Thursday, 4 August 2011

Again...time for something completely different...

I went to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" over the week-end.

A Bit of a Review

I really liked this installment of the "Potter" series (the final one in the series). I've been avoiding the films since the third one; there was something about that one that made me really sad. But this one I liked. The performances were very strong, the special effects were well-done, the 3D really enhances it...and, even though I haven't seen the first part of "The Deathly Hallows", having read the book several years ago was just enough to keep me from being totally lost in the plot. I missed the significance of a couple of small things, but I never felt absolutely clueless.

It's not a movie for children who are easily frightened. Lots of snake footage and  and character deaths and things jumping seemingly right at you because of the 3-D.

(Funny story about being startled in movies: For the first year or so after having my stroke, anything that startled me would make my weak arm literally "jump" from wherever it was resting, sometimes right up in the air.  And everyone had to sit on my left in movie theatres because of the way the wheelchair seating is set up. My family must have thought I was either trying to smack someone or going into a seizure.)

Where Are the Wizards With Disabilities?

Back to Harry Potter. It occurred to me as I watched that no one in the wizarding world uses any sort of mobility aid: no wheelchairs, canes, or prosthetic limbs, not even among the Muggle children at Hogwarts. And nothing set up so that a Muggle child with physical disabilities could attend if he or she wanted to:

  • Have to *run* through the wall at the train station to get through

  • Stairs, stairs, stairs galore at Hogwarts

  • No way to participate in Qidditch (presumably a student with disabilities could earn points for the house other ways, though)

I guess that there could be wizarding spells  that might help one overcome the effects of disabilities, even if it's just for a short time...

Not The Point, Really

The point of integration in schools has always been teaching students without disabilities that the students with disabilities really aren't that different than they are...about learning to see the person before the disability...about building a community that includes all people, not "fixing" the ones that have something "wrong" with them.

CNN recently calculated (and I have no idea where they came up with this figure) that it would cost $42 000 just in tuition per year to send a child to Hogwarts. Well, if  I'm spending that kind of money to send my kid to a wizarding school, I want he/she to come out a well-rounded wizard, including having access to wizards from other countries, faiths and lifestyles. And I definitely object to keeping otherwise eligible students out of the school just because they have disabilities.

So what say you, J.K. Rowling? Let's have the answer.

More about the movie:

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