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Time for reflection on 2003

It's that time again, and I'm not talking about drinking egg nog (which I wouldn't usually do) or opening and passing out gifts. I'm talking about reflection. Another year has gone by, and although I don't like to linger in the past, I like to take a look back at the events that have shaped my life and those around me.

This year has been unusual, in many regards. I figured some things will never change, even if the attempt to change was a bit surprising. I'm talking about a Republican governor's blueprint for a tax increase. I've never been as politically vocal about a campaign as I was about Riley's tax referendum, but then again I never saw such a dire need for something as big as a $1.2 billion tax plan for the state and its education until its introduction in the summer. Although all the naysayers of that referendum, who have yet to establish a valid alternative to the plan they smacked down, were right when they said the plan didn't have a chance, I realized something about politicians. It doesn't matter which party they claim, if they truly believe in something, then they should go for it without worrying about so-called "political suicide." And that is precisely what Riley did.

As surprised as I was by Riley's plan, I was even more surprised Roy Moore was removed from office in Alabama. I thought with his overwhelming and overbearing popularity his punishment would extend no further than a slap on the wrist - perhaps an extended probation for his refusal to remove the monument. But justice was served to Moore, as it should be to every person who defies a court order and purposely places himself above the law. I commend the panel of the state Ethics Commission for ousting the former chief justice, proving no one in the state is "untouchable" when it comes to the law of common people - not what one man says is the law. The 10 Commandments should definitely be followed by all, but they are not the laws in which we are obliged to abide.

I hate to sound like I am quoting Ferris Bueller, but life really does move fast. Not just in state government, but I'm constantly changing too.

I feel like I've finally made it to the real world, a place not entirely like how I imagined it. After graduating from college in May, I thought I would be dragged into the real world kicking and screaming. I was surrounded by a world of books and knowledge - a library which I literally would sleep in at times. The real world is not at all that bad - I have a world of knowledge at the tip of my fingertips. And I contribute to that knowledge, known as mass media. Needless to say, I'm content.

I won't say there aren't ups and downs in the real world, but there are no paradises and no perfect places. Where would be the challenge in a perfect place, anyway? I'm lead to believe I would get extremely bored. I've always worked best under pressure, and I it's fun to see how much I can handle or as my sixth grade teacher said it best, "rise to the occasion."

I'm not going to make unrealistic resolutions for myself to follow, but I do hope I'll learn as much about the world and myself as I have this year. Maybe next year will be as good as, or better, than this one, but I'm getting ahead of myself Š