Category Archives: Cultural

What if Nature Disappeared?

Here is a poem that I wrote for my 8th grade Language Arts class in, I think, 1997. It was mailed to me by my 8th grade teacher who just recently retired. You can see that some of my rhymes and word choices were stretching a little.

What if Nature Disappeared?
What would we lose,
And who would care,
If the seasons were gone,
Never to be repaired.

But, you may ask,
How could that come to be,
The seasons have been going
For many centuries.

Hopefully they won’t cease
Because we will then lose
The beautiful qualities that
We now love to endure.

Spring is the first,
In this cycle through time,
With its glorious colors
Opening wide.

Then comes Summer,
Hot and bright,
Filling our day with
Endless sunlight.

Next arrives Fall,
On a swirl of leaves,
With cool air bringing
Riddance to all the bees.

Finally Winter follows,
Slowly at first,
Then it becomes cold
With a burst!

A Phone Call From Nicaragua

I just received an incredible phone call this evening. The caller id on my cell phone said “Unknown.” This usually means that someone on Skype is calling me… So I answered, expecting a friend. Instead, I hear: “Hello, Scott? Scott? How are you?” I have no idea who this is, so I ask who is calling and how he knows my name. It is pretty difficult to understand him and the line is crackly. Then I hear, “My name is Jose Manuel.” I could not believe it. This was a guy that I had met over a year ago (same summer when I went on the trip to Cyprus) in the small town of Comunidad El Bonete, Villanueva, Departamento de Chinandega. I had practiced my Spanish with him and he had worked on his English with me. He even had a CD player and had phonetically written out the lyrics to some American songs that he had. At the time, I would say that my Spanish was quite a bit better than his English. It was amazing how far along he had gotten in his English because he did not have an English-Spanish dictionary.

I was in Nicaragua doing a medical mission trip with a bunch of pre-med, med, dental, and vet students. We actually started in Costa Rica and then made our way up to Nicaragua. Staying in El Bonete was one of the highlights of the 2-week trip. The people of the village were very kind to host us in their homes for the 2 nights that we stayed there. It was a very interesting experience. Most of us slept in hammocks over the home’s dirt floor. I was fortunate enough to stay with Jose Manuel’s family…they were quite well off and had wood floors and access to a boombox. (I’m hoping that Jose will eventually have access to a computer because at that time he had not heard of it, the Internet, or email.) Some of our medical team actually slept with chickens running on the floor below their hammock!
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100 Years by Five for Fighting in Spanish

I really liked this song so had a friend translate the lyrics to 100 Years (a Five for Fighting song) into Spanish. Enjoy!

100 años
(five for fighting)

Por un momento tengo 15 años
Estoy atrapado entre los 10 y 20
Y solamente estoy soñando
Contando los caminos en donde tu estas

Por un momento tengo 22 años
Ella se siente mejor que nunca
Y estamos ardiendo
Buscando formas de regresar de Marte
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Mifflin Street Block Party

I had never gone to the Mifflin Street Block Party because it had always conflicted with designated exam study days. This year, however, it was scheduled for the same day as the Crazylegs Classic. So our apartment decided to check it out. We wanted to go, not to drink or get pictures taken with cops but to check out the music and people watch. It was very crazy! Imagine thousands of drunk or drinking college students all together in an approximately three block area. We only stayed for a little bit. There were just too many people smoking. We then got back and Mike, Johnny, and I played some tennis at the Nielsen for an hour and a half. And then relaxed for awhile before Mike and I headed to Madison’s Comedy Club. Then, to top the night off we watched Napolean Dynamite…pretty funny. I was very tired so I headed to bed but Mike and another guy at the apartment, Justin, went to Stillwaters to try and meet some girls. They didn’t get back until 2:45. I’m still looking forward to learning the details.

I have pictures from the Mifflin Street Block Party at Smugmug and Flickr (they are exactly the same).

Smugmug: Mifflin Street Block Party
Flickr: Mifflin Street Block Party

I’m still trying to decide what photo sharing system I like best. Let me know what you think.

Jesus Christ Superstar

I went to Jesus Christ Superstar at the Overture Center in Madison, WI this evening. It was very, very good. The music was excellent and the production was very powerful. If you haven’t yet seen it, try and get a seat somewhere. It is classified as a rock opera. It is very fast paced; and the vibrant music and lights (at the appropriate times) are very impressive. Also, you should purchase the sound track.

A Day In Life – Rock / Alternative / Emo Band playing in the Madison, WI area

Check out their website here:
And you can listen to and download three of their songs here:

It’s kind of an interesting story. I was checking the aim profile of a girl from zoology discussion and I came across the site. I was shocked when I saw that Gina was the lead vocalist! I had met her on a trip to Cozumel between my Junior and Senior year in high school. It turns out that the girl from zoology is dating one of the guys in the band.

Check them out. The music is great! I hope that they eventually put up or sell more of their music. And, if they get enough music to fill a CD or two, they should check out, an independent record label in which the artists maintain the rights to their music and get 50% of the profits instead of the scantly cents that artists get from the major record labels.

Merhan Karimi Nasseri has the Longest Layover ever

Merhan Karimi Nasseri at Charles de Gaulle airport, France, since 1988
The Longest Layover ever! Not an urban legend!

Also known as “Sir Alfred,” Nasseri has been stranded for 15 years at the Charles de Gaulle airport in France. Back in 1988, he couldn’t board his flight because he didn’t have the necessary papers. Just recently the papers were filed, but he still wants to live at the airport. Sir Alfred said that he feels safe at the airport and is wary of the outside world. So, while he could now leave, he doesn’t want to.

Alfred has no family, so that would not be an issue. He spends his day reading newspapers and donated books and eating airport food. He is well educated; he has a B.A. in Psychology. And, Steven Spielberg just recently bought the rights to his story for a six-figure sum. The film is tentatively entitled “Terminal.” Sir Alfred now has the distinction of being the world’s richest homeless man!