I’ll be honest. I haven’t been keeping up with Harry’s books. Like highschool when I would read the Cliff Notes, I’ve been following the action via the movies. I know, I know. That’s SO WRONG, but it’s true. Because of this, I’m thinking of cheating and skipping right to book six, and reading that in preparation for book seven’s release on the 21st.
Speaking of book seven, I’m wondering how the ending will stay secret? Surely there are multitudes of people that want to blurt out to everyone if Harry lives or dies. By Sunday the 22nd I’m guessing it will posted all over the internet, imbedded in reviewer’s notes and discussed on national television. How will anyone be able to enjoy this book and in the future, the movie that will be made about it?
I must say I have LOVED the Harry Potter hype that’s been going on for the last 10 years. I’ve enjoyed the books that I’ve read, the movies I’ve seen, the whole inspirational story of a down and out single mom on the dole that types the manuscript out at night after writing it out longhand during day. I love going to Borders at midnight to buy the book. I love sitting in a packed theatre to watch the films as they come out. I love that even after 10 years there are still some hyper-religious folks out there worried about the “dangerous conjurings” of a fictional boy wizard yet he flies on. As the British would say, It’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant!
Our family’s Harry Potter hype was at an all time high a few years ago when Frederick Community College offered a summer camp called A Week At Hogwarts. My daughter Paige had attended the year before, taking classes like Potions, Defense of The Dark Arts and Herbology while making crafts, discussing the book and hanging out with her friends. The following year my younger daughter Jarin celebrated her 7th birthday and was finally old enough to sign up as well. I was thrilled that she was finally getting into Harry (hoping that it would inspire her to read the books) and more importantly, thrilled that Jarin’s Hogwart’s camp coincided with Paige’s yoga camp which allowed me 5 blissfully free mornings to myself.
I was so thrilled to be free at last, free at last, that I didn’t pay close attention when I dropped Jarin off each day. I ran in, signed the sheet, pushed her into class and ran to the car. Sure some of the kids towered over her, but who am I to point fingers and gawk at the freakishly tall? Besides, there was no time to comtemplate my child’s placement on the growth chart – I had friends and a grande no-whip mocha waiting for me at Starbucks.
By Wednesday of that week I got a call from the head of the Kids on Campus program. A group of exchange students from Taiwan were in town and would spend an afternoon hanging out with the Hogwarts gang. Since everyone speaks the language of Harry Potter they figured it was a good way to bridge the language gap. Sadly, they did not feel that Jarin would fit in with this group, her being so young and all.
“Excuse me,” I interrupted. “What do you mean by young and all?”
Well with all the kids being teenagers and with Jarin being in grade school we don’t feel that she should hang out unattended with kids so much older than her.
All the kids are teenagers? Jarin’s the only student that’s in grade school?
Why yes, Mrs. Pruce. You signed up Jarin for the 12 and over class.
But she’s seven! How the hell did she get in that class?
Apparently I had signed her up for the wrong week. Clearly my subconscious need for a parental break had guided my hand on the form. My complete denial of the problem allowed me to ignore the fact that all of her classmates had acne, braces and facial hair. I apologized profusely to the director who assured me that Jarin was actually fitting into the class, having fun, only discussing Harry Potter and not scoring drugs or learning how to sniff glue and that she might as well finish the week.
I imediately ran up to Jarin’s room to check on her.
Jarin, your Harry Potter class. Are you getting along with the kids okay?
Are they treating you nice?
Do you realize that you’re THE YOUNGEST PERSON IN THE CLASS?
Shhhhhh, she replied. Don’t tell anyone. They think I’m a teenager. I fooled them all,” she said proudly.
Jarin, you have no front teeth and can’t pronounce your R’s. Give it up. Nobody thinks that you’re a teenager.
Even though it was 12 and up, most of the attendees were pre-teens, so in the end it wasn’t so bad. But here’s a picture of Jarin blending in seamlessly with the other students: