A personal reflection on Scott Monat

In lieu of an editorial this edition, the editorial board of The Miami Hurricane decided it would be more fitting for one friend’s reflection on his time spent with sophomore Scott Monat. Nick Maslow, a senior writer and business manager for The Hurricane, was close friends with Monat:

I saw the text message after I got out of my psychology exam. “Scott Monat died in Singapore last night.” My feet, the cars on Ponce, the people rushing by – all of it went into slow motion. Then I just stopped.

Nearly two years ago near this very spot, I got my first taste of Scott Monat, the Southern Badass Jew. Here we are, 11 p.m., the group of us headed to a party on Sunset by foot. We’d just chugged a load of beers in the dorm. “Hold up guys, I gotta go piss,” Scott says.

“Scott, right here? On the trees next to Ponce? Near the intersection? Seriously?”

By the time I was done panicking that the UM Police would bust us, Scott’s loose jeans were zipped up, his Georgia ballcap was perfectly cocked back, and he was hanging from one of the branches near the sidewalk.

I thought, this guy doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks; he doesn’t fit in here. And yet, last night, less than four semesters after Scott became a Hurricane, the Hillel Center was packed with every type of person imaginable, all of whom were mourning the loss of this carefree spirit – a man they couldn’t help but love.

There was the graduate student who said Scott became his friend over debates about Arab-Israeli relations. The broadcasting student who traveled with him to Argentina and witnessed Scott solving complex math problems for fun. The frat groupie who said he passed on bids because the pre-med student wanted to focus on studying neuroscience. The woman who gushed that Scott had the balls to eat a frog in Thailand last week. The love interest who fell for him in the time it took to share a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon over a bag of Twizzlers. The rabbi who said Scott’s spirit embodied l’chaim, which means “to life” in Hebrew. The pal who said he was overwhelmed by how many languages Scott knew. And then there was the girl who he surprised at the airport during a long layover. He kept her company until the wee hours of the morning, just to talk with her.

Listening to people talk, laugh, and cry about memories of Scott Monat made me want to hear his voice just once more, to be inspired by his charisma and hunger for life one last time. And so I called his cell phone.

“Hey, it’s Scott. Leave a message.”

It was three seconds long, and a lifetime too short.

March 4, 2009


Nick Maslow

Of the Staff

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “A personal reflection on Scott Monat”

  1. Jorge Feria says:

    I met Scott the first week of school freshman year. We were both neurobiology majors, and I was impressed from day 1 by him, in every way you could possibly imagine.

  2. Jim H says:

    I am a friend of both Danny M and Scott. I totally agree with Danny and I was in that taxi the very night. Although I know with him for only two month, he has been a very good friend of mine .He was an indeed carefree lovely spirit; he didn’t seemed worried at all when we were climbing up a almost 10 meter high ladder at Malacca, Malaysia. He was the person who did what he felt like doing and his confidence was very impressive. And, he was very talented in languages; his Chinese was very impressive and I knew he would do very well in Thai.
    His death was a huge shock to me; I and my friend were talking him on the phone just two days ago. And Cathy, Pattie and I were talking about his adventurous trip to Thailand the evening before he left. All this sounds hard to believe. Fragments of memories of the time i spent with him come to my minds every now and then. I will always remember our walk in the night market in Malacca, our little bargain with the taxi drive outside SAM’s hostel, the 6-hour-ride from Malaysia to Singapore, and the moment that we were watching The Day the Earth Stood Still in my room. Scott, I hope you are in a better place now. We all will miss you!

  3. Danny M says:

    I met Scott one of the first days that we were here in Singapore. Obviously I didn’t know him as well as this writer did, but the first memory of him mentioned is very similar to my first memory of him, so it made me laugh to read it. One of my first memories of him was riding with him in a taxi to a club here in Singapore with him screaming the words to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA at the top of his lungs when it came on the radio. He really didn’t care what people thought about him. He was a good-natured, goofy, uninhibited kid who was fun to hang around. I only knew him for 2 months, but that is long enough to realize what a tragedy it is that this guy was taken from the world so early. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and all of his other friends. Scott, you will be missed!

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.