by Ola Mobarak, grade 7, Chris Hadfield Public School
Katya (Yakatsiaryna) Kukchanka is a reformed nail-biter, whose success probably builds on the fact that nail biting is her pet peeve. She has a lot of them! Katya hates nail biters, and she also dislikes when people tease her with food she wants. Nail biting is annoying because it’s “kind of disgusting, really!” she says, and taunting her with food makes her hungry! Even if she just ate, she will want more! She started biting nails at age three and stopped her habit at age five. Trying to stop biting your nails is more difficult than you would think.
According to Katya, to help her stop nail biting, she trained her brain to think of nail biting as “…just gross, really!” A fresh look at this topic sees this bad habit in a different light. “Once I thought of it, I saw how disgustingly gross it is! There’s, like, germs and stuff under your nails!” Katya’s evidence was that “disgusting, green, gross, dirty, I think you get the point!” nail gunk that gets lodged under our nails.
“Did you know that the germs can end up in your stomach?” she asks, “it could get you sick and stuff!” Katya’s dislike for this common habit is heightened when the nail-biters’ hands are dirty. Her own hands are as impeccable as possible, and she believes that dirty nails are covered in germs.
All people need a way to deal with their pet peeves, and Katya has a three step plan in place. “If I see it happening, the first thing I do is ask them to stop.” Although it’s a first step, what if it doesn’t work? “If they don’t stop, then I say it would help if they left. If they don’t want to leave, and they don’t want to stop, I do my best to ignore it.”
“I also do my best to ignore it when I’m hungry and I’m surrounded by food!” Katya’s other major pet peeve is being hungry and not being able to eat the food that surrounds her because “It’s, like, taunting me! It makes me want to eat it, even though I know I can’t!” It happens most in cafeterias, lunch areas, and at school with friends. One of the reasons it annoys Katya, is because “it makes me hungry when they have this food, and it smells really good, and whether I’m full or not, it makes me so hungry!”
The foods that get Katya the hungriest include pizza, sugar, sweets, gummies, snacks, chocolate, and foods that smell good. “Those are the worst for me, because those are the foods that I love the most!” These foods leave her wanting more, “even if I just had them!”
This hungry little girl tries her best to “ignore the way the food looks or smells, and if they taunt me with it, like on purpose, I just get so mad at them! It drives me crazy, like absolutely nuts! Who would do that? In the end, I tell them to cut it out!” This plan is simple, but “it usually works.”
Whether she wants to bite their food, or they bite their nails, Katya gets annoyed! She can deal though, and it often works. Right now, she says she is “not that hungry. I just ate!”