Sunday, July 19, 2015

AM~Erica and the Recruiting Reliance of Hogwarts

So anyway...

This past week was a wild & crazy adventure. It also happened very quickly with a lot information flying!

Three days of this happening in a row, I began to realize that we need to thank J.K. Rowling for something else: promoting excitement in education.

When you read the Harry Potter book series &/or watching the Harry Potter movies, did you sense the magic? Did you sense the excitement of wanting to attend a school like Hogwarts?

It was about being part of a select population who got invited to be a part of the magic; to be a part of the long-standing tradition in that castle. Right? Many of my friends-o-geekery would love to get a glimpse of it, at least.

Yes, yes - Universal Studios, in Florida, has the experience set up. It's a start...but not the classroom setting & learning like in Hogwarts.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Universal Studios

There's many who are fine with the magic of it. Makes sense - Hogwarts is supposed to be a school of wizardry & magic. But there's something deeper happening within those walls beyond a swish & flick of a wand or flying around a quidditch field. What long-standing traditions could you learn & take in? What amazing skill could you learn about in the classroom with the professor, highly skilled in their field of knowledge?


*cue the toy piano/celeste chime of "Hedwig's Theme"*

Our family took in our vacation this week. Though it was hard to call it a relaxing time away, it did involve some family time. However, it surrounded one family member in particular: Teen Boy.


We took this time for college visits. Yes. I said it. College. Visits.

Don't get me wrong, he's been on a couple already, but these visits were to be different...much, much different.

Our son is of the smarticle sort. He's very intellectually driven, for sure, and needs to be somewhere that he can pursue his future interests along with other people he can have the kind of conversations with him that he needs to have.

See, at our house, we can't keep up with his brain. I'm VERY right brained. He is VERY left brained. I love my son. I really do. But I find myself smiling & nodding at him often because I have no idea what he's saying to me. I will say that his wealth of knowledge amazes me. And it gets amplified when he does his ongoing research for debate & extemporaneous speaking. So he's also on top of a lot going on in the world!

With that said, imagine how we felt when he was setting up visits at places like Washington University, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

People! He was getting correspondence from these schools asking him to come visit! It wasn't by owl or anything, but it was really exciting! Especially since he was really drawn to a couple of these places.

See? Smarticle kid.

It was interesting, as he looked into these schools, how at least one of them gave a selling point of being like Hogwarts. Interest was piqued.


As we visited the schools (one each day for three days in a row - it was a lot), I discovered that they all used this particular selling point. In different ways, but oh-so-the-same, all three of these schools relied on Harry Potter & Hogwarts references as selling points in their selling of themselves for recruiting of future student purposes.

Between the architecture of the buildings, the long-standing traditions (have I said that enough yet?), and even classes offered at times, these were the qualities drawn upon for these campuses while showing possible future students of these institutions what it could be like.

OK, no one was flying over head on their Nimbus 2000 stick, and there was no practicing of levitation or transfiguration going on within the courtyards, but there was a sense of them trying to find & show the magic for these upcoming post-secondary students who grew up reading & watching the Harry Potter series. Which is a brilliant move, I might add.

These schools boasted about their Hogwarts architecture, the select student population, and even a class or two. One of the schools even has houses that you are sorted into based on your personality & interests. That particular school also said they did that LONG before anyone knew about Harry Potter.

Washington University - St. Louis
University of Chicago
Northwestern University - Deering Library

When we looked at Teen Girl's current school, they did say they offer a Harry Potter class on an on-again/off-again basis. They are the Griffons (GO GRIFFS!), and their arts building is in Potter Hall. They even have academic buildings of Popplewell Hall & Eder Hall (which all sounds SO Hogwartsesque), and even a clock tower that plays music in chime-form. They don't have the romantic style of the gothic-centric architecture that other schools have, but there is that Hogwarts selling point, again.

See? Missouri Western State University even has a Griffon door!

Now, I must tell you, we were taken with two of the three campuses we visited. I won't say which two right now. I will also tell you that we really felt that MAGIC in one of those places. We could sense our son's soul on 2, but could feel it settling on the one with the extra dose of magic. That's also the campus that I encountered a BUTTERFLY (if you know what that means to me), as well as a CARDINAL (which you may remember what that means, too). Again, I will not say which one at this point.

The beauty of these prestigious schools was amazing on its own. I also found it amazing how understanding these places were about how unsettled their students can be in their degree focus. They understand that what they thought they might want to do may not be the best fit for them, and the schools are willing to work with the students on finding their path. It was beautiful to know that, as a freshman in college, they may not know what they are fully wanting to do when they come in. They have an idea, but it doesn't have to be concrete. They also have ways to help them figure that out in their time on campus. Because apparently there's opportunities to try out your degree area & see if it still is a fit for you or not.

*SIDE NOTE: That's right, kids. You should NOT have to pick 
your career path when you are a freshman in high school.
(some will understand this reference)


All in all, though so much was crammed into a few short days, it was clear that the academic aspect was strong on this trip...and it had no shortage of Hogwarts visions in recruiting & selling. All for furthering education.

J.K. Rowling's writings of Harry Potter at Hogwarts has truly been attributed to raising awareness on so many things, like MENTAL HEALTH, diversity, a sense of belonging, and now this:
I want to take this moment to thank her for giving a sense of excitement and magic to furthering a higher education! What another wonderful piece to take away from her delightful storytelling.

And, in the near future, we'll see where the magic rests for Teen Boy....

*grabs tissue & listens to "Hedwig's Theme"*

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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