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

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.