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Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

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Old March 11th, 2007, 6:59 am
more2live4  Female.gif more2live4 is offline
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Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

This is to discuss Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known by Robbie Fischer.

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Old March 11th, 2007, 3:30 pm
Shewoman  Female.gif Shewoman is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Robbie, this is great. Yours are always great (you wrote that wonderful JEDP piece a year or two ago, didn't you? I give that to my OT students).

I love the story of "Snape" substituting for "Lupin"; there may be a Law of Professorial Niceness that requires a student-friendly prof to alternate with one who is not.

One quibble: any professor who considered passing a student for turning in a paper that was 2/3 plagiarized is no McG!

Question: did your Draco or his parents complain?

WHY DUMBLEDORE TRUSTED SNAPE: PoA 204-5, 285, 361; GoF 588, 590-91; 709-10; OotP 363, 841-3; HBP 549 (American hardbacks). It's not because he said he was remorseful, it's what he did about it.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 6:05 pm
ModernInkling  Female.gif ModernInkling is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Great editorial, I really enjoyed reading it. Now I'm curious about the other characters you mentioned you've known! (Luna, especially)

"Dragons will wander about the waste places, and the phoenix will soar from her nest of fire into the air.
We shall lay our hands upon the basilisk, and see the jewel in the toad's head.
Champing his gilded oats, the Hippogriff will stand in our stalls,
and over our heads will float the Blue Bird, singing of beautiful and impossible things,
of things that are lovely and that never happen, of things that are not and that should be."
- Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying
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Old March 11th, 2007, 8:03 pm
Carnelian Carnelian is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Wonderful editorial.


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Old March 11th, 2007, 10:22 pm
hpalwaysn4ever  Undisclosed.gif hpalwaysn4ever is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

I enjoyed that! Now I'm going to think about which HP characters I know in real life. I can already think of a Hermione, she may be even more annoying than the one in the books!

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Old March 11th, 2007, 11:17 pm
DeathlyHabitue  Undisclosed.gif DeathlyHabitue is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

yep, sterotypes are everywhere!

"The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense." Tom Clancy.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 4:21 am
Twycross  Male.gif Twycross is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Just count yourself lucky you never met the real Umbridge like I have. She was short fat and toad like, wore ugly jewelery, spoke in a sick sweetly voice and refused to listen to her students opinions. Every class with her was like that lesson in OotP where Umbridge tried to argue against practical Defense against the Dark Arts. Every student hated her but she acted like she was popular, which made her even more repulsive.

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Old March 12th, 2007, 1:33 pm
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Dancing_Blade  Female.gif Dancing_Blade is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Wonderful article! I really enjoyed it. It would be great if you wrote the one about the HP kids too.

Twycross, that must've been really awful...Sounds like you had the real Umbrige.
And I thought I had met an Umbrige...That guy did the worse lessons ever, had that frog-like appearance, often spoke with that annoying sweet voice and actually worked for the ministry. He had illusions of superiority and almost took the place of our retired headmaster! But he just gave you on your nerves, he wasn't really evil (although we were often making joke plans of how to get rid of him!)
Twycross, just wondering, what do you mean by "practical Defence against the Dark Arts?"


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Old March 12th, 2007, 7:20 pm
The_Old_One  Male.gif The_Old_One is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

First, let me say, Robbie, that you've hit another grand slam (hmmm, in keeping with your editorials on "translation", I suppose that would be akin to hitting a "four" in cricket (a shot that reaches the boundary after bouncing, and called a four because it scores four runs to the batting side) ).

Wow, it reminded me of teachers, professors, and students from my academic days. I had a McGonnagal, a Dumbledore, a Moody, a Binns (we even wished, as nasty children are wont to do, that he could have turned into a ghost!), a Flitwick, a Lupin, a Snape, a Slughorn, and one who was an Umbridge on the surface, but, fortunately, turned out to be more like a severe Lupin.

My McGonnagal was my 3rd grade teacher (that goes back some 48 years!), Miss L. Miss L was, even then, a 100 if she was a day. Very strict and severe, she would often snap at the students - to pay better attention, to improve their efforts, to generally toe the line - but supported us when we needed help. I learned from her, and, obviously, she made an impression, even on a 7-8 year-old, because I remember her well.

My Dumbledore was the head of one of the Graduate School departments I attended. He was kindly, yet could be very severe, but always with a twinkle in his eye. He supported the students' attempts to "do for themselves", and was always ready to step in if asked, or if it was obvious that only his prodigious skill could save the day. "Bud" as he was affectionately known by all (he passed away a few years ago), even had that ability to make you think for yourself whether you had done right or wrong, just by looking at you, with his knowing smile. I even remember once, as happened to Harry in CoS, being called to his office (and remember, I was a 30 year old Grad student at the time!) and fearing that I was going to be expelled, even though I'd done nothing I could see that was so wrong. It turns out that he just wanted to talk to me and give me some advice on some extra-curricular club choices I needed to make. I didn't even know he knew I had to make those choices!

My Moody was the Late Mr. William R., a British transplant to Canada, who taught me various subjects through high school. He was unkempt, a heavy smoker and drinker, who would, amongst other idiosyncracies, stand in hiding at the window of the classroom to observe whether students were coming late from lunch. He would note who they were, and after class settled down would, without warning whip a piece of chalk or a blackboard eraser at them and berate them for wasting time outside the school when there was so much to learn that was essential for their survival in a cruel world. It is interesting that Mr. R. actually flashed through my memory when I first read about Moody in GoF!

My Binns, was the late Dr. L, head of my Undergraduate specialty department. He was a brilliant scientist, who was on the list of potential nominees for a Nobel Prize in medicine. He would sit or stand in front of the blackboard, start lecturing at the beginning of the class, and continue on, droning in a soporific monotone, until the closing bell. Students rarely asked questions, being for the most part in a state of extreme drowsiness, and when one DID raise a hand, Professor L. looked up, seemingly surprised that there was anyone else in the room but him! But with all that, I learned a lot from him!

My Flitwick was one of my undergraduate professors who was always so precise in the way he spoke and so damned cute!! Dr. W also always seemed to be unbalanced (physically!! ) so that he leaned on piles of books on his desk to ensure he stood upright to demonstrate a point. And his enthusiasm, no - his unbridled happiness! - when a student got the point, was a pleasure to behold and an even greater pleasure to be the subject of!

As for my Lupin, that was my Grade 6 teacher, Mrs. S. She always stuck up for her students, always made classes so interesting and practical, always seemed to be (and, in fact WAS) so personally concerned with each student's concerns, triumphs, and even setbacks. She was wonderful because of the way she made you feel that you COULD do it, whatever IT was.

Ah, my Snape. Dr. C, from my undergraduate department. Oily and evil (well, he really wasn't evil, just seemed like it). He clearly hated students - thought a University should be devoid of all of them! He had a few favourites, and made it obvious that they were favourites. The rest of us were less than the dust that covered the floors in his classrooms and coated the equipment in his lab! He was most directly responsible for at least 4 or 5 of my classmates switching majors in their last undergraduate year. He had the habit of always appearing at inopportune moments, wore a permanently accusatory scowl, and threatened to ensure that any number of us would be expelled before the year was out on more than one occasion.

My Slughorn was another teacher from my high school days, Mr. G. He owned a used book store, and was clearly more interested in being there than in teaching. He spent lots of his time trying to determine who were the "best" or most "interesting" students in his class, and then cultivating friendships, of a sort, with them. Those friendships lasted for years, and often resulted in his acquiring either additional stock for his store, or contacts who could provide such stock. He even set up a sort of network of former students, and encouraged its members to communicate with one another to provide leads on potential store stock! The rest of the students were not ill-treated by him, but nor were they given any other consideration. They either learned, or they didn't, and it was entirely their affair.

The Umbridge I mentioned earlier was a professor in my last Graduate School, and also a class advisor. Professor W. always seemed mean in a sickly sweet sort of way, and always tried to tell us what we should know (which never seemed to match what we thought we needed to know). There never seemed anything practical that came from him - only theory, and even that was seemingly uselss, since we had no practical demonstrations to illustrate the theory. And yet, sometime after I graduated from that School, I realized that he was not, as I had been convinced, enamored with his own voice, his own knowledge and his feeling of superiority over the students and the other Professors. In fact, he was consciously trying to avoid spoon-feeding us, in an attempt to teach us the importance of being able to synthesize the key points of an issue in our own minds, determine the best way to deal with those issues, and then proceed to do so. I learned more from him about how to deal with any practical question than I ever thought possible!

Well, now, I've just looked over this rather long (and probably very boring treatise) and I have second thoughts about pressing the "submit reply" button. Ah well, I think I will anyway, just because it is there. However, I shall forgo adding anything about how I was as a teacher/professor - modesty prohibits it!! And I think I'll refrain from thinking about my classmates through the years, and which Hogwarts student each of them reminds me of. At least for now!!


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Old March 12th, 2007, 7:26 pm
frizzle  Undisclosed.gif frizzle is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

No controversy here, so few comments. Lovely stories!

I agree that not enough attention has been placed on JKR's ability to craft characters who feel familiar and believeable, and make readers care deeply about. It is truly the foundation which makes the story work. I remember spending many hours, prior to Book 5 with Sirius' demise and the prophesy revealed, wondering what Harry would do after he graduates from Hogwarts - even though I knew that there were only to be 7 books corresponding to 7 years in school. He felt real and it felt possible that his story could continue beyond what JKR told us.

(By the way, I now believe that (1) Harry will die at the end of book 7, since this is his story told through his perspective and, besides, JKR has clearly shown us that all those who Harry looked up to as guardians and heroes - and Harry definitely has a hero complex, as Hermione points out in GoF, whether he or Neville turns out to be the true Chosen One - have sacraficed themselves for the larger cause of peace; and (2) book 7, Deathly Hallows, will take place over more than one year. JKR told us at the end of book 6 that Harry vows to search for and destroy all the horcruxes whether it takes one year or ten. Maybe it will take 7 additional years. Besides, there are so many pieces to weave together and knots to tie up that I doubt that she could make it all physically happen in one year. Sorry, I know this is off topic.)

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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:13 pm
FishEByrd  Male.gif FishEByrd is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Originally Posted by Shewoman View Post
Robbie, this is great. Yours are always great (you wrote that wonderful JEDP piece a year or two ago, didn't you? I give that to my OT students). ... Question: did your Draco or his parents complain?
Thanks, that was indeed my JEDP piece. It's cool to know people are still enjoying it. As for my "Draco," I only remember one other thing about him (this was many years & quite a few schools ago, mind you). One day he came to school with a set of horrible, long, red welts running down his face. When I asked him what he had done to himself, he gave me some sage advice: "Never get into a fistfight with a guy named Claw."

Robbie Fischer
Hagrid lookalike

"Er - I don' want ter be rude, but who the ruddy hell are you?" - Hagrid
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Old March 15th, 2007, 2:41 am
libbylane  Female.gif libbylane is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

I have not read through all the comments, but I am sure they are all very positive. What a fun and telling piece. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to more from you!

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Old March 16th, 2007, 3:25 pm
abbisnan  Female.gif abbisnan is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Excellent as always.
I well remember my 'Snape'
She was a language teacher and showed off by translating arbitrary phrases from one language into eight others at the drop of a hat. Genius? Yes.
but she had her favourite pupils and they were never asked, "Did you get all that? Read it back to the class"
It's a wonder I didn't get arrested for conspiricy at the age of 12 when I think of the number of times I sat with her other victims and planned her downfall
Time heals all so they tell me! Maybe.....................

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Old March 16th, 2007, 7:31 pm
sfgilgalad  Undisclosed.gif sfgilgalad is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

I had my Snape too : was my french teacher, who was always bullying me saying I was a little Mr I-know-everything, so proud of myself, giving me bad marks and awful comments, while I was just the most introverted person who was afraid to write something on my sheet, because of what she would say about it. But noone every laughed nor understood why she did it to me (for a whole year), and I think it brought me some sympathy from the others.

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Old March 19th, 2007, 2:43 am
Neville27  Undisclosed.gif Neville27 is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

I have a Filch! I'm a teacher at a middle school in the U.S. Our head custodian is the biggest grouch, with all of these crazy rules, even for the teachers! We have very cheap windows, and one fell out of its track when a girl was trying to close it. I told him about it, because it was the middle of the winter and well below freezing outside. He started yelling, "Students don't touch windows!!!!" He then took a couple of days before getting around to fixing it. I think the only reason he did is because I patched it myself with a huge chunk of cardboard. I made it look as ugly as possible, and my window faces the street. I suppose he couldn't stand seeing it anymore. The stories of this guy could make a book. And the principal of the school can't do anything, because the guy works for the town, not the school system.

Only missing Filch-like quality: he doesn't have a cat, at least not at the school.

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Old March 22nd, 2007, 6:19 am
Cynthia P  Female.gif Cynthia P is offline
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Re: Hogwarts Teachers I Have Known

Robbie, Your insights are always a good read. I enjoy your wit and intellect and will look forward to more before it's all over (sigh). I missed the JEDP peice but will now look it up. Cynthia P

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