TL;DR: Hufflepuff Doesn’t Suck

So summer’s here and I’m applying to college soon. I’m pretty sure at least one of my other posts started with this, but for the sake of starting things, I’ll let it be. I don’t think I write enough about Harry Potter really even though it’s one of my favorite things, but when thinking about college, identity, and Harry Potter, I thought about House. You know, the four categories that you can be sorted into based on your characteristics.

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The four Hogwarts Houses, as represented by pairs of socks.

First things first, how does the Sorting Hat really decide where you go? I believe that this is based on who you are at heart and not who you want to be or who people think you are. Though there are people who make me question this principle (Cho Chang and Zacharias Smith, for example), I think the cases for the principle outweigh those against. Hermione Granger, though she is obviously a studious bookworm, does some things that place her out of Ravenclaw. Don’t get me wrong, she’d fit in well in there, but it’s probably not her best fit, namely I think because she doesn’t have the temperament for Ravenclaw. Luna chides Hermione at least once in the book for not being open-minded enough, and I feel like that’s one of the biggest tenets of Ravenclaw house. Hermione still can’t really let go her ideas of logic; for the best supporting detail refer to the Divination fiasco in third year. Next, Neville Longbottom is an incredibly loyal person: it takes a lot of loyalty to stand by your cause, even when you’re being regularly tortured for your efforts (seventh year). However, Neville isn’t a Hufflepuff because his bravery stands out much more than his loyalty does. He has the guts to ask Hermione to the Yule Ball, which was more guts than Ron had: he just went along with Harry’s asking Parvati. Let’s face it: would Ron have really manned up and asked someone if he wasn’t set up with Padma? It’s hard to say, but it’s doubtful. Also, standing up against Death Eater regime in Hogwarts takes a lot of bravery, as does killing off Voldemort’s snake Nagini. We know how snakes move, and yet Neville was brave enough to take on Nagini with Gryffindor’s sword.

I’ve said before that I’m a Slytherin, but there’s a little something I left out: on Pottermore’s Sorting Hat I had a choice between Slytherin and Hufflepuff. A lot of people give me weird looks because, they say, Slytherin is almost the opposite of Hufflepuff. However, if you’ve read my post on another website (link: https://comedowntherabbithole.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/the-case-for-slytherin/), I think you already know that Slytherin is not just the house that “not a single witch or wizard who went bad” didn’t came from. But Hufflepuff? Isn’t that the house all the rejects get put into? Partially, but I’ve got some myth-busting to do.

There’s a reason why Hufflepuff has had the least amount of Dark Wizards. Take a look at what they prize: tolerance, hard work, dedication, fairplay, patience, and kindness. Not exactly the stuff that Death Eaters spout and support. It’s easy to scoff at these characteristics; trust me, I did too for a long, long time until I decided to know more about the Hogwarts houses than just the stereotypes. I think that Hufflepuff’s kindness and humility often results in its being overlooked while in reality, it has produced many a fine wizard and witch, like JK Rowling. It takes a lot to be the bigger person and be fair and kind to others, knowing that people may or may not take the time to be kind and patient in return. JK Rowling, in webcast, has said that when called to arms in the Battle of Hogwarts, the Hufflepuffs, as a group, answered the call in honest relation to their beliefs. Voldemort and the Death Eaters supported prejudice and selfishness, which goes against the valued qualities of Hufflepuff. For this reason, the Hufflepuffs stay at Hogwarts to fight the Death Eaters. Yes, more Gryffindors stayed, but collectively, it can be said that the Gryffindors stayed because the are reckless and tried to embody the bravery that their house so vehemently proclaims. Sure being brave is great, but the bottom line is that Hufflepuffs truly fought for what they believed in, and that’s admirable.

Funnily enough, my cousin had the exact same Pottermore results as me: choice between Slytherin and Hufflepuff. She chose Hufflepuff and while I mocked her for it then, I respect her decision as she respects mine. There is no lesser House, just different Houses with different ideals. Choosing Slytherin was an impulse choice on my part, but it is definitely not a mistake. Some people might say that the Sorting Hat giving you a decision isn’t realistic, but why isn’t it? Everyone has a different set of priorities: some of us are ambitious, others seek knowledge. With these priorities in mind, we take action and have reactions that ultimately shape our characteristics.

Credits to Ricky Brigante for the picture, link to more of the magic: https://www.flickr.com/photos/insidethemagic/

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TL;DR: Hufflepuff Doesn’t Suck

Identity: But Wait, There’s More

After weeks of not posting, I proceed to double post. Excuse the blogging faux-pas.

I didn’t think that anyone would be happy reading the wall of text that is the synthesis response to the establishment of identity through words and my thoughts on identity in general in the same post, so I’m making a separate post for my thoughts. Continue reading “Identity: But Wait, There’s More”

Identity: But Wait, There’s More

Identity Defined

Throughout this year, I have been trying to define myself as a person. Who am I?  What do I like? What do I want to do? What causes do I support? What do I believe in?

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Thankfully, I’m not the only person out there with these kinds of questions. A short snippet of Holden Caulfield’s life, chronicled in the Catcher in the Rye, has supported the idea that language creates identity. Continue reading “Identity Defined”

Identity Defined

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR): College Is Expensive

For my English class, I recently completed an online college portfolio, a collection of documents useful in the college application process.  This included items such as a resume, entrance essay, and college search write-up, all of which I put into a folder in Google Drive justly titled, “College Portfolio”.  If you are a rising senior (or even perhaps a curious rising junior), I highly recommend this project because it helped me reflect on myself as a person and got me a head start on applying to college.   Continue reading “Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR): College Is Expensive”

Too Long Didn’t Read (TLDR): College Is Expensive

Called to Arms

“Mother tells me. . . If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies. . . .”

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Picture taken by Wally Gobetz on Flickr. Link to gallery below.

The fates present two strands.  The first is intertwined with laurel and emits a heavenly glow.  The another is a mild shade of lavender, a beautiful bore.  This seems to be a choice between an iPhone or a Nexus, Coke or Pepsi, McDonalds or Burger King.  However, upon second glance, the former thread is painfully thin and pinky-length while the latter could have been a lock of Samson’s hair.  A scrap of the gods’ fabric or yards of a mortal’s?

I see myself lazily skimming a white-sand beach.  Gentle wind and clear-blue waters.  Sun so bright and skies so blue that they seem to wage war on my rods and cones with their intensity.  I float on an inflatable lounge chair, complete with adjunct side-table replete with my favorites: Vietnamese green tea, ironically a shade of black, and the most tenacious coffee ice-cream I’ve ever seen, refusing to succumb to the sunlight.  My version of the lavender string.  As inviting as it is, I can’t stay.

By the time I decide on the second, I would have already seized the first.  In my mind, flawless isn’t synonymous to perfect.  I wouldn’t be satisfied by simply sitting still.  To me, perfection is in constant struggle and uncertainty.  What separates me from the typical gambling addict is an ability to influence the outcome.  I don’t charge into battles blindfolded, untrained and empty-handed.  Thorough or brief, I have already scouted the battlefield and enemy ranks.  Furthermore, I find that the harder I work, the better my luck gets, but still, I win some and I lose some.  A power smoothie of frustration and  disappointment impels me to pick myself up and keep going.  Caught up in the moment, I can disregard the rapidly fraying golden string.  Ignoring fear and wielding a laptop, I meet challenges with no intention to lose.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/

Called to Arms

Joan Didion’s Cure for Bankrupt Mornings

An idea I should adopt. Let’s put it in front of my face so I don’t forget.

The Daily Post

Joan Didion in 2005. Photo by Kathy Willens/Associated Press Joan Didion in 2005. Photo by Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Sometimes words fly from your fingers into the keyboard, the ink runs from your pen in a continuous flow, and your imagination fills the screen or page as if by magic. Sometimes when you sit down to write, inspiration is absent or obstinate, hiding and refusing to surface. American author Joan Didion refers to these times as “bankrupt mornings.” She counsels writers on keeping a notebook as a prophylactic against truant inspiration:

See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do, which is write — on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world…

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Joan Didion’s Cure for Bankrupt Mornings

Would You Say That to a Man?

Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter. Is it outwardly malicious? No, but we know what they say about the road to a certain place. . .

Of Means and Ends

sexism

“I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.”

I was in my mid-20s and a promotion opened up in my division at work and I planned to apply for it. Given the hierarchy in our department, one male coworker and I were the natural ones to consider for the job. When the topic came up, that’s what he said to me: “I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.” I don’t remember what I said in the moment, but I remember quietly seething and thinking, “Don’t do me any favors. Go ahead and apply and I’ll still get it.”

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Would You Say That to a Man?