Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crisis Simulation

It is that time again for me to commit myself to a boring entry :)

Last week, for our World Politics class, we had an in-class crisis simulation. It was simple; all of us had to sign on for a country and a working group. Our simulation? The six-party talks concerning North Korean nuclear program. I remember the first class of World Politics when our TA went through the syllabus and pointed out the simulation. I groaned silently. I was about to celebrate a presentation-free semester. But I surprised myself to find out that the simulation was really interesting!

Rassyid and I signed on as Russians. We figured it should not be difficult as we are quite comfortable with the knowledge we had from a Russian mini-research we did for last year’s Comparative Politics. I took on the role of aid as I thought Russia’s stand would be that of disagreeing with everything that the United States group would offer. I was wrong.

At first I was not looking forward to the simulation and I put off the research till the weekend before it. Our group had a meeting and I was shocked to find out that only three of us had really done a complete research on Russia’s position during past talks. In the end all of them agreed to use the material I found as it was the most comprehensive.

Then came the day itself. Somehow I was not nervous. I know it was a college-level simulation of a real-world problem, so I should not worry myself so much. But at the same time I was honestly excited! I wanted to put my research to good use for my country group. The first day of the simulation was difficult. Difficult in the sense that none of the country was willing to negotiate to a middle agreement. Frustrating, to say the least. The second day of the simulation went better. Everyone was willing to offer more on the table as long as we could find a solution to the North Korean crisis. And amazingly, our country, Russia, stood out. Some of us really went all out and brought a Russian flag – that was only the start of it. By the end, we were the ‘heroes’ as our head negotiator was the one who came up with most of the solutions. To me it was ironic as the same head negotiator was also the one who said, “We Russians really do nothing during these talks and just agree with whatever China offers.”

At the end of the day, I was happy with how everything went. Everything goes smoothly, and I hope my professor will realize that my name is under the Russian group ;)


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