Herbology, wands highlight Harry Potter Fest

April 30, 2014

By Christopher Clapper

Harry Potter has come to UW-Whitewater for the first time. A day filled with activities for wizards and muggles alike, UW-Whitewater students spent the afternoon learning different aspects of the “Harry Potter” world.

The day consisted of activities that suited both witches and wizards.

“I expected to learn more about the series today, but I did appreciate the fact that we went more into the history of the books,” junior Nikita Parmann said.

The afternoon began with a lecture on wand lore from Dr. Patrick Moran in the basement of the University Center. His lecture lasted about 20 minutes, and he did the entire thing with a Scottish accent, never breaking character.

“It was really an opportunity for the faculty to have fun, and I really thought it should be fun and mischievous for the students,” Moran said.

The lecture was followed with a wand-building seminar where the students decorated and constructed wands that were customized to fit their own style of wizardry. They learned about the different cores that go into each wand, as well as the specific parts of each.

The rest of the day entailed different events ranging from discussions on friendship, spells classes and a costume party.  The professors were given creative freedom to teach whichever subject was most appealing to them.

“I asked the professors in the department if they would be interested in taking part (in the event) and if so what they would like to do, and then I gave them their choice,” said Deborah Fratz, coordinator of the event.

The students who participated showed off their Hogwarts colors with pride. Dressed from head to toe in their Harry Potter gear, they learned the value of friendship and the tricks to becoming a good herbologist. Each section was devoted to a different theme of the books that allowed the students to pick and choose which ones they wanted to attend.

“I liked the fact that they had lectures as well as the craft things,” Parmann said. “I think that it appeals to everyone who loves ‘Harry Potter.’”

This being the second year doing the event, Fratz was looking for more involvement from the entire campus, including students and faculty.

“I think it would be really fun to have a chemistry teacher do a potions class or something like that,” she said.

Fratz also is looking to get other campuses involved, knowing that a love of “Harry Potter” is something that can be shared throughout the UW system schools.

“One thing that these books do is bring people together,” she said.

One trend that is sweeping across the state is club Quidditch teams. This allows students to get together and play a modified version of the popular wizarding sport.

Fratz hopes this event will help bring the Whitewater campus and community together.

“Wouldn’t it be fun if we could be the place where the Quidditch championships take place?”

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