Saturday, July 30, 2005


I am currently at the University of Reading for the Accio Conference. Now, at the risk of sounding waaaay too geeky, I'll tell you that it is 'The First Harry Potter Conference in the UK.'

Now, at the risk of sounding very incredibly waaaay too geeky, I'll tell you that I'm a Prefect. (I've the the shirt and badge to prove it.)

Anyway, it's not just me that's waaaay too geeky...there are about 220 of us here from 24 different countries. (Yes, that's twenty-four.)

I arrived yesterday afternoon by train. The bus to the University was due to stop just outside the train station. I waited there all alone for a while. Soon, though, two other people wandered up to the bus stop. After a bit of covert observing, one of them asked if I was going to Accio as well. After looking around carefully, I admitted I was. (Look, it wasn't really something I was trying to admit too readily.)

Since the busses in Reading seem to run less by timetable and more by whimsy, eventually, those of us who had accumulated for the bus decided to share a taxi. Of course, after waiting nearly 45 minutes for the bus, the second we climbed in the taxi, the bus arrived.

After finally arriving and checking in, the had a welcome session where we settled the first, and perhaps the most vexing, question of the weekend: just how do you pronounce the word 'accio'? Evidently, there were three possibilities (well, four, but the immediately threw one out was being the 'North American pronunciation') and we settled upon 'ak-ee-oh.'

Then, we had our first keynote address titled 'The Phoenix in Harry Potter: the Metaphoric Power of the Past.' Actually, it was a guy standing there reading his paper titled 'The Phoenix in Harry Potter: the Metaphoric Power of the Past' rather than actually presenting it, but anyway...

Next was dinner. In an effort to help those conference delegates NOT from the UK gain a better appreciation of British cuisine, a wide range of traditional food was served (steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, some kind of sausage thing, spotted dick, and treacle tart). The other choice was presented as, 'And for those of you actually FROM England, we have curry.'

The highlight of the evening was the trial of Severus Snape. I'm happy to report that the second charge was thrown out due to lack of evidence and Snape was declared innocent of the remaining three charges.

This morning, we were treated to a full English breakfast before a full day of sessions. I attended the following:
Choosing between "what is right and what is easy" - the anatomy of Power and the Conquering of the Self in J K Rowling's Work
Harry Potter through the looking-glass: wordplay and the use of language in the works of J. K. Rowling and Lewis Carroll
Harry Potter and the deconstruction of childhood
The nameless world of Harry Potter

I also spent some time carrying out my Prefect duties.

So you see, it hasn't been all dressing up and prancing about in robes and witches hats. Certainly not.

That happens tonight at The Feast.


Blogger graycie said...

What fun!!

About: " . . .very incredibly waaaay too geeky . . ." "

Geek Chic" is NOT an oxymoron. Hold your head up, don't let your pointy wizard's hat slip over your eyes, and be proud.

4:00 PM  

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