It’s weird, I have never considered myself to be a member of Slytherin.
Some of you are now wondering if you are even on the right blog, I assure you, you are! At my university there is an English class that is titled “Trends and Movements in English Literature.” During the fall semester the class focuses on the emerging popularity of the graphic novel while the theme is Harry Potter in the spring. So, here I am: A Slytherin. If you are a Harry Potter fan, or even know of the book series you know there are 4 houses — Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Each house has extraordinary people and usually the people are all like-minded. However, in my class we were not “sorted” by fate or personality, but by a raffle of sorts. I was sorted in to Slytherin. I am pretty much nothing like a Slytherin and the same can be said for many of my fellow “housemates.” And yet, I am rather proud to be in the house. Why? Severus Snape. Many people like Snape for his greasy hair or his unique way of making Harry and Ron feel inferior. I like Snape for different reasons.
Severus Snape wasn’t like his peers when he was younger and he isn’t like anyone else in the story, really. First, he is different and he carries a burden with him throughout the seven book series. Second, his character has a level of depth that I feel I can relate to, as many people can. Last, Snape doesn’t fit the status quo and neither do I. I am a 30-something mother of 3 children who is exploring a major many feel is not a wise choice. But I am interested in what I am interested in. Like Snape, at times I am seen as socially awkward — sometimes because I simply don’t have an issue striking up a conversation with a stranger! I think this is why I am OK with being sorted in to Slytherin because my favorite character was too.
But even deeper is the idea that there is such a thing as being sorted in to a “bad” house. Harry Potter, at age 11, was naive about such things. While being sorted he kept silently chanting, “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.” The Sorting Hat responds, “Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? You could be great, you know. It’s all here in your head. And Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, there’s no doubt about that. No?” So, Harry ends up in Gryffindor and the very next year the Sorting Hat reminds Harry of the fact that he could have done well in Slytherin as he had in Gryffindor. But Slytherin has a reputation, one of producing evil wizards and witches. However, it isn’t the house that produces those “bad” people, but rather the individual themselves that choose to use their brilliance for evil instead of good. We are all on different paths and many of those paths are ones we have chosen or they have chosen us. Regardless of the path you are on, you have the ability within yourself to go against the grain, to step up to your challenges, and to achieve greatness in any situation. So, as many of you have been “sorted” in to your current situation either by choice or not, don’t think of it as a bad situation but as an opportunity to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom who stays at home, a mom who works, a college mom, or somewhere in between — you have the ability to be great at what you do, whatever it is you are doing.
Slytherin may not be some people’s first choice, but I am happy to say: challenge accepted!