05 February 2008

Joys on Birthday day

Much much thanks for all the happy birthday wishes from my Leaky friends! And...my Facebook/school friends! As my birthdays go, it was a phenomenal one. I got sang to in English by my class and my teacher was the first person besides my dad to tell me Happy Birthday (Oh, and STS, but you kind of cheated and told me yesterday ) I also got sang to in Math and French yesterday. My sister took me out to lunch at Chipotle and then when we got back my friends sang (yep, again) during the few minutes that were left. And I had a pretty easy day, too! It was a two hour delay and we didn't do very much actual work...or get much homework, so I've mostly just been watching the caucus. Speaking of the caucus, SUPER TUESDAY, Obama is doing pretty well. He's won about 10 states so far and is doing well in others that have yet to be called. Really, when they called Connecticut in his favor, I was SO happy. That's just politics oriented me...And he's actually ahead in Colorado right now, too! He won our precinct, which means that my dad and stepmom did their job VERY well. Yes, it was a bit disappointing they couldn't be home with me for much of tonight, but I'm rather enjoying celebrating all the little victories on my birthday. All right. Sorry. Enough of politics from me So, back to birthday. I got an amazing iPod from my mom!!!! Also, I got a lot of books that I didn't get for Yule: The Princess Bride, The Book of Merlyn, Peter Pan, and The Neverending Story. Two repeat books that I'll exchange for store credit and maybe, possibly, buy the DH deluxe edition with because it makes me happy. That, or get a few other books that I still want. I also got an HP journal, a Best Buy gift card, an HP drawing from my friend, and......December Boys!!!!! SQUEE!!!! Now, if only PotterCast 137 would come out and make my birthday even better. (Ah, also happy birthday "gift" was making page 3 of top overall posters on Leaky) Mary Rose, especially, left me a message that made me a little teary-eyed with happiness: Happy Birthday Kat! You're precious and I love you dearly. You deserve a fantastically wonderful day (to match your fantastically wonderful self!). *smiles happily* Oh, how sweet she is! Yea, so overall, it was a pretty dang good birthday. I still say though, that birthdays always feel strange because I don't feel older, even though I really am. Honestly, I feel the same way I did yesterday, if a little happier because of the nice gifts and wishes. My Leaky friends were especially sweet and funny with their wishes. But, really, I'm the same 14 year old I was. But technically I was born 15 years ago, so I'm 15 now. *sigh* Birthdays are strange, aren't they? Again, thank you very much to all who wished me happy birthday. I don't have enough time to list all your names, but you know who you are!

02 February 2008

Paper for Terminus

Okay, I just clicked the "confirm" button to send my idea for a paper to Terminus. And now I'm incredibly nervous. Darn, why do I always have to do things that make me so nervous?!?!?!? *sigh* Anyway, I could really use some feedback!(thanks for your feedback already, [b]STS[/b]!! It helped me decide to send it)

Title: Connecting through Harry Potter

Summary: JK Rowling is an amazing author, and she uses her fantastic writing ability to connect to people all around the world. When most people read Harry Potter, all of their prejudices about people seem to disappear, as is often seen around the fandom. She even manages to connect to the so-called “different” people of the world through Luna and Neville. This presentation explores the way Jo connects to those people and how she has helped so many of us by just writing her amazing books.

Biography: I am a 14 year old high school student from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I have been in love with Harry Potter since Goblet of Fire came out in 2000, but only recently found the magical world of online fandom. I love to write poems and stories, and am currently writing a book about Rwanda. I also love traveling, the ocean, reading, running, swimming, and playing with my cats. Thanks to the HP fandom, I have met some of my best friends and heard some of the most interesting ideas, and I hope for more of that at Terminus.

Abstract: The Harry Potter books reach out to and connect so many people around the world, from so many different cultures, ages, and walks of life. Jo’s incredible writing connects people and makes them forget most of their prejudices or preconceived ideas about people that would otherwise be quite obvious. Even the “eccentric” ones are welcomed into the fandom by having Luna and Neville there with them. I am one of those people who are often seen as eccentric, but the people who read Harry Potter welcomed me like an old friend, without any teasing or big questions. But how is it that Jo manages to connect all these people, just by writing her books? Personally, I think it’s because she uses so many universal ideas about love and jealousy and friendship and death, ones that reach out to people everywhere, no matter what their background is. And by showing readers that Luna and Neville are just as strong and wise as other characters, despite their eccentricities and differences, Jo welcomes those who connect with Luna and Neville into her books and the fandom they helped create. So few books have the amazing ability to connect people all around the world, yet Jo manages to do it so modestly and perfectly. Questions about magic and even the belief in magic (if only in young children) are seen in almost every culture. A fantastic series of books that answers some of those questions and shows that maybe, lurking behind a wall and around a corner, are people who use magic wands and fly around on broomsticks, appeals to people far and wide who ask those questions. Part of the charm of these books, and perhaps the biggest reason they have been so successful, is the fact that they are so universally appealing. The careful way Jo uses her words and presents her ideas through her characters is so subtle, but it’s enough for a worldwide bond and fondness of the Harry Potter books. Granted, there are still plenty of prejudices for some readers, probably, and there will always be those who try to stop the Harry Potter books from being published or read. But there’s something they can’t ignore: these spectacular books have done something so hard—connected people from all continents, religions, and cultures, around something other than a world tragedy. That intense bond between readers of the Harry Potter books is likely to last a very long time—partly because of the universal ideas in the books and partly because of the way Jo uses people from different cultures and with different personalities as her characters. Frankly, I think the way she has managed to connect us all through a book—words, ink, and paper—is incredible, and definitely something not to be ignored or forgotten.