The Very Secret Diary (CoS 13)

In this chapter of Harry Potter, we see steadfast determination all over.

The chapter begins with Hermione recovering from turning into a cat while doing homework. Harry is determined to figure out how a diary he found works. Tom Riddle (the phantom diary owner from the past) is determined to tell his story through magicking the diary. Everyone is determined to solve the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets, while attempting to keep the status quo alive.

 

And as I am crunched for time this week due to the sheer amount of assignments due all I am going to say to all of you law school students out there:

STAY DETERMINED.

If there’s one thing I struggle with and constantly have to remind myself is to stay determined. And you should too.

until next time,

Mischief Managed

 

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The Polyjuice Potion (CoS 12)

In the last blog post I wrote a little about how I am learning that I am not just a creative, but that the logic side of life (math and science) are also things that I enjoy. I’ve actually learned a lot about myself since coming to law school. Being away from the home I had for 25 years, not working to the extent I use to and being immersed in the new academic world can revel a lot about who you are and/or were. Growth is inevitable in life, but what’s more important is being able to see who you are now so you can one day see clearly who you were…

Chapter 12 beings with a trip to Dumbledore’s office. Harry is escorted to the Headmaster’s office at the end of chapter 11 after being found at the scene of the crime where another petrified student has been found. In Dumbledore’s office Harry asks the Sorting Hat if he was placed correctly, hearing only that Harry still would’ve been good in Slytherin. He then turns his attention to a bird int he corner that looks like a “half plucked turkey.” The bird soon catches on fire and turns to ashes. Harry freaks out a little as Dumbledore comes into the office. Dumbledore explains how Fawkes is a phoenix, a bird that burns and rebirths from its ashes. he talks about how these birds can carry heavy objects, have healing tears and make wonderful loyal pets (all foreshadowing for later). Hagrid barges in and tries to prove Harry innocent for the petrified student. Dumbledore says he already knows Harry is innocent but asks Harry if he would like to tell Dumbledore anything in regards to the school happenings. Ashamed of the voices in his head, Harry says no. Later in the chapter, the Golden Trio uses the Polyjuice potion and head out to get info from Draco, who proves to not have too much new information about the Heir of Slytherin, other than the fact that he is not the heir.

tumblr_o5e5a1lhr71vp2995o1_500To me the most interesting part of this chapter is the small paragraph about Fawkes the Phoenix. Phoenixes are mythical creatures that show resilience. They are constantly shedding their bodies and emerging from their ashes to be new creatures (on days referred to as Burning Days). Yet their abilities to heal, carry heavy loads and remain loyal all stay intact. Coming to law school felt like a Burning Day of sorts. It was a time of rebirth. I left almost everything behind in Nevada to move to Colorado. Left my career to go back to school and felt like I was becoming a new person. The only thing is, I didn’t really leave everything behind.

Going through the first semester of school showed me that maybe I didn’t really understand myself back home in Nevada. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but in all actuality I was more acquainted with who I thought I should be, rather than myself. I thought I was strictly a creative. I played instruments, wrote a novel, painted for fun at times, put together elaborate bulletin boards at school and took pictures on a fancy camera for fun. I did anything I could to prove to myself that I was a creative person… and only a creative person. I told myself that the reason science and math were hard was because I wasn’t meant to be a science and math person but a creative person.

I loved to tell myself these little lies instead of facing that maybe I was trying to be something I wasn’t. When I got to Colorado I tried doing the same thing here too, except this time was with hiking. I’m not a huge outdoors person, I’m a let’s make a good meal, read a book, take a nap, watch tv stay indoors person. Yet, there’s this idea that when you live in CO you are an outdoors person, so that’s what I told myself I was because I moved here. What a tiring lie to try to tell yourself. Then it came to law school… here I told myself that I was meant to be the best, meant to be a leader and nothing less… haha… when the stress of trying to show that I was super smart and the best became too heavy to carry I started to feel burnt out and as if I was a fraud. I found myself asking the question: “was I right to be here?” (much like Harry asking the Sorting hat if he had been placed correctly).

This past week though was like having another Burning Day, another chance to start over and stop lying to myself. The most important thing I have learned at law school is that you don’t have to have a plan. You don’t have to tell yourself who you are going to be or how things are going to work out. You also don’t have to follow a certain path or be a certain person. You can be you, and unapologetically you. If you don’t know who that is, law school will start to show you who you are piece by piece. To be in law school you definitely have to be resilient though. You have to be able to make it through a “Burning Day” and rise from the ashes, maintaining certain abilities and traits that make you magnificent.

tumblr_mbp0t0g9fz1qmymtwo1_500The moral of the story: find out who you are and let yourself change organically. Don’t force yourself to change, don’t force yourself to be something you aren’t meant to be. Allow yourself to change when the time is right. Watch the slow progress happen and enjoy the ride. Law school will try to force you to change your being quickly, but hold onto what you believe in your soul… you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.

 

The Dueling Club (CoS 11)

Man things have been crazy here at Wizarding headquarters (aka law school). In the past two weeks we have had Water Review write-ons, classes, student org elections, and so much more! It’s been busy, busy, busy, but here we are again with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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This time around Harry, Ron and Hermione have decided to go full throttle with creating the Polyjuice Potion that will allow them to get secret information from Draco Malfoy about the killings of mudbloods at Hogwarts. They create a distraction to steal their final ingredients from Snape’s supply closet and get the potion going. A few days later a new club is announced at Hogwarts, The Dueling Club, ran by Professor Lockhart. As the students pair off  and start dueling Draco sends a snake onto the platform. Harry trying to yell at the snake to not attack another student speaks in another language (unbeknownst to him), Parseltounge. He soon learns of this new ability from Hermione and Ron. They tell Harry how bad it is to be a Parselmouth because it is known to be a dark magic, associated with the Heir of Slytherin. People start to treat harry different and he overhears them talking about him. Not knowing why he has this ability, or much about it he gets angry and storms off, stumbling upon another student (the one he tried to save from the snake) petrified in the hallway…

This chapter’s theme is being different.

Sometimes being different has its perks. If everyone was the same class and life would be very boring. Yet, being different can also have a big downfall too. People are wired to not like what they do not understand. For Harry, being a Parselmouth was an unthinkable and horrific trait for him to have, at least that’s what the outside world told him. When he overheard the Hufflepuffs calling him the Heir of Slytherin and talking about how he could be an even more powerful Dark Wizard than Voldemort, Harry sort of snapped.

images-3Being different in a high stakes game is difficult. Trying to express your opinions becomes difficult. Trying to explain how you want to do something non-traditional in a society composed of nothing but traditions becomes intimidating. Being different is frowned upon at times in law school. (And I too have taken part in this looking down upon people for their never-ending curiosity… it’s hard not to look at people who are very different from you and judge them slightly). The thing is, law school and the law world could use a few more creative people, a few more people willing to be non-traditional, and a few more people to challenge the status quo. The problem is that we don’t allow for creativity to always flourish in our studying because we see others putting in a certain type of effort and we feel the need to keep up.

Law school isn’t built for creative people. Law school is sometimes marketed as a place for everyone, and sure creative thinking is encouraged, but it’s not really given a place to grow. Creative people tend to move a little slower, mulling over ideas, drawing them out, structuring them in ways that don’t make sense to the logical eye at first… but law school is about deadlines, structure, and logic.

images-4I’m personally a hybrid, stuck between two worlds the logic and the creative. I love to be creative, to create new things, new structures, new worlds and stories… yet on the other hand I love to work inside structures and deadlines. I grew up thinking I was not good at math or science, yet I loved the ideas of science (astronomy, chemistry,geology) … now being in law school I am starting to learn that I just might have been more inclined to the logic side of the world than the creative side…and that’s the beauty of the world, both logic and creativity can co-exist in one place, person, or subject matter. The key is to bring them together, and for those of us who are “different” from the model law school student, need to reconcile these worlds with one another. Let’s make law school creative again.

Create new ways to tackle the law. Look for innovative ways to bring the law and society together. Let’s find creative solutions to today’s problems. Let’s find creative ways to break down barriers in politics, law, and social problems. All it takes is people not conforming to traditions for the mere reason that they simply exist and have always existed. Sure, in Harry’s case being a Parselmouth was known to be a ‘dark art’ but at the end of the day, the end of the series, Harry is a hero, not a dark wizard. Dare to be different. Dare to change the stereotypes. Dare to be creative in a non-creative world. Dare to be different and never let society change you.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Rogue Bludger (CoS)

During orientation we were told that after the first semester of school you would lose stamina, the adrenaline would wear off, and during second semester of the first year we would find ourselves slugging through to make it to summer. This wasn’t a false statement. Second semester feels little easier, we now at least have gotten through the first sets of classes and tests, but the dynamics have changed.

Grades came out. People started to divide themselves into groups. Classes had new seeing charts. People kept or disbanded their study groups. Everything is slightly different. While change is usually scary, it’s not that bad actually. Change has helped us all grow little by little. I’ve started to notice moments from the semester before where I too it on myself to take care of others who were struggling more than myself and have made changes to make sure that it doesn’t happen as much. I’ve started to take note of the people who balance me out and make me take a break. I’ve started to notice where I was a little too careless, a little too ‘que sera sera’ in my decisions…and i’ve started to change all of those things too.

In the Wizarding World we find the golden trio wading through a ton of carelessness too. The chapter begins with Harry, Ron, and Hermione getting Professor Lockhart to sign a slip granting them permission to check out a book from the restricted section of the school library.  After getting the book, the three hide in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom and look up the polyjuice potion that will change them to look like a few of the Slytherins so they can get Malfoy to tell them about being the Heir of Slytherin and the Chamber of Secrets. Hermione acts out of character, willing to break the rules in lieu of letting muggle-borns be killed off.

The next day is the big Quidditch match: Gryffindor v. Slytherin. The match begins, and trash talk ensues. As Harry flies around trying to find the golden snitch, he is suddenly being chased by a rogue bludger. Finding it odd and dangerous the Gryffindor team wants to end the match, literally afraid this harmful ball will kill Harry. Harry says no, refusing to let the team lose to Slytherin. They resume the match and harry sees the snitch. Flying after it, Harry reaches out for it and his arm is struck by the blunger, breaking it. He soon after catches the snitch, crashing to the ground. The crowds cheer at his triumph win, while the qudditch team rush to his side to make sure he is okay. Professor Lockhart arrives and refusing to let Harry go to the infirmary attempts to mend Harry’s arm. hpLockhart instead turns Harry’s arm into jelly, making all of the bones disappear. Harry goes to the infirmary where he spends the night. Dobby appears explaining why Harry should leave Hogwarts and admitting to bewitching the bludger and sealing the platform to the school train. As Dobby disappears, another student is brought into the infirmary, petrified.

In this chapter, quite a few of the characters act carelessly. Hermione throws out her rulebook for a good cause. Harry lets pride blind him into entering into another dangerous situation that could take his life. Lockhart trying to look good evaporates the bones in Harry’s arm. All of these characters show that we all have moments of carelessness. As humans we tend to act careless when blinded by something else. The real issue outside the underlying emotion that causes our carelessness, is what we do about it later.

As I wrote at the beginning I noticed a few times where last semester, blinded by a deep desire for people to like me, I acted carelessly. I put others before myself. I sometimes went out instead of forcing myself to just do an hour’s more work. I didn’t take care of myself, and it didn’t make me feel good at the end of each day. When in law school, being careless might work for some, but for people like myself, being careless is a mask for a bigger problem. And so, we change. I’ve started being selective in the times I hangout or study. I’ve started being selective about who I study with or pair myself up with. I’ve started putting my needs ahead of others, and have taken the time to reflect on what I want. jk-rowling-harry-potter-meme

When you find yourself not getting the results you desire, you have to take time to reflect on what went wrong and then devise a plan to change and track the results. Don’t be more careless, be little more careful with yourself and your time. You won’t regret it.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed