Karin was home sick with a sore throat (again!) for 2 days, but she went to school today. However, she's been complaining that her throat is even worse now...nothing seems to help.
Martin came up on the bus to my office after school to ride home with me. He didn't actually have school. He was a mentor for the annual historical model United Nations that the IB students participate in every year. It's the sophomore IB students who participate, and the juniors who can sign up to help them out. Martin was Poland last year, and the setting for the mock UN was the Paris Peace Conferences of 1918 (that led to the Versailles Treaty, among others). His class did so well that the teachers told them they had won, something no class had done before and that their solution might even have prevented WWII if it had actually worked out the way they negotiated things.
He had so much fun that he signed up to be a mentor this year for the sophomores. The mentors get to help keep things on track, and have more info that they can use to try to get the best outcome for the country they represent. They get credit for their school activity/service requirements as well. They also play the parts of the Jewish and Arab delegations to the League of Nations as well as the Secretary General. They don't get to choose which country they represent...the teachers do that, and they make sure that no student is put into a country that they have actual affiliations with. So, if you're half-American, for example, like Martin is, you don't get to be in the US delegation. Martin says he was told that the teachers pick the best, most motivated students for the "hard" countries, so he was both happy about that and not so happy, as it turned out, when he found out where he'd been slotted.
This year, the setting was after the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. But Martin wasn't Poland this year. He was the leader for...Germany.
"You're HITLER?!" we said, when he told us this several weeks ago. "NO. I am NOT HITLER. If I am anyone, I am Ribbentrop. The Foreign Minister...he was an advisor and the top PR guy for the government, basically," he stated. Ribbentrop had the dubious honor of being the first Nazi executed after sentencing at the Nuremberg Trials. "We're so screwed," he said dejectedly.
But he rallied his sophomores, the ones who were also in the German group, and they actually managed to get some concessions and the teacher told him she was amazed they did so well, considering. He told me that it was really stressful, because they spent the whole day running around, working on their alliances and negotiating and writing up their resolutions and he actually caught himself wondering what they were going to do when it was over and the votes were in and had to remind himself that THIS ISN'T REAL.
Karin had an open house tonight at Kathedralskolan, where Martin is a student. She's in the midst of the whole gymnasium planning/choosing pre-studies. She spent all last week visiting schools, having workshops, learning about the different program choices and going to a "tradeshow" of all the different schools in Skåne. She's picked 4 that she is interested in, which includes the one she spent one day at last week "shadowing" a student so she could see what it was like to go to school there. We missed one open house yesterday evening because of her being sick, but they have another couple of dates in December and January, and she's going to the 4th school open house on Friday with her boyfriend, who is in the same grade as her.
The biggest problem is that she has no idea what she wants to be, or what program she wants to take. She's interested in pretty much everything and has mentioned everything from interior design to architecture to soccer coaching to business management. She likes the science subjects AND the social sciences. She's not thrilled about math but she's good at it. Martin has managed to get her interested in IB, though I'm not 100% sure that would be the right program for her, but if she wants to try it, that's great. And she would have a year to try it out, and not lose anything if she decides to switch afterward. It's a lot to think about!
After we got home, the three of us sat down and watched The Hunger Games before bedtime, because we're all going to see Mockingjay on Friday. We'll watch Catching Fire tomorrow hopefully and will then be properly caught up and charged for the final installment of the trilogy. It's probably stupid that I'm spending the evening with my kids at the movies the evening before a major dinner party, but hey! The turkeys are thawing, the house is clean and just needs a quick run-through, the tables & chairs are ordered, my husband is coming home tomorrow and I have a substitute lined up to take care of the menu items if the one family can't make it, which is still up in the air.