Harry Potter and Me: Part 7

~Thank You, Harry Potter~??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

What started as a stream of thought on a broken-down train has escalated into a phenomenon with a series of books, movies, theme parks, museums, merchandise, and more. Thirteen years of books and movies have fulfilled every child’s fantasy of a world beyond their own that is filled with magic, adventure, and friendship. And although the final book was released in 2007, and the final movie released in 2011, the impact of this series continues, and will continue for the rest of time. Many people (and English teachers) may consider it pop culture with no literary merit, but I completely disagree. The books have universal themes throughout the series, the same themes that are in novels by Charles Dickens, or plays by Shakespeare. In fact, J.K. Rowling drew inspiration from those writers. The story may be fantasy, but the themes within the fantasy are completely realistic. Good vs. Evil, love, abandonment by family, the hero, coming of age, tragedy, etc. All the great novels in history have those themes. But I will not make this post into a defense against what non-HP fans think of the series. This post is solely about the Harry Potter fans. Because they are the only ones that matter.

Harry Potter has changed our lives in many different ways. I don’t know anyone’s stories, but I know that there are plenty of heartfelt ones out there. If you are reading this post and would like to share how Harry Potter has changed your life, please write it below in a comment.

603040_4245929351114_1162356973_nAs for me, I have said how it has changed my life. Harry Potter is what inspired me to begin writing my own stories, and is the inspiration behind me wanting to be an author. At age seven I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I still haven’t changed my mind. Yes, I am going to school to get a teaching certificate, BUT I will never give up on the one thing I want to be. Harry Potter has changed my life even further just by being part of my childhood. I never had an imaginary friend, because the Harry Potter books were there for me throughout my adolescent years. I grew up with the books, the movies… I’ve witnessed how Harry Potter has changed the entertainment industry, both film and literature. I have this emotional connection, just like many others, with the series, due to the fact of me growing up while the characters grew up alongside me. Harry Potter is extremely important to me. I don’t care how many people tell me (including my own sisters) that it’s stupid how I’m still so “obsessed” with Harry Potter and that it makes me “weird” to be so. I don’t care that they tell me to let go and move on, because it was “just a book.” It was “just a movie.” “No one’s going to care about it in a few years.”

My response? YOU DON’T KNOW. You don’t know what it’s like to be part of a community, home to millions of people. You don’t know what it’s like for people from all over the world, who speak different languages, who come from different parts of society, to feel like ONE; to bond over something like Harry Potter. You don’t know what it’s like to be part of the Harry Potter Generation. You simply just do not know, and I pity you for that.

Harry Potter will live on, and I hope to one day pass on my extreme love for Harry Potter to my own children. I hope to teach them what Harry Potter taught me. Before I start crying, I better wrap this up. Thank you Harry Potter, for teaching me the value of friendship. Thank you, Harry Potter, for teaching me that being smart is cool. Thank you, Harry Potter, for making me cry, laugh, and feel so many other emotions. Thank you, Harry Potter, for creating a world that every day, I wish I could be in. Thank you, Harry Potter, for bringing people of all sorts together as one family. Thank you, Harry Potter, for giving people a sense of purpose. Thank you, Harry Potter, for giving people comfort and support. Thank you, Harry Potter, for helping us through rough times. But most of all, thank you, JK Rowling. You are our God, and we all couldn’t be more proud to be your family.J+K+Rowling+Harry+Potter+Deathly+Hallows+Part+SXOyjX9kmwOl

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and relevetory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address, 2008

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My Last Days

Everyone should watch this…. Zach Sobiech died today, May 20, 2013. What he left behind was dedication, aspiration, kindness, and most of all, love. His message is universal, and I believe it is very important to live with that kind of love and empathy in your heart. I know I do. People joke around with YOLO and carpe diem, and all of that cliche “live life with no regrets” thing, but really, it is a blessing. We were all born on this planet and made to someday die, whether young or old; whether of sickness, tragedy, or natural causes. It is painful to lose someone close to your heart, believe me, I know, but it is also important to continue living life knowing that person would have wanted you to. It is important to live your life in your own terms, no matter the amount of obstacles that come in your way. Treat those obstacles as experiences, and stay positive. What’s most important is love and kindness. We all need to strive to be like Zach; try to be kind and warm-hearted. As Ellen Degeneres says after every one of her tapings, “Be kind to one another.”

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May 20, 2013 · 11:27 pm

Looks Do Kill

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On Thursday, May 16, the CW Network unveiled its 2013-14 Fall Schedule. And man, has the network changed things around. Nevertheless, there is only one show I want to talk about that airs on the CW. Nikita.

Nikita first aired September 9, 2010. It was a new show that was aimed at a more mature/older audience compared to others at the CW (Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries are all aimed at teenagers/tweens). It had action, romance, comedy, and a story that was so well written, that it didn’t have “fluff”–something that many shows have nowadays. There weren’t any useless story lines that didn’t contribute to the main goal of the show.

Nikita-Season-3-Episode-3-True-Believer-5Now, it might be good for those of you who haven’t seen this show, to know what it’s about. Nikita is a show  about (you guessed it) Nikita, a rogue assassin from the black-ops program Division. She escaped, and now seeks revenge because it was Division who killed her love, Daniel. She’s smart, dedicated, and focused on the mission at hand. She has help on the inside; a rookie Division agent Alex, a young woman who has endured a lot of pain and hardship in her life. Together, they stay one step ahead of Division in hope to one day destroy it. This is the link for the Season 1 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySr1u6jguHQ

Brave New WorldFor those of you who HAVE watched the show, you know what was announced recently. Nikita will be returning for its FOURTH and FINAL season next year but for only SIX EPISODES. I am extremely happy that Nikita got renewed, however, six episodes is simply not enough. You cannot create a good enough story arch in six episodes, let alone, an ending to a series. Nikita deserves at least THIRTEEN episodes to get the job done. I am writing this blog post to hopefully get it some attention, and get the specific attention of CW. Not only are they only giving it six episodes, but they are airing it mid-season. Which is pathetic. I would rather have them do what they did with Gossip Girl. Start it in September, end it in December. However, it needs more episodes!! Gossip Girl got TEN episodes for its final season. And let me tell you, the final season sucked. Except for the series finale. That was good. However, the series had gotten boring and tasteless for quite some time. If Gossip Girl could get TEN, I think Nikita could get as much.

InevitabilityThe acting is really well done in this show. The two leading ladies, Maggie Q (who happens to be the first Asian female to lead a television show…Nikita) and Lyndsy Fonseca are strong, ass-kicking ladies that can also carry a great deal of emotion.  The rest of the cast, Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, etc also hold their own. The entire ensamble is well-casted and have great chemistry, whether the chemistry is for hate or love. The cast deserves to go out with a bang, and six episodes won’t do the show justice, in my opinon. Here is a link for a petition: http://twitition.com/2psdh . Sign it, and tweet it out. Write to the CW, email the CW, tweet the CW, call the CW. If us fans join together and fight for this show, we just might win. As a devoted Chuck fan, I know that it can happen. So please, help Nikita get a season that lasts more than six episodes, because six episodes is just not enough to give us the closure that will do the show justice. Share this blog post, share the news, get attention. And if we don’t win, at least the cast knows that we cared enough to fight for them to keep their jobs so we can get more of what we love.531838_595687160443234_447232162_n

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Harry Potter and Me: Part 6

~Mischief Managed~

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter movies. They brought the wizarding world to life. They made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry, made me smile. The acting is well done, the special effects are Oscar-worthy, and it is pure heaven.

Nevertheless, there are things about the movies that I do not like at all. The things I don’t like all have to do with what was and wasn’t included in them. Adaptation of a movie from a book is hard to do, especially with a 500 page book. However, there were things that really messed with my mind and annoyed me. There were things I felt were important to many key story lines that did not make the final cut. So, this post will be me ranting on a few of the things I wished they had done. If you don’t like ranting, you can leave. If you agree with what I say, or have some things you’d like to add that I did not mention, please feel free to comment! Harry Potter’s worst critics are the fans themselves. And I am one big fan.

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Let me start with one of the biggest things that bugged me. Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Scene: The trio are on the bridge after the Battle of Hogwarts. Complaint: Okay, what do all the powers that be not get about wizards not being able to be wizards without a wand?? Wizards need wands. Wands need wizards. IT’S A TWO-WAY STREET. Harry was the owner of the Elder Wand. In the movie you see him break it, and throw it into the ravine. Yes, okay, he does that in the book. BUT, there is something VITAL he does beforehand! Remember when Hermione broke his wand in Godric’s Hollow from a rebounding spell??? Yeah, IT’S STILL BROKEN! In the book, Harry uses the Elder Wand to mend his own, because it was the wand that chose him, and he will only be his best with the wand that chose him. The Elder Wand, since it is the master of all wands, was the only way he could fix his wand. So tell me, why, in the movie, do we not see him mend his wand before destroying the Elder Wand? This implies that he no longer owns a wand. Obviously, us Harry Potter fans that have actually read the books, know he mends his wand, breaks the Elder Wand, and goes on with his life as a wizard. In the movie, the scene implies that he does not have a wand, therefore he can’t really be a wizard. Which is bad, considering he becomes an Auror! It’s hard to be an Auror without a wand. Actually, you most definitely can’t be an Auror without a wand. It’s impossible. The first time I saw this movie, I noticed that mistake RIGHT AWAY. So much, I had to whisper angrily to my friend two seats down about it. She just shushed me so she could watch the movie, which I understand, but man, I was annoyed. Nearly two years later, and I am still very annoyed. It’s simple wizard logic, and all the people that contributed to the movie either did not notice, or just didn’t think it was important. I hope to Albus Dumbledore (may he rest in peace), that they have realized the mistake they made.

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Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Storyline: The house elves. Complaint: Well, the complaint here is that they just completely disregarded this storyline. I know that Goblet of Fire was material-heavy. I know that they had considered making two films out of it to fit more stuff. Oh how I wish they did, because they missed a storyline that had humor, romance, and social statements. It all starts at the Quidditch World Cup after the Death Eaters storm the camp. It is not Barty Crouch JR who casts the “Morsmordre” spell to put the Dark Mark in the sky, but rather Barty Crouch’s house elf, Winky. Barty Crouch JR uses the Cruciatus Curse on her to manipulate her into doing it. This leads her to be “set free” from being Barty Crouch’s house elf, which she does not like. She is one of the house elves that still believes in surving witches and wizards. She is then employed at Hogwarts to work in the kitchens. This starts the next segment of the storyline. Hermione finds out about the hundreds of house elves employed at Hogwarts who create their feasts, clean the house common rooms, and do many other chores. She believes this is unjust, that they are doing all this work and not given many rights (this is where the social statements begin to come in…). She creates S.P.E.W (not pronounced spew. It is Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. Say it right. Or Hermione will not be happy.) and tries to make a whole campaign about it. Not only does this bring the aspect of social issues to the wizarding world, but it provides humor with the Hermione-Ron dynamic. She’s very stern and proud of this, but everyone else thinks of it as a joke. After all, the Hogwarts kids were all taught that house elves were made to serve others; made to work. It’s the only thing they know. Humorous (and sexual) tension ensues between Hermione and Ron, stemming from S.P.E.W, and causes their relationship to evolve.  Even if this didn’t play as much of a storyline in the movie, they could have still included it. I wouldn’t mind an extra 20-30 minutes if this were included. They would still make millions of dollars, and fans would still flock to the theaters. This storyline continues to the last book, and plays a VERY IMPORTANT part in a VERY IMPORTANT scene that EVERYONE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR FOR YEARS. And thus, I lead you to the next part of my rant…

Movie Version (wrong version)

Movie Version (wrong version)

Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Scene: Ron and Hermione Kiss. Complaint: No. No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. No. No. Just no. Yes I smiled and clapped when they kissed, but gulpin gargoyles, they did it ALL WRONG. Wrong set up, wrong location, wrong foreplay, wrong EVERYTHING. This is what it should have been: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in the Room of Requirement, after getting all the younger students out through the picture passage. Ron and Hermione had just come back from the Chamber of Secrets, and Hermione was holding a bunch of basilisk fangs in her arms. Hermione mentions how everyone is

What it was supposed to be like.

What it was supposed to be like.

safe. But then Ron is like, “What about the house elves?” And Hermione looks at him, and in that moment, she drops the basilisk fangs and runs into his arms, and plants a kiss on his lips. They start making out, and then Harry (who is always the awkward third wheel), is like, “Oy, there’s a war going on here!!” And Ron’s like, “Sorry, mate. It’s now or never.” And Hermione is smiling and blushing. A PERFECT MOMENT. A PERFECT KISS. Now, why oh why could they not do that in the movie? I don’t know their reasons, but seriously, I don’t know if they tried to make it more convenient for them, but it was not right. I had been waiting for this moment for FOUR YEARS. And it was completely wrong. Not to mention, the kiss they did in the movie, Ron’s head was devouring Hermione’s. No. Like I said in the beginning, just no. No no no no no no no no no no.

Those are the three biggest things that annoyed me from the movies. I think that is enough rant for one blog post, so I will finish here. But like I said in the beginning of this post, you are most welcome to do your own rants in the comments below. I encourage it!

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Isabel and the Journey to London

Hey everyone! I would appreciate it if you check out the link above (in the post title). This is a way to fund my study abroad for next spring, and this website is helping me. Thank you for those who donate!

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April 26, 2013 · 2:24 pm

Harry Potter and Me: Part 5

~Break A Leg!~

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In 2009, a new breed of Harry Potter characters came to life……on stage. A Very Potter Musical, the YouTube hit, has spawned millions of fans, some new, some already Harry Potter fans. The production, made from the group called StarKid Productions, a coalition of directors, writers, actors, and designers from the University of Michigan. The group was formed in 2009, and its purpose was to bring modern stories to the stage. A Very Potter Musical  made this group of college students into YouTube stars (and some even more!).

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The musical was a parody of the Harry Potter series, and because they did not have the rights from J.K. Rowling or Warner Brothers, they had to rename the title from the originaly planned Harry Potter: The Musical. AVPM was  written by Matt and Nick Lang, and Brian Holden. The music was penned by A.J. Holmes and Darren Criss. Many people know Darren Criss by his character Blaine on Glee, but it was on the stage playing Harry Potter, where he originally achieved fame. Darren Criss starred alongside Joey Richter (Ron Weasley), Bonnie Gruesen (Hermione Granger), Joe Walker (Voldemort), Joe Moses (Severus Snape), and Lauren Lopez (Draco Malfoy). Yes, Malfoy was played by a girl. And yes, whatever comes out of his/her mouth is utterly hilarious. Draco will become one of your favorite characters, trust me.

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StarKid quickly followed up with A Very Potter Sequel in 2010, which also garnered millions of views on YouTube. Recently, the final musical production, A Very Potter Senior Year, went up on YouTube. The difference about this one was that it was from a stage production at LeakyCon, and was more of a reading, than a full out musical. HOWEVER, it still was hilarious and supermegafoxyawesomehot. And yes, I cried at the end. It was nostalgic! I couldn’t help it!

 

I definitely suggest that you watch all three. In fact, I demand that you at least check it out. It’s full of laughs, pop-culture references, red vines, and rolling around on the floor. And, of course, there’s  the music.

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****BREAKING NEWS!!****

ATTENTION EVERYONE, PITCH PERFECT 2 WILL BE DANCING AND SINGING ITS WAY INTO THEATERS IN 2015!!!! 

CLICK ON THE POST TITLE FOR DETAILS!!!

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April 16, 2013 · 5:01 pm