Nature vs. Nurture
My daughter is a Slytherin.
For those of you who don’t live and breathe Harry Potter, Slytherin is one of the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A few of the less savory characters in this series hailed from Slytherin – including the main villain, Lord Voldemort. In other words, if Hitler had attended Hogwarts, it’s a pretty good bet that he would have been in Slytherin.
Dimples joined the virtual world of Harry Potter at pottermore.com last week, and worked her way through buying important school supplies like cauldrons and glass vials (Hogwarts does not have Trapper Keepers on their school supply list, either), getting a wand assigned to her, and, after much suspense, getting sorted into a House.
She eagerly called me into the room, so I could watch her carefully answer the questions that would lead to her final sorting.
When she got assigned to Slytherin, I got a hint of the disappointment to come if she ever gets hate mail from Harvard.
“It’s okay,” I said. “Remember? We talked about how there were some good characters in Slytherin, and this is your opportunity to prove that not all Slytherins are out to destroy the world.”
She glared at me, a glimmer of tears in her eyes. It was clear to both of us that this was all my fault.
The obvious solution to this problem was for me to get sorted too.
So, I logged in to the site, went through my school supply purchases, earned my unicorn wand, and made my way to the sorting. Dimples raced to the computer when I announced that the moment was at hand.
The first question appeared, and Dimples almost dissolved. “The questions aren’t the same,” she said, obviously having expected me to get the exact same set of questions – and to answer them the same.
I told her that I was going to answer them honestly anyway. A few of the questions were identical to hers, and I answered 2 of them the same way she had. As I answered each question, I tried to go with my first instinct, instead of trying to second-guess what House it would lead to.
At what I imagined to be the final question, I hesitated before sending my answer to cyberspace.
What would it mean to Dimples if I got sorted into Gryffindor, the House of Heroes? What would it mean to me?
I finally clicked the mouse, and we both waited for the Determination of my Destiny.
Which makes perfect sense, given my snake-handling skills (Slytherin’s mascot is a serpent) and my unabashed attempts to become a legend in my own mind. (“Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness” is the house motto.)
After consulting the Slytherin Psychology tumblr, I realized that the Sorting Hat probably knew exactly what it was doing.
That explains a lot.
But, hey, at least I made it into Hogwarts, unlike poor Stephen Colbert (commiserating with a student who claims she was refused entrance to the University of Texas based on the fact that she is not a minority):
Posted on October 17, 2012, in Children, Depression, Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting and tagged depression, Hogwarts, humor, Potter, pottermore.com, Slytherin, Stephen Colbert. Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.