Cranial Exposure: A Bald Man Survives Canton Winters
At age 17, I looked down for a split second during a family photograph and the top of my head was captured, for the first time revealing to me a faint ring that would eventually lead to my presently clean, shining, shaven, bald head. A year later, I would make the best decision of my life, and turn in my deposit to attend St. Lawrence University. At 18, my hair had progressed to a rather sparse dusting of hair follicles lining the most prized surface area to nearly all haired members of Gen-Z, the top of our craniums.
St. Lawrence has unabashedly accompanied me through this journey towards “chrome-domery.” From the first follicles to jump ship that I would find on my towel post-shower, to the first time I fully shaved my head while on the Rowing Team’s training trip to Florida during my freshman year. The transition period was short yet not unencumbered with the confusion one might expect. For the first week or two of full baldness, even my friends would mistake me for a professor, requesting a spot in my upper-level Economics classes, assuming, of course, that my aged head would come with six or seven advanced degrees. There were those who were kinder and categorized me as a graduate student, rather than a full professor, and instead flooded me with inquiries related to their academic future.
Once this cooled down and I became (maybe a little too) confident in my role as the ‘bald guy’ on campus, the first and secondhand benefits tied to the condition became very apparent. My ability to ride in a convertible without fear of ruining my hair-do was clearly the first perk, along with my new fairly straightforward morning routine. The true reasons for this post are the positive messages that are spread through my ability to look like a cue ball on campus.
It’s no secret that the winter months in the North Country can be slightly bothersome when it comes to temperature. Even a five-minute walk to class can leave a student feeling as if they’ve completed a Trans-Antarctic trek, however, I come bearing courage to those who quiver in the face of winter with the following statement…
I, Christian, a bald man, have comfortably withstood even the harshest Canton winters, and as a non-haired person, you can, too.
It wasn't even December before we saw almost a foot of snow fall on our beloved 23 Romoda Drive. After a run in brisk mid-October, I might notice a rippling of steam protruding from my scalp. But, the winter cold leaves my head uncomfortably stinging so that upon arriving to class it takes a few minutes to warm up, much like a 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine when left sitting overnight in subzero temperatures.
I’ve come to terms with it after three years of experience, learning which thickness of winter cap is necessary to get through even the toughest winds that strike while walking across the quad in front of Kirk Douglas Hall. Usually, a hood will accompany the hat to ease the burden.
A bald head comes with another positive. My genuinely wonderful time while being a student at St. Lawrence can be attributed to the fact that our little community, tucked away at the edge of the Adirondacks, is the kind of place where people exchange acceptance and kindness everywhere they go. I’ve had to worry very little about how my own uniqueness will resonate among my comrades; instead, we celebrate our diversities and individual aspects that make the St. Lawrence student body so special.
In closing, to my fellow students, and you lucky prospective students who have all your St. Lawrence years to look forward to, know that if I can brave these elements, you can, too. Over my four years, I’ve counted roughly seven other bald brothers who have emerged to bravely roam this campus alongside me. You can ask any one of them and they’ll share their story, urging you to join us in the fight, looking to us as a source of inspiration.