Some things that work (Part 2)

This is related to my last post on Linda Hereshoff’s Special Education program at Jordan Middle School.

The next program that I would like to bring up is NYLC (or, the National Young Leaders Conference). This was lot of fun but more importantly, it was illuminating and well conceived. I had the chance to play a Representative, a Supreme Court Justice and a policy analyst–in the process discovering I love legal research.

Through the same program I will be attending the Presidential Inauguration in January.

The program is run like a sped-up session of Congress. The entire Conference was structured around a piece of legislation, bit of which were Amended and presented by student teams. Our legislation covered “safety”; ie, everything from terrorism to gun control.

Presenting policy was a blast. Me and another student were in charge of presenting modifications to federal weapon’s laws. He and I got the job because we were the only people in our group of 20 who had ever fired a gun. He was from rural Alabama so once I convinced him the restrictions were necessary, we had honed our arguments for the general caucus’s Amendment approval process.

I particularly remember presenting our Amendment in front of the committee–made up of other students–and caucus without my notes because I had had to give them to the committee unexpectedly. I had had to hand-write out 3 copies 10 minutes before my presentation so I basically had them memorized. Therefore, when a committee member asked for some piece of minutiae evidence I gave him chapter and verse of it from my notes.

The whole caucus went “oh!”.

The Amendment was accepted 40 to 2 in favor in my caucus.

My boyfriend, Matthew, attended another session of NYLC as well as the follow up Law Forum:

NYLC (especially the law forum) was an excellent educational experience for me. It gave a more in depth look at our government and legal system, not just by telling us how it functioned, but by inviting prestigious speakers and letting us enact demonstrations of our own, and thus showing us.

These programs require teacher or student referrals and cost a lot of money, but they are impressively run and a great deal of fun.

Inspiration Quote:

It would not be possible for Noah to do in our day what he was permitted to do in his own…The inspector would come and examine the Ark, and make all sorts of objections.
-Mark Twain “About All Kinds of Ships,” 1892

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