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Scotty Shaw: a hero so close to home

More than just another pretty face on campus, Scotty Shaw could appropriately be called one of Duke's most inspiring students. Scotty's life epitomizes the notion that anything is possible. For that reason, I, like so many of my peers, am proud to call Scotty Shaw my role model.

When Scotty puts his mind to something, the sky becomes the limit. The Waco, Texas, resident continues to set lofty goals for himself, and refuses to rest until he accomplishes them. As a consequence, he can often be seen passed out asleep in random locations throughout campus.

This past semester, Scotty decided to try his hand at basketball. For the next several months, he could be found shooting hoops at Wilson for hours on end. When the school-wide three-point shootout came around this spring, Scotty came away with an impressive second-place trophy.

Next, Scotty decided to set his sights on bigger and better things. He gave amateur film a shot. Despite all of his other commitments, Scotty found time in the semester to write, produce and publish a motion picture that led one critic to state, "I couldn't help but cry. I've never witnessed something so sad."

But, of course, in addition to all of this, Scotty puts his academics as the top priority. Throughout his life, Scotty has continued to earn top marks for his scholastic endeavors. For this reason, Scotty has yet to declare a major despite his now junior standing at Duke. When you're that multitalented, it's hard to limit yourself to only one field of study.

And so, when most people first hear about Scotty's numerous achievements, few would imagine how he could possibly incorporate any semblance of a social life into his schedule. Well, incorporate one he does. Instead of going out to parties, Scotty saves time by bringing the party to himself. He doesn't need a dance floor. Scotty can get down just about anywhere there's an audience. He is currently featured breakdancing on one of YouTube's most frequently viewed videos.

Perhaps what is most impressive about Scotty Shaw, however, is that he continues to remain so modest in the midst of so much success. Never will you find him flaunting or resting on his laurels. Instead, Scotty is constantly trying to improve himself, in addition to the world around him.

Time and time again, I find myself feeling fortunate to have gotten to know such an amazing person. Through simple diffusion, I'm convinced that being around Scotty has made me a smarter, more talented person. It's a feeling that I wish I could share with the world.

Unfortunately for humanity, not every person will get the chance to meet Scotty Shaw in their lifetime. Thankfully, however, there are hundreds of Scotty Shaws throughout the world. There are those who inspire us and those who remind us to believe in ourselves. Pay attention to these people. Get to know these people. Imitate these people. Be these people. In this way, each and every one of us can bring out the little Scotty Shaw within us.

Nick Alexander is a Pratt junior. His column runs every other Thursday during the summer.


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