Dudley Demented and a Peck of Owls (OotP 1&2)

Hey cool kids, did ya think I forget this week’s Wizarding World of Law School post? Nah, I’ve just been busy adulting this week, which means things are running a tad bit behind. Here we are though, starting the fifth HP book. To be honest the first chapters of every book are always a tad difficult to make a great blog post out of, but this book starts with a BANG! Check it out!

Chapter 1- Dudley Demented

We are back at Privet Drive. Harry hasn’t heard a word from anyone about what’s going on, so he tends to hide in the bushes listening to the muggle news outside the Dursely’s home. When he hears what he thinks is someone apparating onto the street he rolls out of the bushes with his wand at the ready. Caught by Uncle Vernon, Harry heads to the park where he has a run in with the new and improved Dudley. Okay, maybe improved isn’t the word, but Dudley has lost some weight and joined boxing. In Dudley’s spare time he practices his boxing skills on 10 year olds. Harry and Dudley have a slight altercation, things start to get stormy and they start to run home where they have an encounter with Dementors. Yes, Dementors. Harry of course whips out an “EXPECTO PATRONUMMMMMM.” Suddenly Mrs. Figg, the batty old neighbor from across the street appears explaining she’s a squib and well, that Harry needs protecting.Figg

Chapter 2- A Peck of Owls

Well as the night goes on, Dudley is like truly messed up. Mrs. Figg and Harry get Dudley home. The Dursley’s freak out. Hella owls come saying Harry is expelled, Harry isn’t expelled but has a hearing, and that HE SHOULD NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. But like the Durselys want Harry out… until a howler comes for Petunia with a message “Remember my last, Petunia!”…. Interesting…VERY INTERESTING.

See? I told you it was a BANG! Anyways, isn’t it odd when a) things aren’t always as they seem AND b) everyone is suddenly telling you what to do in your time of need? That’s an interesting part of the law school. They (the weird collective they; the all-knowing, omnipotent they) tell us going into law school that you don’t always end up doing things just the way you plan on doing them once you get out. And they just might be right. That’s not to say that I am having a change of heart or anything, nor does it mean that I don’t want to have food law.

What it means is that things, paths, life goals, life circumstances, etc., aren’t always what they seem. I came to law school thinking that I had one path… well that path was my own carved out sort of mucking it through the mud path. But the thing is, it’s pigeonholed me, and I’ve actually found joy in doing transactional work. Contracts, accounting, real estate, employment, and all other business related law things. But as I start to find joy in these things and look towards doing business/transactional work after law school, people start to try and persuade you to go back to your roots. When you say you want to do corporate work or business work people all of a sudden want you to remember the little man, to remember the public interest work you wanted to do.

The thing is… I haven’t lost my interest in the little man or public interest work. I have always committed my life to serving others, to taking care of other people, to going above and beyond. Only some of that has changed. I have instead started to want to do what’s right for me as well. It’s not about wanting money, it’s not about wanting to help the “big guys,” it’s not about not wanting to do “what’s right.” No, this is about needing to pay my dues, to obtain the skills that will help me help so many more people one day, and to do something I like doing.

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Law school is hard. We all come in thinking that we know exactly what we want to do and how we are going to do it. For some that path works out, for others things change, and it doesn’t help when people suddenly want to speak up about your choices. The best thing one can do is listen to their intuition. You can take people’s advice or follow their directions: Harry decides to follow Aunt Petunia and Arthur Weasley’s words and stay put in the Durselys’ home.  You can also decide to go your own way: yes, like the Fleetwood Mac song.

Either way like they said every day in middle school and high school after the announcements “the choice is yours.” Stay true to you… you’ll be glad you did.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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Priori Incantatem, Veritaserum and the Parting of Beginnings (GoF 34-37)

So another book ends and another semester begins. Winter break surely was not long enough. I wish it would have gone on forever, but alas here we are. This winter break taught me a lot about myself and how I see the world. A lot of times I refuse to standup for myself, allowing myself to become the victim, allowing myself to become distrustful of those around me, even when I just met a person. Winter Break gave me time to think about all of this and really help me to determine why I react to people the way I do, and it’s simply because I refuse to listen to their story and follow my instinct to process what they are saying. Instead, I let my ego get the best of me in everyday life which causes WAY MORE problems than it solves. And as we leave Book 4 and head into Book 5, we will see how ego can get in the way in everyone’s lives, especially politicians. But for now, let’s wrap up Book 4’s remaining chapters

Chapter 34- Priori Incantatem

voldey duelSo Harry is let down from the grave he was tied to and then the duel begins. Harry scrambles a bit, Voldemort taunts him a bit and then they duel. They cast curses at each other and BAM they are oddly connected. They hold the connection and start to float. Then ghost like figures start coming out of Voldey’s wand. These figures include Cedric and Harry’s Parents. They all say they are going to buy Harry some time. Cedric says to take his body back. Harry breaks the connection and runs to Cedric’s body summoning the portkey and heads back.

Chapter 35- Veritaserum

Dead_cedricHarry lands with Cedric’s body back at Hogwarts. He tries to tell everyone Voldemort’s back and then panic sets in. Oddly enough the “My son, my son” cries of Mr. Diggory are not in the book, but it happens. Through the chaos Moody grabs Harry to take him back to the castle. Turns out he’s not actually Mad-Eye Moody, he’s BARTY CROUCH JR.!!!!! Hogwarts teachers burst in the door to save Harry. They pour veritaserum down Barty’s throat and the truth spills out. We get the whole back story of how Barty Courch Sr. broke Barty Crouch Jr. out of Azkaban and how then Jr. escaped and how Bertha Jorkins found about him and then had to die. Barty Crouch Sr. also needed to die so Junior killed his papa.

Chapter 36- The Parting of Ways

Once Dumbledore got all the info he wanted out of Junior Dumbledore moved on. Sent for Snuggles and brought Harry to his office. Dumbledore explains everything to Harry and Sirius, attempts to explain things to Fudge who refuses to hear it. Sends harry to the infirmary and everyone is whispering about things. Harry gets his winnings, Cedric’s parents are in mourning. Harry goes to sleep.

Chapter 37- The Beginning

(Of another semester…) Harry tries to give the gold to the Diggory Parents, they won’t take it. Dumbledore explains to the whole school Cedric’s death and that Voldemort is back and that the Ministry won’t recognize it. Then they eat and it’s time to leave Hogwarts. Harry gives his gold winnings to Fred and George to start their joke business.

juniorTalk about traumatic experiences! I’m the first to admit that Harry is one of my least favorite characters in the series and we will see why in Book 5, but I do feel bad for him in these chapters. Harry has something super traumatic happen to him, but since he was the only one to see it and experience it, he is treated poorly.  No one believes him. It made me start to think about how we do things in the legal field. Sometimes people come to us with problems and we have to decide to believe them and take on their case; or at least we have to believe in the system and take on their case. But sometimes it is so hard to believe someone’s story. No matter how hard we want to believe, no matter how much this person cries and tells us their tale, sometimes we just can’t believe them.

And that doesn’t happen in just the legal field, it happens in our personal lives every day.  I came to law school with some trust issues already. Law school really challenges you to work through those trust issues. It challenges you to change how you see the world but to stay true to your gut instinct. But it’s hard when you are like Harry and no one understands what you just went through, where you’ve been, or who you truly are. I think it’s important to note that Harry struggles with this throughout the whole series. Not too many people know how horrible it is for him back at the Dursleys, how crazy it’s been to be thrusted into a life of magic and a life of fame, and later there’s no way anyone understands what it’s like to know that there is someone, someone very powerful, out there that he alone has to face and be killed by in order to save the wizarding world.

So while I don’t like Harry, I sympathize with him, much like I sympathized with Voldemort in the last post. We never know what others are going through, what they’ve been through, and what they are left facing. Yet, we judge them and we judge each other all the same. I’ve done it. I’ve looked superficially at someone’s life and with a jealous eye determined to write them off, even if I’ve heard their story, heard the things they don’t want to share with the whole world. And I too have been on the other side of this. The thing is, in law school and in life, you have to trust your gut and in order to learn to trust your gut, you have to move your ego out of the way. As we will see in Book 5, there are a lot of egos being thrown around which leads to a lot of disbelief and blindness.

Interesting-Ego-QuotesOur egos are a huge part of this journey. Our egos tell us only what we want to hear, what we want to know, and what we think about ourselves. Our egos compare us to others, dismiss others thoughts and ideas when they challenge ours, and try to keep us in control at all times. But that smaller voice, the one that says Harry is telling the truth (why would he lie to us about this?), that’s the voice we want to listen to. That is the instinct, the truth teller, the right voice to lead us. Sure, sometimes its a very naive voice that may put you in situations that you don’t like, but that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it.

All of this is to say that as another semester begins, to check in with what voice you are listening to. To really take inventory of the stories being told to you and process them before reacting or making a decision about someone. Be open-minded, quiet the ego and listen to your instinct. You’ll be happy you did. You’ll find more peace. You’ll help make the world a more understanding place.

Good luck this semester!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Pensieve Task of Flesh and Death Eaters (GoF 30-33)

I love a good story. That’s what makes Harry Potter the best, its a complicated story full of twists and turns, foreshadowing, and hidden messages. The best part about stories is that they all come from somewhere, they are all secrets inside each author’s chest and mind just waiting to get out and be shared with the world. How does this relate to law school? Well law school teaches us that it’s all about the story. Each case is based on a series of stories from both sides. Each policy or law is built off a story, a desire for change (or greed) from those who write and enact it. It’s interesting really when you think about the stories behind everything the law touches, and for a lot of us, those stories began before law school. Before we dive into that though, let’s dive into the Harry Potter Story we’ve been tracking.

Chapter 30- The Pensieve

pensieveSo Dumbledore leaves Harry alone in his office, what’s a kid to do? Snoop, of course! I mean, who wouldn’t?? Harry finds the pensieve, a magical memory holder that Dumbledore uses like a giant bowl shaped jigsaw puzzle. Harry swoops into some magical memories of Barty Crouch sentencing his son to Azkaban and then Dumbledore shows up (the real one, not the memory one who apparently looks the same exact way as the current one) and is all like “Harry lesssssgo, you’ve snooped into my personal life enough now.” Then Dumbledore is all like, “oh of course you are curious, and of course I didn’t lock that thing up tight enough. It’s not like I was hoping you’d snoop.” Which I don’t buy, Dumbledore never does anything uncalculated, sort of like Beyonce or Taylor Swift, everything they do is done on purpose. They talk about Voldemort and Snape and the Crouch family. The end of the chapter.

Chapter 31- The Third Task

sphnixThe final task is here! Can I get a drumroll??? Okay, it’s actually pretty cool… the movie makes it look pretty lame, but this huge maze is pretty awesome! There’s even a sphinx with a riddle! Why the heck was that left out of the movie, the CGI on that alone would have been cool to see. Instead the movie just glosses over Krum’s eyes, has him attack everyone, and there’s mysterious wind that blows the shrubs around. Cedric’s and Harry’s hero complexes come out to play like normal and they both end up saving each other at some point. THere’s a giant spider. Then Harry and Cedric play a round of “you can have the cup, you are a true hero” “Oh no you take the cup, you deserve it.” They both grab the cup and BOOM, it’s a portkey! *mic drop*

Chapter 32- Flesh, Blood, and Bone

The movie and this chapter go hand in hand a bit well. Harry and Cedric find themselves in a graveyard. Cedric gets murdered by some weird little rotting baby corpse that Wormtail is carrying. A bubbling cauldron is made. Flesh. Blood. Bone. Baby Corpse. and BAM! Voldemort sans nose is back! I wonder if we will ever find out why he doesn’t have a nose. Does anyone knows why?? (See what I did there!? lol!)Voldemortreborn

Chapter 33- The Death Eaters

(Also known as our current Government Leaders…sorry I had to!) Well Voldey is back, he calls his servants (the Death Eaters), lectures them about loyalty, says some stuff about his old family, talks about how he created a new family out of these Death Eaters. He hints towards horocruxes. He talks about immortality and the legacy he wants to have. Then he tells Harry “ohhh look I can touch you… because your blood is in my body now so no more magically love blood bonds from your mama.” Then he makes Wormtail untie Harry and is all like “let’s duel so I can kill you.”

I guess you could say almost everyone in these chapters has some sort of hero complex and who doesn’t? We all want to champion something and we all think that our mission and values are the best. We all have a good reason for what we do. I had a friend during my first year of law school who wants to become a District Attorney so that he/she could put people who do hard drugs in jail. I fundamentally disagreed with her, but I never asked the question as to why this was her mission in life. I had another friend who wants to dismantle the current prison system and stop systematic racism. Other friends want to simply make a lot of money. Some friends want to help save the environment. We all come to law school with some sort of mission and we think that our mission is more valuable than many others (even if we don’t want to admit it). The hard part is that we don’t always see the ramifications and potential consequences of this mission.

A good example of this comes from a huge research project I’ve been working on for our school’s Water Law Review. The Glen Canyon Dam which is located in Arizona, not too far away from the Utah border is a dam that’s created a lot of controversy since it was built. The dam was supposed to be in Utah, but after the Sierra Club and a couple other big voices fought against that decision since it would of course flood an area they wanted to preserve it was moved down to Glen Canyon. The head of the Sierra Club at the time in later years said this was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. He fought so hard to have the dam moved down stream that he didn’t stop to look at what it would do to the Glen Canyon area. He later said that it ruined that area, which is something he deeply regretted.

The gist of this all is that we all have a reason we fight for something. We all have something that drives us. For me, wanting to better our food system and create equal access to healthy foods for all people is because when my mom and step-dad divorced I saw first hand how a lack of money will affect your diet and your access to healthy foods. It’s not okay that people have to choose between making a healthy meal for their family and paying for electricity. And please know that money is not the only issue, so is time, there is not always time to make a healthy meal, shop for healthy ingredients and such, so a lot of times processed food is the cheapest and the easiest option for lower income families.

graveFor Voldemort, his whole reasoning behind his movement is the reaction his family had to him growing up. He’s not even a pure-blood wizard, but because his dad reacted in a way that ensured a hard life for Voldemort, he made it his life mission to go and seek revenge. He had a sad life, a hard life and he made life choices that reflected his inner angst. Sure, it’s not okay that he then wanted to kill all muggles, but once you know his backstory a bit, it can change the way you see him.

That’s the thing, you have to ask the right questions before jumping to conclusions about a person’s decisions. You have to see things through their eyes before sealing in your mind who you think they are. You have to be willing to take a step back and get to know them before outcasting them or thinking they are mean or a bitch to begin with.  And on the flip side, we have to be willing to put aside our own baggage and let people in, people who will care about us and show us that maybe, just maybe our world views and our mission isn’t 100% the best thing there ever was and will come with some big consequences that we just might regret later down the line. Think about what could have happened if Voldemort had done just that, or if the head of the Sierra Club could have foreseen the consequences of his actions.

So, take some time in this new year and ask some questions, get to know people’s backstories and then make decisions about them. You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t even have to like them afterwards, but at least you’ll better understand them.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

2017 Recap

So tonight is the night, the end of the 2017.  And because of that we are going to do something a little different on this blog. Throughout the year I tend to write down things I hear or read (sometimes underlining them in books). This year I decided to sit down and read through some of them. There’s usually a theme, as you will see. Now this isn’t all of them from the entire year but it is a good portion of the ones I kept track of after my trip to Italy.

Here’s the list of some of my favorite quotes from 2017:

  • When you get rejected the first thing you should be doing is revive your self-esteem and not join fight club and beat it into a pulp
  • Self-confident people interpret feedback the way they choose to
  • We can’t protect what we don’t love and we can’t love what we don’t understand
  • If you are telling a story never make yourself the hero…no one works alone
  • Tragedy is never just, satisfying, but not just
  • Systems can’t give mercy, only individuals can
  • Decent people are the easiest to manipulate
  • Lean into the discomfort of work
  • Courage- tell who you are with your whole heart
  • What made them vulnerable made them beautiful
  • To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen; to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee, to practice gratitude and joy even in the face of terror; to believe we are enough
  • We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you wont’ be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth- NOBODY WAS EVER THINKING ABOUT YOU, ANYHOW.
  • I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humor, patience, fairness, sensitivity. Those last three might seem like they are covered by “nice,” but make no mistake, they are not. A person who smiles a lot and remembers everyone’s birthday can turn out to be undercover crazy, a compulsive thief, and boring to boot. I don’t put a lot of stock in nice. I’d prefer to be around people who have any of the above qualities over “niceness,” and I’d prefer it if that applied to me, too. I’m also okay if the most accurate description of me is nervous, and a little salty. But at least I know what I want to strive for.
  • I thrive in structure. I drown in chaos.
  • I love rules and I love following them, unless that rule is stupid.
  • Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities.Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery their lives would remain small– far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.
  • Experience has taught me to be careful of meeting your heroes in person: it can be terribly disappointing.
  • There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.
  • Your Gut knows what’s up. Trust that Bitch.

 

Well here’s to a great 2018. I hope it brings you everything you want and more. Stay positive. Stay Bright. Stay Light. Stay Weird. Stay You. And keep reading the Wizarding World of Law School!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed!