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Tufts Seminar Students Attend Virtual Summit and Conclude Memorable Year
Marquis Austin

Earlier this month, the Prep School students in Monica Markovits's Tufts University Seminar on China and the World participated in a challenging and thought-provoking three-day virtual summit hosted by the Institute for Global Leadership. The college-level seminar, which Ms. Markovits has taught since 1994, invites students to study an international relations topic in great depth while honing critical research, communication, leadership and problem-solving skills. During this year's summit, "The Sleeping Giant Has Awoken: China as a Regional and Global Influence," CGPS seniors convened with high school students from across the nation and served as delegates from China, South Korea and Vietnam. Students took part in committees focused on areas such as trade and technology, human rights and climate change. 

Although a few students were nervous going into the conference, they quickly realized they were well-prepared. "I ended up speaking way more than I thought I would. I was confident in what I was saying and the facts I was stating and my opinions," said Alison L. "I learned how to be in the shoes of someone from South Korea. I think overall, for me at least, it was a success because I was so much more confident than I thought." Olivia S. echoed her classmate's sentiment, stating, "I was really nervous, but as it started to go on, I realized that I knew a lot about Vietnam, and it just kind of came naturally." 

One highlight for some of the PS participants was the chance to represent nations with beliefs and priorities contradictory to their own. Kareem D., who enjoyed the "lively discussion" his committee offered, said, "Having to defend an indefensible position is a lot of fun." Tabitha D. described the experience of "having to step so much outside of myself and react to things that people were saying to me in a way that I did not want to react to them" as "hard but really fun."

Others thought their committees were a bit sluggish and made little progress. "Our committee was going very slow, and people were bringing up the same points over and over again," recalled Madeleine K. "I think it showed just how international policy works." Ms. Markovits agreed with Madeleine, explaining that her experience was indicative of the pace at which real-life delegates sometimes operate: "They go out to lunch, and when they come back, they have a different opinion and will no longer agree to what they agreed to before."

Toward the end of Wednesday's class, which was not only the final Tufts University Seminar gathering for the seniors but also Ms. Markovits, the group reflected on the past few months. In addition to learning about history and current events, many appreciated the skills they gained from the class. Olivia S. thanked Ms. Markovits for helping her learn to formulate and articulate her opinions. Ethan K. said the Tufts Seminar is "unequivocally my favorite high school course I have taken at this school." Meanwhile, Alison took to the chat and wrote, "Thank you, Ms. Markovits. It's teachers like you that make CGPS such a great place." Grateful, Ms. Markovits expressed what an honor it has been to have this year's students make up her final Tufts class. "You were really instrumental in making this course a very, very, very successful one," she said. "For my last course, I couldn't have wished for a better group of people."

Congratulations to this year’s Tufts University Seminar participants:
Elissa A.
Cassandra G.
Yufei H.
Darrah P.
Natalie P.
Carson R.
Alex S.
Morgan V.
Kristen W.
Alden W.
Stephanie B.
Kerry C.
Kareem D.
Tabitha D.
Madeleine K.
Ethan K.
Alison L.
Fabiha R.
Charlotte R.
Olivia S.

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