Reiter Boldt

Reiter Boldt poses for a portrait in the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis. The Catonsville High School senior, who is considering a possible career in politics after graduation from college, completed his second week of service as a legislative page last week. (Staff photo by Sarah Pastrana / March 25, 2012)

About eight years ago, Reiter Boldt made a current events presentation to his Hillcrest Elementary School classmates.

When he came home, he was more shocked that his peers knew nothing about the topic than pleased with his talk, which was likely about an attack overseas.

"It's like they don't read the paper," Boldt's mother, Colette Pifer, recalled her son saying.

Pifer said she explained to her only child that most 10-year-olds don't keep up with the news.

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Now 18 and a senior at Catonsville High School, Boldt continues to stay up to date on current events as he sifts through the apps on his Droid X smart phone, often consuming news from The New York Times, BBC and Washington Post with his breakfast in the morning.

"He doesn't just know the event happened," Pifer said. "He knows all the minutiae of the event. He's always been like that."

Boldt still is incredulous that many people seem to refuse to follow the news.

"Not that many people listen to public radio and I don't understand it. It's a great news source," Boldt said. "Stuff is going on in the world and you need to be aware of it."

For two weeks since the start of the New Year, Boldt didn't just follow the news, he spent time with the people making much of it as he served as a legislative page in Annapolis.

Boldt was among 105 students from throughout the state who were selected to serve as pages during the 430 Session of Maryland's General Assembly.

"It's quite fun," Boldt said Friday afternoon , his second to last day as a page. "You always read about it, but to actually see it in action is something different.

"I'd like to think it hasn't affected my views really, but it gives me an insight into what's going on," he said. "You kind of understand, 'Okay. This is why we have to compromise on these issues.'"

Boldt was chosen to be one of 14 pages selected to represent Baltimore County, according to Rex Shepard, coordinator of the Office of Secondary Social Studies of Baltimore County Public Schools.

Each county sends a certain number of pages, based on its population, to take part in the program, which began in 1970.

Candidates from the county's private, public and parochial schools submit anonymous essays for review by the Office of Secondary Social Studies, Shepard said and those essays form the basis for who will be chosen.

The primary duty of a page is to run errands for representatives when they can't leave their seats during the session, according to Jane Hudiburg, the page coordinator for the General Assembly.

Those errands range from bringing the representative a cup of coffee to digging up the history of a bill at the information desk, she said.

Boldt said he had some butterflies the first week he served as a page, Feb. 6-10.

"You kind of hold (the legislators) up higher when you first come in because of the office, but they're just people and they're a lot of fun," Boldt said, noting he met a variety of legislators, including District 12A Dels. James Malone and Steve DeBoy, who represent Catonsville.

Staying at a bed and breakfast during his time in Annapolis, Boldt worked from 10 a.m. to almost 9 p.m. on Thursday as legislators rushed to complete their agendas before the 430th Session adjourns on April 9, Boldt said.