I don’t think anyone was as devastated as I was when I heard that “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” had been delayed from November of this year to next summer. Like many diehard fans out there, I had already made my plans to attend the midnight screening in 3-D IMAX. My RSVP on Facebook for a screening event is the sole tragic remnant of these plans. As a public service to Muggles and Wizard-folk alike who are itching with impatience, I’ve compiled five things you can do to get by while waiting for Summer 2009.
1. Read in the Del Santo reading room (a.k.a. the Harry
You can find a little piece of Hogwarts right here on campus. No, it’s not the Room of Requirement, which would be great for catching a midday snooze on campus. I’m of course referring to the Del Santo reading room. Outfitted with green banker lamps that simultaneously evoke a world of scholarship and a sense of mystery, the room’s old-fashioned setup will make you feel like you’re creeping through the Restricted Section of the Hogwart’s Library. No invisibility cloak required. Even better, you don’t have to worry about Argus Filch breathing down your neck..
2. Potter Puppet Pals
True fans of the series will no doubt already know about this website that features short movies starring Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Snape and Voldemort as puppets. If you’re new to the Potter Puppet Pals, make sure that you check out “The Mysterious Ticking Noise” and “The Vortex.” The latter finds Ron going through puberty, much to the chagrin of Harry who wants to make sure that his status as the man with the most testosterone at Hogwarts goes uncontested. Here’s a tip: in the video “Trouble at Hogwarts,” hit the pause button when Voldemort casts a spell on Snape. Move forward frame by frame until you find a star. Click on it and you’ll discover it’s a virtual portkey to a secret video!
3. Inject some magic into
USF’s sporting life
If you’re sad that you won’t be getting your Quidditch fix any time soon, don’t despair. There are plenty of ways that you can bring a little bit of Hogwarts to athletic events right here on campus! We recommend showing up to the next soccer game with a maroon and gold scarf. For those who don’t support Gryffindor, it only takes minimal modifications to turn your green and gold Dons gear into green and silver Slytherin apparel. Legally, we can’t encourage you to run onto the field and pretend to ride broomsticks, but we can ask you to please send us pictures if you do.
4. “Wizard People, Dear Reader”
While revving up for the next Potter film, you may find yourself yearning to replay the earlier installments of the franchise at home. This is a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time, but we recommend that you go one step further and enter the world of bizarre Harry Potter fan creations by looking up Brad Neely’s “Wizard People, Dear Reader.” In this unauthorized retelling of the first film of the series, Neely, a comic book artist from Arkansas, has replaced the entire original sound of the film with his own deranged voiceover commentary. “Harry totally friggs up half the store with that wily stag of a twig,” Neely says in a voice that sounds kind of like he’s a mad scientist’s assistant. For the ultimate experience, pop in your DVD, mute it, and then turn the volume all the way up on the YouTube video.
5. Go postal
In this era of text messaging, cell phones and internet chatting, it can be easy to feel like information has become cold and impersonal. Maybe it’s time to look to the wizarding world to make our forms of communication a little more unique and institute owl mail! Your significant other may be temporarily terrified as a screeching owl dive-bombs towards his or her face, but imagine their delight when they discover you’ve taken the time to attach a piece of paper to a wild animal. Next time you really want that office memo to get across to everyone, why not do it in the form of a “howler?” Instead of simply dropping off something in your supervisor’s mailbox, stand in the middle of the office and yell every single word at the top of your lungs. Now no one can claim they didn’t get it!