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Top 10 Reasons Why I Wish I Went To Hogwarts

Dear Reader,

I am pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to my blog to read about why I wish I attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all the reasons why this is so. Reading begins once you have finished this paragraph. I await your comments and appreciation by owl no later than upon completion. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Jennifer,

Blogger and Potterhead

 

1. It appears to be free! 

No one who has ever been to a post-secondary institute in Canada can under-appreciate the free ride that Hogwarts students seem to get. While I am nearing the end of my degree, I am faced with the gut-wrenching task of coming face-to-face with my nightmare: student loans. While the Weasleys were not financially well-off, they certainly didn’t have to worry about tuition. A few cauldrons, books, and owls cost pennies compared to what we students have to pay just to go to these classes. So how do they do it? I have yet to read about wizard taxes going to the upkeep of the school – the students just seem to go! I could be wrong though, I haven’t read a Daily Prophet in ages.

2. You only need to complete your OWLs and NEWTs to get a career!

Now after you’ve sold all your limbs and spare organs to pay for your degree, you are still not guaranteed a job in the real world. You actually need to pass your classes in both high school and post-secondary. Once you’ve added all this decoration to your resume the best you can do is cross your fingers and hope you get a job you enjoy and have the credentials for. Not Hogwarts students! They seem to have a pretty clear idea ahead of time of what they want to do and the positions come with exact requirements. While it may suck to have to take another year of Potions, at least you know it gets you one step closer to becoming the Auror you’ve always wanted to be. None of this wishy-washy, unclear credentials business you find here in the muggle world. PLUS they attend Hogwarts from the age of 11 to roughly 17. Consider in the fact they do not need a post-Hogwarts school, they have not only saved a lot of time but a ton of Galleons too.

3. Practical and Interesting Courses!

I don’t care how creepy (or awesome) Snape sounds and how much of a jerk he can be, if I was taught how to make something magical from throwing a bunch of ingredients into a pewter cauldron I’d so be down! Learning to transfigure things? Who doesn’t need to know that?! “I’m sorry honey, we’re out of spare goblets for the Yule Ball tonight.” “Oh no worries dear, we’ll just use the rat that’s been running around the garden.” So. Many. Problems. Solved. I on the other hand struggled through high school math only to never use it again. And people say Herbology is lame.

4. Location, Location, Location!

Look at the Hogwarts grounds! Seriously. Look at it: 

How friggen cool is this place?! You’ve got not only the coolest-looking castle around, but a Quidditch pitch, a lake (complete with giant squid and merpeople), but also the Forbidden Forest. Think of the scholarly opportunities that the grounds alone provide: Meeting new species in the Forbidden Forest, learning about gillyweed in the lake, or the aerodynamics of broom-flying. This campus is ripe with resources just waiting to have primary research conducted upon it. There is also so much space to do things like read Hogwarts: A History, run from werewolves, chase unregistered Animagi, eavesdrop on Hagrid’s love-life. The possibilities are endless when your school is as bad-ass as Hogwarts.

5. The Castle Ghosts!

While Harry and his peers don’t describe having a ghost pass through you as the most comfortable sensation, it would still be pretty cool to befriend someone who lived in a different century as you. Think of all the information you could find out, all the Headless Hunts to watch, and Death Day parties to avoid. Ugh. I just wish my university had ghosts. Just maybe not the Bloody Baron. He seems little too intense for my liking.

6. Owl Post!

Everybody loves getting mail. Now add to that the excitement of getting your envelopes and packages dropped above your head from a great height! Not only will your hand-eye coordination improve (out of necessity) but having an owl buddy who brings you your stuff will make you feel that much more important. Heck, if letters regarding my student loans were dropped off in such a manner it might take away a few tears and soften the blow (probably not, student loans are comparable to Dementors).

7. Did I mention its a castle?! 

I’ve always loved castles. Since I was young I’ve been fascinated by them. My dream come true would be to run around a castle with towers, spiraling staircases, and a mystery in every room. If I went to Hogwarts I would run around like a sugar-fuelled child, springing from room to room absorbing the history of the 1000 year-old building. I just hope I don’t open the door with Fluffy behind it. Or the Chamber of Secrets. Or Umbridge’s office. *shudders*

8. Quidditch!

I don’t even have to make the house team, I would just be happy with an intramural Quidditch league. I wouldn’t even be upset with the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any other sports in the wizarding world other than this. It is simply a beauty of a game. On broomsticks.

9. School Spirit and House Rivalries!

Every year the Sorting Hat comes up with a new song about Hogwarts. This spirit is reflected in how far Hogwarts students will go to prove how awesome their school is (although it is pretty self-explanatory). Each student will also fight tooth and nail in a battle of “Which is the Best House?”. Every school year the houses compete for not only the Quidditch Cup but the House Cup. Students will duke it out all year to win although as long as Slytherin doesn’t win its all in good fun. Sorta. Not Really. If my house won I would join the rest of my house as we flashed our house-coloured ties in everyone else’s sorry faces. A little competition is great for a school and makes for rivalries that last a lifetime (I’m looking at you here, Harry and Malfoy).

10. The Food and Feasts!

Go all S.P.E.W. if you want but those house elves know how to put out a spread! Plates that magically refill themselves once empty? Its a student’s dream! And we’re not talking prison-food mush here – we’re talking about legit dinners with appetizers, various meats, and desserts. So much desserts. And on the Halloweens where no trolls find their way into the dungeons or on the Christmases that you couldn’t bare to go back to the Dursleys’ (all of them) you can just stay and feast under the unparalleled decor until you’ve had your fill of pumpkin juice and toddle off back to your dormitory. Or until Filch tells you to get a move on.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, I must return to my muggle homework. I do not have any enchanted quills that can write my report for me.

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home,” – J.K. Rowling 

My Top 10 Fav Famous (and Mostly Fictional) Monkeys

In December Toronto gained a new celebrity: a monkey named Darwin. Him and his fancy-dancy coat lit up Ikea and the Toronto media and this, paired with the academic burn out that comes with finals, inspired me to tell you about my favourite monkeys. Granted, this might be the weirdest article I’ve ever written but who doesn’t love a good monkey? Monkeys are everywhere  (in jungles, on your back, in barrels, jumping on your bed) so why not embrace them?

Note: I realize some of these are what we would technically call “apes” but for the sake of simplicity, I’m sticking to calling them monkeys.

10. Donkey Kong

Ahh good ol’ DK. Having grown up in the 1990’s Donkey Kong and I go way back. From the days I would steer him down the correct banana-filled path on my cousin’s Gameboy or to when the tv series took us on our own adventures, its been fun. I think I don’t rate DK higher because I’m mildly intimated by his overly large stature and massive jaw. That jaw can do some serious damage. I don’t care if he only eats bananas – that shit is terrifying.  Honestly though, its his tie that redeems him. You can always trust DK to show up lookin’ classy.

Thumbs up if you too want to get around via barrel!
Thumbs up if you too want to get around via barrel!

9. Diddy Kong

Not to be outdone by his uncle DK, Diddy too had his own game – the appropriately named Diddy Kong Racing. I for one am terrible at the game and am not afraid to admit it. I think it is my resentment of continuously losing that blackens my overall love for little Diddy. He seems to be an alright guy – he even has a woman named Dixie – but I just can’t love him as much as I do the other monkeys on this list.

180px-Diddy_Kong

8. The “Hangover 2” Monkey

This monkey tells the story of the monkey underworld that we often overlook. While she (yes, the monkey is actually named Crystal and wore a pretty pink dress to the movie’s premiere) seems all free-spirited and rock n roll in her Rolling Stones vest, she has the unfortunate habits of being a smoker and drug mule. Despite her illegal employment, she is very well-trained and can get the job done – even alert her ’employers’ when there’s an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I support a monkey’s role in drug trafficking. I mostly just love this monkey for the way Leslie Chow says “you ever see monkey go to jail?”

Aww look at the cutie...oh and there's a monkey too!
Aww look at the cutie…oh and there’s a monkey too!

7. “Grandma’s Boy” Monkey

This monkey has skills. Even Dante in the movie agrees with me by saying “Monkey, you’ve got skills.” The “skills” that this monkey possesses? Well it can drive, use heads as a musical instrument, play video games, and even takes tae kwon do lessons. It is in thanks to this particular character that I will state the philosophical saying “don’t judge me, monkey” when the opportunity presents itself.

Grandma's boy

6. The Evil Monkey from “Family Guy”

While Chris Griffon is perpetually terrorized by the Evil Monkey living in his closet, it would appear that this monkey was simply misunderstood for a long while. There is even a time when Chris and his simian companion become friends. Nonetheless, almost everyone will recognize the terror that is emminent when this monkey points.

God that's terrifying
God that’s terrifying

5. Jack from “Pirates of the Caribbean”

Named after the oddly sexy (Captain!) Jack Sparrow, Jack the monkey is also a pirate. In fact, he’s actually a bad guy and goes around stealing things and getting himself cursed like the rest of his Black Pearl shipmates. Ah well, curses and the life of crime aside, he does have one pretty snazzy outfit.

"You DON'T think Johnny Depp is good-looking?!"
“You DON’T think Johnny Depp is good-looking?!”

4. Curious George

How can you possibly hate on Curious George? He goes on all these awesome adventures and doesn’t even come back all pompous and arrogant. He probably doesn’t even have a mean bone in his body.

Bonus points for his book selection
Bonus points for his book selection

3. Darwin – the Ikea Monkey

The monkey that is responsible for this post. The star of the North York Ikea. Ladies and gentleman, this is Darwin. He hopped into our hearts as his owner shopped for Swedish sleigh beds (or meatballs). Maybe it was his cute face, maybe it was the coat that is probably more than my student budget could afford, but whatever it was let us just hope his custody battle ends with him and his fashion sense finding a good home.

He was sure to have his good side captured
He was sure to have his good side captured

2. Abu from “Aladdin”

Let’s get one thing straight here: Abu is a bit of an asshole. Let me explain! He gives Aladdin grief about helping out Jasmine, he’s a greedy thief, taunts palace guards, and just has a general attitude about him. Asking him for favours is like asking a teenager to help around the house – if they do it, they’ll be sure to tell you all about how helpful they are. Nonetheless, this little vest-wearing mammal stole our hearts early into childhood. He comes through for Aladdin and makes friends with Magic Carpet. For this, he has a special place among the great famous monkeys.

He can't even smile when surrounded by gold
He can’t even smile when surrounded by gold

1. Rafiki from “The Lion King”

Oh Rafiki. Who doesn’t love old Rafiki? We all have impersonated him in that scene where he holds up baby Simba (however we probably have to sub in pets, stuffed animals, and maybe a small child for a lion cub). He sets Simba straight, brings the news to Simba’s posse, and what might be the most impressive feat, gets to act insane and yet maintains being seen as one of the wisest dudes in the kingdom. For all his wisdom and that annoyingly catchy song he sings that none of us know the words to (something about a squashed banana?), he earns himself top spot on my list. Congratulations Rafiki.

If you say you've never struck this pose, you are lying
If you say you’ve never struck this pose, you are lying