The Vanishing Glass (SS 2)

Another week, another Harry Potter post!

This week we are focusing on the second chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, entitled “The Vanishing Glass”. If you remember this scene from the first movie only, you are truly missing out on some background details leading up to the actual glass at the Zoo vanishing and Harry letting out a Boa Constrictor. So here is my short recap of the chapter:

Nearly ten years has passed since the night Dumbledore left Harry as a baby on the Durselys porch. Today is the birthday of Dudley Dursely (Harry’s cousin). We find Dudley screaming about not getting as many presents as last year and being spoiled rotten by the Dursely parents, while Harry (who lives in the cupboard under the stairs) is treated not so well. Today being Dudley’s birthday, Vernon and Petunia are taking him and a friend to the zoo, when they find out they have to take Harry along, due to the babysitter no longer being available. On the way to the zoo, Vernon complains about all the motorcycles everywhere and Harry recalls a dream he had about a flying motorcycle, where he is promptly shut down and told “MOTORCYCLES DON’T FLY!” We get to the zoo, Harry lags behind the rest, stops to look at a Boa Constrictor that his cousin yelled at and moved on from towards awake animals. Harry starts talking to the snake (in what we assume to be English… but its FORESHADOWING…more on this later), and when the same is talking back (…more foreshadowing…)Dudley pushes Harry out of the way, and in a moment of anger, panic and other 10 year old feelings, Harry somehow makes the glass disappear between Dudley and the snake.

WHAT A CHAPTER!! Maybe this is just me nerding out, but this chapter has SO much in it that foreshadows into the other books… Parseltounge anyone? But now onward…

The theme we have in this chapter is: feeling different from society and not being sure why.

If there was one thing the Durselys hated even more than his asking questions, it was his talking about anything acting in a was it shouldn’t, no matter if it was in a dream or even a cartoon — they seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas.

Here we see poor 10 year old Harry, clearly not treated as well as his cousin, sleeping in a cupboard under the stairs and feeling a little stranger than all the other kids and not being able to explain why. The Durselys know that Harry comes from a magical family, they know he could be a wizard, but they believe that if they keep it a secrete from Harry then, he will turn out to be normal (something they pride themselves on). The chapter is riddled with numerous times where Harry feels like he doesn’t belong in the life he is being forced into, and just cannot explain why. One of my favorite examples Rowling gives us of this is when Aunt Petunia cuts all of Harry’s hair off, giving him the worst haircut in the world, and overnight it grows back.

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Finding our tribes 🙂

In relation to law school I think this theme is two-fold. First, when talking to people about their journeys to DU I heard a lot of people say how great it is to be around like-minded people. Every single person here has an amazing story and yet everyone kind of felt like they didn’t quite fit in with where they were before. Some people it was feeling different from friends and not always being able to navigate popular conversations, for others it was the city they were in not fitting their life, and for most it was this desire to make a bigger impact than their current situations would allow. People didn’t always quite understand how we all thought or felt, or my favorite, why we couldn’t keep ourselves from thinking about the unpleasant problems in the world, trying to come up with solutions to solve them. We all felt a little different from the people around us (which is never a bad thing, because if we although and felt the same as the people around us, the world would be a bit boring).  However, like in Harry’s case, it could sometimes feel like this big secret in life was being kept from us, only to present itself to us in due time. And now here we are!

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Climbing to new heights

The second part of this is happening now, in a lot of our classes we are not only faced with learning new material, but also building up our world views and starting to shape our future careers. We don’t quite fit into every mold of law (which is expected) while at the same time we aren’t quite sure which ones we do fit into quite yet. We are trying out new organizations, challenging our world views, thinking about different career paths and trying to settle into a whole new life. It’s hard to explain to friends and family exactly what it’s like here or what we are learning because it’s like dreaming of a flying motorcycle and knowing it felt more real than a dream and your friends are just staring at you dumbfounded. Going to law school is reshaping all of our minds, but for the better… and in just a few more chapters we will hopefully start to unpack that journey a little more.

The biggest take away from this chapter is truly to embrace that uncomfortable feeling about being different. Whether it be with your outside of law school life or your life inside of law school, keep loving just how being different feels, because it’s a telling sign of the underlying greatness in you, that once ready, you will unleash on the world and the world will never be the same.

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The Boy Who Lived (SS 1)

So here’s how this is going to work!

  1. I’ll start each chapter out with a little bit of a recap of the chapter
  2. I’ll introduce the theme from the chapter AND
  3. I’ll give you this week’s analysis of the week with our theme

Ready?? Here we go:

So as we open the first Harry Potter book we find ourselves face to face with the title: The Boy Who Lived, which after the first week of law school, it’s sort of ironic…and yes, we are all still breathing. As we read, we meet the Dursleys, a “normal” family, full of routines, lacking dreams, and hating change. As Mr. Vernon Dursley leaves his house for what seems to be a normal day, he is faced with a lot of strange activity, and a name that bothers him: Harry Potter. Not wanting to rattle the normalcy of life for his wife, he doesn’t mention that he hears about this Harry Potter (the name of his nephew on his wife’s side), instead he hints around hearing it and goes to bed. We then encounter Dumbledore, Prof. McGonagall and Hagrid in the delivering of Harry to the Dursleys home. Each of them react differently to this scene, knowing that something happened between Harry and Voldemort causing Voldemort the Dark Lord of the day to vanish weakened, giving them room to be at ease in the wizarding world once more.

For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid’s shoulders shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously, and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore’s eyes seemed to have gone out.

Here we see the theme of moving out of the normal.

Each character in this chapter has to grapple with a change of life. The Durselys are faced with strange events taking place around them. Harry Potter, though unaware, is faced with a life of no parents and fame. Everyone is moving out of the normal circumstances they’d been living under. The three characters described above: Dumbledore, McGonagall and Hagrid  all deal with these changes so differently. You have Hagrid the crier, McGonagall the compressor, and Dumbledore the subtle feeler. Each one of them trying to sort out the events of the night, and each one of them processing in their own ways.

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The path in front of us is full of uncertainty, alas, we keep moving forward out of the normal world we’ve come to know.

This week, in starting law school, one can say we all definitely found ourselves moving out of the normal and into a new world. We’ve spent the last year preparing for this moment while living our day to day lives. We studied for the LSAT, filled out applications, wrote personal statements, worked our normal jobs or finished up undergrad degrees, made pro/con lists to figure out which schools we would attend and then picked a school, moved to a new city, sat through orientation and finally started school. Starting school, figuring out new routines, feeling free from work schedules and meeting tons of new people, we officially moved out of the liminal period of this journey and into the adjustment period. Some people seem to adjust rather quickly, or at least on the surface, they may actually just be processing like Dumbledore does in these circumstances. I have yet to see a Hagrid reaction… but i’m sure it’s coming.

In this chapter, I never realized how much empathy I felt for each character in dealing with change. Looking at Prof. McGonagall, she feels the anxiety of change and is hesitant to celebrate or move away from the fear of using Voldemort’s name. She waits until she can’t bare it any longer to ask Dumbledore about the rumor of Harry and his parents and even then is hesitant to proceed in more change (leaving Harry with his aunt and uncle). I feel like, through this whole process of beginning school, McGonagall and I have shared a lot of the same emotions. We want to know what’s happening, yet all the change makes us anxious and worried about celebrating like everyone else. We look to reconcile our fear with fact, and yet still cannot move completely shake the unease change brings. However, we keep moving forward.

Then there’s little Harry Potter, a sleeping baby unable to comprehend the events of the night: the death of his parents and his defeat of Voldemort. As they leave him sleeping in a basket on the Dursley’s porch, people all over the world are celebrating thanks to him. There he sleeps, unaware of his fame, the weight of his name, and the future he will suffer and sacrifice through. It reminded me a lot of the feeling of the first week. We’ve been told we are smart, intriguing people who will change the world ( a daunting task to be handed) but none of us knows what the future truly holds for us.

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The start of our journey… our Hogwarts

We are just beginning. We have left our normal lives behind and now the world will never be the sam. We’ve just started, we are infants (like Harry) simply laying in wait to see what will happen in the next three years, semester and even week. While it may not feel significant yet, one day soon we too will hear in hushed tones out names be praised as those who survived law school. Cheers to that!

So here’s to the next chapter both literally and metaphorically. Until next time— Mischief Managed

The Wizarding World of Law School

If you follow me on Facebook at all, here’s that new writing project I promised yesterday!

This past week I started Law School, and boy has it been one heck of a ride already. For some reason though, maybe from going to HP World at Universal Studios right before heading out here to Denver, my love for Harry Potter seems to have heightened as school has started. I mean, I have a running list of people’s Hogwarts Houses from my section or friend groups at school. (Damn Gryffindors keep growing in numbers, but at least we are well-rounded with 2 Hufflepuffs so far.)IMG_9116

Long story short, I was told about this amazing podcast series (“Harry Potter and the Sacred Texts”) this past week. I highly suggested this podcast if you want to nerd out like me. After listening to the first episode of the podcast I felt inspired to start a blog that lets people know how law school is unfolding, while at the same time explores my new world, with one of my favorite worlds: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

So this blog will do just that, each week I will read 1-2 chapters of the series, juxtapose it with my week in school, and explore the themes of the chapter/life that line up. There is approx. 144 weeks until my Law School journey comes to an end, and 199 chapters of all the Harry Potter books, so buckle up and get in this flying car as we embark on this three-year journey together!

Look for the first chapter post today!

Until then….Mischief Managed!