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ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE | WINTER 2017

instead, a hive, an ordered purpose; there

is a dance, and the swarm is trying to tell

each other something. The journal page

turns, and the writer scratches out the

new words: elegant, flowing, humbling,

precise, and adaptive.

As eye and mind adjust to the drama on

ice, also to the full-blown sensory

environment on the safer side of the glass,

we begin to find and follow the puck

more easily. It can rip the air with the

cleanest aerodynamics or wobble

dangerously like a slow-motion bad day.

The cloud of unknowing descends upon

player and observer for about as long as a

human can take intense uncertainty.

Hockey requires, more than any other

game, intervals of rest. And this

necessary structure is one of the most

important lessons drawn from the

lecture hall of college hockey. The

curious ratio of inverse effect, that

oftentimes, the less you do, the more

insight and productivity you gain, is a

proof-point easy to miss during an hour

of top speed and highly technical

performance. Yes, Coltrane and Dizzy

took breaks, even while in the music.

Hockey represents a quiet irony or,

better, a wise counterpoint to the

dizzying pace of riffs, licks, and

improvisation today, when the

prevailing adage everywhere, especially

on a college campus, is “to power

through,” no matter what. Hockey, as it

turns out, resembles some of the best

courses taught at St. Lawrence because

it abides the wisdom of self-reflection,

how getting off the ice, taking a breath,

is an essential part of the game. Not at

first, but I now believe it is among the

many beautiful and hard things to do

or see in life, because in Appleton

Arena every Laurentian faces the

inescapable challenge of thinking about

something differently.

n

—WLF

St. Lawrence University

does not discriminate

againststudents,faculty,stafforotherbeneficiaries

on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age,

disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or

national or ethnic origin in admission to, or access

to, or treatment, or employment in its programs

and activities. AA/EEO. For further information,

contact the University’s Age Act, Title IX and

Section 504 coordinator, 315-229-5656.

A complete policy listing is available at

www.stlawu.edu/policies.

Published by St. Lawrence University four times

yearly: January, April, July and October. Periodical

postage is paid at Canton, New York 13617 and at

additionalmailingoffices.(ISSN0745-3582)Printed

in U.S.A. All opinions expressed in signed articles are

those of the author and do not necessarily reflect

those of the editors and/or St. Lawrence University.

Editorialoffices:OfficeofUniversityCommunications,

St. Lawrence University, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton,

NY 13617, phone 315-229-5585, fax 315-229-7422,

e-mail

ddudley@stlawu.edu

, Web site

www.stlawu.edu/magazine

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St.LawrenceUniversity,23RomodaDrive,Canton,NY

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University mail promptly.

subliminal about the knotty-pine

woodwork and the empty surface

beneath, a flat, unscratched looking-

glass, as if bringing an Adirondack pond

indoors to admire on a cold night.

Once the puck drops, the game erupts

into a state of chaos, which by all

appearances will seem abstract, merely

formless athletic power and speed. What

to think or notice, whether it’s your first

game or one among the hundreds

before? An observer’s journal entry

begins in staccato syntax, no full

sentences, just words: hard, scrappy,

profane, intense, and discordant. All

seems frantic and quickly exhausting,

and then the next wave jumps the boards

to renew the desperate hopes for

possessing an object worth no more than

a piece of kettle coal. The stakes are high

for something so small.

Trained to be theoretical (as are the

best jazz players), can we find a pattern

in this scene of blinding hyperactivity?

After a while, strangely perhaps, a

student’s intellectual capacity to analyze

the action may seep into the

experience—ah-ha, a paradox on the

page. The perpetual motion of twelve

players, colliding, spinning, falling,

while the most heavily armored of them

also darts sideways like a bumble bee in

a jar, suddenly breaks into a design, not

exactly Euclidean as in baseball or

football, but coordinated nonetheless.

We would mislead ourselves if we

merely thought a slap-shot is the prelude

to some slap-stick entertainment, where

the laugh is always on somebody else

suddenly made to look foolish. There is,

President

ST. LAWRENCE

university magazine

VOLUME LXVI

|

NUMBER 1

|

2017

Once the puck drops, the game

erupts into a state of chaos.

VICE PRESIDENT FOR COMMUNICATIONS

Melissa Farmer Richards

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Deborah Dudley

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Ryan Deuel

Meg Bernier Keniston ’07, M’09

June Peoples

(1963-2016)

PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

Tara Freeman

CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR

Ed Lemire

ART DIRECTOR

Jeff Macharyas

ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR

Susan LaVean

CLASS NOTES MANAGER

Anna Barnard