Round Two Submissions

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Prof. Kyrie Adderholt
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Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:14 am

Unfortunately we have lost a few contestants between rounds one and two. Zenix James had to step away due to internet issues. Vanessa Tilley is taking some time away from HOL. Bull Johnson chose to leave the contest.

The following were eliminated for failure to submit their work on time: Prof. Dario Brighton, Pavel Lagrange, Ellie Warhol, Kaitlyn Nightingale, and Eden Pheniox.

While this does lower the number of contestants, it puts us at the right number of contestants for Round Three based on previous years. Therefore, there will be no judge eliminations this week!

The submissions from the remaining contestants are posted below. Be sure to vote for your favorite!
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Prof. Kyrie Adderholt || Head of House || RQT

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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:20 am

Contestant: Shiloh Adlar

House Pride
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5DxeTVanbw&feature=youtu.be

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Platform

An issue that I have seen or heard come up on HOL quite often deals with acceptance of others. For me, HOL has become a second family and a home away from home. I was bullied all throughout school, and I was going into the 11th grade when I joined this site. I wanted to join HOL because I loved Harry Potter and it was what helped keep me going after my brother was killed, but I had an overwhelming fear that it would be exactly the same as real life school. I would be the outcast, the loser that was so socially awkward that no one wanted to talk to her because she was annoying or boring or too crazy. But I was wrong.

I spent my first year keeping a low profile but working extremely hard to earn points for my house because I wanted people to like me. I logged on IRC a few times and talked when someone talked to me, and eventually, by the end of my first year, I was getting to know members on the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team and tried out that summer. I made quick friends, but it still crossed my mind, "What if they're pretending? What if they don't really like me? What if I'm still too weird for them?"

Even to this day, I have a tendency to question this about myself because of all the bullying I experienced growing up. It is often hard to believe that I have found true and very real friends on HOL. What has helped the most is that even though, yes, I have had my very awkward moments of not knowing what to say or saying things that maybe no one really wants to hear about, or maybe I have jumped all around IRC screaming about something exciting, people have been accepting of it. It is that acceptance of my differences that has made me love HOL and stay on HOL for almost five and a half years.

None of us know anything about each other except for what we choose to tell. None of us have any idea if a person who seems really cool on this site is actually bullied in school or at work. None of us know if that person who is always rambling about random stuff has some sort of learning or mental disability or perhaps they are also socially awkward like I am and just don't know what else to say. We all come from different lives and backgrounds, and that's the beauty of this site. Despite our differences, we come together for the love of Harry Potter.

I think it is sad that we allow petty differences to get in the way of what could be incredible friendships. When we stop judging one another, when we stop blaming one another for "he said, she said," and we really begin to accept that we're not going to agree on everything and that "Yes, I'm weird, but I own it! *z snaps*," that is when the real magic begins.

I would like to promote this goal and idea of acceptance throughout the site, and I hope that I have been doing so already. I like to live by the golden rule that one should "treat others the way you would like to be treated." My goal in life is to spread love, joy and light into other people's lives, and it's okay if that's too "kumbaya for you" (looks at Kyrie). You don't have to go around talking to everyone or putting hearts everywhere. All I ask is that we try to make this site a safe place for everyone, newbies and oldbies alike. Drama only pulls us further apart and more often than not, drags people into it that were never apart of the issue to begin with. Bullying only hurts us by causing people to leave. I promise, it's not that hard to treat someone with the respect and kindness that we all deserve.

And we do ALL deserve it.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
I have always related to Luna Lovegood because she was the odd one out, just like me. She never quite fit in, had her own quirky way of doing things, and she had a difficult time making friends. There is a scene in the 7th book where Harry, Hermione, and Ron go into Luna's bedroom and see the word "friends" as a chain linking together their faces that Luna painted on the ceiling along with Ginny's and Neville's. This was a pivotal moment for me because it is something I can relate to immensely. When you haven't fit in your whole life and suddenly there are people that come around that like you just for being you, it feels as if the whole world has opened up, and I never want to lose that.

Luna always sees the best in people, which is something I also try to do. I try to make bad situations, when possible, into good ones. Maybe this is something that we both learned after experiencing a situation that seemed impossible to turn around into good. But life keeps going on. It's a learning experience to always appreciate what and who you have around you. It made us both strong and resilient to future disappointments and trauma. More than that, we both learned empathy, and empathy and understanding is what has allowed us to accept and to love, the one thing the Dark Lord would never be able to do.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?

My favorite place in HOL is The Roost. The Roost has been my home away from home for 5.5 years now. It is where I began making my first friends on the site, where I ran my first activity, where I began to learn to trust my own writing skills and creativity in forming that activity, and where I now chill out with my beautiful teammates from the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team. I found myself constantly checking The Roost when I took an HOL break a couple of months ago. It was the only place that I had an urge to check because I didn't want to miss anything. Our activities are always fun, the members of my house are incredible, and I know how to make my name pink (if Kyrie wouldn't get mad at me for doing so).

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
I think ambition, overall, is a positive thing to possess. Like anything, however, it can be twisted. In a general sense, ambition is a strong desire to do something which is very important in achieving goals. My ambitions in life include spreading love, joy and light to all people and ridding the world of disease. While these two goals are a bit extreme and probably not 100% possible if we're being realistic here, my desire to achieve them is what will help me get as close as humanly possible to doing so.

But this is also where ambition can take a wrong turn. Ambition can also drive a person into doing whatever is possible to achieve success. This could potentially include lying or cheating such as someone claiming credit for what someone else did. Lord Voldemort was very ambitious. From my own understanding, Lord Voldemort's conquest for power was not simply because he wanted to rid the world of muggles, he was searching for something that he had never had. He never had the ability to form bonds in relationships. All he knew was power over others. He was afraid to die, but perhaps he was afraid to die alone. He wanted to know love but had no means available to him to find it except fear. He probably didn't even know the meaning of the word, and this quest led him to the darkest of arts and murder instead of turning to those who would have otherwise helped him learn what love was.

As Dumbledore said, "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Though we may be capable through our ambition to achieve success, it is how we choose to use those capabilities that say whether ambition was an advantage or a disadvantage to our overall goal.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
I have learned many important lessons in life, and all of them have been significantly important. There is one lesson, however, that stands out over the others, and that is to never take for granted that a person knows I love them. My brother and I were always very close, but like most siblings, we fought every now and then. The night he was killed, he was dropping me off at the academy and we had gotten into an argument about something. I didn't tell him that I loved him when he pulled off. When he picked me up hours later, I got in the car and refused to talk to him because I was still mad. The last thing I expected was for a drunk driver to run a light and for my brother to die on impact. I've regretted every day not telling him I loved him before getting out of the car, and I constantly ask myself if he died thinking that I hated him because we were arguing about me refusing to go to the counselor at school about some guy stealing my books and tossing them in the cafeteria trash.

We never know what could happen from one minute to the next, even one second to the next. Sure, someone may know that you love them because you give them gifts or a hug or you listen to them complain when you absolutely wouldn't have to, but it also never hurts to say it. You never know when you'll never be able to say it to that person again.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?

This is probably the hardest yet easiest question for me to answer. I say this for two reasons. It's the hardest because I imagine the person asking is wanting a single name, and it is the easiest because I want to give every name. I read back through all of the round one submissions to try to answer this question, and what I have discovered is that each of us brings a uniqueness to HOL through our talents as well as our beliefs. It is very hard to take all of that and single out one person, which is why I am grateful to not be one of the judges, and I feel for them for having to do just that.

There are quite a few names that I recognize but have yet had the pleasure to actually converse with which does make more sense in my mind to choose one of the people that I know well, not out of popularity, but simply because I know them to embody what I believe HOL is all about. If had the extremely hard job of being a judge for this competition, and considering what I know from the handful of people I know personally who have submitted for this competition, my choice would probably be Vanessa Tilley. I say this because this girl works so hard all over HOL, and even as a first year, she has embraced the site and the people on the site with so much enthusiasm. She puts her best foot forward and also isn't afraid to say no to something. She is accepting and compassionate to everyone I've seen her talk to, which is very important to me on a site like this.

I could say so many other good things about the people I have had the pleasure of good conversation with over my time here at HOL: Gail Allen, Kendra Givens, Prof. Zenix James, Pavel Lagrange, Will Lestrange, Katelin Ross, Alexander Brighton, Blade J. Johnson, and Shadow Gaunt. I could give reasons why each of them deserve to be Mx HOL. And for those I've yet to get to know, I'm sure once I do, I'll have just as many good reasons for them when and if Mx HOL is run again. That's what's so great. We all bring something different, and it's amazing.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
This is another difficult question being asked to a girl who loves her fruit. How could I possibly single out only one fruit? However, after some thought and careful consideration, I have decided that I would be a strawberry. I think I would be a strawberry because they look somewhat like a heart. Spreading love to the people I meet is very important to me, so I often draw hearts as symbolism for that.

Strawberries are also different from their peers in that there is a lot of controversy about whether they are actually a fruit or not. In fact, they're not even actually berries. They are made differently than other fruit by their so called "seeds" being on the outside rather than on the inside. I have often felt like I don't fit in with people or in certain places. I've been the outsider more often than not. However, due to this difference, as a strawberry plant grows, they send out little strings that begin to cultivate new strawberry plants rather than having to wait for a seed to be planted. I relate to this because I feel like the more I grow as a person, the more light I can send out to help people around me grow stronger as well.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:22 am

Contestant: Katelin Ross

House Pride
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For this section, I crocheted a scarf using yellow and black yarn.

Platform

The issue that I am most passionate about is inclusion for all students. Studies show that students do better in school when they study alongside their neurotypical peers.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?

I relate most to Hermione Granger. She loves to read, is very studious about her education, and she wants everyone around her to also try their best.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?


I have two favorite places in HOL. My first is The Sett. I enjoy playing, participating, and helping to run the activities available in The Sett. My second favorite place in HOL is IRC. When I am not in the common room I can be found talking with friends, botting, and playing Quidditch in the IRC Quidditch channel.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?

There are advantages and disadvantages to ambition. The main advantage is the outcome you receive in the end. Hard work pays off. If the outcome is for you, then you can see the progress from beginning to end (i.e., if you are trying to lose weight you can see your physical progress from beginning to end). The disadvantage to having ambition is that you might miss out on while you work on your goals. While you are focused on meeting your goal, you may miss out on opportunities. One might be ambitious to finish a term paper, but in the meantime, they might miss out on a trip to the mall or movies with friends.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?

The most important lesson I have learned in life is to be yourself. Don't let anyone else decide who you are. You will be happier if you are doing and living life the way you want to.


If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?


I think every one of us should be winners. We choose to put ourselves out there to the world, which is not an easy task to do. For that reason, everyone who entered deserves the title of MX HOL winner.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?

If I were a fruit, I would be a watermelon. Watermelons are one of my favorite fruits. They are ripe during the summer months, which is one of my favorite times of the year. Watermelons are juicy, filling, shareable, and delicious!
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:26 am

Contestant: Will Lestrange

House Pride
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Platform

When I started here at this school back in 2013, I realized how hard it was to really break into this place and establish one’s self. There were so many things that I couldn’t do until I had at least a year (sometimes two or more) of experience with the school! Even my pedigree and potential wasn’t enough to skirt these entrenched expectations.

The Quidditch pitch was the closest thing there was to an exception: even though there was an entrenched corpus of shared knowledge you needed to learn, the pitch was a meritocracy at heart. Prove your skill and you’d be welcomed, even if you were there for much less time than everyone else. And it was my time on the pitch, of course, that first gave me any sort of responsibility towards others at the school.

Over the years, I have been pleased to see this school become more and more welcoming towards newcomers. I like to think I played a role in that, but definitely others’ efforts in various activities were important as well. I think that this school can only become better and less stagnant if we continue to make the transition for our newer students smoother.

On another note, looking back at my own house, it physically pains me to see how few new members we have (and how few of the ones we do get eventually get incorporated into the community as a whole). As much as we value tradition as Slytherin, it can only survive and evolve with new people to carry it on and adapt it as appropriate.

Therefore, if elected Mx HOL, my platform issue will be making the transition of new students (and some of their ideas) into the school as seamless and smooth as possible. I feel that this is an important goal both for the future of my own House and the school as a whole!

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
I'm assuming that "HP" means Scarhead because it's apparently the Boy-Who-Lived's first and last initials, right? I don't think I identify with him at all; although every once in a while he came up with a nice sneaky paln worthy of a Slytherin, most of the time he actively disowns that part of himself!

But assuming that by "HP character" you actually mean "any witch or wizard", I'd have to go with my distant cousin Regulus Black. Like me, Regulus entered Hogwarts as a Slytherin, with high expectations for himself based on his blood and heritage. Like me, he had to struggle to make a name for himself at first because he was overshadowed in his younger years (though at least I wasn't overshadowed by my own family). But he ensured that he always was his own person and not some puppet of someone else; defying Voldemort (on behalf of Kreacher, no less) and ultimately changing the tide of a major Wizarding War!

Granted, Regulus managed to end his own life when he was only about two years older than my current age. I can't imagine myself doing the same in today's world, but in an environment as turbulent as 1979, from the First Voldemort War, I have to say that desperate times call for desperate measures!

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
My favorite place in this school is the air; not just the Quidditch pitch, but everywhere I can mount my broom and fly. If you know me, chances are that the last time you saw me, we were both airborne, flying about on our brooms. The feeling of being in the air and moving about is completely liberating. I could talk about my experiences on the pitch, but I'm thinking more about freeform flying just outside the castle. There, we're all free from pressure of studying, practicing, and even things such as House identity; in the air, we all can be free to be our true selves! I would go as far as to say that you don't really know someone until you've spent some time on a broom with them. (NOTE: I know that some people refer to flying in the open air by the cryptic sequence of letters "mIRC", and brooms will often be referred to as "computers". )

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
I don't think of ambition in terms of 'advantage' or 'disadvantage'; to me, ambition just is: it's what keeps us going. Come to think of it, that might really be the main advantage of ambition: it's that force that keeps us going and spurs us on to make more of ourselves and the world around of us. Without ambition, things would - at best - stay where they are... and at worst, stagnate as people gradually forget the lessons learned from past generations without adding anything new to society!

The biggest disadvantage of ambition is that if one doesn't keep it grounded with reality (and personal principles), ambition can easily take you over: burning you out at best (thiink of Hermione Granger taking 12 classes her third year, for example) and, at worst, consuming yourself and destroying other parts of our world/society/whatever we value! When I think of ambition gone wrong, I think of Voldemort and his Horcruxes; his goal was reasonable enough - but his way to get there is what made him a Dark Lord.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
The most important thing I have learned during my life is that while asking for help is not a sign of weakness, I should feel free to disregard advice that doesn't work for me. It would be too easy to talk about my progress on the Quidditch pitch over the years (I felt like I really started finding my groove when I came up with my own goals and my own ways to work towards them instead of just following the advice of others)... but thsi could just as easily apply to the way I've made it through my full class schedule each year - up to and including a particularly challenging OWL year! And even though only a few years separate me from graduation, I'll keep this advice in mind (asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but being wedded to the help you receive is) as I seek to continue making a difference both in my house and in the broader school and world!

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
I'd say that Mx HOL really should represent the entire school, and not just a single faction (like a house, group of friends, or even a single club or activity here). Therefore, I'd say that if I couldn''t win, I'd choose to give the honor to the current Headmaster Zoki Phantom. For nearly as long as I've been in the school, Zoki served the school faithfully as Headmaster - though my first experience with him was just before that... when I took a Herbology class taught by him. I also remember working alongside Zoki during my first position of responsibility here, when I sat alongside him as we were part of the team tasked with running the Summer Quidditch League of 2015. His ability to step outside of his comfort zone strikes me as a quality worthy of Mx HOL.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
If I were a fruit, I would probably be a blackberry. I almost chose some type of raspberry (which is, to be fair, tastier by itself), but I feel that the blackberry better represents me. First,, its taste is a bit tarter (and therefore requires a bit more effort to fully appreciate its flavor; this is often done by baking it into pies or other desserts). Also, it's larger and shinier - which I can think of as "putting on an eye-catching first impression". Finally, it shares a weakness with me: it is uncomfortable in cold environments (personally, I strongly prefer warmth and heat to cold and ice). Putting this together, the blackberry probably makes the most sense for me.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:28 am

Contestant: Hannah R. Thomas

House Pride

I fly high in the sky
They say I’m witty and wise
When I descend, your eyes see only bronze and blue
I will end up in a library, where you will see me studying and solving clues
Books and papers piled on each other with my brain in awe
I am of House Ravenclaw

Platform

The only thing that I can think of is how other HOL members respect other people from other houses, or their own house, of high rank. I do find this to be a huge issue because individuals hold a vendetta that they aren’t willing to let go, which they should, just after one thing. For example, if a HOL member is caught doing something and they deny it, after being reported, they immediately go on the defense in believing they are doing everything right. This is just a simply matter of that individual taking responsibility, which I see very little around here. In addition to this, they have to find other members to back them up, such as those who have again haven’t been taking responsibility, which just ends up as a mess of unnecessary drama.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
I, indefinitely, relate to Hermione Granger with a mix of Luna Lovegood. I am always carrying around books and school material wherever I go: in a grocery store, in a bookstore, the list goes on and on! I love pursuing studies and gaining knowledge from books at any chance that I have in life. As a child, I felt socially awkward and quiet. I never was seen to be socializing and have always been seen doing my homework in school during my breaks. There have been times I could have socialized, but decided to be weird and study instead.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
As odd this may be, I love going to the HOL forum and reading the many books other HOL members have read in the Book Club. I have never been a part of a book club, which this gives me the experience to meet other crazy book fanatics and find any other good books that I come across. In addition to this, I always like to challenge myself when it comes to book challenges. Books have always given me comfort.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
I believe that ambition is a great asset to anyone who wants to achieve something in life. It shows the passion the individual shows towards the subject. However, it can get to a point that the individual is thinking too much of the subject they have a passion and begin to overthink it. This can lead to a result of an individual being a perfectionist and believe that they have to be good at everything that comes their way.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
This is something that I’ve learned from my mom: no one is perfect. I am a bit of a perfectionist myself and try to remember that no matter what I am pursuing, there will be times that I will confront difficult material and that this becomes a learning process. This is when I bring in the “factors” of what helps overcome these flaws.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
I do think that Shiloh Aldar should be Mx. HOL. My reasoning is mainly her talent. I love listening to music and her talent is really inspiring. What she performed really took guts and I admire her for that.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
I think I would be a peach. Mainly because they are sweet and when you bite into them, they have that yellow-orange color that I see as a color of happiness and joy. I love to always smile, thinking of all the positives that are to come and the accomplishments that I will achieve.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:33 am

Contestant: Prof. Zoki Phantom

House Pride

I have chosen to create a house banner for Hufflepuff using Pixel Art (basically crafting it on a pixel-by-pixel level). Because a sprite made in such a way does not lose quality with resizing, it can work basically for any size. Just the way Helga Hufflepuff did not choose her students but welcomed anyone to her house!

Here’s a tiny avatar form of it: Image

Here’s a larger banner form of it: Image

And in case you are curious about how it looks in the “work in progress” state with all pixels openly at display, I’ve also enclosed a version of that: Image

Platform

One issue that I care about and would like to promote after the contest is Mental Health Awareness. I consider it a topic that’s both close at heart but also quite important for HOL and any online community. Similarly to cyber-bullying, with the bare fact that we’re behind a device when we’re online, our approaches to social interactions become very different. There’s a veil of security behind the screen that makes it very easy to lose the feelings that we generally put into those interactions.

What makes Mental Health Awareness stand out for me, particularly when it comes to online communities, is that it focuses on the core of our interactions. It’s not just about protecting yourself or others from attacks. It teaches us how vulnerable we all are and how the simplest of things can cause damage and even a ripple effect that could lead to a chain reaction of ever-growing negativity. For me, Mental Health Awareness is not solely about knowing how to come to aid to those who feel troubled, but about creating and inspiring a more positive atmosphere.

As almost all human emotions are clearly invisible in a simple text, it makes it that much more important that we listen and act carefully online. We have to convey our messages in a manner that doesn’t leave any assumptions and side-effects. Especially at HOL, and similar place whose goal is to bring people with a shared interest together, general communication is the key to ensuring things are thriving in the right way.

I see Mental Health Awareness as a topic that could help form new connections, strengthen existing connections, and ensure that we do not end up with broken connections. I see this ring loud in one of my favorite quotes “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” I think better Mental Health Awareness can help us become more united.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?

To be honest, I struggle a bit answering the question because depending on the circumstances and the time period I relate to different characters. Additionally I believe it’s very easy to confuse who we want to be with the person we relate to most (who wouldn’t want to be Hermione?). But if I had to pick a single character it would be Neville Longbottom.

There are many traits we share - being generally clumsy, not being the brightest or strongest of the group, trying very hard but often without success. Yet still somehow rising to the occasion when it matters, finding courage at the toughest of times, standing up for friends and others. When I look at Neville as a character I certainly recognize many of my own traits, and I relate to his journey the most.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?

I’ve often thought about the same thing while reviewing my ‘History of Hogwarts: The Castle’ class and while there are many places I love (the Room of Requirements, the Library), my favorite place has got to be the Great Hall. I fell in love with it when I first read its description and I have come to see it as a metaphor of all things I enjoy in the wizarding world.
It’s so normal - just a vast castle hall, yet so unique and magical - with a ceiling the mirrors the sky outside. It’s the area where the most important meetings and events take place, but also the area where the most mundane happens - such as daily meals. There’s something peculiar I find in that mix of greatness and simplicity, which is why it’s my favorite place at Hogwarts.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
The advantages of course include development, both personal and professional. They potentially include a path with many benefits and successes on it, mixed with altruism and benevolence. At its root it includes hope and drive, and can lead to many great achievements - not just for yourself but for those around you, or even the whole world.

At the same time, it can lead to corruption, greed, power hunger, and cruelty. The drive that is fuelled by ambition surely leads on a path to great things, but the more one walks on this path the easier it becomes to go astray. People can become ruthless, deceptive, and heartless in their quest to a point where they no longer care about their actions or the impact they have on others - they only care about achieving the goals they set for themselves.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?

In the words of a very adorable rabbit who goes by the name of Thumper, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” To me the world with its many residents is a very noisy place where everyone wants to be heard, wants to make a point, wants their words to matter. Very often it feels we forget that in order for someone to be heard, there has to be someone who will listen.

For me the most important lesson I’ve learned is that we should always try to listen first. Listen before saying something, or before doing something. Give yourself a moment to take in the surrounding and learn, instead of rushing to say things.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
I completely forgot to ask who we can choose from so I’ve gone with two answers - please forgive me! I feel it is difficult to make a choice from the remaining participants. We’ve only had one round so far, thus we haven’t shown much, but at the same time because everyone has done so well! If I had to pick someone at this stage, I would probably choose Shiloh. I truly enjoyed all the answers to her application portion and it all sounds as someone I could stand behind. The amazing talent portion with her singing and playing the guitar was just the cherry on top of that.

If I could pick anyone - I’d pick Prof. Cassandra Lobiesk, because she’s fantabulous. I’ve learned so much from her, and there are many ways in which I see her as Mx HOL. But also because it would mean giving her another shiny award that she’d be annoyed by.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
I would have to be a Kiwifruit, because it’s said “You are what you eat” and I’m currently eating one. But also, its brown and hair-covered exterior does not give off any vibe of being an appealing fruit. Yet on the inside it has a delicious, juicy, and unique taste. Though can have a bit of a sour acid-like effect on the mouth. I can totally see a relation with a kiwifruit and how I come across to other people.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:37 am

Contestant: Shadow Gaunt

House Pride
Image

This is a picture of me doing a pose in a room. However, the background is colored and my face is blurred because the background has some items that can give stuff away about me. I am wearing a Ravenclaw sweater and have outlined the word "Ravenclaw" in white. I took the Ravenclaw poem and put it as a sort of border. I also have the words "Rowena Ravenclaw" as a tribute to Ravenclaw's fabulous founder.

Platform
An issue I really care about is internet health. Internet health applies to mental internet health and physical internet health. First of all, mental health. Since HOL is an online world, and online Hogwarts some people will start coming back more and more. They will stop their real lives and escape to such an online world, HOL or similar. I am talking about internet and gaming addiction. In China, internet addiction is considered an actual medical addiction, and there are treatment centers for it. This is awful, as teens and adults both stop their real lives, stop eating and drinking, and spend all their time on the internet or playing games. However, this is a high level of addiction. A smaller level of addiction is not forgetting about real life, but spending every free moment thinking about or going in the internet. Mental health on the internet must be addressed. The physical health of the internet is also important. When people are on their phones, their heads look down, putting a lot of strain on their necks. Not only that, but when you are on a laptop, your vision can decrease, and from so much inactivity you will be less healthy in general. Finally, sometimes from wanting to play that one last level, or say that one last comment, or in HOL bot one last time, people forget about sleep. The less they sleep the worse they are off in general, they become irritated and less able to function. Not only that, but from the lack of energy gained from sleep you will have to eat more, and that coupled with inactivity from electronics, people become more overweight. Physical health is extremely important. Not only physical, but also mental health are both extremely important subjects in the form of internet health. Look over your internet habits and check yourself, what are doing wrong

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
I relate to Hermione Granger the most. I have always been a bookworm, and constantly bullied in school. I was also very bossy and kind of a teachers pet. I also was (and still kind of am) extremely shy and never went out of my way to find friends. I most definitely understand Hermione's sadness at the begging of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and her reaction to Ron's harsh words. As I started high school however, I found friends who loved books as much as me. I found a new happiness and value in friendship. This journey relates very much to Hermione's story in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
My favorite place in HOL is the Roost, most specifically the Debate Club. I just love debating, arguing, and persuading people. The debate Club, although quite inactive is one of my favorite places to go and explore especially the old debates. To read and see different points of view has always made me think. Seeing debates is intriguing, but it is nothing like being in a debate yourself. It's amazing and I love it. Although I haven't posted much in the Debate club yet, I will most definitely try to be very active.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
The advantages to ambition is that you gave a goal, you have something to reach for. Everyone always says, have goals. Ambition helps you do just that. Ambition also makes people work for their goal and try. However, sometimes you go to far for your ambition. You might break the rules and go against your morals for your goals. Also, sometimes your goals can be bad and your ambition is only a hindrance as you're striving for something you should stay far far away from.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
The most important lessons I have learned in life is that life is too short to waste time hating anyone. On the same point, always say hello to people on the streets. These two pieces of advice are very dear to me. The first one just reiterates that you shouldn't hate. Hate gives you nothing (unless the person is Adolf Hitler), and you shouldn't bother with hating a person. That will just take out time from your life and leave both you and the other person with bad feelings. The second piece of advice I use because I always want to brighten up someone's day. If a person says hi to me on the streets, I always become a bit more chipper. Happiness, not hate, is what this world needs

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
If we're talking theoretically, then I would probably be MxSlytherin. My nature is extremely close between Ravenclaw and Slytherin, but I consider myself a Ravenclaw. My choice (like Harry's) is to go to Ravenclaw, not Slytherin. And yet, I have nothing against Slytherin and I even feel like around people who are not my closest friends, I always act more like a Slytherin. I am very sneaky and I always love to get secrets about people. However, I am not a gossip, and I just really like having the knowledge.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
If I were a fruit I would a tomato because people always disagree whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable and I like answering questions indirectly.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:41 am

Contestant: Amanda P.X. Sim

House Pride
I designed and drew myself a mug to show my house pride! Now this proud Gryffindor lion can drink butterbeer from it ;)

Image

Platform
In my humble opinion, among the few issues that are pertinent to HOL, cyber-bullying and internet safety definitely happen all the time on the Internet, but perhaps because of the community that we have here, or the rules and regulations concerned (whereby we are not allowed to share very personal information such as our full names and addresses), I personally don't think that we face much of this issue in HOL itself. So, let's talk about plagiarism instead. Quoting Wikipedia, "Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and purloining and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work." I think that plagiarism applies to HOL because we as a community here create different types of content, whether in classes or activities in the forum, and seeing that the internet is a network of information, sometimes plagiarism may have been passed undetected. We all know that plagiarism is a serious offence when it comes to academic papers and research, but when it comes to content on the internet such as written works (articles, poems) or artwork and illustrations, sometimes it is harder to discover. I have seen many occasions of writers' and artists' work simply being copied and pasted/reposted somewhere else without any credits to the original creator, and I understand how much it hurts them, because I am a creator too, and you can imagine how would you feel if someone simply stole what you did and claimed it as their effort? Of course, not all sources are copyrighted, and there are creative works in the public domain that can be used by anyone without permission. Hence I would like to urge people to please, respect the original authors or artists for their work, never claim anything that isn't yours yours, and give them credit by citing your sources (and asking for permission to use their work if you can).

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
Back when I was in school, I related to Hermione Granger the most, especially because she was the brainy one in the team who always scored well in her academic results. I was somewhat like that during my study years. I also found myself similar to Hermione because she was a Gryffindor as well, and her loyalty and bravery in protecting and defending her loved ones are traits in me that stay till today. However, nowadays I find that I have similarities to another character too, which is Luna Lovegood. I relate to Luna Lovegood in the sense that she has unique traits and interests that people perceive as odd or extraordinary, and I find that I do have my own quirks and fancies that most people around me don't quite understand, but that's alright with me. I admire Luna because she is a kind soul, and she is comfortable in her own skin, not ashamed of showing her true self, which is something that I do too.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
My favourite place in HOL would definitely be the Art Department. I love creating stuff every time a new topic or challenge comes up, and it is also lovely to see other people's artwork and creativity. Not to mention that it's an opportunity to earn some house points! Sadly the Art Department is still under construction at the moment, and although I know that it has been temporarily moved to the Ravenclaw Common Room, the original one is easier to navigate and give ratings. Hope it will be back up soon!

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
At first impression, the term 'ambition' brings about a positive rather than negative note, but in truth, ambition has both advantages and disadvantages. Defined as a strong desire and determination to achieve something, ambition is usually a highly regarded characteristic because it is often related to success. An ambitious person is one who has a particular goal or aim, and does the best he/she can to achieve it. Ambition is what takes people to greater heights in life, whether climbing the career ladder, or starting out as an entrepreneur, or pursuing a dream, ambition is most certainly a vital and essential element. However, ambition can also have its drawbacks, as it can be associated with negative characteristics such as greed, intolerance, and the drive for power. When ambition is taken too far without consideration of other aspects such as humanity or justice, ambition can lead to ruthlessness and lack of compassion (say, Lord Voldemort?). Setting a nearly unattainable goal or being too ambitious can also cause a higher possibility of disappointment and failure, which may result in a person's self-confidence being affected. In short, one should have ambition to achieve better things in life, but must always remember to never let ambition take over love and humanity.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
I took some time to reflect upon this question, and realised that the most important lesson in life - a lesson that can never be repeated, only looked back upon and available to learn from in the future - is time itself. There's this quote by Bill Keane that I remember, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present." Life sounds like a long duration of time, assuming we still have tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow to look forward to, but if you break it down and count it, our life is just but a couple of decades long (and we don't know how many decades it will be). If you look back at something that happened many years back, yet you can still vividly remember it as if it just happened yesterday, you can imagine how quickly time can fly by. So what I have learned, is that time is the essence of life. What I am still learning to do every day, is to appreciate the now, because every second only happens once for you to make the best out of it.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
To be really honest I don't think it would be fair for me to vote for a specific someone to be MX HOL at the moment, because I feel like all of us have only been through the first round so far, and I don't know all the contestants well enough to determine who would make the best representative and role model of HOL. I do think that there are many remarkable participants in this contest though, and I think in the end, someone worthy of this award will win it for sure.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
I would be a raspberry! There is a tiny bit of history to this, actually. One fine day, my sisters and I decided to name ourselves a different berry each, and I ended up with 'raspberry', so I've stuck to this fruit ever since. I think it suits me though, since the raspberry is a humble little berry of a very pretty colour, is packed with nutrients, and can be made into a variety of sweet food... yes I love raspberry jam. I've also heard that the raspberry is a symbol for kindness, and I think I can consider myself a kind person!
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:44 am

Contestant: Kendra Givens

House Pride
Image

From left to right: My Ravenclaw hoodie (which random grocery store patrons have commented on), my Ravenclaw keychain on my car keys, and my Ravenclaw banner that hangs in my office at work (which both students and parents notice and comment on). I love my conversation starters and am happy to carry my house with my wherever I go.

Platform
One issue I’d like to address more in the HOL community is accessibility to our members with disabilities. A lot of our classes do a great job of offering a variety of activities for points to account for people’s abilities and interests in visual or written activities, but there are many aspects of HOL that could be improved upon to make more aspects of HOL accessible to all. I forget sometimes that my pictures should be accompanied by captions to be enjoyed by everyone equally, so I think we as a community could be better about that if we can remind each other about it.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
As cliché as this sounds, I identify most with Hermione. Not only do I look more like her than any other characters described, but I believe I have the same drive for academic excellence and sensitivity to social situations. I was that kid in high school in all of the advanced placement/honors level classes and the one who always hung out in the professor’s office in college just to discuss random ideas. I’ve also got a very soft heart and can be easily hurt.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
My favorite place on HOL is IRC. The primary reason I fell in love with HOL back in March (yes, it’s only been 8 months, crazy!) was that I had the opportunity to talk to other Harry Potter fans around the world in real time. Some of my closest friends are HOLers that live all across the globe and I’m so lucky I get to interact with them and learn new things every day. Who knew Harry Potter fandom would lead to a deepening of character as a global citizen?

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
Ambition is defined as (per Google dictionary) “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” Ambition is more than just an “I want to do this”, it’s an “I must get this done”, which can lead to beautiful accomplishments and self improvements if used in a positive way. The determination portion of ambition can be dangerous, though, if someone is so determined to reach a goal that they are willing to be immoral and disregard others to achieve personal gain. Too much drive can become a very negative thing very quickly.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
The most important lesson I’ve learned in life is that I should assume anything about anyone, which I am still reminded of and have to practice regularly. As a school counselor, I learn things about my students every day that shape the way I view their behaviors, and there days I have cried after learning what these young people are going through. It is rare that students who are failing or misbehaving have stable home lives, which is easy to forget when your first instinct might be to tell them to knock it off and focus. It is rare that anyone’s initial impressions of a person are 100% accurate, and I have learned to always give someone the benefit of the doubt and open my heart to them before forming opinions.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
I think it should be whoever shows the most enthusiasm for the activities they are presented with and exemplifies what truly means to be a member of the extensive HOL community. The reason for that is that whoever is chosen as winner is going to be a role model in the community and should push us all to be even more active, engaged, and creative to keep this community growing and thriving.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
I would consider myself to be like a pomegranate. The pomegranate is brightly colored on the outside, and is then bursting with a bunch of complex little seeds when opened up. Of those hundreds of pieces, some are more substantial or sweeter than others. I think I’m very transparent and open once people get to know me, and I have sweet and sour facets of my personality just like anyone else. Pomegranates also have a lot of antioxidant properties, which I liken to my career as a counselor. My hope is that I’m helping my students to rid themselves of toxic feelings and beliefs.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:00 am

Contestant: Alexander Brighton

House Pride
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Platform
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Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
Hard question because there are a couple I can think of I can relate to in different ways. But I think i relate the most to Neville Longbottom, or at least when he was in his earlier years at Hogwarts. I have a habit of forgetting things. Whenever I go out, I always seem to forget something at home, usually something I might need. I sometimes forget other things too like chores. I could really use a remembrall haha. I am also a bit shy like Neville was at the beginning. But Neville got over it all and in the end, he was brave, not the same student from before. So I’m trying too to get over some of my shyness and forgetfulness like Neville.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
My favorite place in HOL would probably be the Entrance Hall because I can see all that’s going on in HOL, the activities that are posted there and if I have any new logs, I like seeing new logs. Then I can also click on anything I want from there to go to other places of HOL as well, including the HOL classes and Common Rooms. I love looking at the new classes every term and deciding which ones to take. To go anywhere, you usually have to go through the Entrance Hall and that’s why it’s my favorite place.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
I think the advantages to ambition is getting your work done on time without procrastinating. If you have ambition, you’re determined to get things done. That’s good. Someone who has ambition on HOL would be able watch their points grow quickly and beans too. They discipline themselves in order to finish their work. So ambition is good in that way. The disadvantages to ambition would be too determined to get things done that nothing will stop you. Someone with that much ambition might turn to cheating to get things done faster. People who are overly ambitious might become too serious that they might become mean to other people by trying to get ahead of them. They might also want to work night and day to finish something and have no time for family. So having ambition is great, as long as you don’t go overboard.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
The most important lesson I have learned in life is to love others and treat people the way you would want to be treated. It would make the world a better place if people were nicer to each other.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
Another hard question. If I can’t be MX HOL, I think Shiloh Adler should because she had a lot talent in the first round. It couldn’t have been very easy to play the guitar and sing. I think she deserves it.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
If I were a fruit, I would be an orange because I am tough on the outside and sweet on the inside. I am tough because I don’t let things get me down. Sweet on the inside because I care about others and like to help them out when I can.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:03 am

Contestant: Gail Allen

House Pride
Image

The scarf was a gift from a friend. The crest on the shirt I created myself from the same pattern and then stitched onto the shirt. I love wearing both and showing my pride in my house, but since I cannot show my face, my teddy is modelling it in this picture.

Platform
An issue that I care a lot about is equal access to education.
In the world there are vast differences in the education offered to children; some will be offered a full education, even a college degree, free of charge while others will receive no schooling at all. And of course between these two extremes there is a wide spectrum of different levels of opportunities given. Even within countries the opportunities can vary greatly, sometimes even within cities, which is frankly a disgrace. Everyone should be given the same opportunity to learn and, through learning, make a life for themselves. If children are not given a proper education, how can it surprise anyone that they are unable to get a good job later in life or even just support themselves?
And it's not just about children, though their education is of the utmost importance, but I do not think we should ever settle and stop learning, even as adults. There is always more to learn and in my opinion it is never too late to start learning something new.
Of course not every country is the same, or even every city or neighbourhood. Education costs money, whether it's the state or the parents or someone else that pays, and those with more money will always be able to afford better education than those who don't.
But that is where policies become so incredibly important. It's a global responsibility to make policies that promote equal access to education, no matter where in the world the child lives, and of course I know that that is a tall order, and not one that any one person can tackle, but that doesn't mean we should look on complacently and say "I can't do anything to help the big picture, so why bother at all?"
No! Bother! Do something small. Work to equalize the neighbourhoods in your town. That is what I advocate.
But not only that. For there is something else that works to provide access to education, no matter where you are or who you are: Free online courses.
That is one of the things that makes me so proud to be part of HOL, for while it may not seem like each class at HOL goes into much depth about a topic (how could they with only five lessons a term?), they are still so varied that on some topics, they will teach more than some schools do. And more than that, HOL is part of an international community of online education that is offered for free. On HOL it does not matter where you are from; the classes and the knowledge offered are the same for everyone. All you need to participate is access to the internet, and while I know that is already a privilege, it still does offer education far more equally than most other systems.
Education is important. Let's continue to work towards giving everyone the chance to get one.

Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
Probably Hermione though I do not think I am quite as intelligent as she is, but her insistence on working hard and making time to study is something I definitely identify with. And like her, I've always been quite keen on getting good grades and maybe sometimes a little pushy, too pushy at times I think, with others to make them work harder, especially on shared projects. Hermione forcing Harry and Ron to study reminds me of that in myself, and like myself I can also see that sometimes she is a little too ambitious on their behalf and both she and I would do better laying off a little. So Hermione is probably a good fit for me.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
The chatrooms are absolutely my favourite place, because they're the place that makes the magic of HOL come alive for me. They make it feel like a real place where the people you meet aren't just names on a screen, but real people. In the chatrooms, far more than anywhere else on HOL, I've made friends and connections that feel genuine and true. And that is truly magical to me.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
Ambition is a good thing and certainly something that is needed to excel. If you have nothing driving you to become better, you'll never rise much beyond what raw talent you might have in any given field. That might already be substantial of course, but without ambition it will likely never grow, at least not much. Ambition is the driving force that leads us to greatness. Without it we would never endure the drudgery that honing a skill or rising through ranks often is. We'd quit when things got hard because there was no immediate reward and no ambition compelling us to go on.
Like all good things though, ambition can be taken too far, which is when it becomes a bad thing. Ambition can lead people do trample others who stand in their way of success. It can also lead people to be discontent with what they already have; if you are always looking towards what you want in the future, you might forget to appreciate what you have right now, and that is such a shame. It can also lead people to work themselves too hard, which can have adverse effects both physically and mentally and can damage their relationships with the people that matter most to them. You should never forget to enjoy the present, but neither should you become complacent and not strive to become even better than you are now. A healthy middle ground is what is needed in terms of ambition, and I feel, most things in life.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
It's difficult to say what the most important one is. I feel like recently I've begun to understand many things slightly differently than I did before. When I was younger I would have sworn it wasn't true, but I am starting to think that maybe there are some thing you only start to understand around the time you turn 30 after all. But, back to the question. I think the lesson I would have to pull to the forefront would be learning when to let things go. I used to fight every battle; whenever I knew I was right and the other person was wrong, I would fight endlessly to have that be seen. But I learned that that is not always the best way to go about it, for often we lose more than we gain when we insist on being recognized as being right.
That doesn't mean I think being a pushover is the ideal of course, but it means that I think it is important to consider what you will gain from winning an argument and what you will lose, and then determining if that is worth it. Because often you will lose something and it's not always worth what you win.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
I think there are not only one, but two people who would be very worthy winners if I cannot win.
One is Ravariel, who was the judge's favourite last week, and very dear to me in Real Life. I've known her for a long time and her undying support has been invaluable to me throughout the years. She is kind and considerate and always puts the wellbeing of others ahead of her own. Sometimes even too much perhaps, but it makes her a truly positive influence on everyone around her. And something I admire her so much for is her creativity. She can create the most spectacular things; things I couldn't dream of making, and her attention to detail is astonishing. What I especially admire however is her ability to take an idea and make it into reality; such as the sketch of clothes she did last week, that she then turned into a pattern and then made into a garment. That is a skill I would dearly wish to have as well.
The second person Shiloh, who was incidentally the winner of the popular vote last week. I do not believe there is any aspect of HOL I have not seen her participate in with great talent and enthusiasm. She is one of the most reliable and dedicated people I've ever met. If she says she will do something, you can have full confidence that she will also follow through and do it. No matter what life throws in her way, she seems to always find a way to work through it. She is a great asset to this community; both HOL and Ravenclaw, and I feel privileged to have gotten to know her and to continue to build a friendship with her. I was also so impressed with her playing and singing last week; a talent I did not know she possessed, but which I found to be very beautiful, especially since it showed a vulnerable side that I know it takes courage to show.
So, if I do not win, I would be more than happy to see either of these two take the crown.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
I would be an apple. Apples might not be the flashiest fruit out there, but they are a staple - and often base - of many fruit-based dishes. They do not draw attention to themselves very often, but they are very often in the background making things work. It's something I myself enjoy a lot; being the person behind the scenes that make things work. There are some dishes where apples are the stars of the show however, and I like that versatility, and it also reflects well how I, while I do enjoy being behind the scenes, also sometimes love to shine and have people recognize me for my talents.
Apples are also quite sturdy and resilient; they deal much better than most fruit with getting a bump or colder temperatures while they ripen. I like to think that that is a quality I too possess; the ability to stay calm and reasonable under pressure and to not break down when things are tough, but to push through them instead with as much grace and as little damage as possible.
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Re: Round Two Submissions

Postby Prof. Kyrie Adderholt » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:07 am

Contestant: Ravariel Aiwince

House Pride
To show my house pride, I wrote a little poem. You can see it put into a graphic here:

Image

In case the graphic doesn't show, and for those that may have a hard time reading it there, this is the poem in plain text:



"The Brave go forth and make their name with valour and with pride.

The Cunning understand the game of life’s swift-changing tide.

The Clever seek not often fame, but knowledge far and wide.

Surely, you say,

‘tis true that they

the world’s fate must decide?



And so it is! Yet keep in mind that none of them alone

all wonders of the world will find, or sit on every throne.

For all need those who are not blind to cares beyond their own,

who’ll be more true

a friend to you

than any you have known.



We are ‘the lot’, some say, the bland, and of no consequence.

Yet who said that a gentle hand creates no excellence?

That none of us show brilliance and would stand in our defence?

Not few are there

who’ll gladly dare

your mind of doubt to cleanse.



While cunning, wit and chivalry much can be built upon,

‘tis kindness, justice, empathy that makes the world as one.

Proud Hufflepuffs are we! And we, forever on and on

shall never shirk

the needful work

but see that it is done!"


Platform
The issue I would like to address may be a strange one for an online community, but it matters to me nonetheless: the importance of engaging in activities that occasionally draw people away from the screen. Spending hours glued to computers, laptops or phones takes a toll on body and mind, and all too often we forget to take small breaks, to get up now and again in between and move around, or even to simply change posture now and again.

There are small things that HOL can do to improve this - and is to some extent already doing, though likely not consciously. Offering tasks and classes and activities that encourage HOLers to do something even remotely different is worth a lot. As already existing examples I could name Professor Cosmo B. Mott’s Knitting class or Gail Allen’s Survival class, or even (though that has been a while) activities like HOL Idol.

I believe that it would be good to grow more aware of this as an issue that we can actually do something about, even if only a little. For our own sakes, we can remember to take care of ourselves and take a break now and then. For the sake of all HOLers that could profit from it, which I would think are many, we can offer activities and optional class assignments that allow and motivate those doing them to do something new and different for a while.


Audience Questions

Which Harry Potter character do you relate to most, and why?
=> Rather than relating mostly to one single character, I relate to a number of them, but to each in specific aspects only. Hermione Granger, for example, speaks to me in her eagerness to learn and her perfectionism, while her determination and energy are something I admire, but sadly do not share. To Ron Weasley I used to relate specifically as the one surrounded by more talented and more successful close friends, though this is a feeling that has abated a little in the past years. And Luna Lovegood I feel connected to in being too quirky to easily make friends, though not particularly concerned by the fact: Like Luna, I find that the friends I made despite or even because of my quirks and unusual interests are the best I could wish for.

Where is your favorite place in HOL, and why?
=> My favourite place, I believe, would be the classrooms. I admit that that should be spoken of as “places”, but I really could not choose a single one of them. So many things to be learned, and in such a variety! The sheer scope of subjects offered in HOL is astounding, and I often wish I could take far more classes than I do.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages to ambition?
=> Ambition is a trait of considerable importance. Without ambition, we would never strive to create anything new, nor to improve our work, our skills or ourselves. We would lack the progress necessary to make the world a better place. And beyond that, without ambition, no one would ever attempt to create anything truly remarkable. Though on its own it may not suffice, it certainly takes ambition to achieve excellence.

There is a considerable downside to ambition, though, if it is taken too far. In such cases, it leads to those that are ambitious neglecting the welfare of others or their own, or outright doing damage to it. Unbridled ambition leads to people overworking themselves until their health – physical or mental – fails them, to people callously taking advantage of others and casting them aside when they are no longer useful, to people forgetting those that are close to them and that those ties are far more important than whatever their ambition could lead them to achieve.

As with so many things in the world, the key to ambition is balance. It is necessary, yet it should not be overdone. As the saying goes: Too much of a thing is bitter, even if it is honey.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life?
=> That lesson would be to always be honest with your closest friends, as honest as you can possibly be. Hiding things based on a vague fear that they might negatively affect your friendship may well end up doing far more damage than the truth ever could have done.

If you can't be MX HOL, who do you think should, and why?
=> First off, allow me to admit that I am terribly biased in this question, since I happen to know a single one of the other candidates personally. Of course, I would therefore know far more of her praiseworthy qualities than of the other candidates’.

But that said I believe it should be Gail Allen. Not only is she one of the most active and creative HOLers I’ve seen, teaching, assisting and taking various classes at the same time, editing for ALTE Sententiam, and both participating in and organising numerous activities on the Ravenclaw forum. She is also crafty and artistic, knitting and embroidering, creating beautiful edited imagery, singing, writing and more.

More importantly than all that, though, she is simply a wonderful person. She is fun to be around, clever, kind and patient, and she has helped me and is helping me through quite difficult parts of my life. With all that together, I think she would be a perfect choice for Mx HOL.

If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
=> I’m nuts! Nuts are at least technically fruits, so I’d say that counts.
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Prof. Kyrie Adderholt || Head of House || RQT


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