Memorable fine arts achievement: “Winning sectionals last year in debate.”
Other fine arts activities: Wind Symphony, jazz band, competitive speech and mock trial.
What do you like about debate that keeps you involved: “Debate has a certain depth that is rare when compared to other activities. When I first started debate I joined because I wanted to learn how to debate and argue. Now after being in debate for so many years, it is more about learning how to think of things instead of saying them. Thinking skills are very important.
“I am in Public Forum debate, which is a partnership. My partner is Daniel Stokes, who is a senior. We’ve been partners for three years. Next week is the national qualifying tournament, the regional debate tournament that determines who will qualify for the national tournament.
“The topic this year is whether the benefits are provided by the ‘Internet of Things’ outweigh the harms of decreased personal privacy and is it a good thing to have our devices associated with the internet. We have to debate it both ways. Right now arguing that it is better is the stronger argument because there are more options to argue the issue.”
Strongest skills: “Hammering the opponents during our crossfire. These are important skills to have to be able to poke holes in their argument. Making them trip up benefits our debate.”
What’s something you want people to know about debate: “It always surprises people how much work it takes to truly understand an issue. It is never as simple as it may appear. It takes a lot of time and effort to understand an issue.”
How has debate changed the way you think about a topic: “It makes you consider the consequences of saying certain things that before you would have just said. The concepts may sound good, but don’t actually work.
“Most people who know me would say I am argumentative, but I like looking at things from different sides. People may say things I disagree with, but if you can argue and keep it respectful it leads to better understanding for both sides.”
“I argue with my dad all the time about petty things, respectfully. When I was in seventh grade I tried to convince my dad there is something called a ‘false fact’ and he will never live it down because there is no such thing as a ‘false fact.’ It was for a couple of months of arguing with my dad before he won.”
Dream job: “When I was in eighth grade I watched Andrew Zimmern, who traveled around the world and ate different foods. It was a reality show called ‘Bizarre Foods.’ That would be fun.
“For college I am undecided, but looking at going into math or law. I’m applying at the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Gustavus Adolphus and Harvard, I thought why not.”
Artist Most Admired: Alfred “Tuna” Snider.
Favorite TV show: “Game of Thrones.”
Favorite book: “Advanced Placement European History.”
Favorite subject: “AP European History.
Favorite movie: “The Dark Knight.”
Favorite food: “I love succhi.”
Favorite restaurant: Rafferty’s.
Your feelings on voting for the first time: Norquist just turned 18 on Saturday: “I’m very excited. Not everyone has the right to vote and to do so for the first time is a cool thing.
“This is such a divisive election … It should be a good.”
Clubs and hobbies: Key Club and “Trumpets, watching ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,’ other nerdy stuff, sleep deprivation and eating.”
Biggest pet peeve: “When you asked someone why and their response is ‘because.'”
Parents: Ben and Jennifer Norquist of Baxter.