Posts Tagged hockey

This Land (Ice) is MY Land

I like to think I am connected with nature both at home and at school.  At Dickinson, for example, whenever I walk from the library to the HUB I always choose to take what I call “the nature walk” – instead of walking on the concrete through Britton Plaza, I always choose to take the little mulch path.  No joke!

"Nature walk" trail in Britton Plaza.

At home I like to think I am more connected with nature and the land around me, simply because I am more exposed to the nature.  Whether it be the winter or the summer, my brothers and I are always playing sports outside.  In the winter, I am always playing pond hockey.  Pond hockey is much different than regular hockey in a rink, simply because of the element of nature you add to the game.

My friends and I playing hockey, note the Dickinson jersey.

Personally, I enjoy pond hockey more than playing in a rink; you can breathe the air straight from the atmosphere rather than from inside a rink, the trees tower over you rather than the roof of the arena, and the ice is real not artificial.  There’s just something about playing pond hockey that is much different than “regular hockey” and for that reason everyone should play at least once in their lives.

In the summer, my brothers are always outside playing wiffleball in our backyard.  I almost feel more connected with the land during the summer because we always tend to play wiffleball without our shoes on.  Of course my mom is not happy with us playing without shoes, but for some reason there is a more relaxing, natural feel in playing barefoot.  Much like pond hockey is the most natural way to play hockey, for me playing barefoot is the most natural way to play wiffleball.

I love the land at my home.   Of all the parts of nature, I value the grass, dirt, and the fresh air the most.  After some of the readings we have done thus far in Ecofeminism, I have learned how polluted the air in Carlisle and the Cumberland county is; according to some neighboring counties to Carlisle placed in the top 20 most polluted air in the United States.  It took me almost a year and a half at Dickinson to discover how toxic the air we breathe in everyday here in Carlisle really is.  This air toxicity, according to Sandra Steingraber’s in her book Living Downstream, can lead to dangerous cancers such as lung cancer.  Steingraber suggests that with a “five-year survival rate of only 15 percent, lung cancer is so swiftly fatal that we rarely hear stories of its victims” (175).  This statistic scares me because I am exposed to these toxins everyday without even knowing it; whether it be second hand cigarette smoke or the polluted Carlisle air, we are exposed to more toxins than we may be aware of at Dickinson College.

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Gender Identity in Hockey — My Identity

How is your body both gendered and not gendered?

Gender identity, according to Julia Serano in her article “Boygasms and Girlgasms”, is based on the hormones that are in your body.  Because of all of the testosterone in my body, the active steroid hormone (as well as physical male features) makes me identify myself as a man.  Serano suggests that gender identity — how a person understands themselves with relationship to gender role — is based on the hormone balance in your body; if you have more testosterone than estrogen you will identify yourself as a man, and if you have more estrogen than testosterone you will then be considered to be a woman.

Having taken sex-ed classes in high school and middle school, my body is physically male gendered.  Although hormonal balance plays a part in gender identity, so does your physical appearance I suppose.  I have dressed as a male over the years and once I got to Dickinson College, I suppose that my wardrobe evolved from typical jock clothes (sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc) to more “preppy” clothes (button down shirts, corduroy pants, etc).

Growing up my role models were my father, my older neighbor who I looked up to as an older brother (I only have two younger brothers), my coaches at the given time, as well as my favorite hockey player for the Bruins Ray Borque.  They taught me and sent me messages on what it means to be an athlete, scholar, gentleman, and brother.  My father is a stay at home dad, something that in my hometown of Wellesley is not too uncommon but something that is abnormal and almost frowned upon.  Day after day he makes our meals, cleans, takes care of us at home, and would shuttle me to hockey practices and games when I was still at home.  He is my role matter for that reason, he does not care about what other people think about him.  My father does a lot for my family and sent the message to me that I have to be the man of the house when I have a family.


What other identities contribute to your gendered identity?

The identities of white male, hockey player, student, and fraternity member all contribute to my gender identity here at Dickinson College as well as at home.  I feel as if I do not play the stereotypical hockey player or fraternity member role.  Firstly, I do not play the role of a typical hockey player as they are all seen by society as tough, mean athletes who play hockey to fight and beat each other up.  In my 14 year hockey career, never once have a been in a fight, something that most hockey players find themselves in at least one a week.  That having been said, I am not a stereotypical hockey player; I play the game of hockey much like how I live my life.  I try to play as gentleman-like on the ice at all time, while more importantly being a gentleman off the ice.

Fighting -- something that most hockey players do not actually do.


How is your body separate from and connected with the environments/systems/people around it?

At home, I am very close to the natural world and the community around me. Every winter since I could remember, my family and I make a hockey rink in our backyard and play outside in the cold/snow everyday (as seen in the picture below).  Making a hockey rink every year has made me closer to the environment and nature around me.  Our hockey rink has become a foster shelter if you will for all the hockey players around me, a community if you will.  Having built a rink has brought me closer to the environment and natural world , as I have payed more attention to the weather conditions around me during the hockey season.

Our annual hockey rink -- yes I realize there is no snow in this picture but it was early in the season.

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