Do you remember the book, 'The Witches' by Roald Dahl? Do you remember reading it in elementary school and becoming convinced that at least one of the teachers at your school was a witch?
For me it was my strings teacher. We knew for a fact she wore a wig (one of Dahl's sure signs of witchery) and we were pretty sure her spit would have been blue if we ever got a chance to check. In fact, the day we found out the county would not be renewing her contract we ran around the playground singing "Ding, dong, the witch is dead!"
6th graders can be mean.
I think that if my kindergartners had read The Witches they would have accused me of being one today. While sitting on the carpet trying to listen to the substitute, one became very concerned with my fingernails.
"Why, Mrs. Lipstick? Why do you have them that long? That's very bad. Bad for my stomach."
"Bad for your stomach? How?" I whispered, wondering if there was some different cultural belief in having long fingernails.
"Because you could hurt kids stomachs!" he said, rather too loudly for carpet time. (I shouldn't have been whispering with him anyway.)
Fair enough. I didn't bother to ask why I would be touching a kid's stomach, I left it at the fact that long fingernails scaring little kids.
Maybe Dahl wasn't that far off in his witch characteristics. Perhaps teachers with long nails should be avoided for self protection.
Ironically, my nails have been long (Dahl may say witch-like) ever since I stopped playing the violin in college. It is a silent protest against my 6th grade string teacher who would get out the scissors used for cutting cello strings, line us up, and cut our farm-kid nails to make them appropriate for orchestra.
I usually just tell them "Of course I'm a witch! I went to Hogwarts"
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