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Harry Potter and Me: Part 7

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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

Hands in, aca-bitches.

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If you do not know what this post will be about in reference to the title, then you need to go to the nearest Redbox, store, etc and get the movie Pitch Perfect. Like seriously. If you’ve never seen it, stop reading this and watch it. I am not kidding. If I had to choose between watching that movie and reading a blog post, I would most definitely choose Pitch Perfect. Hands down. Now that I’ve stressed how IMPORTANT it is for you to WATCH Pitch Perfect, I will move along with my post. If you choose to ignore my advise, then you stink, and you will be left out of the wonderful things I will be saying about one of the best things that came out of 2012. But hopefully, if my begging didn’t do anything, this post will make you want to see it ASAP.

Pitch Perfect, directed by Jason Moore and written by Kay Cannon (30 Rock) stars Acadamy Award-nominated Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, 50/50), Anna Camp (The Help, True Blood), Brittany Snow (Hairspray), Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids), and Skylar Astin (Spring Awakening–Broadway). What a cast, right?! (I’ll make sure to mention many characters, because I am a nerd like that)

Pitch-Perfect-img-07The movie follows Beca (Kendrick), a college freshman attending Barden University. Her dream in life is to go to LA and become a DJ, much to her father’s dismay (who is a professor at BU). However, he makes a deal with her. If she interacts and gets involved with groups around campus, and takes her classes seriously, he will allow her to drop out after one year and go to the City of Angels. Beca joins the Barden Bellas, an all-woman a-capella group who notoriously made a distasteful impact at last year’s championship. The Barden Bellas’ two seniors, Aubrey (Camp) and Chloe (Snow) have to lead a new crop of Bellas: an Australian who likes to be called Fat Amy (Wilson), the stereotypical slut Stacie (Alexis Knapp), incredibely inaudible Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), closeted lesbian Cynthia Rose (Esther Dean), and a few others whose characters are more minor. Throughout the movie the Bellas face off the Treblemakers, the other BU a-capella group, which is all male. Bumper (Adam DeVine) leads the pack of cocky guys, and are a strict no-no for the Bellas. However, a new member, Jesse (Astin), kindles a friendship with Beca, the probability of it leading to something more. Benji, a fellow freshman, magician, and quirky, Star Wars-loving nerd, is roommates with Jesse, and is a guy you feel sad for the whole movie because of his “weirdness” preventing him from getting on the Treblemakers.

Okay, well that was a really long summarization of the movie…Anyways, this movie has awesome songs that you will absolutely love. I do. I listen to the album every day. I get so into it, that I start doing some of the dance moves from the movie. Everyone in this movie is a natural singer. The biggest surprise? Anna Kendrick. That girl can SING! And after finding out that her first job in the biz was on Broadway, where she earned a Tony nomination at age 12, it just solidified my love of her voice even more. Here are three links that show her pre-Pitch Perfect, during Pitch Perfect, and post-Pitch Perfect. *Side note: In the first link, isn’t she so darn cute?!*

1. Performing at Carnegie Hall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0l3WemmIjI

2. On David Letterman for Pitch Perfect promotion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_9i9Q7KIrU

3. Performance at the Trevor Project Benefit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhBHMZqg8YE (excuse the voices, this is someone’s self-made video)

Now, of course, everyone else is amazing. Of the guys, Skylar Astin’s voice just makes every girl’s heart melt (or guy’s heart…I won’t leave you fellas out!). All of the actors in this film had a reharsal program before filming to train in singing a-capella and dancing. Although everyone could sing, they needed to learn the specificities of a-capella, as you are using your voice to make different instruments. I found a video on Youtube that is a behind-the-scenes look at their “a-capella boot camp.” Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUZNxvxgsNE

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This movie is very Mean Girls-esque, as the characters and lingo in it become legends, if you will. Fat Amy will go down in history. Aubrey’s many “aca” phrases will be used in normal conversation. Which brings us to my post title. “Hands in, aca-bitches” is one of the many variations Aubrey, among other characters, uses for “aca.” Aca-scuse me? Aca-awesome. Aca-believe it. Aca-awkward. The list could go on, because you could use it for anything. For example, some that weren’t in the movie that anyone could formulate: aca-disgusting, aca-what?, aca-sexy

You all should know by now that I am obsessed with the movie. Well, I am, and I’m proud of it! I’m proud that I have seen it multiple times in one day. I’m proud that I have seen the movie with commentary. I’m proud that I learned the rap to “No Diggity” and rap along in the movie and soundtrack. I’m proud that I’ve seen basically every interview with members of the cast. I’m proud that since seeing the movie, I formed a girl crush on Anna Kendrick. Seriously, what girl wouldn’t have a girl crush on her? She’s one of the coolest people on this planet. Just look at her tweets or instagram pictures. She’s the epitimy of cool. I’m proud that as I write this blog post, I am listening to the soundtrack. Really, I am.

If this didn’t convince those of you who haven’t seen the movie to see the movie, than I don’t know what will. Your loss, really. Your life will just be less awesome. Until I write to you wonderful readers again, tada aca-bitches!

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