Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Man. The Myth. The Legend. The Household name.

Saint Martin’sUniversity has about 1300 students attending the school, but there is one student that has become a household name here, Denver Garcia. Denver is a senior this year and I have known him since my freshman year and he is one of the most interesting students I have met here; so I decided to interview him to share some of his interesting stories, travel experiences, his future goals, and advice that will not only help students at Saint Martin’s, but others in the surrounding community.
A picture of Saint Martin's University's Old Main

When you walk around the Saint Martin’s University community you often recognize familiar faces all the time because of the relatively small size of the school, but you do not always know their names, but I can almost guarantee that at least every student, faculty member, or campus employee has met Denver Garcia. If you were to ask anyone on campus if they have met Denver, I am sure the general consensus would be yes and for those who haven’t met Denver; they should meet him.  Denver has become a household name here on campus. In my interview with Denver, he jokes about being a household name and says “Yeah, everyone tells their parents about me.”
The man, the legend;
Denver Garcia
 I remember the first time I met Denver, it was about two and half years ago when I was a freshman and Denver was a sophomore. I came a semester late my freshman year and I didn’t know anyone and nobody cared to get to know me. One day, my dorm room door was open and Denver walked right in and started talking to me and that talk lasted about three hours. After Denver left my room, I was both happy because I felt a sense of welcome but I was also in utter shock that this guy that I had just talked to had plenty of stories, random facts, and has travelled to quite a few places.


I was have always been fascinated by Denver’s stories about all the places he has been too; locally, nationally, and internationally, so I decided to ask him about it. In my interview I asked Denver about where he has been to and he told me, “I have been all over the place. I grew up in Japan from when I was a baby up until I was 5 or 6. I have been to Canada a bunch of times. I went Vancouver once and Victoria twice. I have been to Costa Rica once and most recently Tanzania.”
A map of Japan and where Denver grew up
After Denver came back from Tanzania, he would have “Tanzania Tuesdays” where he would dress in clothes that he got in Tanzania and post a picture of him in the outfit on Facebook.
"Tanzania Tuesday! This shirt originated as a bolt of cloth in Dar es Salaam and for a couple thousand shillings a tailor made it into a shirt for me."-Denver Garcia
"Tanzania Tuesday wut wut!"-Denver Garcia
Tanzania Tuesday! 

One of my main pressing questions for Denver was what he took back from his travels and how he applied to his life and if he had learned any valuable things from travelling. In my interview, Denver stated “Travelling makes you more cultured, gives you a broader global perspective on the world, and it makes appreciative for what you have because you don’t live in a mud brick hut.” Even though the mud brick hut part was a joke, what he was saying can be applicable to any person who travels or engages in other people’s culture. The funny thing about Denver, is he often reminds me of a walking, talking, human encyclopedia because of the stories, random facts, and how he knows so much about different cultures.  I also asked Denver about what was the thing he took most away from the travels and he said, “I don’t know man, I think you just got to keep an open mind and just go with the flow and whatever happens happens. Don’t have too many expectations or you will just be disappointed.” What he took away from his world travel made me think about my own life and the more I thought about it, Denver is right. Those lessons can be transferred to anyone and their own lives. Going into to life with an open mind is so helpful because life is never a straight line up to the top, it goes through turns, twists, loops, slides, and it’s always unpredictable. If you are open minded in life, your expectations won’t constantly be let down like Denver stated. Denver told me a story that went something like this,

"If monkeys stole your bread at breakfast, no big deal. You’ll have a good story for the rest of your trip and for the rest of your life.”

*Not the actual monkey that stole Denver's bread8
Not only did I crack up at the story that Denver had told me, but I will say we all have a story similar to monkeys stealing your bread at breakfast where it may have sucked at the time but you will almost love telling it because it’s funny in the long run; I have plenty of stories like that and I know many of you reading it do too. Travelling is a great analogy to life. When you go through life, you never ever know where you will end up, who you will meet, what you will eat, where you will go and that is the same as when you travel to a new place. Denver is somebody that I would consider a free spirit and absolutely fearless. In my interview with him I asked him if he was ever afraid of travelling to all these foreign countries when there is so much danger being shown in the media with the recent attacks in France, where Denver is actually going in the summer, and in Brussels.

 Denver promptly told me, “No I don’t really worry because I have only been to places that are relatively safe and I didn’t plan the trip. It was already planned out and out of my control.” I followed up with a question asking him if had any worries at all about going to France in the summer after the terrorist bombings and Denver’s response shocked me but it didn’t really surprise me. Denver told me that,

Statistically I am more likely to get killed by a psychotic maniac staying here in America. You can’t go to mall, you can’t go to school, you can’t go to the movie theatre without having a risk of, you know. I am probably safer going there than staying here, and hey, if I die in a terror attack overseas, I would much rather die there, as long as it was a quick death, because I could say I died doing something I love and that is travelling.”

I was honestly shocked at his passion for travelling where he would be okay with dying somewhere outside his home because he was doing something he love; which didn’t surprise me.


Denver’s free spirit and his love for travelling has led him to giving me some good lessons about life that many of us can relate too. Denver told me some good lessons like, going with the flow and don’t set your expectations to high because you might get disappointed. This is great advice for any situation that we may face. He also told the hilariously funny story about the monkey that stole his bread at breakfast, even though it sucked, it made a great story that he will have for the rest of his life. We all have those moments or events in our life that seemed bad, but made for good stories and life long memories that we can share with friends, family, and the ones closest to us. Denver’s passion for travelling has given him a view into other people’s cultures, with food, Tanzania Tuesdays, and it has made him appreciate the things he has in life. Denver may be graduating this may, but the lessons and memories that everyone that has been blessed enough to meet him will last forever. Denver will be attending a graduate program where he will be pursuing his goals in journalism which will allow him to be able to travel more in the future. I asked Denver if he had any advice for incoming freshman at Saint Martin’s or current students to help them be successful and he told me this “Just don’t be a dick and you will fine.”

I will personally miss you a lot Denver and I know a lot of other people. You are a Saint Martin's icon and the man, the myth, the Legend, and a household name. Make us proud buddy.

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