This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Daniel Kendrick, an Alabama native and junior in the College studying Government and Philosophy with a minor in Russian.
How’d you get involved in Philodemic?
I did JSA in high school, which does this Congressional Workshop that’s exactly the same format as Philodemic debates, with keynoters that prepare speeches ahead of time, and then floor speeches. During my alumni interview [for Georgetown admissions] I mentioned this and my interviewer said, that sounds a lot like the Philodemic Society, if you come to Georgetown you should check it out. And I did.
Who’s your favorite literary character?
Hank Rearden from Atlas Shrugged, or Kira Argounova from We The Living.
Do you have a favorite debate Philodemic’s done?
I guess I obviously like the debates I keynoted, but I really did like the 2nd amendment debate. We talked more about the fundamental issues and didn’t have those wars of statistics that don’t convince anybody – we actually thought about it more deeply, and didn’t delve into what most gun control debates devolve into. That’s the thing about Philodemic — you try to get into the fundamentals behind things and don’t just stay at the superficial level.
What’s something you do in your free time that might surprise people?
I had a radio show – it was a music show for two semesters, called Discoteka Novaya. It’s actually grammatically incorrect – New Disco – but it was a foreign dance music sort of thing. I also had, more like what people would expect, a political talk show for three semesters called Voices of Liberty. Eventually you kind of run out of stuff to talk about, but it was a fun thing to do.
What inspired the Russian minor?
I took Latin in high school but decided I wanted learn a language that I can speak. On the choice of Russian, I wanted to do one that’s a little more unusual but not so obscure that I wouldn’t have any use for it. I was considering German but Russian’s a little more exotic. I’m going to St. Petersburg for study abroad in the fall, so I’ll be finishing my Russian minor there.
Are you worried study abroad to Russia might get cancelled?
The OIP [Office of International Programs] keeps reminding us to keep it in perspective: even during the Cold War, there were still American students studying abroad in the Soviet Union. Unless something absolutely crazy happens, it’s unlikely that it will be cancelled.