Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

Kicking it Old School

Jill Silverberg

Well, it’s official: my first semester in GSLIS is now over! All fanfare aside, I’ll admit, it does feel somewhat strange to not have any classes to attend or homework to do. I mean, after about fourteen weeks of classes, readings, and other assignments, one does kind of get used to pulling all-nighters while fighting deadlines posted on Moodle. However, now that I have had a week to relax and simply longue around the city of Boston, I’ve decided that it is high time that I find something else to do other than re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After some careful thinking, I’ve decided to go back into my childhood and re-read a series that, like all the other people who were kids during the 1990s, made me constantly stare out my window awaiting the arrival of an owl to change my life forever. That’s right, I am going to spend my free time this winter break re-reading the Harry Potter series.

As I write this post now, I’m currently halfway through the second book, The Chamber of Secrets, a book I haven’t read since the early 2000s. So, after all of these years, how has the series held up thus far? Surprisingly, really, really well. The characters are more than just archetypes (yes, even Harry himself), they are written in a way that makes them feel like I’m revisiting some long lost friends. Another thing that really showcases the strength of the series is the shockingly large amount of foreshadowing that has so far been prevalent throughout the first two books. While I cannot prove that JK Rowling had a clear idea of where the story was going at the time she as writing it, there have been quite a few allusions to plot points and characters that will be important later in the series. Fortunately I’m not the only one who has noticed the bounty of foreshadowing in the series. Two friends of mine back in Long Island have decided to join me on my trip down memory lane, and have been sending me messages about things they’ve noticed that will be referenced again in the future. I think personally, my favorite part out of everything that I’ve noticed thus far, is the fact that JK dedicated a few moments in the first two books in which Harry feels like Professor Snape is trying to read his mind. Hmmm, I wonder if this will be an important plot point in a later book? I love stuff like this, and cannot wait to see if there will be more in the later books. Speaking of which, I really cannot wait to read the last three books. 

While I’ve read the first four books multiple times, books five, six, and seven, came out at a time when reading it as fast as possible was absolutely necessary for the sake of avoiding spoilers. Yea, I have not-so-fond memories of being at summer camp and annoying people were running around spoiling the endings of books five and six. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about trying to read a three hundred plus page book over the course a typical weekend this time around. Talk about a relief.