A Week of Realized Dreams and Heavy Hearts

Three days ago, I visited Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I was acting a real fool the whole time, wide-eyed and full of awe at the impressive creation of Ollivander’s, The Leaky Cauldron, Knockturn Alley, and all the other minute details put into this small but extraordinary part of Universal.

Gringotts

Supportive friends while unsuccessfully suppressing my utter glee inside Gringotts.

The first order of business was to go on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. The first time around was both thrilling and a bit of sensory overload (in a good way). The second time, I was able to really process what was going on, and realized that, quite literally, my childhood dreams were coming true. It was hard for me to contain my happiness, and my awesome friends were very patient with me.

Anyone who knows me for more than roughly 5 seconds, knows I am a die hard Harry Potter fan. I read my first book in sixth grade and grew up with the characters, waited in line for the midnight premieres of the books and movies (as soon as my mom would let me), stayed up most of the night and hid indoors finishing Deathly Hallows in one day (so as to avoid any spoilers), visited the London studio tour, saw a double feature of the Deathly Hallows films (part 1 at 9 PM, and the premiere of part 2 at midnight), and recently spent an exorbitant amount of money on tickets 18 months down the road to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, 3,000 miles away.

My point in all this is that Harry Potter—and I’m talking about the story as a whole, not just the character—is very much a part of my identity. It is, relatively speaking, a big part of who I am. It has been an ongoing source of happiness, escape, comfort, and fond memories with friends, family, and own imagination for most of my life.

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That Time I Authored an Economics Paper I Never Actually Wrote

I felt like I was in an episode of ReplyAll or Note To Self recently. So much, in fact, I had to tell them about it:

How did this all unfurl? It begins on a cold winter day, many moons weeks ago. ‘Tis a story of technological quirks that serve as a reminder that even the most powerful of technologies make mistakes.

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A Bone to Pick

A recent op-ed article from The New York Times gave me some pause. “Reinventing the Library,” although well-intentioned, leaves me feeling like I can’t help but go on the defense. Bear with me, here.

The article argues that librarians today wear more hats than they previously did. Which is true! I have played the role of social worker, travel agent, and babysitter more times than I can count during my five years serving the public. And while our library staff does our best to help patrons, we always remind them that they would be better off consulting a professional to solve the aforementioned types of issues. (Unless they’re leaving their kids in the library for hours on end, then we give them a stern talking to. Pro tip: Please don’t do that.)

What sparked this post was one comment in the article: “[T]he role of librarians could be drafted by diversifying their mandate, but such restructuring must also ensure that the librarians’ primary purpose is not forgotten: to guide readers to their books.”

Bone, let me pick you for a bit.

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