The End of My Childhood

At the moment this blog post is published, the end of my childhood is beginning.

I, like millions of others in my generation, will be in theaters at midnight watching the final chapter of Harry Potter.  I was never a fan of Harry Potter. But like many, I was converted and the Harry Potter fandom took over.

The first time I heard about Harry Potter was when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was released in July 2000.  My local news covered the story of how a grocery store mistakenly started to sell the books before the release dates.  It just happened that one of the kids I played little league baseball with was featured in the story.  He had the book a week before the release in hand.  The joy in his face was beyond magical. I didn’t get it, but I would understand a few years later.

When the first movie was released, I had no interest in watching it, but my dad took my sister & I to the theaters anyways.  I thought it was creative but nothing more.  When the second movie came out, my dad brought it home on DVD and I was far from impressed.  Perhaps it is the young (aka, bad) acting from Harry, Ron & Hermione. However, when the third movie was released, boy was I in for a shock.

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opened my mind to the wizarding world.  For some reason, that movie changed my mind about the Harry Potter series.  Perhaps it is the better acting or the brilliant use of the Time-Turner1.   Since then, I never hesitated to watch the next Harry Potter film.  However, I still had no inclination of reading the books.

During the death of Our Mother and the closing of Camelot, I had to opportunity to raid my colleague’s and former English teacher’s bookshelves.  He told me to take what I want and save it from disposal.  I saw the first book sitting alone on the shelf.  I grabbed it and said to myself, “I could perhaps read this and see if it’s actually good or not.”

A week into my unemployment, I began sitting each afternoon at the local coffee shop down the street from me.  After long days of job searching, I rewarded myself with a cup of Joe and a good book.  That book happens to be “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” To my complete surprised, I finished that book in 2 days.  (One if I started reading it earlier in the afternoon.)  When I turned the last page, I immediately realized that I had to get the second book.

Sure enough, I bought the second book the next day and began reading it.  Then the third, fourth, fifth and sixth.  In the course of two and a half weeks, I read all six books of Harry Potter.  When I put the 6th book down the final time, I only had to wait 24 hours before the final book was released.  Talk about perfect timing because I was hooked!  I was hooked to Harry Potter as I was hooked to the Vlogbrothers when I first watched them on YouTube a few days prior.  I was officially a Harry Potter fan.

My first midnight premiere was the “…Half Blood Prince.”  I watched it with my YouTube friend Liz of SisterSalad.  I had never been to a midnight showing of any movie before.  Nor had I ever waited in line to watch a movie at 9pm.  My mind was not prepared for how much fun and awesomeness.  I firmly promised myself midnight showings from now on.

During Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I went all dressed up in my homemade Ravenclaw outfit with my masters gown as a robe (gotta use it somehow since I’m no longer a teacher) and boy did I get some reactions.  People were laughing at me at how decked out I was prior to the start of the movies, but the moment the movie was over, the same group were yelling at each other why they weren’t dressed as awesome I.

And now, I am decked out again for perhaps the last time as I say goodbye to my childhood.  Harry Potter has been around for most of my childhood.  And tonight, tonight it ends.  (Until Nickelodeon classics starts.)  As I bid farewell to my childhood, I know that deep down inside, I will always be a kid at heart.  I will always use my imagination and I will never forget the magic.

Ravenclaws Unite!

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1 – Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey. #doctorwho

Top 10 Quotes of 2007

Here are my Top 10 Quotes of the 2007:

 

No. 10:

 “Illinois beats Ohio State!”

            – Pham, yelling in Chicago when Illinois defeated #1 Ohio St.

 

No. 9:

“This message is for freshmen and sophomore homeroom teachers.  Please check them to see if their zippers or straps are broken.”

            – Pham

“I wouldn’t want to check their zippers!  When would we do this?  During naptime?”

            – Kathy B., during a faculty meeting

 

No. 8:

“I love Coach Lentine!  I love Coach Lentine!  I love Coach Lentine! You **** at you guys recording.”

            – Mauro H.

“I’m free!

            – John B.

“No come back!  Ooo!  My sexy coachy.”

            – Mauro H., in Coach Lentine Tribute video

 

No. 7:

“Oh, I got talent!”

            – Dave G., demonstrating his teacher skillz

 

No. 6:

“Since you brought it up. Do girls fart?”

            – Pham

“Yes!  And they smell just as bad as boy farts!”

            – Erica M.

 

No. 5:

 “…I want solid poo again.”

            – John B., Spirit of St. Louis Half-Marathon

 

No. 4:

“Confession, I’m not wearing deodorant.”

            – Katharine J., Chicago Distance Classic

 

No. 3:

“If another kid calls me Hermione, I’m going to punch that kid in the face.”

            – Katie S., on Halloween dressed as a Slytherin

 

No. 2:

“And the last graduate of Archbishop Quigley, Daniel Zaparaniuk.”

            – MGM, AQPS 2007 Graduation

 

No. 1:

“I miss it.”

            – Fr. Walsh., in reference to Quigley Seminary

Drawing the Line

Question:

What is the difference between a Blog and an Online Journal?

Being an avid self-proclaimed blogger, I wonder what makes my WordPress Blog a blog vs an online journal? I mean, I’ve only started blogging less than a year ago, so I’m still learning and defining my blog. But sometimes I ask myself what makes my blog a blog and not an online journal?

The true definition of a blog is a web log that provides commentary and/or news about a certain subject. This contrasts an online journal which consists of mostly daily experiences, social commentaries, writings, and other thoughts that one might find on a paper diary/journal. Any yet, I find both definitions true but lacking. Blogs came into existence with the formation of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 redefined the Internet not as a tool for information and communication, but a tool for sharing and communicating as a global community. So then how does that effect blogs and online journal writing?

Yes, a blog provides commentary, whether it’s about politics, society, or about a certain issue. However, doesn’t a blog also communicates and interacts with the global community as defined in Web 2.0? Can’t an online journal be called a blog? Look at Brotherhood 2.0; it’s clear that it’s a creative form of communication between two brothers. However, looking at the mass followings of Brotherhood 2.0, conveniently called the “Nerd Fighters”, one can conclude that this brotherhood documentary is more than an online journal; it’s a blog. Another fine example is PostSecret which dates back to 2005. PostSecret provides commentary on life through the global community which contributes weekly to the site. Without the community, PostSecret would not exist. So an online journal can be a blog, under the condition of the Web 2.0 community involvement. But the question now is how does one measure community involvement to make it a blog?

Looking at my blogroll, also know as “People with Pants”, I have linked my “blog” with those of my friends and others whom I read. Does qualify to make mine a blog? I read and link to them and they do the same in return. And yet, somehow, I feel that I’m really stretching it. Or am I?

Looking back at old posts, I can not only say I provided commentary about the last days of Archbishop Quigley and now my current school. I also incorporated the Web 2.0 community, whether it was through YouTube featuring the Chronicles of a Half-Marathon videos or my Harry Potter spoiler study. However, my favorite community sharing that happened recently was when one of my friends posted to her blog, which then I responded in returned, only to have another friend responding to mine. Sharing thoughts, ideas, and information; isn’t that what Web 2.0 about? So would you say my “blog” is a blog?

Looking at my friends who have been longtime bloggers: Katharine, Karen, Erica, Christine, Cassie, Jackie, Becky; would you consider your blog a blog or online journal? And then my friends who are new bloggers: Andy, Liz, Sarah, and James; would you consider yourself a blogger? As for me, I’m still new to this whole blogging thing, but I do enjoy it, though I’m still trying to define my blog.

(P.S. Read my friends blogs.)