Thursday, January 14, 2010
G is for Gryffindor House
Some people love Harry Potter, and some people loathe Harry Potter. Some people think it’s a cute story for kids, but not much else. I understand that. For me, it’s simple: At the age of 22, I fell in love with reading all over again because of the Potter books. Pathetic, I admit, but true. I realize that I’m risking my whole blogging career (and general credibility) by even making this post. But the fact that I’m willing to take this risk is yet another reason why I belong in Gryffindor.
Those of you who are familiar with the Harry Potter books know that if you attend Hogwarts School, what house you are sorted to is a huge deal. Those of you who are unfamiliar with the books couldn’t give a care less. Again, I understand that. Regardless of where you stand on HP, it’s worth knowing which house you belong in: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. It’s like a personality test with colors, mascots, and pretend magical history. Beat that, color code!
Like I already said, I belong in Gryffindor. But where do you belong? Below is a brief description of what each house looks for in its members and a list of notable individuals (1. Historical figures, 2. Famous people today, and 3. Fictional characters), and where I think they would go. Feel free to debate my choices. . . . But beware that you risk looking like a complete nerd; and that takes some serious Gryffindor-like courage.
Gryffindor: Values courage, bravery, nerve, and chivalry. Colors: Scarlet and gold. Mascot: Lion.
1. Sophie Scholl: This courageous German girl, and member of the White Rose, stood toe-to-toe with the Nazis and refused to back down from her convictions. I’m so impressed with the courageous Ms. Scholl that I named my first-born after her. Very Hermione-ish.
2. Ron Paul: I don’t want to get too political, but it takes a lot of bravery to ruffle the feathers that Mr. Paul is willing to ruffle. Think Harry when he refused to deny seeing Voldemort.
3. Reepicheep: For those of you who have read “Chronicles,” you understand this selection completely. I’m not sure if they would allow a mouse to join Gryffindor, but since they allowed a rat (Peter Pettigrew) . . .
Others considered: George Washington, Bono, and William Wallace
Hufflepuff: Values hard work, loyalty, tolerance, and fair play. Colors: Canary yellow and midnight black. Mascot: Badger.
1. Mahatma Gandhi: He worked very hard to bring about tolerance and fair play to his homeland of India. Plus, the man made his own clothes (granted, that’s not saying too much considering his often-scant apparel). Making ones own clothes seems very Hufflepuff-ish.
2. Jack Johnson: Assuming his lyrics are a real indication of who he is, I picture this musician kicking it with his fellow Badgers on the beaches of the Hogwarts Lake while strumming his six-string.
3. Samwise Gamgee: Frodo Baggins’ gardener and loyal friend would fit in just fine in Hufflepuff house. And he would definitely join Dumbledore’s Army.
Others considered: William Wilberforce, Rudy, and Luigi
Ravenclaw: Values intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit. Colors: Blue and bronze. Mascot: Eagle.
1. Albert Einstein: Seems to fit. He was really witty in that movie “IQ” with Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins. I also picture Luna having a big crush on him.
2. Conan O’Brien: He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. Plus, he wrote for The Simpsons. That’s the genius double-whammy.
3. Andy Dufresne: This Shawshank escaper used a whole lot of ingenuity and smarts to thrive in prison, and then survive outside of it. As they say, this bird wasn’t meant to be caged. . . . I mostly just wanted to somehow incorporate Tim Robbins twice in one section. The odds against me were 1 in 820,000.
Others considered: Benjamin Franklin, Malcom Gladwell, and Will Hunting
Slytherin: Values ambition, cunning, leadership, resourcefulness, and pure wizard blood. Colors: Green and silver. Mascot: Snake.
1. Adolf Hitler: It’s obvious, isn’t it? His “pure-blood” delusion would be at all-time highs in Slytherin. He’s a real-life Voldemort. And yes, I dare say the name.
2. Kobe Bryant: He calls himself Black Mamba (a snake). His father played in the NBA (so he’s a pureblood). He’s very ambitious, resourceful, fancies himself a leader, and is extremely cunning. If Draco Malfoy were an NBA basketball player, I have no trepidation saying that his name would be Kobe. Did I just put Kobe alongside Hitler? Apparently.
3. Skinner: This head chef of Gusteau’s restaurant simply didn’t believe that anyone can be a chef. Remy the rat proved him wrong when he dazzled the famous food critic Antono Ego with the best ratatouille ever made. Are there much better options to choose from? Of course. But I wanted to incorporate courageous rodents twice in one blog post. The odds against me were 1 in 821,000.
Others considered: John Rockefeller, Sean Hannity, and Fernand Mondego
Today’s suggestion: Find out which house you belong in. If you’re not sure, go find an old witch hat and ask it. If you still don’t know, send me an email and I’ll tell you.