Saturday, December 11, 2010

School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Tonight I'm attending a Yule Ball at the university whose Quidditch team placed second in the collegiate World Cup. Is it possible that I've ended up at a modern-day, American Hogwarts?

Perhaps. If that's the case, it's probably important to clarify a few changes in terminology. We don't do it quite like the Brits here. And so, for everyone at Hogwarts, here's the official guide to visiting your sister school:

DISCLAIMER: If you are not a current or past student of Hogwarts School, or have not otherwise thoroughly educated yourself on its history and customs, you are unlikely to appreciate the following.

JP Licks (Honeydukes) in Davis Square (Hogsmeade)

First off, Hogsmeade is called Davis Square. This quaint town full of shops and cafes is accessible via Joey transportation, but there is a secret passage outside of South Hall which gets you there just as quickly.

The T (train) at South Station (Platform 9 3/4)
We don't get to and from school on the train, it's called the T. The central departure is South Station, not Platform 9 3/4, and if you're too lazy to walk, you can take the Joey, not Thestral-Drawn Carriages, back to the campus (not the castle or grounds).

Tufts Quidditch team at the World Cup finals
Our Quidditch team doesn't fly, but we've got broomsticks. We don't pit university students against one another; rather, we battle against other schools under the unified "Tufflepuff" flag. Otherwise, we would have too many teams; there are far more than four houses here.

Inside Tisch Library
Our library, unlike yours, has a name. Furthermore, it is actually magical, containing ever-expanding corridors, innumerable bookshelves, and secret study-rooms. The Restricted Section is called Reserves, and it's just as scary to try and get access to a book there. Quite often there are spells and secrets scrawled in old texts, and, occasionally, books magically disappear.

Beelzebubs in Goddard Chapel
We don't have a Great Hall, but we've got Goddard, which looks like one. We also have more famous students than you can boast, we're afraid. We've got the Beelzebubs, as seen on Sing Off and as heard on Glee, for example. And we've got Harry Potter, too; class of 2014.

Post Office
Our mail doesn't arrive by owl, but rather by...well...mailman. We actually have to walk all the way up to Mail Services to get it. Maybe we should invest in some birds. Many packages needn't be mailed, however; we are within walking distance of the Bookstore (think: Flourish and Blotts) and the Campus Center (think: Three Broomsticks) where we can get a hold of most of what we need for school.

Big tree on President's Lawn
The Whomping Willow here is more of a friendly tree, and is located nowhere near the Forbidden Forrest (Greek Housing). Fortunately, the Hospital Wing (Health Services) is.

View of Goddard Chapel's tower
You've got an Astronomy Tower, splendid. We've got Goddard, and actual astronomy classes. Other course offerings include "Herbology" (or whatever they do on the Tisch Roof), "Chemistry" (it's really potions, and the building certainly outdoes your dungeons for creepiness), and "Science, Magic, and Society."

Lawrence S. Bacow, University President 2001-2011
Our headmaster also wears robes, but he's also got a sick medallion. He keeps the Sorting Hat in the Admissions Office, and his pet bird is the immortal dove from the university emblem, bearing the Latin inscription Pax et lux (none of that Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus nonsense). Students frequently visit his home dressed as wizards and witches on October 31.

It's alright, Hogwarts. We're not saying we're better than you - we're just, different. You've got Prefects, we have RAs. You've got feasts at the Great Hall on Christmas, we've got unlimited meal plans at Dewick, even when it's not Christmas. You've got magic tricks, we've got trick turning. But again, it's not a competition.

Anyway, I'm off to study more for final exams. Which I'll be taking in pencil, not quill. Just saying.


  1. You know, I really think Tufts Admissions people would like this...

  2. This is quite awesome. I love it!


Have something to say? Add to the conversation!