Sunday, 17 October 2010

Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion

There has been quite a bit of press around this new module. It has mainly been positive, although some think it a waste of time and just seem quite bitter. I thought since there was such an interest in the module (I have had quite a few friends ask me about it) I would blog my experience of the module here...being one of the MANY students taking part. It will be my experience and what I feel about it, so may not match others opinions, but I will try and avoid lying about what went on as some sources have. (The BBC announced the first module had taken place 4 hours before it had, it also mentioned broomsticks...but since they had witnessed something other than the lecture taking place it is no wonder they saw objects which were not present...)

So...the first lecture. We have been told that had they been able to the filming of the Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies would have taken place in the Great Hall of the castle in Durham, unfortunately this meant it being out of use for longer than Durham could allow. However, the Great Hall of Durham Castle provided a great place for our first lecture. Many students (more than I have ever witnessed for an Education module) turned up to the Great Hall...first having to show identity to quite a few Prefects dressed in robes. We had been informed we should wear robes/cloaks and a fair amount of students did, one students had a wizards hat, a Gryffindor scarf and a Hogwarts folder as well (needless to say he was VERY happy to be sorted into Gryffindor later). We all sat down at the looong dinner tables within the hall (Castle students are so lucky to be able to eat in there every's REALLY nice), and sat a little bemused at this extravagant lecture. We were then introduced to the course and the sorting began. Students names were called one by one to come forward and be sorted by the power of the bag of marbles. (Some students are convinced it was really Mr. Richardson deciding where they went...we will never know). There was a lot of clapping and many happy faces...except those perhaps put into Slytherin. There was no booing, but students definitely did not seem to pleased. I myself, however, had hoped to be put into Slytherin so was very pleased to have been sorted there, not least because green looks really good on me!

At the end of the sorting Mr. Richardson's son was sorted too. It was his birthday, and by the fact that he was wearing a cloak and hugging a Hedwig doll (and the fact that in the last two years we have been told numerous times by Mr. Richardson) it was obvious he was a huge fan, and of course was put into Gryffindor.

The sorting was a lot of fun, but also served as a point for thought. How often are we just randomly sorted? Can the houses represent universities? Durham Colleges? What does being a member of a house do to our identity? How do we feel about the sorting? There has obviously been a lot of thought put into this module, and I can see it will be a lot of fun as well as thought provoking. :)

Our first proper lecture discussed whether the module was fit for study...and who should decide. Who do you think should decide what we study? Do you think the module is fit for study?

We'll find out...I better be off now to write about the strengths of my house. :)

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