Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Holding onto Hope for Hogwarts

My roommate’s sister got her wisdom teeth out yesterday and the subsequent effects of painkillers were hilarious, causing her to believe she was going to Hogwarts. I have now become dedicated to making sure everyone sees this video because it makes me laugh so much.

As a huge Harry Potter fan I had to share this video and the hope of that magical wizard school. Many of us stopped dreaming of getting our owl when we turned twelve. There was a sense of despair, a reality setting in. It was right in our brink of the teenage life, the time we’d be changing into adults and gradually leaving childhood fantasy behind.

But that joy that Hogwarts and Harry’s adventures can always stay with us…especially with the help of meds apparently. So I share this video to make you readers laugh and to remind you of that joy and hope of Hogwarts letters.

This was mostly for fun, but as someone who never has lost hope of finding that magic I love in fantasy books, I suppose her excitement “going to Hogwarts” really makes me happy. I remember the point where I stopped knocking on the back of wardrobes as a child realizing I’d never go to Narnia. And yet some sense of joy still lingers in me at the memory of my experiences in that world. And I have never fully lost hope that there is something greater out there.

Anyhow, as I said…mostly just me feeling a need to laugh during finals week.

What hopes and dreams did books instill in you as a kid? How anxious were you for a letter to Hogwarts?

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Most Unjust Representation: Life as a Hufflepuffist

So most of my good friends know I’m a strong feminist, and I fight to try to end misrepresentations and injustices against women. But what many don’t know is that there is another cause that also sparks my anger when it comes to the obvious inequality that I see in the media and in the world. These people are misrepresented, slighted on a daily basis. They are not given equal representation in film or literature, and those who are prominent are often ignored or mocked. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my life as a Hufflepuffist.

For those who don’t know, a Hufflepuffist is a person who fights for equal rights and representation for Hufflepuffs. This is a very little known cause so I will do my best to bring light to this subject.

As a young person I certainly was not a Hufflepuffist. I saw nothing wrong in the representation and had my head filled with stereotypes of Hufflepuffs as the “leftovers” of Hogwarts anyone too dumb to be in Ravenclaw, too cowardly to be in Gryffindor, and too pathetic to be in Slytherin. I believed as almost everyone else did that Hufflepuff had little value other than to fill up a fourth space for students. I prided myself on Ravenclaw standing (having been sorted by some quiz online), prideful of my obvious knowledge and talent. However, the Pottermore test made short work of that.

My friends had predicted beforehand that I would be in Hufflepuff. It was a slap in the face to me at the time. A sign that they saw me as lesser to them, that I wasn’t good enough to be put elsewhere. I declared I would cherish any placement but Hufflepuff. And when I ended up put in the house of the badger, I cried. I cried because I felt worthless and unloved. Because everything I had been told my whole life was pointing me to the fact that nothing good ever comes from Hufflepuff and that it was a house of shame.

I came out about my Hufflepuff status initially to a few friends. They were very supportive and glad I was through with my time of denial. But I quickly became more bold about it, and soon developed the Hufflepuff pride that my friends will tell you so defines me. I have lost my shame, have realized that good does come from Hufflepuff and just because I’m not following a societal norm does not mean that I am worth any less. Since those early days I have become a champion for Hufflepuff rights.

For those who don’t believe Hufflepuffs are in some way unjustly portrayed and unequally represented, let me show a few good examples from my favorite source of knowledge: the internet.

Exhibit A:

Image

Representation: while others thrive on power, adrenaline, imagination, and clearly thrive in life Hufflepuffs choose to fill their time with worthless sweets.

Exhibit B:

Image

Representation: while others are smart, daring, cunning etc. Hufflepuffs just sit there with empty thoughts and do nothing.

Exhibit C:

Image

Representation: Hufflepuff is something to be ashamed of and that any other house would be better than this one. This picture is a typical idea of Hufflepuff shaming, the fear many children have in telling their parents that they are Hufflepuffs because it might not be accepted the same as another house would be.

Exhibit D:

Image

Representation: Hufflepuffs are worthless and shouldn’t even be at Hogwarts. As muggles and muggleborns too face injustice in the wizard world, it is a big insult to be compared to one. This just goes to show how poorly Hufflepuffs can be treated.

Exhibit E:

Image

Representation: no one ever wants to be a part of this worthless house. This is false and many wizards, witches, and muggles like myself proudly embrace their Hufflepuff standing.

Exhibit F

Hufflepuff 6Representation: that Hufflepuffs are somehow worthless and uncared about. The slight towards Canada is also extremely uncalled for.

Exhibit G:

Hufflepuff 7

Representation: that Hufflepuffs cannot be cool. Cedric Diggory was one of the few representations of a Hufflepuff in the Harry Potter series the only other main two being Professor Sprout and Tonks (not including little know ones like Hanna Abbot, Justin Finch-Fletchley etc.). We are teaching children that to be Hufflepuff is to be uncool no matter how wonderful your personality might have been. Cedric was one of the bravest and kindest characters, and yet because he was a Hufflepuff his value is diminished.

Exhibit H

Hufflepuff 8

Representation: not far from the “potato” image above. This implies Hufflepuffs again have little value. They are stupid, distracted by meaningless things like feet.

Exhibit I:

Hufflepuff 9

Representation: Hufflepuffs aren’t courageous or interesting. They simply like to play fair and that’s about it. Again, Tonks and Diggory were both very brave characters, and yet they seem to be forgotten in favor of keeping Hufflepuffs as the dumb pitiful types.

Exhibit J

Hufflepuff 11

Representation: People think Hufflepuffs are untalented, unable to really do great magic, and no one really seems to care about them in general.

And of course the slightly amusing Very Potter Musical Joke:

What the hell is a hufflepuff

This is the life of an everyday Hufflepuff, forced to live in a world that insists they are unworthy, untalented, pathetic, dumb, and certainly not on the same level as other Hogwarts houses. In films and books they have remained unrepresented on a large level. However, it has been a joyous success to learn that the next movie by J.K Rowling will feature a Hufflepuff hero with Newt Scamander leading as the protagonist. We can only hope this will start to change people’s opinions and make people realize that Hufflepuffs do have value, they are people, and they deserve to be loved and treated equally.

And just remember, when we box people into their definitions we forget that there are always exceptions to the rule. The houses are a fun way to see people’s strengths, but we must remember that individuals are each unique, and that people do not always fit. As a very introverted intellectual Hufflepuff who does not really like hugging people, I am always¬† upset when people think that because of my house I am extroverted, unintelligent, and love hugs! So make sure to take a closer look beyond the house crest. Love people for who they are and view them for who they are, not what society labels them.¬† Just remember:

Hufflepuff good!

And continue to branch out and make new friendships, love others for who they are…always.

 

*side note* To any who seem to think this is somehow a serious post, I will let you know that I do value Hufflepuffs but not to this ridiculous extent. So before you laugh at me for being too easily offended, just know much of this post was written in jest and for my own amusement. And the rest was written in hopes that people will one day see Hufflepuffs for their full potential….because it is true that it is the house that no one really cares about.

Any fellow Hufflepuffs out there with me? What other houses feel unjustly portrayed? As the last image reminds us, Slytherins often get portrayed as heartless, Ravenclaws as snobs and those two portrayals are also equally upsetting. Is there anything troubling for you Gryffindors? Even in the spotlight there can be problems with stereotypes. So, chat about it with me readers. I always love hearing some Harry Potter debates.

14 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Quotes to Inspire

Quotes to Inspire

I accidentally published something prematurely a few minutes ago because I was not paying attention. Apologies for withdrawing that! But here is a quote from Harry Potter to inspire you guys in the meantime, especially in regards to blogging!

“It is the quality of one’s convictions that determines success, not the number of followers” Remus Lupin from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Please feel free to comment some of your favorite book quotes. I always love to hear other favorites. And I apologize for the post I had to retract! I will try to write and publish that one sometime later this week.

12 Comments

October 20, 2013 · 12:24 AM

The Things That Change Us

Rowling

When I was a child I refused to follow things that were popular. Absolutely refused. I was a bit of a stubborn girl as my mother would surely tell you if you asked her. And that contributed greatly to my choices of what I read and watched and participated in. I tended to be free thinking, wanting to enjoy my own interests without interruption from my peers. There is something both amusing and admirable when I picture my younger self stamping her foot over people encouraging her to pursue something utterly mainstream. So my reading choices tended to largely be books of my own choosing. But being an avid reader I had already begun my lifelong problem of having recommendations. And like all readers the popular books are always recommended first and foremost.

So began my lifelong dance with popular literature. And in particular, Harry Potter.

Second grade was where I largely blossomed into a reader. I became capable of reading to myself, and that development was troubling to behold. I snuck books under desks to read during class and slipped a flashlight into bed with me to keep going on my latest pursuit. And in second grade Harry Potter had just begun to become a phenomenon particularly prevalent in my age group just as I was beginning to figure out the wonderful world of books.

I was absolutely against Harry Potter to a degree where I wouldn’t even talk about the subject. To be honest, I had little idea of what Harry Potter was only that my peers greatly admired it, and therefore I wanted nothing to do with it. Of course everything changed when I went off to France for a semester with my family the next year.

Isolation tends to make me gravitate all the more towards books. And in France I was homeschooled and since I didn’t speak the language had no chance to interact with other children. So, home was my solitude and books kept me busy. But books in English were not so readily available in our small town. And in the library there were few choices. With most of the books already finished I turned to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (they had the British version) to occupy my time. There was much irony in my caving as I had thrown a fit over a Harry Potter journal I’d been given before going to France. But Harry followed me across the world, and it seemed I was incapable of fully escaping even in a foreign country.

My mother read book one aloud to my brother and I. Within the first few pages my resistance melted away, and I was helpless to do anything else but enjoy. We devoured the first and second books together and even enjoyed watching the newly released first movie on the plane ride back to America.

While I could sit and ramble about how amazing the books and movies are, I would prefer to speak more personally about them. Because that little lonely boy in the cupboard under the stairs sparked something deep in me that I had never known before. And that was a desire to write.

I began with copying J.K. Rowling’s ideas, making a school for fairies rather than wizards and creating an orphan character as my protagonist. I remember little about that initial series, but I remember it being the first of my inspiration and that it paved the way for later books to come. Something in Rowling’s works made me come alive and gave me a desire to emulate Harry Potter in changing children’s lives through story. I think if nothing else those books gave me hope of something better, of a world filled with love and light, and in the dark years ahead of me those messages continued to remain both a prevalent part of my worldview and my own writing.

You would think Harry would have cured me of my desire to be unique in my entertainment choices, but to this day I still do meet some resistance when faced with something popular. I’ve certainly become better, but it is a fault I have to work to correct.

Today I’m a total nerd when it comes to Harry Potter. I know what house I’m in (Hufflepuff), know what character has the same Myers Briggs personality (Neville), know what wand I would have (12 1/2 in. cedar dragon heartstring), and even own a copy of Luna Lovegood’s wand from the movie along with two of the books (one in French which I can now read and one in English).

Yes, I’m a nerd, and I love it, and anytime I think about Harry Potter I know that it’s never just a fandom to me, and it’s something more than that. No matter how critical people want to be of the books or movies, I hold onto a few very special things in knowing that Harry Potter changed my life in an impossible way. As I have completed my fourth novel this year I can only look back with fondness at the little third grader who wanted to make her own Hogwarts. Because with her change in mindset she gained a whole new world. And I suppose I keep that forever in sight today, that in opening myself up to something new and different, I can gain something new.

What books or moments have changed you? Do you have any good stories of childhood reading? Has Harry Potter had an influence on you?

5 Comments

Filed under Reading, Writing