Tag Archives: Professor Trelawney

What We Take for Granted and What We Think Is Bunk Is…Well…a Matter of Opinion

I watched a movie tonight…the third Harry Potter.  I got to thinking (uh oh) and wanted to write a bit.

So, in the third Harry Potter movie, The Prisoner of Azkaban, we meet Professor Sybill Trelawney in her divination class.  She tells the students that they will see in her classroom if they possess, “THE SIGHT!”

Then she runs into a table with her Coke-bottle glasses (do they have Coke at Hogwarts?).

Brilliant.

Now, I love Harry Potter as much as the next muggle, but there’s something that’s always bothered me about the movie.  Hermione appears in the classroom and says to the air that Trelawney is full of “rubbish.”  (Other things bother me too, like why Dumbledore and Sirius Black can’t just be ghosts or talking portraits like so many others, or why Dumbeldore can’t go back in time with Hermione’s time turner and stop Tom Riddle…but that’s another blog post…or a post for the more Potter-nerdy than myself!)

So, let me see if I understand this.  Hermione is in a world of charms, animagi (animaguses?) shape-shifters, nurses who cure bones with potions, and elves who appear out of the blue.  Her day is filled with food that magically appears on the table, trains that leave from secret tracks that apparently never run into other trains, and floating demon things that can suck out souls.  She’s seen ghosts, talking pictures, and three-headed dogs.

But divination?  Well, that’s rubbish.

Hmmm….I mean, I’m as skeptical (and open-minded) as the next guy, but still….

Well, I guess there’s a lesson in there somewhere.  No matter what we “see,” we are still slaves to our prejudices.  We can have the keys to the kingdom, but still believe the castle isn’t real.

I know it’s just a movie.  I know it’s just fiction.  But still, it’s fun to riff ol’ Potter and see what’s in it for real life.

What it comes down to is that we’re not all passionate about the same things.  We don’t all like baseball, but someone else may consider it a religion.  I couldn’t stand math class, but my friends always seemed to excel in it.  I hate Brussels sprouts, but my dad can’t get enough of them.  In my own ways, I’ve experienced sports nirvana with football, loved English, and tasted culinary bliss with the perfect steak, but I still think baseball, math, and spouts are…well…not “rubbish” exactly…but things I could easily have lived without!

So, look folks….you have your truth.  You have a world of magic that’s real to you.  Your opinions matter and, well, when it comes to your own beliefs you can definitely say you have the “sight” when it comes to things you believe and the things that fill your day.

But don’t forget–the guy across from you reading tea leaves in Trelawney’s class?  Well, he believes he can see the future in the bottom of that cup.  And who are you to say he’s blind?

Watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again.  It’s the best one.  The sun disappears in that movie and doesn’t return for five movies.

And when you get to Professor Trelawney’s class, don’t judge.  Just have some fun.  Or, better yet, read a book on divination that challenges your beliefs.  And who knows?  Maybe it’ll open your eyes a bit.

Just watch out for the table.