Ben Scrivens is an answer waiting to happen.
The Marlies 25-year-old netminder regularly delights when asked a question he can answer which is, you know, all of them.
A Cornell alumni and a member of the school’s secret Quill and Dagger Society (members include two National Security Advisors, Two World Bank Presidents, Six Pulitzer Prize winners and former Leaf President Ken Dryden), Scrivens is the AHL’s leading playoff goaltender by virtue of his 1.61 GAA and .944 save percentage.
Senior writer Mike Ulmer caught up to Scrivens and asked about how white works, IQ testing, peanut butter and the time his parents paid $1,500 to purchase a release so he could play in his home town of Stony Plain, Alberta.
Mike Ulmer: Tell us about the Quill and Dagger society.
Ben Scrivens: I can’t tell you about that. It’s highly confidential. Ask (Ottawa Senators forward )Colin Greening (another Cornell alumni) .
Ulmer: What are you reading?
Scrivens: The Upside of Rationality. It’s about different behaviourl, rational ways of doing things that are actually irrational. He (author Dr. Dan Ariely) is talking about motivating people and how it’s extremely easy to de-motivate people in terms of work. If you make it so their work doesn’t seem valuable, it doesn’t matter if they are getting paid a lot. People need to feel their work is valued. I’m not all the way through it so I can’t give you a full report.
Ulmer: Tell me about paying for your own release when you were playing Tier II hockey in Alberta.
BS: It was actually my parents. I didn’t have $1,500 at the time. There was a 20-year-old goalie in Spruce Grove who was going to be too old the next year. He was their starter so they had a hole left. I was in Calgary backing up with the Calgary Canucks. Calgary was fine with me going to Spruce Grove and Spruce Grove wanted me but Calgary didn’t want to give me up for free and Spruce Grove didn’t really want to give anything up for me. We knew the owners of the team a little bit. My parents said ‘what will this take?’ They came to a number, $1,500.
MU: Do you believe in IQ? Like standardized testing, the use of IQ was never created for how it is being used now.
BS: Standardized testing, I think is necessary but there are a lot of cultural and educational biases involved. There are all sorts of forms of smart: books smarts, street smarts, technical knowhow and being able to read people. I think there are a lot of different types of IQ. You just need to find out which one you have and use it to your advantage.
Ulmer: Earlier this year you said you had noticed your mind wandering during games.
Scrivens: It was more when I was in a slump earlier in the season. I’m definitely not the only one who has had it. It’s like you get a song in your head. A squash player I know said he was in the third game and he didn’t even know what the score was. It’s like when you read a paragraph and you would say to yourself “what the hell did I just read?” You would have to go back and start again.
Ulmer: Is white a colour.
Scrivens: Do you want the technical answer?
ScrivensIf you are talking about light, white is all the different hues of a light that is activating your eyes. If you see different colours it’s because the reflection of light has absorbed everything except the colour that you see. If something is red, the light has shone off whatever object it is and all the other colours are absorbed into that object except the red so the red is what you see.
Ulmer: What does ironic mean?
Scrivens:Irony is where something is said and the actual event is what occurs when it is not intended to. It’s like saying, you put me on the spot here, what is ironic is me as a youngster getting traded for $1,500. It’s something no one would anticipate happening.
Ulmer: So irony is the same as coincidence?
Scrivens: I think coincidences help irony.
Ulmer: Why do people need to be on Twitter? Is this a generation that has to see itself to know they exist?
Scrivens: Twitter is an interesting beast because similar to blogs -I think I read something on this- people want to hear themselves. If you write a book you have to get it published. It takes a long time to get that acknowledgement that somebody liked this. For Twitter, you see your re-tweets and page views. It think it’s human nature; you have an idea and you want to share it. Unfortunately with Twitter, a lot of it is opinions and fluff. There’s a lot of expletives and stuff to get through before you get to anything good.
Ulmer: Have you met Ken Dryden?
Scrivens: Briefly. Just a handshake.
Ulmer: How much of his presence did you feel at Cornell.
Scrivens: Well, he wasn’t present…
Ulmer: How much of a legacy then…
Scrivens: You look back at two national championship teams and he was on one of them. He holds countless records there, the best winning percentage of almost any goalie. Obviously he had success with Montreal and he moved on to bigger and better post hockey. He cast a large shadow. It’s cool lore from Cornell but everyone is their own person.
Ulmer: Smooth or crunchy and why?
Scrivens: Crunchy. It’s better. Texture.