17 December 2008
2008. What an interesting year. Now that it's just a mere 14 days from being over, I thought this would be the perfect instance to focus on what made the past 351 days interesting, awesome, crappy, happy, funny, sad, and monotonous, and what I'd llike to see for the future. Consider this post 1 of a series. Achievements: In 2008, I cannot mention achievements without focusing on my major achievement: graduating college officially in September this year (though I walked in May). My four-year American Political Studies Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in Public Administration represented the culmination of 16 years of hard work and dedication. During my school years, I was part of a television news crew, served in the choir, the band, the orchestra, art groups, clubs, was the President of Student Government, moved to Texas and back, excelled in high school, failed miserably at junior high, went to 8 different schools in K-12 grades, gave the graduation speech at my high school, applied for and was accepted at NAU, joined the College Republicans, ran for CR Vice-Chairman, interned for a US Congressman for 2 years, wrote the Constitutions for three different organizations, traveled to DC and Europe, became a resident assistant for Mountain View Hall, made lots of friends, had great jobs, became unemployed, and finally graduated. There is only one thing I regret never having in my school years, and if you know me well, you know what that is. Outside of myself, the world in 2008 has become a transformed place. In America, we elected our first black president this year after the longest election cycle in history. We also have seen the economy crash and burn in a matter of months, to the worst it has been since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We are still waging the War on Terror, and though significant strides have been made this year, it is likely that conflict over the United States' policies will continue for some time. During the past year, Russia has become more and more aggressive, first with its invasion of Georgia and now with reports that Russian warships are being sent to Cuba. Evil dictators and governments abound, what with Zimbabwe refusing to take care of its citizens, North Korea's continued instability with regard to its nuclear regime, and Venezuela's idiot president being, well, an idiot. On the positive side, 2008 saw the Olympic Games held in Beijing, China, where American swimmer Michael Phelps broke the all-time most gold medals in one Games record with 8 in his events. "The Dark Knight" broke many box office records with the outstanding (and sadly, posthumous) performance of Heath Ledger as "The Joker," for which he deserves to earn a posthumous Oscar or something. The Large Hadron Collider was officially turned on and tested, and though it worked for the test, it subsequently broke down and is currently under repair. Just the other day, officials confirmed the case finally closed for the murder of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh's son Adam - very good news after so long a wait. And though we hoped, the discovery of a "real" Bigfoot carcass turned out to be a hoax in the form of a rubber suit. Politically, achievements for the anti-gay-marriage crowd came in the form of Arizona's Prop 102, inserting an amendment into the State Constitution making marriage between a man and a woman only. Blacks achieved the honor of having the first minority president be from their race, while women had many opportunities to have the first woman president (in Hillary Clinton) and Vice-President (in Sarah Palin). Some headway was created into the energy crisis, after a group of Republicans staged a sit-in in the House of Representatives during the fall recess demanding that Speaker Pelosi call the House back into session and concede to a bill allowing drilling along with alternative energy options. Subsequently, we achieved both the highest price of gasoline ever around $5.00 per gallon, and what might be the biggest drop in prices from $5.00 to the current $1.55 near my house. 2008 was definitely a fun year for politics, though not so fun for Republicans. Very few survived the onslaught of anti-GOP sentiment carried over from 2006 and magnified by a lackluster presidential candidate (McCain) and plenty of evidence that the Republicans needed a wake-up call back to small-government principles. Stay tuned for Part II of my Year in Review!