Why Cold Weather Makes Me Think About Masculinity

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About Gint Aras

Gint Aras has two decades of experience teaching, over ten of them in a Chicago-area community college. He writes a weekly column, True Community, about young men and education. His writing has appeared in St. Petersburg Review (forthcoming, 2014), Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, Dialogo, Šiaurės Atėnai and other publications. He's a photographer and the author of the cult novel, Finding the Moon in Sugar. Check out his website, Liquid Ink and follow Gint on Twitter @Gint_Aras.


  1. Sounds like good hard fun. I am afraid that kids today can’t have the same experiences. We live in a time when safety is everything and risk of any kind is removed from their lives. I doubt many kids today walk to school. I know in my neighborhood in sunny Texas kids are driven to school on beautiful days and on brisk mornings wearing Parkas like they are Climbing Everest.

  2. toula kelikian says:

    How about skeeching, that was for only the toughest “Chicago kids”. I of course took great pride in the fact that I was the only girl that would skeech, and secondly almost always beat everyone in terms of staying power. I could skeech for a good 2- 3 blocks relentlessly!!! The other thing I remember every first cold day is the utter torture that was experienced when snow got on the inside of your wrists, the area between the coat sleeve and mitten cuff!! It was so cold that it felt hot, if anyone has ever had the pleasure of that sensation you know what I mean. Lastly, to this day when my feet get cold there are a few toes that become totally devoid of feeling, that is the result of walking tot high school in the freezing, snowy crap but being way too cool to wear appropriate attire! Thanks for the memories!!

  3. Skeeching was cut from the article for reasons of length. I’d like to write an article on the subject by itself. Skeeching was a mentality as well as a skill, and it required physical as well as mental toughness. I judged the best skeechers no on how long they lasted but on how well they took turns when the UPS truck hung a right on the 16th Street service drive. I attempted to hold on once and was thrown to the train tracks.

    • toula kelikian says:

      Agree, skeeching like most things in life, was a mental test more than anything else. I’m attempting to hold on every day and getting thrown all over the place, but then it becomes resilience that weeds out the “real’ from the weak. The real skeechers jumped on the next vehicle that came by without missing a beat. How’s that for a frickiin metaphor!!!!!

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