Nazi Mind Final Recap

Cameron Cozzi and Summer Crown   3 months, 56 class-periods, and countless hours of work during free periods and at home, all leading up to one day: December 4, 2016, the day of the Nazi Mind Trial. Going into to the iconic, unique class at the beginning of the year, most of us did not know what to expect. But it was clear that we all knew one thing about the course: it would take a lot of hard work. At the beginning of the second quarter, we began the preparations for the simulation. We were assigned to specific roles and trials, and from that point on, the name of the game was making sure that we were staying on-schedule with our various assignments so we were prepared when trial day came. Even when the trial was still weeks away, every student taking the class could feel the weight of the impending day on their shoulders. I mean, how could you not feel the pressure? This trial is the summation of all of your hard work throughout the semester, so clearly everybody wants it to go well. And, as December 4th approached, the stress that many students felt only became more intense. For sophomore Jonah Schenk, the month of November was more work than he had anticipated, “the last 3 weeks definitely exceeded [my] expectations.” For most participants in the class, the day before the trial was spent one of two ways: either stressing out while doing last-minute touch-ups of your arguments or stressing out despite the fact that you knew there was no more work that could be done. Either way, December 3rd was less than pleasant for most of us. Walking into the Daley Center at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, there was an unusual sense of calm amongst the students. It was clear that everyone was anxious about their trial, but not in the same freaking-out sort of way that had been experienced in the weeks before. This sense of calm, I believe, is due to the fact that the participants had come to realize that they had done everything possible to prepare for their role. After hearing the judges’ opening speeches in the intimidatingly large court room, the first trial began. It is required that each student taking the class watch at least four trials throughout the day, so unsurprisingly almost every student attended the first trial hoping to get an idea of what would go down when it was their turn to argue their case in front of the judges. After the Rosenberg trial was over, the other trials followed suit, with each business-attire-clad participant showing the vast pool of knowledge that they had acquired throughout the semester. However, as the day went on, it was clear that we were falling behind the rough schedule that had been provided to us. For prosecutors, defendants, defense attorneys, and justices alike, this was not a good sign. We already knew that we were in for a long day, so the idea of possibly having to bear the heat and bizarre yellow light of the courtroom for even longer was an unpleasant one. Despite the delay, however, the trials continued and the verdict of each trial was announced by the judges to an excited audience around 8:30pm — just 12 ½ hours after we had first entered the building. After the verdicts were announced, it was clear that each student had been hit by a wave of relief. For many, the end of the trial was bitter-sweet. On one hand, the end of the trial signified the summation of all of our hard work, but on the other, it meant the end of our time in one of the most epic courses offered at Latin. For sophomore Jack Stender, the trial was a “fantastic payoff” after having worked so hard in preparation for it. Sophomore Jessie Sulger agreed with Stender, saying that “Nazi Mind was an amazing experience and all of the work we put into it really showed in the end.” So, despite the many stressful moments that went hand-in-hand with the preparation for this trial, I think that all of us unanimously agree that the work is well worth it in the end when you are able to bring your knowledge to the table in front of your peers, teachers, and many supportive parents. And, as sophomore Mary Ellen Mack describes, “the things we learned in this class have the power to affect our perspective on the present day.” So, although our time in Nazi Mind may be over, we now leave equipped with relevant knowledge that can help us fight crises long after the trial concludes. ]]>