International Relations

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International Relations
Offered 1999 through 2017
Campus(es) Davidson, University of Kansas, Duke East
Instructor(s) Mark Harvey, Geoff Peterson, Mark Duckenfield, Jorge Vela, Eric Oakley, Josh Miller
TA(s) Mark Marvelli, Jordan Seidl , Jennifer Ethridge, Jackson 'Lord Farquaad' Feezell

Course Description

Why do people go to war? Negotiate peace? Engage in trade? Defend human rights? How do these issues affect you and what difference can you make in this world? This TIP course allows students to explore and debate these theoretical and ethical questions as they relate to terrorism, the media, Marxism, globalization, weapons of mass destruction, ethnic conflict, nationalism, global problems, and international law. Activities include team building and leadership development exercises; playing games of power politics, conquest, and supremacy; participating in a model UN; and advising the president of a fictional developing country in a computer simulation. By studying competing theories of international politics, this class challenges students’ worldviews and encourages them to construct their own theories about how the world works.

Since 1999, this course has been taught by Mark Harvey at the University of Kansas campus. Geoff Peterson taught it at Kansas in 2001 while Mark took the course to Marymount International School that year (see World Politics: a Diplomat's Perspective).

In 2004 when the class at Duke East was taught by Mark Duckenfield and TAed by Mark Marvelli, the class wrote letters to the New York Times. It was said that letters to the editor of the New York Times had a 2% chance of making it into the paper, but Mark's class had a success rate of about 20%. This brewed a great controversy, due to the fact that many of the students created false personaes in order to send their letters, that was covered by such prominent entities as CNN, The New Yorker, Newsday, etc. The NY Times official that commented on the situation called it a "useless pedagogical stunt."


Term I

This International Relations group was Mark Harvey's legendary first class at TIP, taught at the University of Kansas in 1999. Since it was Mark's first TIP class, it was the first time that certain activities, practices, events and discussions emerged that would eventually become a regular part of his courses. Such firsts included:

  • Mark and Geoff disco danced into the opening assembly to "Stayin' Alive" in order to introduce the class content to the entire TIP camp.
  • The first class mascot emerged, a Dolphin-shaped water gun named Frenchy. The idea was invented by Geoff Peterson. Frenchy could only utter two phrases: "Vive la France!" or "Vive la NATO!"
  • Mark used political music for teaching and connecting with students.
  • Mark’s “History of the World Part I” debuted; Gorbachev, Darth Brezhnev, and Missile Command stories were spontaneously invented on the first day and scripted in the following years.
  • Yoda impressions became standard in some lectures.
  • Debut of the “be cool to each other” rule.
  • Mark started using Risk, Red Empire, Supremacy, and Hidden Agenda as teaching tools.
  • His teaching was called "schizophrenic" because he would advocate a different theoretical or political position every day.
  • He put students in charge of running class wide activities.
  • He started tracking the political preferences of the students and putting them in awkward positions where they had to advocate things they weren’t comfortable with.
  • He began teasing the OSC by sending the students to ask him silly questions.
  • He showed “Dr. Strangelove”.
  • Debates were first called “death matches” and walks were first called “death marches”
  • Ghost stories invented by Mark and Geoff were first told to frighten students in the Watson Library stacks.
  • He started talking about gaining "cool points" with the students.
  • He told students “I love you” and “that’s why we love _________” (insert student name).
  • Geoff Peterson and Mark coaxed students into dancing with each other at the final dance.

The students

  • -"Now if we colonize Mars..." Derek was known as the guy who would come up with crazy polemic arguments. The entire class would descend upon him and attempt to tear him apart, though no conclusion was ever agreed upon because neither side ever believed it lost. In fairness, however, during the class' mock-Security Council, Derek was able to convince the entire Council to not only recognize the Palestinian Authority (himself- through a motion co-sponsored by the Israeli delegate) as a sovereign nation, but give him a seat on the Council.
  • Courtney Kasun-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. She later become a TA for Mark's classes in 2003-2004. Even before she became a TA, her watch became the official "late" time and she was the official time keeper of the class. It was a concept we titled "Central Courtney Time". "That's just a BAD idea!" She also presided over the Model UN at one point. "You are OUT OF ORDER!" She had the ability to “tell off” her classmates if they were doing stuff that they shouldn’t be doing. She was a natural leader.
  • Chris Runyon-He was soooo cute.
  • Kelly Oziemblo-She mysteriously disappeared before the last day.
  • Brandon Walker-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. He was a powerful debater.
  • -would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. She later become a TA for Mark's Politics in Practice class in 2004. "I have intimate relations with the CIA!" She was the intellectual, Renaissance woman. What couldn’t Catharine do? She speaks multiple languages, dances multiple dance styles, raises and trains horses, and was better read in political philosophy than most undergraduates.
  • Raymond Myers-"We will bury you!" Raymond was quite a dancer. "Nuke the whales."
  • elanie Switlik-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. Quiet, funny, sarcastic and intelligent. She was the power behind many of the vocal advocates in the class.
  • Jason Smyth-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. He advocated the deployment of "little nukes" or "mini nukes" on the battlefield.
  • Kitty Richards-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. She became known as a "Nike wearing Sally Struthers" because of her argument opposing sweat shops on the day she wore Nike shoes. She was the bleeding heart who was assigned to play Yugoslavia during the Model UN and was stripped of voting rights. She supported Milosevic's policies, however, deflecting criticism by downplaying this "so-called ethnic cleansing." She also insisted on her own "responsibility" in all moral affairs, inspiring Mark's ethics unit in the subsequent Politics in Practice course. She also presided over a portion of the Model UN. Kitty should be the real president of the United States.
  • Emily Moellers-"Ooooh...golfers!"
  • Megan Morgan-would return in 2000 to join the KGBm in Mark's Science and Art of Politics class. A political genius. She could ruthlessly crush anybody at RISK.
  • Dan Hale-"Wake me up when it's time to leave..."


TOP REASONS TO BE IN IR (as cited in the 1999 Term I Termbook)

  • You could kill someone in Watson stacks and no one would ever know...
  • comparing the world to Star Wars
  • Mark's schizophrenia!
  • FemiNazi literature, geography tests, and cross country walking
  • Being on a first name basis with crazy world leaders
  • Conquering the world
  • Purity of essence! (Beware of flouridation)
  • Slim Pickens-'nuff said.
  • Dissin' Bill Gates
  • Markism...don't ask.
  • Mutually assured destruction.
  • IR death match (Kitty vs. Derek-ROUND ONE-DING!)
  • Realism-it's all about "Stayin' Alive".
  • Saving the world
  • Nukes, nukes, and more nukes!
  • It's the end of the world as we know it and we feel fine.

Frequently sung songs

  • I Will Survive-Gloria Gaynor
  • Stayin’ Alive-Bee Gees* Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da-The Beatles
  • Every Morning-Sugar Ray
  • Inside Out-Eve 6
  • It’s The End of the World As We Know It-REM
  • Blister in the Sun-Violent Femmes


Term I

Duke East


make it rain(with nukes) by George, Hip Hip Jorge!, Jordan......, stop touching me, apple juice, OECD (organization for compulsive disorders), IS IT BOTHERING YOU YET?

Banglahore Related

I see what you did there, fish that cook themselves


X-men 1 and 2, 13 Days, Invictus,


Adia, Andrew, Chris, George, Sean, Virginia, Alex, Annie, Daniel, Aedan, Noah, Thomas, Alison, Cat, Foster, Nolsen, Victoria


Instructor: Chris Kroh TA: Jordan Seidl Students: Clare, Megan, Kristina, Bridget, Tess, Maria, Nataytay (Nathaniel), Sanjay, Hunter, Grant, Anne, Rachel, Hannah H., Cindy, Sophia, Odemi, Hannah M., Sarah

Sharing is caring...but it is also communism! Nuke's the only way! (On WASW) "It has come to the attention of the Secretary General that certain delegates have begun touching themselves inappropriately...please halt this action."

Instead of joining Macro and AFunc's frisbee games during breaks, the remarkably un-athletic IR class instead chose to engage in a long series of chicken fights. TA Jordan Seidl refereed and often participated.

The best class on campus. We really just can't dance.

Notable events/controversies 1. Wear a Skirt Wednesday all but one boy (girl??) participated 2. UN Security Council 3. Sanjay's appendages...he really enjoyed them.... 4. hunter=hot female 5. nataytay and grant knowing everything. always. 6. brusters for current events 7. chicken fights 8. teach me how to dougie (PLEASE SANJAY AND ODEMI!) 9. palestine/israel conflict (one cookie for every angry palestinian...) 10. bathroom usage during UN 11. getting rejected for nukes on the T-shirt 12. drawing/writing game (liberalism, realism, etc...and then unipolar energy plant) 13. ninja 14. hunter carries a soccer ball EVERYWHERE 15. maria vs. hunter fatness contest 16. Blue ball theory... 17. mispronunciation of deutsche welle 18. seat changing towards the second half 19. vending machine expeditions 20. extreme focus in the computer lab. sorta...(, anyone?) 21. communism. enough said. 22. endless presentations 23. kim jong il's death crisis 24: Hunter bringing a muffin, bowl of fruit, two drinks and an omlette to class.


Ann Scheliga: go to the bathroom during a nuclear crisis Maria LaBella: develop a ridiculous political theory Grant Haskins: use the Q-bomb. and know what the Q-bomb is. Nataytay: rule the world without destroying it first Hunter Quintal: play soccer through a G20 meeting Kristina Powell: move to russia Odemi Pessu: work for deutsche welle Hannah Holtzman: sag in the face of danger Sanjay Banda: be entertained by his new appendages Claire Glass: wear radish earrings Sophia Kiang: work for MTV Greece Hannah Moran: make Putin cry Megan Daknis: be a terrible French president Bridget Collition: invade Bosnia Cindy Turner: make Jamaica the next world power Sarah Ahmad: mispronounce democratization Tess Hoffman: be the first ginger secretary of the UN Rachel P: overthrow the govt. of N. Korea for human rights violations Jordan TA: accurately portray Sanjay (nibbling placard and all) Chris Kroh Instructor: yell ORDER in a British accent


Instructor: Eric Oakley TA: Katie

Term II

Inside Jokes

  • The narwhals will ________
  • Ted sorenson-Attorney General
  • Ted Sorenson-President
  • Ted Sorenson- Secretary of State
  • Ted Sorenson- Ambassador to the USSR
  • Ted Sorenson- Representative to the UN
  • The Ted Sorenson Tribune
  • The Ted Sorenson Globe
  • The Ted Sorenson Tribune
  • Sorensonland- The country formally known as greenland.
  • Shut up god.
  • The crimson commander
  • Don't steal the fatmans pie.
  • Fortune is a woman, so beat her.
  • Africa, as sponsored by Taco Bell.
  • Cabir, aka sticky fingers.
  • Aidan and Ronak, bromance.
  • Long live the Global Republic.
  • "I have launched ten nuclear ballistic missiles at the ten largest cities of every one of your countries"- Russia


Term II

Instructor: Eric Oakley TA: Jennifer Ethridge

Students: Mia Weathers-Fowler, Sebastian Babis, Preston Taylor, Margaret Overton, Colin Bronack, Carter Forinash, Javier Mirabel, Mitchell Bullington, Greg Svirnovskiy, Sarah Baugh, Rhian Alley, Joe Neely, Patricia Liu, Spencer Buckner, Will Blackwell, David Ingles-Thompson, Addison Wenzel, Wawa

In addition to being undoubtedly the class with the most TIP spirit (starting term with two traditions in class and finishing term with five), Term II 2014 was also the source of a great many inside jokes, and catchphrases, from "One Man, Two Crowns" to "Meow Meow Meow Meow". Although they didn't even finish the course material due to a tendency to overdo everything, the class was a huge success, and Eric's favorite, according to him. The simulations only sometimes followed history, and several were so successful that Spencer was invited back as a TA when he reached a suitable age. There's too much to even begin to sum up here, but the combination of the great teaching pair and the best people anyone could ask to be in a class with contributed to an unforgettable course.

Important Events:

  • Chinese Communist revolution 40 years early
  • Unreasonably successful Serbian terrorists
  • Rise of the new Clockwork God (Spencer)
  • The invasion of Germany and kidnapping of Hitler by Poland in World War 2
  • Bombing of Parliament
  • Communist India
  • Funding of US civil-rights groups by USSR
  • Separation of two couples for excessive PDA
  • "Should we form the European Union?" "Nah"
  • Overenthusiastic Chinese warlords
  • He was the hot potato of Europe
  • Eric getting chased by Neo-Nazis across the roofs of France
  • Lots and lots of spying
  • The America sunglasses
  • The unintentional French invasion of Belgium (Joe)
  • The Ever Victorious Army
  • Parrots riding bears
  • The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists


Term II

  • Instructor: Joshua Preston Miller
  • TA: Jackson 'Farquaad' Feezell

Not to be biased in any way, but this class was potentially the single best/funniest at Duke East Campus, Term II 2017. From the exquisite TA. Lord Daddy Professor Farquaad, to the glorious rants of the great Josh, International Relations was probably the class with the most jokes and just plain weird occurrances. There were many flat out strange, and entertaining, things that were said over the course of the three weeks.


  • 2nd Years- Walker Grim, David Attar, Paschal Wilson
  • 3rd Years- Walker Combs, Colin 'Jesus' Hinze, Audrey Ledford, Calvin Blessing, Christina Sigler, Dalton Gregory, Mina Mashhoon, Ava Booker, Emily Popielec
  • 4th Years- Evy Stumpff, Tyler Donovan, Nick Woodman, Brecken Yeo, Flannery Plum, Lauren Maunder, Sadie Jane Allen, Sydney Williams

Notable Quotes

  • "Osama Bin Laden said that." -Colin Hinze

(Response)- "Well he doesn't any more does he?" -Instructor Josh Miller

  • "Murder is wrong, but killing...maybe not." -Josh
  • "It's not solid red or solid blue, it's just solid idiot." -Paschal
  • "We're all going to die at some point. You either kill yourself or get killed." -Christina
  • "We just want to apologize if you thought our treaty meant anything." -Lauren, on behalf of Russia
  • "Get a new wife every time you have a new class to teach." -David
  • "This chunk of yellow metal has the same value to me as my daughter does." -Colin
  • "My feet pictures are going to be on PornHub." -Sadie Jane
  • "WAR = CARING." -Josh
  • "I say nuke 'em." -Colin "That's literally so extra." -Emily
  • "First of all, those are NOT booty shorts." -Daddy Farquaad
  • "The eye is a bit, allergies." -Walker C (TURNS OUT TO BE PINK EYE)
  • "I want to be LIED to by my politicians AT ALL TIMES." -Josh
  • "Even terrorists love dank memes." -Walker C
  • "If you're wearing socks it's not gay." -Nick Bonerstick
  • "Colin can you suck my dick in Latin?" -Nick

(Response) "I certainly can." -Colin, without looking up from reading his Bible

  • "Evy can you talk in a way that's NOT disgusting?" -Daddy Farquaad
  • "Should I tattoo a dick onto my dick?" -Paschal
  • "I hate you all equally." -Daddy Farquaad
  • "I'm a rich white kid from Texas. I get PTSD from dodgeball." -Tyler
  • "I can normally decipher but I don't have a Rosetta Stone on me." -Evy about Josh's handwriting
  • "This mint's doing things to me." - Nick Bonerstick
  • "Do you think that all -Stans should unite to become StanStan?" -Paschal
  • "What does England look like?" -Josh

(Response)"Taxation!" -David

  • "If you want to go from poor to middle class, don't have sex before marriage." -David
  • "Really close friend more like ANAL SEX FRIEND." -David
  • "Aren't we SUPPOSED to be smart???" -Mina
  • "Can I get uhhhhhhh BONESLESS ISRAEL???" -Paschal
  • "Middle of December? Banana. Middle of June? Banana. Middle of October? Banana. Banana banana banana BANANA." -Josh
  • "Oranges and pornography are freedom, and freedom is a human right." -Josh
  • "I think the principle thing that this group has in common is that we're all attracted to women." -Walker C
  • "Give it to me Daddy Farquaad." -Nick Bonerstick
  • "Recreational nukes." -Calvin
  • "Josh is an A1 teacher, Nacona is an L-17 weenie." -Nick Bonerstick
  • Fav class ship? "Nick and his ego." -Daddy Farquaad
  • "Would you rather be gay or dead?" -Paschal
  • "I would rather die than not be gay." -Evy
  • "It's not an orgy until I'm there!" -Emily
  • "If I can't go out the window it's basically slavery." -Paschal
  • "A single mom is sellable." -Sydney


Term II

  • Instructor: Matt
  • TA: Max

This class was no doubt the most fun. For the talent show, they preformed the Chinese propaganda song, "The Belt and Road is How" for the talent show. They also were the class that was permitted to walk everyday during break to the Georgia Tech Student Center which has a Chick-Fil-A, Auntie Ann's, P.F. Chang's, and many more wonderful shops. Other classes got jealous part way through week 2, and brought it to administration. The class was no longer able to go until the last two days of class after the administration could no longer enforce any rules.

Inside Jokes

  • Diet Italy
  • Milly Rocking
  • Administration
  • The Belt and Road is How