By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
Most muggles do not have magic on the brain. ‘Muggle’ is the term J.K. Rowling uses to describe non-magical folk within the Harry Potter series. Of course, according to Rowling, most muggles don’t think about magic because they have already refused to accept that it even exists.
However, the Harry Potter Alliance and Boston University’s chapter, Dumbledore’s Army, prove that magic doesn’t have to be spells or curses to be practiced. Within the community, average muggles like you and I, can practice a less literal magic that wows. In this case, magic can be the simple thought of giving back to the community. Most people are amazed by the effects giving back can have.
Giving back can be something as small as donating books to others or selling free trade chocolate in the shape of chocolate frogs. Even getting together a group of people with a common interest in a character can be life changing for others.
What I never considered was that Harry Potter, other than being a great wizard for vanquishing the dark lord Voldemort, could be more than a character. It had not occurred to me that a book, which became a series loved by millions, could be something other than a book. Harry Potter’s name now stands as a symbol for hope. Harry Potter inspires change for the better.
As J.K. Rowling remarks on the Harry Potter Alliance website, “I am honoured and humbled that Harry’s name has been given to such an extraordinary campaign, which really does exemplify the values for which Dumbledore’s Army fought in the books.”
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
Let’s be honest. We all have our favorite British television show, whether we care to admit it. Why do we fall head over heels for these shows over our own American reality television shows? Is it the creative plot lines, or is it their brilliant British slang? Blimey! You would have to be a wanker not to love British TV. Whether its “Doctor Who,” “Sherlock,” “Misfits,” “Peep Show,” the list of our favorite British shows go on and on. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) always gives us a reason to watch.
However, our love of Great Britain spans far beyond TV. Take into account the famous “Harry Potter” series, written by British novelist J.K. Rowling. As you probably already know from BBC’s Twitter feed, the world of British television is colliding with popular British novels, courtesy of BBC’s decision to adapt Rowling’s newest novel ‘The Casual Vacancy” as a television series. Set to debut in 2014, the show is sure to join our list of British television favorites. Despite some poor literary critics’ reviews, possibly holding a grudge against Britain for their tyrannical history, the novel still ranks high on the New York Times best-seller list. Rowling will be working closely with the BBC network to make sure her literary vision is successfully translated to the television screen.
Keep your eyes on the telly for the premiere showing of “The Casual Vacancy.” I’d be gobsmacked if the show were anything short of bloody addicting.
Confused by some of my language? If you ever find yourself in Britain, this online dictionary of British slang might be useful. And if not, you can always talk like a Brit for fun!
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
What can a group of students do with brooms, partially deflated dodge balls, volleyballs and hula hoops? If you think this is a trick question, think again. This is all the equipment you need to play Quidditch, and Boston University’s Quidditch team has six years of experience. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, competitive sports or avoiding homework on Sunday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., then checking out the team may be worthwhile.
When I first got to the team’s practice location behind Sleeper Hall on West Campus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Instead of starting to understand how the game was played, I became more confused by the second. However, talking to College of Arts and Sciences junior Katrina Bossotti helped. She’s on the Quidditch e-board and a captain of one of the teams.
According to Katrina, there are a few main rules that have been adapted from the game portrayed in the best-selling Harry Potter series. There are seven players from each team on the field at one time: three chasers, two beaters, a seeker and a keeper. The goal of the game is for the chasers to throw the quaffles (volleyballs) through the hoops while avoiding the bludgers (partially deflated dodge balls) that are thrown by the beaters. If you are hit, you must go back to the hoops on your side. Katrina explained that this is supposed to simulate “falling off your broom, since we can’t actually fly.”
The game seems difficult to pick up, but the main thing to remember is that the seeker has to catch the snitch. The snitch is usually a cross-country runner or wrestler with a tennis ball in a sock tucked into their pants. He or she has no boundaries, and they can do pretty much anything to avoid getting caught. Once caught, the game ends and the team with the most points is the winner.
School of Management senior Joe Barkus explained to me that while there are seemingly no limits to Quidditch (no field boundaries at all!), you can only catch the snitch with a single hand, and yellow and red cards are issued for fouls. There are four teams at Boston University that practice together, but there is a single tournament team of 21 players that compete in official tournaments on a local and regional scale. Just this semester there are three different tournaments, and in the spring there is the World Cup.
I chatted briefly with College of Communication sophomore Brett Engwall, who plays the position of seeker. Brett began his Quidditch career last year, and he played on the tournament team. When I asked what kept Brett playing, he responded that he was surprised at how athletic the sport is.
“We also form close friendships, especially on the tournament team,” he said.
I learned that the tournaments are even more intense than the practice I witnessed last weekend, highly competitive and violent, but also extremely fun. At the end of a vigorous Quidditch game, the opponents can be seen hugging each other and congratulating their enemies on a good game.
If you are wary of trying something so new, take the advice of College of General Studies freshman Marianne Walters. When she couldn’t join a soccer team at BU, she said Quidditch seemed just as interesting. Marianne heard about the team through splash, and she loves playing. Competitive sports aren’t for everyone, but what good is a sport if there are no fans to cheer them on?
And let me emphasize again that this game has NO boundaries. It’s best to watch this game from a distance because the players are not afraid to blow right past you to keep playing!