Harry Potter. Hogwarts. Slytherin. All of these things have proven to be the most renowned names created by JK Rowling. They have become so popular that here at Winthrop not only do we have a Quidditch team, but also a class dedicated to our inner wizard: English 200.

Everyone, whether you are in Gryffindor or Hufflepuff (like myself), has come to appreciate the wizard world and the prestigious school of Hogwarts itself. Being in this class has truly opened my eyes to the "behind the scenes" of the wizard world and the deeper meaning of JK Rowling's writing. Not having read the series before (all Harry Potter fans feel free to shed a tear) has been an eye-opening experience being able to capture Hogwarts in its true form. So, here are 5 things I have learned from Harry Potter this semester so far:

1. Anyone can be a hero.

This book simply breaks the boundaries of the stereotypical male hero. Whether you have green eyes and a scrawny figure like the protagonist Harry Potter, or you're as smart as a whip like Hermione, anyone can prove to be a hero and take on Slytherins like Draco Malfoy. Even Ron Weasley can be a hero, despite his red hair and timidity. Rowling ceases to amaze as she allows each character to gain a sense of confidence and heroism in their own personal stories. In some ways, Rowling uses these books to bring out the hero in all of us.


2. J.K. Rowling is an absolute genius.

Who would have thought to use wizards to talk about serious issues such as racism? No one except the queen bee herself J.K. Rowling. The houses are constantly arguing about whose is better (in my case I would advocate for Hufflepuff). Taking a much deeper look into the series, each book has hidden motifs that one would not have noticed by just reading the books one time. English nerds such as myself love a good motif, but even for others, this series is more than just a story about wizards.


3. Quidditch is a lot more than flying around on broomsticks.

The name of the game itself sounds like something anyone would want to play. The movies and even the movie The Internship made Quidditch look super cool. Riding on broomsticks? Who would not want to do that? But, sadly with any game, there are rules and regulations. Reading the rules and stipulations of Quidditch makes it seem more like going to war than a fun sport, especially playing against Slytherin. Who knows what Draco and his crew are going to pull from their mysterious black cloaks? With the seekers trying to catch the snitch, it all seems extremely complex. Thank goodness for Quidditch practice.


4. Hermione is now my spirit animal

If I could be anyone in the world besides myself, I would either be Olivia Pope from Scandal or Hermoine Granger. The fiery hair and attitude make her the prime heroine. From her childhood days, Hermione is already breaking social boundaries. Not only is she a witch from a muggle family, but she is the smartest in her years at Hogwarts! She is proving to everyone that she can be the best despite her parents both being Muggle dentists. You go Hermione!

5. Mrs. Weasley is the ultimate savage.

In reading the books, I never would have thought Mrs. Weasley would be that powerful. She is a mama bear at her finest. Seeing the movies, there is a bit of the true Molly Weasley, but reading the books allows her Sasha fierce to come out and play. Mrs. Weasley is ruthless and best of all independent despite her marriage to Mr. Weasley. She is quick to set all seven of her children straight upon misbehaving and even is able to set her husband straight, no hesitation. Her sassy attitude unquestionably puts her as the number one savage.

I am positive by the end of the semester I will have channeled my inner Hufflepuff and be more in love with Harry Potter than I was before. Thank you to Dr. Bickford for making this class enjoyable! I cannot wait to see what else this class has in store!