Happy New years from the Wizarding world of Law School to you! It’s been a terribly long winter break. I know 3.5 weeks doesn’t seem long, but when you go to class 5 days a week and have nothing but time consuming reading and assignments, 3.5 weeks away are definitely way too long. What’s even worse is that we are waiting for grades, which should be posted tomorrow. That’s right, we’ve gone a whole semester without any real indication as to where we stand. We’ve gotten small insights into where we might be, but tomorrow should tell us exactly where we are. The scariest part is that relationships are already changing (because that’s what happens when you get thrown together with a bunch of people you don’t know and are trying to figure each other out over the course of a semester), and getting grades threatens to tear some relationships apart. Grades become a status indicator (if and when we let them)…
And HP Chapt 7, status is making things a bit confusing for our golden trio.
Recap: Harry is woken up by Oliver Wood to go to a sunrise Qudditch practice where Harry is followed by Colin, this pesky kid who just wants to take Harry’s picture and have him sign it still. The Gryffindor Quidditch team works to keep their eyes open through Wood’s incessant talk to drills and plays. As soon as the team embarks on an actual practice the Slytherin’s show up with a letter from Snape saying they can practice eon the fields to train their new Seeker, Draco Malfoy (whose father incidentally bought the whole team brand new brooms). An argument ensues between Hermione, Ron, Harry, Draco and the two teams, and Hermione is called a mudblood. Ron tries to curse Draco where he will throw up slugs, but Ron’s broken wand malfunctions and instead curses Ron. The trio scurries off to Hagrid’s hut where Harry asks what a mudblood is exactly. He learns that it is a a derogative name given to a muggle born witch or wizard by horrible pure blood families.
You see, even at Hogwarts status is a huge indicator of where you stand. While this doesn’t have to necessarily deal with their grades and is more like the pedigree their families hold (which can sometimes be a status indicator in law school too), it is a way of separating people by class. Our grades coming this week threaten to do the same to all of us, because there are already cracks there based on perceptions of people’s intelligence. Which sucks because we are all smart. We all got into law school, and as someone pointed out to me this past week Joe Biden (our current vice-president for only a little while longer) didn’t graduate in the top half of his class and look where he is sitting now.
But then again it’s human nature, we constantly feel the need to classify each other, to compare ourselves against others, to make ourselves stand out, and to make ourselves better than other people. It’s something we can’t shake off no matter how hard we try or how much we say we won’t change to be that way. We always end up losing people over silly things like grades, perceptions of intelligence, and hurts. But remember this, you are no better than someone else based on status. Hermione may have not been a pure blood witch, but she was smarter than everyone else in her class. Harry may have had (unwanted) fame, but he still had voids in him that nothing and no one could fill, and not to mention that whole part about being hunted by Voldemort. Ron may have been a pure blood and poor, but he belonged to one of best, dysfunctional, loving families in the world.
So while we await grades tomorrow, and then spend the next few weeks walking around in a stupor, judging each other, letting our heads either become big or our hearts break, remember all the good you still have. Don’t let these grades confuse happiness and success… Success is finding happiness and finding happiness is success. Hermione had her great friends, Ron and Harry, beside her to pick her up when called nasty names and judged for her blood status… who are you going to let pick you up when you are down, and better yet, where is your happiness rooted?
May the odds be ever in our favor tomorrow.
Until next time,