Showing posts with the label Harry Potter

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 6 of 6

The Harry Potter festival went great.

It's amazing that so many volunteers were able to come together to make such a great event happen. A bunch of my family and friends showed up, and that was awesome. It was a hot day, and long; my first presentation was at 12:15 and my last one was at 6:30.

There are a bunch of interesting stories that I could tell, like meeting an almost real Umbridge from Toronto, or the long conversation I had with police officer Kayla. But, instead, I'm just going to show you the videos of the presentations.

Here's "The Great Gnome Conspiracy of the 18th and 19th Centuries". I wanted to make sure I didn't go over time and throw everyone off, so I ended up being a little short on this one.
David was a great emcee. The kids really liked it when he did trivia. At one point there were some difficult questions near the end of the festival, when the hardcore fans were left. No one knew the answers and David had to…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 5 of ?

Potter in the Park is tomorrow. I'm going to go over a number of logistical issues (the boring part), and then the presentations themselves (the exciting part).

The woman that manages the event seems way overwhelmed. She started this thing a number of years ago and I think it's probably surprised her how large it is getting now. She kept telling me that she would answer my questions later because she was busy. That went on for a few months. For about a week now she hasn't responded to, or even looked at, my messages. So, I don't know if I can get into the event early, which is kind of important because early admission is at noon and I give a speech at 12:15, which is before the general admission at 12:30. I don't know if there is an MC or if I will get introduced. I don't know if I will have a handheld microphone or a headset. Basically, I have none of the information that you would like to have if you were giving a presentation at an event. But, I do like to h…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 4 of ?

My dueling demonstration has had its ups and downs, but it's coming together.

I have authentic muzzleloading pistols. But, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to use them. Rebecca, who runs events in Sparta, is checking into it, but she hasn't gotten back to me and we're only a few days away now. I may end up getting cap guns or something.

The owner of Griffin's Rest in Muskegon, Kiel, is letting me borrow the staffs and swords for the demonstration, so that's great.

I met with Laura and we did a little walkthrough. I'm used to giving speeches by myself, not giving demonstrations. So it's a little different, but it will go well. (The other three speeches that I'm giving will just be me.)

I was going to get my temporary tattoos on Sunday from my friend Jay, but something came up so I still don't have those on yet. I have to get them in the next couple of days to let them darken for the event on Saturday.

Here's the basic idea of the mugg…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 3 of ?

A couple of weeks ago I sent a simple breakdown of my speech plans for Potter in the Park.

- - - - - - -

This is a general overview. Let me know if you need anything more specific. Also, I'm revealing the creation process in a series of articles, so many details are included there if needed.

4 speeches for 15 minutes each.

If I get an intro I would like to use this background:
Jeffrey Alexander Martin
Visiting Lecturer - Sparta Institute for the Study of Muggles
Current Assistant Professor of Muggle Studies - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Former Professor of Muggle Studies - Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Presenting the series: MUG 207 - Muggles in Real Life

The four speeches are:
Further Research on the Many Uses of the Rubber Duck
Muggle Encounters with Dragons Through the Ages
A Short History of Muggle Dueling
The Great Gnome Conspiracy of the 18th and 19th Centuries
(Not necessarily in…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 2 of ?

You know when you start a project that's somewhat similar to one you've done before, and then it ends up being a bit more complex than you first imagined? That's what we're into here.

I've given hundreds of speeches on many different subjects. In the last month or so I've given speeches on resentment as the most destructive emotion, analyzing the philosophical roots of rock lyrics, how my family originated as Leprechauns, how I raised a dragon egg when I was a kid, the importance of comic books as an art form, and what a virtuous human being is. I've had people come up to me after every one of those speeches and tell me how much they liked it and how much it made them think, because I seem to have a unique view on most things. Next week I'm giving a speech titled "Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life". But these Harry Potter speeches are a... challenge.

I have 2 things that are solid. I have 3, or 4, or 5 things that still have to be wo…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 1 of ?

I'll be giving speeches at Potter in the Park this year. That's a Harry Potter festival held in Sparta, Michigan. I'm the Professor of Muggle Studies. It's awesome! (Muggles are non-magical people.)

How did I get this position? I wrote a couple of articles on Harry Potter, which is an interest of mine. One of them was noticed by Rebecca, the woman that organizes the event. She contacted me and asked me if I wanted to be involved. Of course I said yes! Then we had to figure out how I would be involved. There were really only two good options, I could either do writing or public speaking. She had been wanting to have a Professor of Muggle Studies for a few years anyway. It worked out perfectly.

We worked out that I'll be speaking from the main stage. I've stood in that audience before and it's possible that it gets into the hundreds of viewers at a single time. Presenters on things like owls who have participated in previous years will have priority, so I'…

John Galt, Harry Potter, and Hero Problems

There is a problem with heroes. Today we will not solve this problem, but we will look at two examples, John Galt and Harry Potter. Articulating the problem is often half the battle.

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand is one of the most polarizing books ever written, people usually either love it or hate it. The book is about the slow fall and collapse of American society. John Galt is the hero, although we almost never see him, and even hear very little about him. He's a genius that created a way to generate unlimited free power, but because of the systemic corruption in the society he walked away from the entire society and started his own. (Atlas was the Titan that was punished by being forced to hold up the sky, although he's usually depicted as holding up the world. Ayn Rand states that the story is really a closer take on Prometheus. Prometheus is the Titan that stole fire from Olympus and gave it to man. For that he is chained to a rock and his liver is eaten every …

Why is Slytherin House Bad?

Is Slytherin house bad? Should they be bad? Why?


There are four houses in "Harry Potter": Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Each is associated with certain psychological traits and attributes. Gryffindor is associated with bravery, Ravenclaw is associated with intelligence, Hufflepuff takes everyone but is most closely associated with friendliness and loyalty, and Slytherin is associated with ambition.

Slytherin is not presented as all bad in "Harry Potter", but they are presented as almost all bad. This is not particularly popular because many people are in Slytherin. But, there are good reasons for this. (Also, it's important to point out that no one is a pure fit for a house. Some of the characters in "Harry Potter" even seem to be a bit of a contradiction.)

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I did one test where it gave you the percentages of which house you would fit in. I was rated 43% Ravenclaw, 26% Gryffindor, 19% Slytherin, and 12% Hufflepuff.


What Makes Voldemort, Grindelwald, and Slytherin Bad?

Voldemort was an evil wizard. Grindelwald was a bad guy. Slytherin was a big meany. Why? What makes them so bad?


First, Slytherin. Salazar Slytherin was one of the four founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each of the four houses at Hogwarts is named after one of the founders: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. Each is associated with specific psychological attributes. Ravenclaws are intelligent, Gryffindors are brave, Slytherins are ambitious, and Hufflepuffs are everyone else (they're mostly known for being nice). (Ravenclaw is also known for eccentric people. Eccentric is code for weird. They are obviously the best house. I'm Ravenclaw.)

This is at a time when witches and wizards were being persecuted by muggles. Muggles are people that don't have magic. Muggles were hunting and killing witches and wizards.

It's possible for a witch or wizard to be born from two muggle parents, or a mixed couple. The idea that muggles h…

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