Assignment 8

Part I: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

1. Who was your favorite character in the book? Why? I think that my favorite Dumbledore, as we really see him round out as a character/ see his flaws come out etc.

2. What was your favorite quote in the book? Why? “I am not worried, Harry,” Dumbledore his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. “I am with you” I like this because not only does Dumbledore reassure Harry, but on reading the book through over and over it reassures me that we have Harry still.

Part II: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Speculations

1. Go to and read several blog posts and their replies. Note that you can scroll back for several pages.

2. What predictions for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussed in the blog, if any, strike you as particularly plausible? Why? Which predictions, if any, seem particularly implausible to you? Why? (Please feel welcome to post responses at the HogwartsProfessor blog, as well.)
Well I’m not really satisfied with the Harry is a horcrux theory, but it is more plausible than house elves being the real Dumbledore’s army. Harry’s scar does give him a connection with Voldemort, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is a Horcrux. I missed the page with this theory, but he kept referring to Dumbledore/Snape so either he thinks they switched places, or Dumbledore is Snape from the future or something. The problem I had with the elf army theory was addressed by the first response, house elves don’t need wands to do magic.

Part III: Looking Back

1. Look back at your first post to this community. What did you hope to get out of this class? Now, eight weeks later, how do you feel you have met your goals?
I have enjoyed getting to look into the phenomena of Harry Potter and read about/discuss what other people think about it.
2. What one discovery from this course do you find most interesting? Why? I think that one of the most interesting things I have found out about through this course is the disturbing nature in some parts of the fandom.

Part IV: Parting Questions and Thoughts

1. What one question would you like to ask your fellow students about the Harry Potter books and/or phenomenon?
Which of the following do you think will happen?
A. Harry dies Voldemort lives
B. Voldemort dies Harry lives
C. Both die wizarding world lives
2. Parting thoughts: (optional)
If b... I don’t even want to think about it.
holy ghost

Assignment #7

Part I.
1. What was your novel of choice (title, author, publication date)?

I chose my favorite book(s) ever written:

The Golden Compass, the first of the trilogy entitled His Dark Materials written by Philip Pullman, published 1998

2. Please provide a brief synopsis of the book. (What is it about?)

Well, I'll only go over the first book for now... a young girl named Lyra who lives in a world much like our own is a troublemaker and has a lot of spunk. So when she hears there is a confidential meeting of powerful men (including her impressive uncle, Lord Asriel) in a room no women are allowed in, naturally she decides to sneak in and listen. She discovers something called Dust, and since goes off to find out what it is with the help of the golden compass, the alethiometer, which tells only the truth.

But when her best friend, Roger, is captured by the Gobblers (people who kidnap children and do something unknown but terrible to them), she decides she must rescue him. Along the way she discovers that she is a child of utmost import to the entire world, and gains many powerful allies including the armored bear Iorek, the help of an entire boat people named the Gyptians, and Serafina Pekkala, the beautiful leader of a witch clan. Her adventures include many close calls, and ends bittersweetly, but with beautiful and jaw-dropping imagery.

3. In what ways might the book be considered a predecessor to the Harry Potter series (themes, structures, ancestor texts, lessons, etc.)? How does it relate to our ongoing discussion of the "pot of story soup" - think "On Fairy-Stories" - and appropriate readership (children, adults, etc.)?

Both books feature a main character with spunk who is not above breaking the rules to find out what they want. While Golden Compass doesn't directly invoke use of magic, the idea that there is some higher mystical power does exist in both books, and in both cases Harry and Lyra must fight their way to learning about the truth. Also, both books deal with the problems of keeping the big secrets covered-- the other worlds in Golden Compass (as well as Dust), and in harry Potter the continual struggle to keep the "Muggles" from noticing. Its a little hard to compare this book to HP, because in all honesty it takes a much more science-fiction-like turn tot he fantastical genre, compelte with a more-or-less allegorical criticism of something that exists in our own world.

A main characteristic of "fairy tale" stories is the use of a child figure, and in both books, this child figure growing and learning the deeper truth to life. Lyra is spunky and cunning, but she is lovable and her pain echoes into our own. Her commanding and convincing lies are matched by the scenes where, overcome with her love for a character, she showers their face in kisses and calls them "dear." It is these softer scenes that take on a more fairy-tale affair, especially with the final scene in the first book, which is more imagery than it is story, and (for me at least) makes you feel several different things at once.

Its interesting that you mentioned the child/adult relationship from a reader's standpoint. The series deals a lot with the onset of puberty and its effects on a more psychological standpoint. The first time I read the book was before the onset of puberty, and I noted that Pullman was able to somehow note some of my feelings that I'd been unable to explain in words. After maturing, I read it again (I read this series a lot :) ), and again noted how something, like he writes, is lost when one matures. I don't know how to explain it, but somehow Pullman was able to touch upon it. It made me sad, but at the same time I was abel to revel in my past self while still comparing myself to the matured me. Its complicated, I hope that made sense at all...

4. Would you recommend the book to your classmates? Why or why not?

How many times can I plug this book... this is by far the best book that I have ever, ever read. It AND its sequels. And like i said, it touched on something that I was ever abel to explain in words, and while he doesn't openly state it, Pullman seems to understand this. The series is brilliant, and beautifully written.

It is the only book(s) that has ever brought me to tears (and I know it made a friend of mine-- a boy at that!-- cry as well), and by the end of the first novel you will find yourself wishing for a daemon like Pantalaimon... that or trying to guess what form yours would take. (it would be a lot to explain what a daemon is... you just have to read the books i guess!)

5. Other thoughts on your novel of choice that you wish to share:

please-- read the books. and i know there is a movie coming out (with Nicole Kidman, the new Bond AKA Daniel Craig, and the new Bond girl AKA Eva Green), but PLEASE read this before you even think about watching the film.

Part II.
1. Who was your favorite character in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? Why?

Oh man, I'm having problems this time. I love Fred and George, they really shine this time. Hermione too also gets her time to show that she may be a better main character than Harry... Neville gains ridiculous amounts of importance, which is fabulous (I for one have started jumping on the HARRY IS STUPID bandwagon because he gets so damned angsty).... but I think when it all comes down to it, I love love love Luna.

First off-- Ravenclaw. that is awesome. Ravenclaws definitely need more appearances in the books. Secondly, she's so brilliant in her own way. You think she's just insane the whole time but that last scene? She's amazing! And she's so sweet, it seems. All these people are so mean to her and take advantage of her and she still trusts them. Its endearing. I'd totally be her best friend.

2. What was your favorite quote? Why?

Haha, I even bookmarked it...

"His life's ambition is to have his head cut off and stuck up on a plaque just like his mother," said Ron irritably. "Is that normal Hermione?"
"Well-- well, if he is a bit strand, it's not his fault..."

Either that or "ACCIO BRAIN!" because taken out of context, it is delightfully funny.

3. Parting thoughts: (Optional)

I can't stop giggling at my icon. Its from an Eddie Izzard stand-up.

Assingment 3

Part 1: Quidditch Throught The Ages

Please consider and respond to these prompts after reading Quidditch Throught The Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp:

1. How does the information in this book (including the front matter before the text) assist in J.K. Rowling's world-building project of creating a three-dimensional wizarding world with its own flavor, history, and culture?
The book is a very unique tool that Rowling is using to add a great deal of depth to the wizarding world of Harry Potter. Its one thing to show in the series what the fantastic world is like, but to add to that by giving something as trivial as the Sport of Quidditch its own history and its own focus, she turns a fantacy into a Mythology.  The depth included to give the sport hall of fame records, famous players, and rules shows the reader that Harrys world is not much different then our own

2. What role(s) do you think quidditch plays/has played in the wizarding world, literally and metaphorically?
Well healty competition is always a plus, and with events like the world cup, this allows for international competition and cooperation as teams play against each  other.  Quidditch has the same affect on a country as would any other sport would on the muggles going to the olympics, a chance to stand for their country and pride and all of that Jazz.  Also seeing how quidditch has grown and changed overtime, to the development of faster broomsticks to the abilty to hid it from the muggles, shows how the wizardnig world itself is grewing and changing with the world. The wizards in Harry potters world are of the 20th centry, not the midevil times. And the growth is show in the growth of the sport.

3. Give at least two examples of details from the book that gave you new insights into the wizarding world. (These may or may not be about quidditch itself!)
On page 44, when talking about the world growth of Qudditch in the USA, the book talks about Quodpot. Kinda sounds like the whole football vs football seneriro. This was an insight in the fact that it shows how both world follow the same trends.

The other insight is that the wizarding world has the same primative need to cheat, play dirty, and hurt each other as do muggles.

4. What is your favorite quote from the text, and why?
I got a kick out of the whole area on Fouls (pg 28)... as a hockey nut and a card carrying USA Hockey Offical, reading about the 700 odd recorded fouls just cracked me up. Reading the Description of the fouls, i was matching them to the equivalant hockey Peneltys. Take Bumphing for example, thats when a beater hits the bludger into the crowd. In hockey there is a Delay of Game penelty for any player that hits the puck over the glass and into the crowd.. LOL..... Or balgging would be Holding, Blatching would be Boarding..  Rowling put a LOT of thought into this book.

5. If you were a wizard, would you be a fan of quidditch?
Why or why not? Oh for sure, its their version of Hockey! the idea of flying makes me want to play, I would so totally want to be a Beater!!! LOL :D

Part 2: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Please consider and respond to these questions after reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander:
1. How does the marginalia in this book work "hand in hand" with the Harry Potter novels to enhance their characterizations and plotlines? 
the notes and writtings in the margins add a life like feel to the book, I know as a jr. high kid I too would write smart allic comments in my books with my friends. And seeing what harry and ron were writting in adds to the idea that they are just kids.

2. Is the material on specific fantastic beasts useful to the reader of the Harry Potter series? Why or why not?
In the overall it adds to the idea that the world of Harry Potter is a true mythology down to every last detail. But in reading the info stright out, it does seem useless. The beast seen in the books ring a bell and its interesting to see the rating for that creature and so forth, but for the other creatures that have not played a role in the books, it only adds to the depth and feel that there is more to Rowlings world then whats in the walls of Hogwarts.

3. Is it significant that Albus Dumbledore is given credit for the introduction to the book? How does this introduction suggest connections between Rowling's fictional world and our "real" one?
Having Dumbledore write the intro of this book gives the book a connection to Rowlings world because its Dumbledore, one of the favored characters in the main books. But its writen to a muggle, which makes a connection to the reader. The reader is a muggle of course, we do not have that kind of magic, but to have a feeling that somewhere is this amazing wizard  like dumbledore writing the forward to use, gives a feeling for a moment of reality....

4. What is your favorite quote from the text, and why?
Honestly I loved all the little notes in the margins, they cracked me up, there was real humor and honesty of a kid in the comments and that just added to the feel of who the characters are.

5. Which fantastic beast would you most like to meet, and why? Which would you least like to meet, and why?
HippoGriff  is one of the 2 mythical creatures in the books that I would want to meet. mainly because the idea of flight thrills me, and the Hippogriff could take me on little journeys in the air, so could a pheonix I suppose, but I dont think the trip would be as comfortable..... I would also like to meet a Antiodean Opaleye Dragon, seems like the tamest of the dragons, and also has a beautiful descrip, if its anything like an Opal...  The Erkling... argh annoying bugger they are, I hated dealing with them in the GofF playstation game, and would HATE to deal with them in person... ugly little things too, reminded me of the pigmys from the Mummy movie with Brendon Frasher.

Extra interesting links

not to seem like a big HP nerd (but then again, I'm in this class...), but I thought I'd share with everyone some fun links that also involve HP.

The Leaky Cauldron - this site has... everything. Galleries, news, JKR quotes... and most interesting (to me at least, and probably to the class too) is that they have a great series of essays involving arguements, discussions, and whatnot regarding HP. (If you can't find it its in the menu column cleverly disguised as the word "Essays.")EDIT darn it, i just realized this is in the links thing. well. i at least pointed out the essays.

accioBRAIN! - this is an artsite, but I go to it often because its rather inspiring. Plus she has a great sense of hunmor. This is my favorite piece of hers, and it literally had me laughing for about ten minutes afterwards. Check her stuff out, it is neat.

They may or may not be useful to the class but they are interesting to look at nevertheless.

and I apologize if i didnt make sense, I just woke up. bye for now!

Assignment #1

1. My Name: Emily Poe
2. I Come From: Floyds Knobs, IN- right outside of Louisville, KY
3. My Year and Major: Senior- Communication Studies/Music
4. My Picture: This is a picture of me, standing with Taylor, Country Music Legend Little Jimmy Dickens, and our acoustic guitar player Todd. We were backstage at the Opry last month.

5. Some Facts About Me: Throughout this class, I will be in and out of Nashville traveling with Taylor Swift (an up-and-coming country artist) on her tour. As her fiddle player, I will spend the first three months of the year traveling with the George Strait camp as his opening act. Due to the wonderful invention known as technology, my replies will mostly come from my bunk on our tour bus, my home on wheels when I am out of town. I'm excited for this opportunity, but also attempting to finish my degree at the same time...Pray for me!
6. Learn More About Me At: I don't have a website..but I do have facebook, and there you can find out just about everything you would want to know about me. Sometimes I think I give out more information than I should.
7. Why I Am Interested in the Harry Potter Phenomenon: My mom is a middle school librarian, and I actually was one of the crazy people who addicted themselves to the books and bought them the day they were released. I am excited to share other people's perspectives on the books, because I personally think they are great.
8. My Experience with Harry Potter Prior to This Course: I have read all of the books once, but I started again over Christmas break and am realizing how much I forgot about or misunderstood because I never read them back to back. I have seen the first three movies, and I have always enjoyed the world of fantasy that the book series provides.
9. What I Would Like to Get Out of This Class: I would like a greater understanding of literature. My mom has a soft spot for children's reading, and I somewhat share her passion. I would just like to be able to discuss it on a more "adult" level, and figure out what was so wonderful and enticing about this book series that has caused such an uproar in our culture.
10. My Favorite Character from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (and Why): Obviously Hermione. Though she is bossy and a bookworm who likes to tell boys what to do, I find myself loving her more and more each book. I grew up with a lot of male friends and I identify with her. I love how she uses her logic and knowledge to solve the mysteries and problems that occur, but never seeks out primary recognition for her deeds.
11. My Favorite Quote from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (and Why):
Dumbledore: It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.

I like this quote a lot because I really understand its message. These books are written for children, but I think all of us need a little understanding and encouragement no matter how old we are. When Neville stands up to Ron, Hermione, and Harry, it is the absolute bravest thing he has ever done. Wanting better for your friends, even at the risk of losing them, is what Rowling attempts to convey in her work.
12. Parting Thoughts: Though I’m not terrible excited about school starting up again, it is my last semester so I have much reason to finally celebrate!

Assignment 1

1. My Name: Emily M. Pope 
2. I Come From: Born in Jacksonville, but grew up in Franklin, TN. 
3. My Year and Major: 2nd semester graduate student. Working on a Master of Arts in Teaching (grades 7-12). My undergraduate degree (from Belmont) is in history and sociology. 
4. My Picture: 
This is me with my beagle Quincy (after John Quincy Adams) after a wedding.
5. Some Facts About Me: I am 22, the only man in my life is my dog. I love reading, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter and practically anything having to do with history. I work at True Value in Franklin and am a substitute teacher with Franklin Special Schools. I primarily sub at Freedom Middle School. I graduated last May and started my graduate work in August. The plan is to be certified to teach history, sociology, and English in grades 7-12. I love black and white photos and historical maps. I have a 10 month old beagle (in the picture above) who thinks I exist solely for him.
6. Learn More About Me At:
7. Why I Am Interested in the Harry Potter Phenomenon: I actually had disdain for Harry Potter until I was sick one day my senior year of high school and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on HBO. I was converted then and there. I read all of them (1-4) immediately and volunteered at Barnes and Noble for the party when the fifth book came out! I love the fact that the books have inspired so many people to read. I also think that Harry Potter, like Tolkien argues in "On Fairy-Stories", provides a window for the reader to examine his or her own life and world. I'm also fascinated by the number of anti-Harry Potter peoplet there are (and surprisingly most of them have never read any of the books). Having a  large fascination with fiction and its role in our lives I'm drawn to the world of Harry Potter and where in the literary world it fits and its current and potential impact upon other works of fiction.
8. My Experience with Harry Potter Prior to This Course: I have read all the books and watched all the films. I have also had the priviledge of being a good friend to the woman that teachs the Harry Potter classes at Franklin Special Schools summer program, Young Scholars. Coversations with her have revealed many things to me. I also was able to attend a panel on Harry Potter and its connection to the works of C.S. Lewis at the Past Watchful Dragons conference. Other than those little bits my academic interaction with Harry Potter has been limited (and lets not count out all the Harry Potter video games!). I also had the fabulous opportunity to use Harry Potter in a project last semester. (I showed the scene in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in which Snape teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts and when Lupin introduces the boggart to examine teaching styles).
9. What I Would Like to Get Out of This Class: A deeeper understanding of Harry Potter's place in the literary world and the potential aid that understanding and appeciating Harry Potter can provide both inside and outside of the classroom.
10. My Favorite Character from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (and Why): Professor McGonagall is my favorite from this text because she reminds me a good bit of some of my favorite teachers in that she both appears tough and intimidating, but she also deeply cares about her students and their well-being. She is such a fun character (especially in some of the later books!) to read and reveals a good deal about what makes her different from other wizards and she clearly exhibits some qualities that Rowling values.
11. My Favorite Quote from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (and Why): Dumbledore when asked by Harry what he sees in the Mirror of Erised: "I? I see myself holding a paiar of thick, woolen socks." Harry Starred. "One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books." (p. 214 HB) I love Dumbledore's contentment with life and the simplicity of being at peace with life so that his deepest longing would simply be socks. Or, on the other hand, his ability to on the fly make up something so funny to tell Harry (though I doubt that very much that Dumbledore would lie). Overall, I love both the humor and reality of the statement.
12. Parting Thoughts: I hope we get to visit the last two questions with later books.