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Man of La Yawn-Cha
There’s a guy who sits in the back of the 9:30 a.m. writing workshop. Each class, he slinks in around seven minutes late with a travel mug of coffee, one bag on his shoulder, two bags beneath his eyes. His demeanor is one of total, perpetual exhaustion, but he sits looking interested. He doesn’t skip class. He turns in assignments. He nods, indicating he’s either absorbing information or clinging to consciousness. And we root for him, because he is the underdog in a match against fatigue. He wants to stay awake, to stave off the tiredness that threatens to consume him. He’s fighting. With his slim, slouching frame and sleepy countenance, his crazy sock cap and humongous shining coffee mug, he looks like a strange little knight, singed and smoldering from a recent battle with a monster, or a snooze alarm.
What fanciful adventures and daring do take place under the dinged helmet of this dog-tired Don Quixote is anyone’s guess, but sans Sancho Panza and without a windmill in sight, our hero, Mike Glazer, has made one of his impossible dreams a reality. In the spring of 2005, Mike donned his helmet and armor and set out to represent the United States on a national roller hockey team in Argentina.
It began when he was nine years old, playing roller hockey with his friends in St. Louis. Mike, a senior at Southeast, said he wanted to play but had a hard time keeping up with the rest of the kids.
“I started playing goalie because I was the fat kid who sucked at playing out,” Mike said.
After more than a decade of shedding pounds and polishing his skills, Mike has climbed to the upper echelon of United States roller hockey players, which should have been no surprise, considering his remarkable determination, not to mention his last name is Glazer, which would look good on the back of a hockey jersey even if it didn’t sound like glacier. Even Mike’s wit could be described as “puckish.”
It’s no surprise he’s a great goalie ᾰ he’s small and very quick. What is surprising is that opposing teams haven’t figured out Mike’s weakness and refused to play against him before noon. During his career, he’s faced adversaries from across the nation and around the world.
“I've been from the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.,” he said, “to Las Vegas to Toronto to California, but nothing has compared to Argentina.”
Mike says Argentina is a great country, and describes the roller hockey title he competed for as “so legit it’s unreal.” While he was there, he was touched by the enthusiasm of the spectators, and did his part off the field to be a gracious ambassador for the United States.
“The kids there just want a high-five or autograph because you play for the United States,” he said. “They need our equipment because they have a desire to play but no means. I gave away what I could but the mobs were insane for pictures and the like.”
There seems to be no middle in what Mike enjoys ᾰ either high adrenaline action or low key leisure.
Mike is president of the roller hockey club at Southeast, and encourages anyone interested to join.
“Playing in the college league is great because we have rivalries with St. Louis University High and Washington University now,” he said, adding that from a hockey standpoint, St. Louis University High and Washington University suck at life. “Southeast has helped me keep in practice for traveling hockey tourneys. If you play, join the club team, because we dominate.”
To future Southeast students, Mike passes the following advice:
“If you can, get Professor Fred Jones as a teacher because he is the best one I'll ever have,” he said. “Don't sweat the classes ᾰ show up and get your stuff done. And try different classes ᾰ you'll change majors forever anyway, so why not attempt mythology or whatever else?
“Realize there is more to college than class and friends. Experience what strikes a chord with you because you can, and don't let anyone stop you.”
When he isn’t playing roller hockey, Mike can be found writing stand-up comedy, watching Iron Chef, writing “dank” freestyles and written raps, “rec-centering” and fooling waiters into believing it’s his friends’ birthdays to score them free shots. He also works at a fitness center in St. Louis over the summer and during breaks.
Whatever he’s doing, it probably isn’t sleeping.