I am 17 years old and in my Junior year at Catoctin High School. I have lived near Thurmont for about 15 years.
Last fall, I was the Editor in-chief of Cougar Prints, the student newspaper for Catoctin High School. Last year I was the Online Editor, and won four awards from the Frederick News-Post 2002-2003 Editorial High School Awards, including first place for the 'reviews' category.
I have been designing and maintaining personal websites for about eight years. Last year I became Cisco certified by passing the Fundamentals of Web Design course offered at the Career and Technology Center.
After the Frederick County Board of Education voted to reinstate the 'D' as a passing grade in county schools, I became more involved with the school system. This also led me into following current events at the state, national and
international levels. After becoming more and more interested in politics, I proposed and established the Students for Involvement in American Politics club at Catoctin High School.
My hobbies include hiking, biking, philosophy, reading, web design, writing and taking an active role in democracy. My favorite movie is The Matrix; My favorite books are Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, The Iliad, by Homer, 1984, by George Orwell and Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury; and my favorite bands are Goldfinger and System of a Down.
About My Goals and Beliefs
The primary goal of my articles and websites is to get people involved in politics. I think it is important for people to stay informed and know how to have their voices heard. After all, democracy only works if people are still
exercising the power it gives them. One of my guiding beliefs is also one of my favorite quotes: "Democracy is not a spectator sport."
I believe that all opinions are valid as long as they are supported. In the articles I write, I try to present both sides of an argument. I don't hold back from expressing my own opinions. I do, however, encourage people to go out and research the topics themselves before finalizing their own opinion.
As I stated above, I love philosophy. It teaches rational thinking, reasonable skepticism, and open-mindedness. It's better to have a questioning approach than to be a bomb-thrower when it comes to debates and discussions. Socrates realized that this questioning nature can accomplish, or
unaccomplished, a lot.
As far as political beliefs, I find that I tend to be progressive (the older term for what we now call liberalism). I like the word 'progressive' more than 'liberal' because it better describes my feeling towards most political debates. Where conservatives tend to follow the old saying, "If it's not broken, don't fix it," I believe that there is always room for improvement. Since it's hard to know what needs to be done to 'progress' the nation socially, I support new ideas and change. My phrase would be, "If it's not broken, we should
experiment with it and figure out how to make it better."