9 Classes That Hogwarts Really Should be Teaching
Ah, Hogwarts. To attend this magical school in Scotland would be a dream come true.
If you’re stoopid.
We’ve spoken before about why attending this school would be a bad idea. Today we’re going to be more productive and suggest how they can clean up their curriculum by adding these essential subjects. We’re not going to bore you with Maths and English…instead we want the subject that the students of Hogwarts desperately need.
Right. Power corrupts. And the kids at Hogwarts get given an extraordinary amount of power. Years before they’re allowed to drive or have a beer they get given a piece of wood that allows them to attack people, alter the world around them and even torture and kill. Yes, powerful spells aren’t generally usable by the younger members of the wizarding world but the books show that hard work can allow them to master spells of all difficulties. They can turn living creatures into inanimate objects and create life. They can alter people’s memories at will. You’d think that the people teaching these 12 year olds would take the time to explain why you shouldn’t turn people into frogs if they bothered you.
It’s no wonder Voldemort has so many supporters in such a small population. Nobody told these guys that torturing the lesser Muggles is not very cool. It’s not even the evil wizards you have to worry about. No matter what you’re doing at Hogwarts there’s a reasonable chance Harry is watching you on his magic map…or Mad-Eye Moody is straight up spying on you with his magic eye.
HOW TO BLEND IN
Authority figures in the magicking world are always banging on about the Statute of Secrecy. This is the ultimate law in the wizarding world, stating that all wizards must not, under any circumstances, reveal themselves to the wider world. So how best to achieve this goal? Work it out yourselves! Seriously, they spend no time at all explaining how to fit in. In the fourth book there’s a wizard trying to blend in by wearing a dress because he doesn’t know what pants are. There doesn’t seem to be many places for wizards to live and hang out…does he just lurk around Diagon Alley? The Weasley’s are more clued in than most and their father doesn’t understand Muggle money or electricity.
Wait…how many wizards get electrocuted every year? Christ, you’d better start teaching them some frigg’n basics. Speaking of which…
You have to wonder what happens to the students of Hogwarts who don’t want to become teachers, shop owners of Ministry of Magic employees. Hogwarts doesn’t give any attention to everyday life skills as it is, and it leaves the students entirely unemployable in the wider world. The wizarding community is small and there can only be a limited number of jobs available. Plus there’s the students who came from Muggle families and might want to return to their old life at some point. You know – their families, friends and ambitions before they got an owl. Perhaps Hermione wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps and become a dentist…can’t think of any university who’ll count her knowledge in History of Magic towards her entry score.
WIZARD SOCIAL STUDIES
While all those wizard kids are off doing their blending in with society, perhaps the Muggle borns can be in a class learning about the wizard world. When Harry Potter turns up at the school he know literally nothing about the new society was entering. Even the well-read Hermione didn’t know the oft-used slur ‘mudblood’ when she first heard it, and no-one seemed to know there was more wizard schools around the world until the fourth book. How about the newbies get a quick primer in what’s what in their new life (that, as we previously established, they will never leave).
When I’m teaching a class how to use new software the first thing I cover is how to use the ‘undo’ function. That way they can experiment without ruining their work. Magic that can cause grievous injuries, create deformities, alter personalities and obliterate memories. Many of these appear to be permanent or require complex remedies. They have spells that can reveal the spell history of a wand and devices to travel through to time…why they developed a method of immediately undoing boggles the mind.
So you leave Hogwarts and you get a job in Diagon Alley and put down a payment on your first house. Now it’s time to cook a meal and manage your household. Yes, once again we’re on the topic of basic life skills. There’s a few uncertainties about how food and magic work in this world – can they summon food out of thin air, or can do they teleport it in from somewhere? If they can turn a log into a chicken, can they eat it? Anyway, someone needs to teach these kids how to fend for themselves in the real(ish) world.
Man, there’s some weird shit in the Harry Potter universe. From Boggarts to Dementors to goblins to dragons there is an endless array of beasts and whatnot. Newt Scamander did some pioneering work in educating the masses in magical creatures but that knowledge sure isn’t being passed on. Outside of ‘Care of Magical Creatures’ there’s no discussion about how these things work, and what the relationship between magic and biology is. That’s not counting how these things manage to stay out of sight of the Muggle world. Plus there’s the fact that some wizards remain in the world as ghosts or living paintings after death – perhaps they want to explain that to the kids?
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
You know what sounds awesome? Those means they serve in the Great Hall. Those who know me personally know that one of my favourite things in the entire universe is a full, cooked breakfast buffet. Breakfast at Hogwarts would be like getting my dream meals every morning and then I’d spend the rest of the day there. Hogwarts seem to roll out the full selection pretty much every meal, and it’s the same at the Weasley household. There’s no-one on staff taking the time to explain to these guys about a balanced diet or make them run laps. I hated Phys-Ed as much as the next nerd but some things are important, folks. Between all this food and Honeydukes they must be magicking their extra flab away.
We know that art exists in the magical world because there are paintings everywhere (or are they created by magic?). But if you’re the creative type you’re restricted to doodling in the margins of your scrolls because there’s no arts in the curriculum. No painting, no craft, no photography, no music, no dance, no drama…that sounds bloody boring. How are there NOT awesome theatrical performances with magical special effects going on in the wizard world?