IDK guys, I guess it is “back to school” for those of you lucky ducks that are still in school. Yeah, I don’t care if it is high school, elementary school, LAW SCHOOL, I just miss that sweet regulation of a scheduled day. I miss, sigh, learning–which is why I am so happy that I get to teach you guys here in this column every week. I guess it should be considered more of a “reminder” than a “lesson” because we all grew up with this stuff together.
But for back-to-school week, I was thinking the best person to focus on is Hermione Granger. And also because I’m like…way into Harry Potter, and I feel like you guys don’t even know that about me. I am slightly more than a Friends/Simpsons buff, and by “slightly,” I mean also Harry Potter and that’s it.
EINTKILF Hermione Granger
1. Equality is important. For whatever reason, I tend to forget about Hermione’s awesome club entitled The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare or S.P.E.W. Though the name isn’t catchy or flattering, I always appreciated Hermione’s passion for equality. Obviously by now, because we aren’t kids anymore, it is pretty clear to pick out JK Rowling’s parallels between her wizarding world and the real life one. The way house elves are treated by wizards, including the fact that wizards own the cute little creatures, is indicative of the countless numbers of groups that are mistreated in the world. Having a strong female character like Hermione defending them is awesome. GO GIRL.
2. Sort out your priorities. It is kind of funny that Hermione ends up blowing off her last year at Hogwarts to break all kind of “rules,” especially when her life was in such danger! What growth. Which leads me to the next lesson:
3. Rule breaking is okay sometimes. Kind of like I mentioned with Lisa Simpson, it is okay to be a good girl who doesn’t conform. The wizarding world really goes downhill throughout the book series, and when it becomes clear that the Ministry of Magic is more corrupt than the LAPD (oh, snap!), Hermione has no problem straight up breaking the rules. She eventually finds herself breaking into the Ministry of Magic, disguising herself as Bellatrix Lestrange to steal from Gringott’s, not going back to school, and being a key part of an all-school-and-magic-persons battle. I guess it is true what they say: some rules are made to be broken.
4. There are more important things than books and cleverness. One of my favorite Harry and Hermione moments (and there are A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM) is when she tells him that friendship and bravery are more important than books and cleverness. In fact, it still makes me cry–book and movie version. Hermione and Harry have such an awesome relationship, and I always appreciate how she pushes him to be a better version of himself, but I also love when she is modest about herself, as well. I fully DITTO this lesson. I will always believe in the power of bravery and friendship over books and cleverness–maybe because I am not book smart, but I am a super good friend, and I think I’m quite brave.
Of course, we all know that Hermione is book smart, clever, a great friend, and super brave, so I guess she is just perfect.
5. Sometimes, you just gotta get physical. I literally cheered out loud the first time I read the part when Hermione slaps Draco in the face. I wasn’t even mad when they made it a punch in the movie. Some of my favorite parts in the entire series are when the kids throw their wands aside and use their hands. Maybe that means I have an anger problem, or maybe it means that I think Malfoy is a foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach.
6. It’s okay to always be right. I don’t know I guess because I always think I am right, I think it is okay to be right all the time. I know people don’t like people that are never wrong about anything, but eh. It happens.
To be fair, in my life, I am pretty much never right. I am just always right about other people’s lives. I give bomb advice, you guys, but that does not mean I have to follow it. And to be honest, I usually know when I am making a not-great decision, I just think there are lessons to be learned from slipping up, though.
Hermione? No slip-ups. The only thing she ever did wrong was accidentally use a cat hair when taking Polyjuice Potion.
7. Stand up for what you believe in. Besides house elves, Hermione also stands up for other things she believes in. Hermione hates Professor Trelawney’s class and has no problem saying so. She defends Luna Lovegood, even though everyone thinks she’s a bit crazy. She stands up for Harry when everyone thinks he is loony. She defends her friendship and Ron to Lavender Brown after he has been poisoned. She is a huge reason Rita Skeeter’s career is devalued. Hermione has no problem speaking her voice, and I think, even though she is a fictional book character, it is an extremely vital characteristic in a human being. We should all stand up more often.
8. Curly hair is the jam. Even though they way tone down the chaos of Hermione’s curls in the movie, we all know she is a curly girl. Rock it, girl. Curls are the best.
9. Loyalty is key. Hermione: You said to us once before that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We’ve had time, haven’t we?
As I have stated a million times at this point, Hermione’s loyalty is a huge part of her personality. You would be hard-pressed to find a more loyal group than Hermione, Harry, and Ron. Their families, their other friendships, their professors, their elders…the trio is crazy loyal to everyone.
Especially each other. (That GIF made me cry, no shame.)
10. Boys are dumb. Can I get an “amen” for knowing exactly how Hermione feels when Ron starts dating Lavender? It’s like the worst feeling ever. And can I get an extra “amen” for knowing exactly how Hermione feels when she yells at Ron for being jealous of Viktor Krum even though he DOESN’T ASK HER TO THE DANCE WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE!
But, you guys…these things take time. Sometimes boys need to work up courage (for seven freakin’ years). Sometimes boys need to be assured that their lady actually loves them and not their best friend, or a famous Bulgarian Quidditch player. Sometimes boys need to be poisoned and nearly killed to realize that they don’t even like their annoying girlfriend.
Exercise patience like Hermione Granger. Life lesson.
I would also just like to take this moment to shout out Emma Watson for being just about the greatest person in the world. You go, Emma Watson.