- The Sorting Hat (to Harry), from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
Another year. Another Western States lottery. Another 12 hours of clicking the “refresh” button every 3 minutes waiting to find out whether I finally get to run in this dang race.
All that’s left is for the sorting hat to do its work (And yes, I realize that the sorting hat comparison contradicts my previous description of the Western States lottery as the Goblet of Fire. That’s what’s become of me in the past several days – I'm anxious, scatterbrained, and completely mixed up with my Potter analogies. Can we just get this over with, please?)
First year Hogwarts students wearing the sorting hat feel pretty much helpless as to where their fate will be cast. However, when Harry’s turn came around, he tried to subliminally influence the decision by saying “Not Slytherin!” over and over in his head. Whether or not this gambit actually influenced his placement is uncertain - but Harry made it into Gryffindor like he wanted. Which is all the reason I need to repeat the words “Not Omitted!” about 1000 times starting tomorrow morning.
A friend of mine whose name is also in the hat sent me an e-mail recently where he calculated an approximately 16% chance of entry for each of us. So I can’t exactly say I’m brimming with optimism. The only thing left to do is wait and hope - and keep refreshing that website.
Finally, to the other runners I know whose names are also in the hat: good luck to all of you on Saturday. I sincerely hope your names get selected as well - as long as they’re pulled out sometime after mine.