So here’s how this is going to work!
- I’ll start each chapter out with a little bit of a recap of the chapter
- I’ll introduce the theme from the chapter AND
- 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.
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.
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