee orders were fulfilled by Saloni Jain and Matt Demma on Sunday morning. It goes without saying that the staff of the Warren Towers Starbucks were less than pleased.

You might now be wondering as to the meaning of the strange title I’ve given this article. Quite frankly, I’m still not quite sure of what this bizarre creation is … while performing my rounds on Saturday, a middle schooler from Brown Middle School (Newton, MA) handed me a note and said, “the best part of my UN resolution is the flame-breathing sparkle dragon that I included.” Indeed, the scrunched-up piece of paper I now possessed, had a depiction of an otherworldly creature, covered in specked marks. I presume that he hoped for the dragon’s assistance in fighting illegal terrorist cells throughout the world.

And so, the weekend was a raging success, with students traveling from as far away as Stafford, VA (a 9-hour bus ride) to attend! I’ll take this as a final opportunity to thank all of the Academy faculty and staff for their help with planning and running this event and for letting us use their classrooms! Thank you especially to Mr. Reed, Dr. Dawson, and the Admissions office for chaperoning. Thank you to Dr. Horn for speaking. Thank you to Ms. Freda & Ms. Reisman for helping us order everything we needed in preparation. Thank you to Mr. Berkman and Mrs. Cannon for your support from the very get go!

On a final note, if the madness described above sounds like your cup of tea, or if you just have a knack for international affairs, consider joining Model UN! We meet in Mr. Reed’s room on Thursdays at 3pm, and we don’t bite.