Ancient Runes always seems to be one of those lessons that almost all students find interesting, and as this year’s lesson's began there was no doubt that the students were going to be in for a lot of fun. From runes that can tell the future, to runes that can represent directions, the students were obviously in for an amazing set of lessons this year.
Arithmancy – the art of calculating numbers to find out more about ourselves and our futures. During this term, this subject faced a drastic change that many other classes faced as well—a change in professor. Macadrian Shackleton, who taught the subject for many terms, took a leave of absence, and a new substitute professor had to step in, and his name was Amadeus Crispe.
With the new professor also came mixed reactions from the students:
"Professor... Crisp... y? Crispe? Yeah. Him. I still can't pronounce his last name right since I always think Crispy when I see or hear his name, but yeah, he was a strange man. I missed Professor Shackleton oh-so very much. I'm not saying he wasn't a good professor because he was good at teaching the subject. He knew what he was doing with all those numbers and whatnot! It's just I didn't like the way he looked at everyone when they walked in the classroom -- it was like he examining us for some odd reason. Just creepy." - Reese Upstead, 7th year Slytherin Prefect
"That Crispy guy? I didn't like him. I saw the way he looked at me because I am a Slytherin. He gave the Gryffindor's a smile, and I got a snarl, pfffft. I don't remember much about his lessons, because I was too scared to concentrate. I do remember him mentioning my toes though. Something about tic and tacking them. Kinda creepy. Did I mention that I didn't like him? 'Cause I didn't." - Destiny Shepard, 2nd year Slytherin
"Professor Crispe is one of the best professors I've ever had the honour to meet, and learn from. Completely classy, absolutely graceful, and someone who knows his subject extremely well. He can be somewhat strict, but makes his class enjoyable with total ease. What is better, he knows how to be AWESOME and warm and fuzzy, and I should know because I've hugged him twice. He is, truly, what you call an 'excellent' person and teacher. Next time there's an opening, can we possibly get him back, please, Headmaster Tate, sir?" - Gold Laksh, 5th year Gryffindor Prefect
"At first I thought that he'd be just like any other substitute teacher we had who didn't seem to follow the flow of our lesson and what we have learned from our previous, original Arithmancy professor. But apparently, I was completely wrong. Professor Crispe was such a knowledgeable, philosophical man who made us understand even the most complicated stuffs in Arithmancy subject and he really explained things clearly and rather simply. He was indeed a trophy teacher Hogwarts would be blessed to have." - Cedric N. Leone, 5th Year Hufflepuff.
Whether or not Crispe really did favor the Gryffindors, one thing is clear – Crispe definitely knew what he was talking about. During his first lesson as substitute professor, which occurred towards the middle of term, Crispe focused on the Arrows of Pythagoras, which was a definite change from the traditional calculations that students of Shackleton were used to seeing. It was a challenge for all of the students, old and young alike, and in the end the students walked away knowing a bit more about positive and negative arrows and having a better understanding of the Arrows of Pythagoras.
The final lesson that Crispe taught, and the final lesson of the term, focused on a recap of his previous lesson, and also tied in a topic from past Arithmancy lessons – Karmic Numbers. Building off of the grids the students had learned about in the previous lesson, Crispe incorporated the concept of Karmic Numbers that some students were already familiar with to get more information out of their readings. The students interpreted the Karmic Numbers for a few of their classmates and had some fun trying to figure out what the grids were trying to convey to their peers, and even though the lesson ended rather early due to…certain circumstances in the castle, everyone was able to take some useful information from their grids thanks to the brilliant mind of Amadeus Crispe. See you again soon, sir!
Think Astronomy, and you think colossal - it is the simple and the complex, the molecule and the black hole, a network of worlds upon worlds waiting to be unlocked, explored and delved into.
Professor Maidee McFarlane brought a systematic exploration of this gigantic puzzle to Hogwarts, this year. To ease things for the students, her classes had a two-level set-up - Beginner's and Advanced, both open to whoever chose to pursue them, irrespective of age or year.
The first lesson of the year started off with a discussion of the earth's natural satellite, the moon, from where it branched off into the need - and uses - of space suits, the effects of the sun's radiations, and such theories as Fission, Capture and Co-Formation. The literature was, for the most part, easy, but there were a few students who struggled with the class, especially Slytherins. "The woman clearly does not like Slytherin students," complained Snake top-scorer, Marie Salazar. "No matter what we did or said she was taking points away from us." Evelyn Flores of Slytherin agreed to this. "Oh, she was so unfair," the second year said. "It was quite obvious she didn't like Slytherins, plus she didn't know all that much on the subject. I mean really, the moon does not have gravy on it."
Miss Flores might have mistaken gravity for gravy but, misconceptions aside, the second lesson of the year was a tad more advanced. Professor McFarlane handed out reading material, which led to open discussion. The main question was what certain planetary alignments might mean for the earth and, while a certain student's part in the discussion was a simple "We'd... die? Or something," the majority of Hogwartsians present picked the theme up with visible vigour.
The Professor wrapped up another year of study by encouraging students to take a hands-on approach to Astronomy. The third lesson of the year was the Beginners' Lab, where first to third years experimented with candy to make a Solar System! Reactions to the lesson ranged from delighted to the exact opposite. "The only thing I learned in that class is that frosting is good to stick candies onto paper plates with," said Slytherin second year, Destiny Shepard. Eleven year old Candy Sugarsticks, on the other hand, claimed that the lesson was fantastic. "It was awesome! We used buttah scotch to make the sun, and sugah for the asteroid belt," the first year gushed. "The she-snakerz only kept getting into trouble, because they caused'ed it. This one she-snake asked another girl to hand over her candy, and there was a LOT of drama. Someone even pretended to CRY! Professor MacFarlane was sooo angry, and we didn't get any candy to eat in the end. It was saaad, even though I had fun."
It seems like the Advanced Lab ran a much smoother course. The students studied 'the reasons for the seasons' through a constructive project, and while some admitted that the work was quite challenging, the class ended on a peaceful note. "It was kinda fun to have a hands-on project to do," said fifth year, Slytherin prefect, Raiden Kururugi, when asked for an opinion. "Even if I really didn't understand at the time what we were doing it for."
Love it or struggle with it, it cannot be denied that Astronomy is a subject that unlocks the gateway to a much wider world, one full of twists and turns, and unimaginable surprises. Professor McFarlane chose to impart some of her knowledge to a population eager to learn in a simple, hands-on fashion, and ultimately, her success was apparent in the grades of the students who sat the subject's OWL or NEWT.
"I loovhhh Care of Magical Creatures under Professah Lawson," declares twelve year old Gryffindor, Candy Sugarsticks, brightly. "She's almost as awehsome as mah naaame!"Indeed. Professor Iliana Morgan, the resident expert on magical creatures, returned this term as Professor Iliana Lawson, to continue imparting her skills and knowledge to the student body at Hogwarts.
Ever felt the need to enlarge or duplicate various objects that you have in your possession? Well, this year’s charms lessons are definitely for you. Whether it's the practical’s you enjoy most or the general buzz you may gain from learning all the nice enchantments for the charms, this year's lessons were full of something for everyone. Although there happened to be only one charms lesson this year, it was filled with enough fun to last that time.