When I was in college, I took an elective class on Harry Potter. There weren’t many electives for me to choose from and although I wasn’t a fan of the Harry Potter books, I was a fan of reading and it seemed like an easy class. My younger brother, however, had been obsessed with Harry Potter since the first book had been published and being the big sister of nearly three years, I had been the one to tag along with him to every single movie.
I had to go out and buy each of the books for the class and I bought a special notebook for the class. I walked to class the first day and took my seat next to one of the girls on my dorm floor. We had talked the night before finding we had quite a few of the same classes and we instantly clicked. A few minutes later a couple of boys that she knew took seats next to us and we chatted while we waited for the class to start.
I had assumed the class would be pretty basic. There hadn’t been much about the description of the class when I had selected it other than it was about the Harry Potter series, a new class, and I needed all the books for it. I figured it would be like a book club where we would read the book then talk about it in class. I learned that I wasn’t the only student to have this same assumption. We were wrong.
The class was more than just reading the books and talking about what happened in them. Sure, we did that but we also analyzed everything in the books and the reasons why J.K.Rowling had chosen different things for the books. Everything seemed to have a meaning to it. Everything from the numbers used for platform 9 3/4 and the lengths of their wands to the historical significance of different creatures in the books to the meanings of the names that were chosen for the characters. We learned about how some of the things listed in the books ( names, mystical creatures, numbers, types of wood) linked to other things and to different types of mythology.
It was fascinating to find out how many hidden meanings there were within the pages of the books but we didn’t just learn about the books and their hidden meanings. Oh no! This professor had way more in mind for us than that! We were sorted into houses on the first day, asked to wear our house colors to class, sat with out houses, and even earned house points that the professor kept track of with popcorn seeds in jars on her desk.
We read the books, learned more about meanings in class and after reading a book we were to watch the movie of that book as homework and locate the differences. It was an amazing experience that made me fall in love with Harry Potter. I also made some great friends with those others that were in my house, my friend from my dorm and the two boys that had sat with us on that first day of class. Oh, and before you ask which house I was sorted into on that first day, I’ll tell you…
I’m a proud Slytherin!