If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
This may sound a bit cheesy, Miss America finalist-ish, but I would like everyone to learn that no one person or group has a monopoly on the truth. The world is a lot less black and white than we think, and somebody else's option may not work for you and vice versa.
Who is your favorite Hogwarts teacher?
McGonagall, by far. I adore her acerbic wit, her talent for keeping the class in order, her unswerving loyalty, and her universal fairness. She reminds me of the teachers you had in high school who had the reputation for being tough, very firm, but always fair. So you'd be a little afraid of that teacher at the beginning of the school year, but by the end you'd love and fiercely respect her. She also tempers her firmness with compassion (see the "have a biscuit, Potter" scene, or the visit to poor petrified Hermione); it's always important to note that rigidity isn't appropriate 100% of the time.
Who is your favorite character in Harry Potter?
Of the kids: Harry. Sorry that it's the obvious choice, but he's our hero, and so much of why I love the stories is rooting for him. I loved him even when he was angry self-centered Harry, rather than tragic hero Harry, because that made him more accessible. He's done amazing things with what he's been given - orphaned, pretty much psychologically and physically abused for 11 years, then thrust into unwanted fame just pre-puberty? It's the boy-in-distress thing that always gets me - part "awww," and part "way to go!" when he triumphs. And Harry never really gets a big head about it, unlike (sorry to say it, Marauder fans) James and Sirius.
My favorite adult character is Lupin. Again, it's probably the boy-in-distress stoic hero thing. His quiet intelligence is a welcome contrast to some of his bombastic, attention-grabbing fellow characters. He seems considerate, steady, compassionate, and just a wee bit mischievous (he enjoyed the sight of the drag-queen Grandma Snape boggart (credit CleoLinda in her 15-minute POA review), I just know it).
Who is your least favorite character in Harry Potter?
Least favorite would probably be Lavender Brown. I have a deep-running dislike of the girl who squeals at worms, who giggles shrilly over boys, and plays into all the other girlie-stereotypes (no offense to the truly worm-phobic - I'm talking about the squealing-as-a-means-of-getting-attentio
What makes a person respectable?
Respectable may mean different things. It may mean "respected by the world at large," in which case I'd say steadiness, absence of anything untoward or scandalous, well-established socially, etc.
When taken to mean what I personally respect, I would say respectability means clearness of thought, decisiveness, willingness to suffer unpleasantness or self-sacrifice when necessary, open-mindedness, and being well-learned.
What is your take on religion?
I myself am an atheist, but I absolutely respect others' points of view - not just their right to believe, but also I honestly respect belief. It takes a lot of character to be able to open yourself up to that kind of vulnerability. Religion has many good things going for it, when people use it to enhance their better nature. Unfortunately, many many people also use it to justify the worst of their nature, sanctioning the various -isms, e.g. racism, sexism, classicism, homophobia. I've known far too many people silence discussion with "because it's wrong," or "because the -insert religious text here- says so." I believe in the effectiveness of debate, the marketplace of ideas. Having that bottom line, guarded in a prickly manner, beyond which no outside argument may venture, stifles free thought and ends respectful discussion.
What do you think about house elves?
Ugh, now this raises another very difficult question, one which I haven't entirely resolved within myself - the tension between objective abhorrence of another culture's practice (clitoridectomies, for example) and the wish to be respectful of other cultures. The plight of the house elves is the perfect fictionalized account of that tension. I oppose slavery on principle, as I would hope pretty much anybody would, but who am I to say that there could not exist a goup that is perfectly, absolutely, no-holds-barred happy with its situation in J.K.'s world? I think that I would like to have the elves offered a choice. Something like "Chinky the house-elf, I value your services. You've been a great elf and we adore you. So this offer isn't an insult or criticism in any way. Would you like to be free? Can I at least offer you wages and days off?" Also, I'd be in favor of basic human rights regulations - no beating or starving your elf, for example.
What do you look for in a friend?
I look for someone I feel comfortable with - I can say something absurd, and he/she will think it's hilarious, or at least not give me a look like I'm breaking out into an infectious-looking turquoise rash. I look for someone smart, with whom I can have fun, energetic discussions, and won't roll his/her eyes at my use of the words "with whom." Loyal, of course. Funny is a great bonus. Someone who has no problems with me doing something incredibly stupid, something selfish, something nice, something to be proud of, something boring, something fun, something that made me bawl, something that made me feel good, all in one day, then telling him/her all about it in marathon 4-hour sessions. Someone who makes me feel good about myself, even when I'm hating myself. And of course, someone who needs me to do all of that for him/her.
Would you rather have friends and family or money and success?
Friends and family. Do people really say something else? I like to be comfortable as much as the next gal, but I'd rather have a cup of Ramen with a good friend than filet mignon alone every night.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Hmm ... I wish I had the ability to think things through a bit more. That'll sound silly to some of my friends who think I plan too much, but I mean that sometimes I say something or come to a conclusion too quickly, without using some information that I really should have kept in mind. Also, I have a tendency to laziness. I get stuff done that needs to be done, but in my mind it's always "I have pleeeeenty of time ... who's up for a movie?"
What do you feel is your best quality?
It might be that I can make my friends laugh, and can make them feel better when they're upset. At least, that's when I feel best about myself, when I either have them laughing so hard they can't breathe, or they tell me they feel better after spilling their problems to me.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, movies (big, big time. Props to Netflix). I play the piano some to unwind, and of course I love certain CDs to an unhealthy obsession. Playing with my dogs. The occasional arts 'n crafts. Political activism-mongering.
Do you want to have children?
At this point in time, I don't think I will. Love my niece and nephew, find kids very cute/funny/endearing, but I don't think I would be a very good mother. I don't think I could do the daily, unappreciated sacrifice that comes with being a great mom. I admire those who do raise great, engaging kids, but I don't think it's for everybody. So I'll leave it to those who can, and I'll remain content to be the Cool Aunt.
Have or would you give time and money to a charity?
I have and I would. I volunteered at the local animal shelter when I was in undergrad, and I give to environmental causes and Salvation Army. I give blood as close to every 56 days as I can manage.
If your friend was attacked (by a person, animal, or (in the magic world) beast), what would you do?
Holler for help, wade in, do my best to help defend him/her. If there was absolutely no way I could help, I'd try to find someone else who could. Or maybe not, I don't know if I would leave him/her in the meantime, even if I was useless.
What is the one thing you would most like to accomplish?
I'd like to foster a greater sense of the love of the freedom/civic duty/tolerance embodied by the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution (see career path below). That's the one for freedom of religion, press, assembly, petition, and speech. I think we often let those freedoms fall by the wayside when confronted with views we don't like. (Can you hear the patriotic music playing and see the star-spangled flag waving?)
Who is your role model?
Carl Sagan. He's known to high-schoolers everywhere for his natty suit-jacket/turtleneck combos and the phrase "BEEEEllions and BEEEEllions of STAAAAAAAAHRrrs" (fun fact - he never actually said that). But he's also known for popularizing science and making it accessible to the non-scientist, as well as his philosophy which I echoed above of skepticism with wonder. He and his loving wife Ann Druyan exemplified a lifestyle I'd love - curiosity, a love of both rationality and fascination with the wide-open possibilities of the universe, and the complete compatibility of religion and science. They were utterly intellectual equals. Her epitaph in his last book, published posthumously, moved me to tears because of her utter love and respect. He died as a gentle, respectful atheist, regretting nothing. Sorry if I'm getting a bit melodramatic, but really. Ideal.
What trait most annoys you about other people?
Mmm. I hate it when people take phrases and/or ideas from pop culture and repeat them as if they were their own. The words "Bridezilla" and "ginormous" are on my hit-list right now. This also applies to people who buy into media-driven perceptions without bothering to investigate a bit on their own, and let pundits and talk-show hosts hand their opinions to them on a neat, 30-second sound byte platter.
What do you want to do for a living?
At the risk of being sorted directly into Slytherin without passing Go, I'm finishing my last year of law school. I'm not aiming for corporate law, though - I'd like to do public interest work, especially in the area of first amendment law. I'm also really interested in consumer advocacy. In lawyering terms, that's the next best thing to taking a vow of poverty, but I'm going into the areas that make me the angriest. Me, infuriated, is going to do a lot more good than me, fat, rich, and complacent.
Would you ever use an Unforgivable Curse for any reason?
Yeeees ... I would use Imperio if I really, honestly, with all my heart and mind, thought by controlling someone else (briefly, and with full apologies later) I could avert a much bigger injury/death. I can't imagine an instance where I would use Crucio, though. I don't agree with torture for any purposes, even to avert greater harm (the old "terrorist knows where the bomb is located but won't talk" hypothetical). And Avada Kedavra - well, I believe in assisted suicide. If it were really someone else's desire, I think there's a chance I would do it for them. Lots of people would hate me for that statement, but I'm being honest.
What house do you think DOESN'T fit you? (This question is optional for those who feel they just DO NOT fit in a house. Please explain WHY.)
I would really, really, really not like to be sorted into Slytherin. I know the house has many good qualities - resourcefulness and intelligence, to name two. However, there seems to be a self-serving motif in canon Slytherins' actions that in the best of circumstances doesn't abide well with me (I've never seen a Slytherin in canon act in a way that wasn't in his/her best interest). I can be a very selfish person sometimes, I admit, but it's a part of me I don't like, and would love to get rid of. Also, I don't like the obvious bloodline purity bigotry in the worst of the canon Slytherins.
What do you think are your top five abilities or qualities?
Humor, loyalty, education/intellect, creativity, passion
Where did you find out about us?
Through a friend.