Professor Umbridge and Detention with Dolores (OotP 12&13)

My first semester of law school ended with a fantastic BIG FAT C- on my transcript. I remember the day we got grades as if it was yesterday. It was the first time I ever had to drive to work in the snow. Luckily it was during the day and not snowing all that bad, but I felt a pit in my stomach knowing that I would have to drive about 12 miles in the snow for the first time. I did it though, I got to work and got my free drink and sat down to wait for my shift to begin… then I got the text “Grades are up.”

I hurriedly pulled out my phone logging into the website to look at my grades. B, B, B-, C-… my heart stopped. I reloaded the page, there was no way I got a C- in my favorite class, the one class I thought I knew so well. The page reloaded and there it was…C-. I was devastated. I felt sick to my stomach. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes… but i had to go clock in.

Image result for checking grades memeAs I clocked in for work, my mind started spinning… of course you got a C- you aren’t smart like everyone else… maybe you should quit, you don’t belong here anyways… God you are so stupid, if you only studied the way everyone else did… Why can’t you just be like everyone else and spend late nights in the library? Why do you think you are special and don’t have to study as hard? God you are so stupid.

The thoughts just kept coming. I couldn’t stop them. Luckily within 20 minutes I got sent home early due to snow. The next few weeks were a blur. I kept beating myself up, fighting the urge to cry… I reloaded the page over and over thinking a different grade would be produced. It wasn’t until I calmed myself and started thinking about that day that I realized… it wasn’t because I was stupid that I got a C-… it was because I had a panic attack right before the exam and the rest was like a prolonged black out ending when I left the law school building.

Chapter Recap:

So classes begin and everyone is a little on edge already. Classes are boring, OWLS are coming, the Weasley twins are being suspicious… everything builds to Umbridge’s class. As soon as the class begins everything becomes a mess. Umbridge tells everyone to put away their wands and read quietly, which surprisingly Hermione refuses to do and starts a heated class discussion of why they shouldn’t just read quietly. Things get so heated Harry gets sent out of the classroom for yelling at Umbridge. Harry goes to McGonagall who gives him a cookie for firing back at Umbridge. Later Harry serves detention with Umbridge… and we all know what happens there.

Image result for i must not tell lies

We all have an Umbridge inside of us. It’s that little voice that cries for control when fear and denial take the front seat in our lives. It’s that part of us that lashes out at loved ones trying to gain control of a situation  that we just don’t want to face the facts about. It’s the part of us that lies to others and tells ourselves the same exact lie in order to stay loyal to the way we want to feel, to stay loyal to the toxic parts of our lives that we just cannot let go of. We may all hate Dolores Umbridge, but we all have an Umbridge inside of our hearts and our heads.

Don’t believe me? Think of a time where you talked down to yourself. Maybe it was a time where you really felt like you failed… what did you say to yourself? Did you critique every moment? Did you tell yourself that you sucked, that you would amount to very little, that you shouldn’t be part of whatever successes you were having?

Or think of a time where you belittled someone else to gain control of a situation? Maybe you were frustrated with the person because you thought they lied to you, or at least were rude in some manner… did you confront them or did you critique their every move and told them just how bad of a person they were … all to make yourself feel better?

Now I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad about themselves. No, I want people to realize that this is something most people go through in law school and in life without realizing it. When fear and a lack of control set in and toxic relationships, behaviors and the like start to come into play, your Umbridge starts to show. It may show to the outside world damaging relationships with others or it may be something that starts to break you down psychologically.

Image result for umbridge There have been so many times in law school since that first semester that I sit in class and think, “God Kristina you are so stupid. How did you not get that answer right? How could you sound so ridiculous in class? You should really drop out and go back to high school to get on these people’s level.” Even after years of therapy, journalling, and more I still can’t seem to always tame my Umbridge. When I feel uncomfortable with a situation or feel deep shame good old Dolores rears her toad like head and tells me just how much of an idiot I am… and she’s not very nice, she’s never very nice.

What’s worse is that each time we do this to ourselves we leave a little scar too. Much like the scars on the back of Harry’s hand, I know every time I tell myself that I’m not good enough or that I’m stupid I leave a little scar on my brain that just gets reopened over and over. Words cut deeper than anything else!

The thing is we have to learn to quiet Umbridge when she’s getting out of control. A little Umbridge every now and then might keep us safe…. but Umbridge on a full out assault on those you love or yourself does not need to happen!  I wish I had the perfect roadmap for people who struggle with their inner Dolores, but it’s not a one size fits all solution. But I can tell you this, talk about your issues. Harry keeps all of this abuse to himself, allowing Umbridge to get into his head (amongst other things like feeling like a failure in not being able to save Cedric). Reach out to people, don’t bottle it all up. Find a community of people who will support you in times of need. You are not alone.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Kalle Day and Kristina Ellis, people smiling

Speaking of community’s I want to give a HUGE shout-out to one of the best communities I’ve found in law school. I started this blog after I heard a very special podcast: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.  And last night I got to be at a live show of this podcast! If you haven’t listened to it and love Harry Potter DO IT NOW. STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN TO IT NOW. Vanessa and Casper are amazing! You’ll be happy you did!

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

A quick picture with my best friend Kalle, and Vanessa and Casper from HP and the Sacred Texts after the Denver Live Show!

 

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The Sorting Hat’s New Song (OotP 11)

In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:

United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning,
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.

‘Together we will build and teach!’
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might some day be divided,

For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?

So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.

Said Slytherin, ‘We’ll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.’

Said Ravenclaw, ‘We’ll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest.’

Said Gryffindor, ‘We’ll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name,’

Said Hufflepuff, ‘I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.’


These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A house in which they might

Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,

And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor.

Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew,
Thus the houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.

So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.

The houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.

And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with duelling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend

And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.

And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the houses been united
As they once were meant to be.

And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into houses
Because that is what I’m for,

But this year I’ll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it’s wrong,

Though I must fulfil my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether Sorting
May not bring the end I fear.

Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes

And we must unite inside her
Or we’ll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you …
Let the Sorting now begin.

Happy back to Hogwarts weekend everyone (and in the US its still the weekend thanks to Labor Day)! One of my favorite traditions is making Butterbeer and watching the first Harry Potter on September 1. What makes this weekend even more amazing is that this chapter coincides with this weekend, couldn’t have panned it any better (and I didn’t lol). While a lot can be said about this chapter… we meet one of the worst, all-time most hated, characters ever… I thought the new song of the Sorting Hat stood out the most. Let’s break it down a little..Image result for Sorting hat

The first few stanzas give us some backstory on the Founders of Hogwarts. Like anything begins, everyone has these good intentions. They all have a desire to stick together until the end.

Then we hear what each Founder prized the most: Slytherin- pureblood; Ravenclaw- intelligence; Gryffindor- bravery; Hufflepuff-treating everyone the same. They compromise, create some houses that fits their desires. Everyone is happy, the house system works. Then like any good thing (just being cynical) shit begins to hit the fan, the Houses begin to fight and Slytherin leaves.

Image result for slytherin Sorting Hat then goes on to give everyone a warning: even though the Hat must sort them all, Hogwarts must stay united.Image result for hufflepuff

This is a lot like anything in life: law school, friend groups, new ventures, etc. When things begin everyone is on the same page, its start full of hope and wonder. Then as you move through and decisions need to be made, people’s priorities start to surface. You try to work around those priorities, but in the end someone always ends up getting pushed out and you all go your separate ways.

How do I know this to be true? I found myself on the pushing people out side of the equation back when I owned Fueling the Fire books and then again when I was a co-founder of Project Love Las Vegas. In both of these situations I didn’t like what my partner in these ventures was prioritizing so I did things my way and edged the other person out… which was silly because both ventures ended up falling apart with me.

Image result for ravenclawThe morale of the story is that we each bring something unique to the table and better yet, we each need what the other brings to the table. How does this relate to law school? Well that’s simple, those on the Trial path (Public Defenders and District Attorneys included), those on the Transactional path, and those in between all need each other, yet seem somewhat disconnected.

The Sorting Hat’s warning reaches far past our personal lives and the walls of the law school. In our country in general we need to stand united, and yet, we still don’t. But things can change with small acts of understanding and kindness. Image result for gryffindor

If we all just ask each other about our varying opinions and instead of arguing extend an arm of understanding. Sure, we aren’t going to agree with each other every time. Out of the Founders I would definitely not agree with Slytherin on only teaching Pure-bloods … but I would also have ideas about how we would accept people into our school. In an ideal world we would all be Hufflepuffs… but the world isn’t ideal so therefore we have to start accepting one another and learning from each other’s strengths.

So take time this week to a) figure out what you believe in and then b) check in on your friends or acquaintances who may have different opinions from you. You don’t have to talk about those opinions, you can just check-in to see how they are. Image result for hogwarts crest

Build friendships with people outside your chosen professional path or outside your norms. Not only will you be a more well-rounded person, but you will also help us move closer to the Hufflepuff utopia.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Ministry of Magic (OotP 7)

Sorry Potter fans, I’ve been a little bogged down with memos, readings, and more. But I am working to alleviate some of my stresses so that I can give this blog its due attention again. But wait no more… let’s jump into Chapter 7.

badge of the ministry of magic

Chapter 7

Today’s the day, Harry’s hearing at the Ministry of Magic. At breakfast, the adults in the room all try to encouraging, giving Harry advice and affirmations that everything will be okay. Soon Harry and Mr. Weasley set off for the Ministry using muggle modes of transportation (the tube manly). Of course Mr. Weasley finds this all very fascinating. They arrive at the Ministry and head towards Mr. Weasley’s office. On the elevator Harry listens to a fascinating conversation about fire-breathing chickens.  Mr. Weasley gives Harry a brief overview of each floor int he Ministry before arriving to Mr. Weasley’s division. They head towards Mr. Weasley’s office only to find out that Harry’s hearing was moved and Harry needed to be there five minutes ago. They rush to the Department of Mysteries and Mr. Weasley wishes Harry good luck before Harry enters the room of the hearing alone.

What I love about this chapter is that it is simple and applies to law school very well. Growing up a military brat I learned very early on that you are never late for anything. So deadlines are something I hate to miss, like physically hate to miss, but what I am learning in law school is that deadlines are subjective. Deadlines move on a whim’s notice, deadlines can be changed at any point in time (even the day of), and deadlines seem to be whatever the person setting them want them to be. Actually, everything is subjective in law school. One person may really like your writing, one person may hate it. One person may think your resume formatting is spot on, another may completely reformat it for you.

imagesThe thing is, to be successful in this field, you have to be flexible, you have to play the game.  Even if it feels like the odds are stacked against you, you have to play along. Harry had to play along. They literally moved his meeting time and place knowing he would either miss it or be late. It was part of the game, but alas there he was. While I hate living in a world where you have to kiss up to people to get anywhere, I’ve come to the realization that kissing up to people may be the only way to make it through this season of my life and that one day, when I am the boss, the supervisor, the person calling the shots I will remember the hoops I had to jump through to be successful and I will find a way to come alongside those below me and work with them to create a new path to success.

To some that may seem like I am of the “give everyone a trophy” mindset, but really I think if we stopped playing games, stopped hiding the ball, stopped causing each other to jump through hoop after hoop and actually worked together civilly, we might accomplish a lot more in this world. But, I don’t make those decisions yet… but just you wait.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed.

The Order of The Phoenix and The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (OotP5&6)

It’s so strange to see that the number of blog posts left (66 after this one) is lower than the number of blog posts written (which if I recall correctly will be 73 after this one). That means school and our journey through HP is slowly coming to an end. It’s sad but also super exciting! And exciting stuff is coming our way in Harry Potter too!

Chapter 5- The Order of the Phoenix

Even though Harry is angry with everyone in his life he is still getting the opportunity to spend time with Sirius. Sirius tells Harry a little more about the old house they are all living in, it’s the Black family’s home, Sirius’s childhood home. Harry slowly falls back into his old routines with the Weasley family. Mrs. Weasley is yelling at Fred and George like normal. Everyone gets together for dinner like normal, except the conversations around the dinner table are anything but normal. Every conversation has to deal with the Order of The Phoenix, a group of wizards (including everyone here) who fights against the Dark Lord and his followers. The group changed over time as original members, including Harry’s Parents and Neville’s parents, were killed or severely injured. Mrs. Weasley, in true Mrs. Weasley fashion, is adamant about the underage wizards in the house (Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny) knowing nothing about the Order or where Voldemort is at this time, but after a row with Sirius about who knows best for Harry, Harry gets some answers to the questions he’s had all summer long.

Chapter 6- The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black

Doxy_concept_artThe next day everyone is off to do chores. The Black house is like a little house of horrors. Doxies, fairy like reptile creature things, live in a set of curtains in one of the rooms. The gang works to tackle these little creatures. While doing so Fred and George tell Harry about the joke shop and the products they are currently testing out. (Remember it’s all thanks to Harry’s Triwizard Money that they can do this.) The house is chaotic, but that’s pretty normal for a summer with the Weasley family and more. Sirius pulls harry aside one day and tells Harry about his past, showing him a tapestry of the pure blood wizards family trees (because of course they are all interconnected). Sirius shares stories about his brother becoming a Death Eater and about how Sirius used to stay with the Potter family and James (Harry’s dad) after Sirius’s mother kicked him out. Mrs. Weasley interrupts their bonding moment calling for lunch. Over the next few day’s Harry and the gang simply work to tackle the house’s unwanted guests and filth, taking Harry’s mind off the upcoming Hearing at the Ministry of Magic.

What I love about these chapters is art of storytelling. Both chapters hinge on stories and updates told to Harry by members of the Order or Sirius himself. J.K. Rowling begins to weave a tapestry of information that will be useful in the subsequent books, but also that sheds light on each character individually. The main character she is building up here is Sirius, of course. Sirius tells Harry a lot about his past and his family in these two chapters. He paints pictures of struggles and sorrow. He knits together stories of good and bad times. He reveals to Harry so much about himself in short conversations. He reveals to everyone who pays attention his desires to have not only his best friend James back, but to also have a companion, someone to bond with, to connect with, to hangout with. Sirius tells us just how much is lacking in his life, just how much he is still a prisoner in this world.

sirius family treeI think it’s interesting that Rowling uses these conversations this way.  It’s quite brilliant actually, and it’s something we do in the legal profession all the time. We are storytellers, we paint our clients the way we want the world to see them. We weave together stories about how our clients aren’t bad people, sometimes they are just people that make mistakes. We reveal to juries or judges that our clients are people who deserve second chances, or who deserve justice for the harms done to them. We weave together stories and put together puzzles in hopes we can change lives.

We are creative storytellers even in the transactional world. We have clients that we work together with to build up their businesses. We help take in the stories of their neighborhoods and piece them together to get funders to give our clients money. We piece stories of people’s passions together to create business entities. We take mission statements and help ensure contracts that uphold those mission statements. We are still storytellers even if that story just ends up becoming a contract.

open bookLast night I spoke with someone about telling stories in your career. As law school goes on, as careers begin, we will be telling the world a story with every decision we make. Whether we choose to take risks, make plans to get to our end goal, or choose to be comfortable and stay in one place, every decision we make tells a story to others. Think about that during your day. Think about what story you want to tell others, what story you are telling others and how all of that is working out for you in the long run. It’s your legacy, it’s your life, it’s you on the line. Is your story one you want to share? Is your story working for you? Think about it this week.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

The Advance Guard and Number Twelve Grimmauld Place (OotP 3&4)

I have nothing witty to say, so let’s just dive into chapters 3 and 4.

Chapter 3- The Advance Guard

advance guardSo Harry stays put. He is locked in his room and not allowed to leave. He doesn’t get a letter from any of his friends or Sirius. The Durselys leave to go and receive an award for the look of their lawn. The Durselys leave and shortly after Harry hears a thud downstairs. Lo and behold a pack of wizards are infiltrating the house. They chit-chat with Harry and tell him they are there to save him from the horrors of this place. Their destination is secret, the REAL Mad-eyed Moody is taking everything super seriously and then they are off, flying high above London.

Chapter 4- Number Twelve Grimmauld Place

They end up on this weird street where there is a magically hidden townhouse waiting for them to arrive. They go inside and to Harry’s surprise EVERYONE HE KNOWS AND LOVES IS THERE… don’t forget readers, this is the ultimate betrayal because none of these suckers have been talking to Harry and yet they’ve all been together. Harry feels betrayed and rightfully so if you ask me. When they all start talking to Harry there are hints of a weapon and what Voldey’s been up to, but Mrs. Weasley keeps pulling the mom card and saying everyone’s too young to know these things and sends them to bed.

12 grimmyYou know these past few weeks have been interesting in the law world. The clinic I am in is ramping up and student orgs are starting to shift their views to next year and man oh man, I’m tired. But you  know what really has just got me really upset lately? Well, it’s a phrase that I keep hearing from people… “It’s all in your head.”

I’d like to just take a moment and tell you something… NEVER SAY THAT TO A PERSON. It invalidates their feelings and makes them appear to be a crazy person. I recently told a professor that I recently left an event feeling like I didn’t do well. That I didn’t get to shine and really interact with people and that I left feeling deflated, like I didn’t perform my best. And while yes I’m sure she said this with good intentions she said to me that it was all in my head. This isn’t the first time she’s said this to me and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

all in the headYou know if people said to Harry: “Your loneliness this summer, that’s all in your head,” I’m sure he would have wanted to Avada Kedavara everyone in the room. Now that strong of an emotion mainly comes from the hormones rushing through his teenager body, but the thing is I understand it. It sucks to be told that you thinking something isn’t quite reality and then to not be offered any other evidence as to how you are perceiving it wrong. Sure, there are a million quotes out there about things being “mind over matter” but when someone expresses a feeling, don’t tell them that it is all in their head. Maybe explore it for a moment if you think how they are feeling is wrong. Validate the feeling, but then give proof as to why you think that feeling may be a little off. Don’t just offer up the “it’s all in your head” statement and then move on because it might be too damn messy to take the time to offer someone advice or assurance. Damn. And that’s just my first little rant about things lately.

What I really want to explore from these chapters is the relationship between Harry and the “authority” figures in his life. He walks into this unknown house after being picked up by a wizard guard who was completely unannounced and he sees everyone he loves and trusts together. When he finds out that Dumbledore is the one calling the shots about Harry’s life he feels super betrayed. When Molly won’t tell Harry what’s going on, he feels super betrayed. I get those feelings too.

My mentor this past week said that I had an interesting belief that professors are leaders, or at least authority figures who should at least act like leaders. At first I tried to explain to him why I have such a belief, but after a few days of dwelling on it I’m starting to think that maybe that’s part of the problem in my life. Growing up in a military family you learn that everyone older than you or in a higher position than you is to be respected and seen as an authority figure. Now, I’ve carried that with me throughout my life, but now I am starting to think that maybe it’s become a liability in my life. I am so hell-bent on trying to impress these people who are “authority figures” but actually are some of the most inefficient and unprofessional and sometimes just downright poor leaders, professors, and lawyers.authority

I drive myself crazy putting these people up on a pedestal just to be constantly disappointed by their lack of leadership. I also blindly trust these people to lead me in the right direction, to help me when I’m struggling, to really use their “power” for good and then I am so disappointed when I find out that they’ve been withholding information. This past week something happened where I honestly felt like Harry felt walking into this house where everyone he trusted and loved stood there after not speaking to him almost all summer. And it sucks.

So my lesson this week is this: Just because someone is an “authority figure” by title, it doesn’t mean that they are a leader, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that they always know best or that what they say is law.

Professors, mentors, lawyers with years of practice, friends, parents, managers of stores, older students, the person who sounds like they know everything… they are all just humans who suck just as much as you do. So let them suck, don’t give a fuck, and try your luck… you’ll be happy you did. You do you boo… because from here on out, I’m going to be doing that exact thing…world watch out.

Until Next Time,

Mischief Managed

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