In keeping with the Winter Carnival theme — a sort of copyright-free Harry Potter concept — we’ve centered this issue on magic. From palm-reading to Appalachian Trail gifts, there is much to explore. And through it all, we come back to Harry Potter, a book that many of us grew up reading. Here are some of the memories that we’ve accumulated while waiting for Hogwarts letters of our own.
Lucy: I was a third-grader when the sixth Harry Potter book was released, and I woke up early to pick up a copy at the bookstore (yes, I was that type of third-grader). I ended up being first in line, and the local newspaper wanted to take a picture of me. I was excited save for one detail: The photographer wanted me to put on a pair of Harry Potter-style glasses for the photo. I can’t quite remember why, but this was totally unacceptable to me, and I refused to wear the glasses despite the photographer’s insistence. She eventually gave up and just took a photo of me holding the book. The next morning, I was on the front page of the newspaper, sans Harry Potter glasses and smiling with a copy of the “Half-Blood Prince.” I have no regrets about my stubborn decision.
Mikey: In sixth grade, J.K. Rowling came to New Orleans as part of a tour celebrating the release of the seventh book. As a lifelong Harry Potter lover, I wanted nothing more than to go. My school got a limited number of tickets for students, and they had a drawing to pick the lucky students. When my name wasn’t called, I was heartbroken. One of my friends who was chosen wasn’t a Harry Potter fan (who knew they existed?!) and told me I could take her place for something in return — a Snickers bar. Elated, the next day I brought her a ribbon-wrapped Snickers bar and was able to meet J.K. Rowling and have her sign my copy of the seventh book at the event!
Ali: Well, I’ve been a diehard Harry Potter fan since the books first came out. Some may say I’m too old for magic or for Halloween costumes in general, but I’ve proudly dressed up as a “golden snitch” for the past three Halloweens. Each holiday, I dip myself in a bucket of gold glitter, clad myself in gold leggings, a gold leotard, wrap myself in gold sequin fabric and write “I open at the close” on both arms. Even though I wind up with glitter showing up in various surprising places for weeks after, I genuinely hope to continue this tradition for the indefinite future. Dressing up like a golden snitch makes me feel like I’m 12 years old again, and don’t we all need to feel like a kid sometimes?
Roald Dahl said, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
So tell us, Dartmouth: do you believe in magic?