Education and Ice

I look at the clock every minute till it ticks 1:45. My classmates and I begin to get antsy. My science teacher can see us fidgeting. He breathes out the glorious words, “it’s time.” We kick our chairs back and bounce up to our feet. We stumble to the door as our squeaky shoes make marks along the shiny floor. He leads us down the quiet halls as we are the last classroom to go. We inch closer and closer to the singing doors. We hit them.

My science teacher pushes on the heavy doors as they swing open, and I am bombarded with cold air freezing my nose, the loud sound of screeching children dropping popcorn, and parents and other students shuffling to their rows and seats. The dressing room door flings open, and we hear skates slipping on the rubber as they waltz into the player’s box. We slump to our seats as we wait for the players to step on the ice. Our school team jumps out onto the clean ice and carves around the corners to reach the center for O’ Canada. I breathe the icy air of the Kyle Stuart Arena, and I see my breath puff into the stands along with my classmates. We rise. Standing, I gaze over the rink and see people supporting two different teams—the Edge and POE. People dressed head to toe in their team’s colours, some with painted faces.

My mind is racing, and I think, why do we stand together for O’ Canada when we are rooting for one team over the other? As I stand puzzled, I take a second look and scan the arena. As parents, siblings, students and teachers sing their lungs out of the air, I realize the game of hockey and O’ Canada unites people. We are brought together as one community singing our anthem. No matter the team we are supporting, we rise up together as Canadians to sing. We finish the anthem, and the buzzer echoes the dome-shaped rink. We yell for our teams to do their best. We feel every win and loss with them. As we reach the end of this game, half the stands are showing disappointment; the other half are skating with gratitude. We watch the two teams line up and shake hands. One by one, each player shakes the other team’s hands.

At this moment, I knew I was so proud to attend a sports school in Canada; my education and a tremendous Canadian sport were combined. My education gave me the opportunity to be involved in sports and communities. O’ Canada brings so many people together in so many beautiful ways.

One thought on “Education and Ice”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this story and I understand completely how you feel! The way you wrote about your exact emotion was awesome because it felt like I could be there. When you explained how you could see your breath and the arena it brought me back to the days I would go watch also. My favourite part was when you said you could feel every win and loss because that reminded me of my brothers hockey team. We as fans all felt exactly what they were feeling out on that ice. You wrote with emotion and put details into it too and that’s something not all people are able to do. The details, storyline and thoughtfulness was amazing in this piece. Story well written.

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