Here is another From Book to Podcast! I am revisiting the podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, hosted by Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile. In case you need a reminder, this podcast starts from the beginning of the Harry Potter series and breaks down each chapter by specific themes. The two hosts hold a ~30 minute discussion exploring the array of themes in each chapter, along with tying in other thoughts, personal experiences, and exploring ways to read the series as a sacred text.
By listening to this podcast, I am still amazed on how deep these two hosts explore the varying themes throughout the series. It has opened my eyes so much more than any previous readings.
During this third season of the podcast, some of the themes discussed includes crisis, love, mercy, duty, isolation, forgiveness, and so much more. As previous times, I want to highlight just one of these themes as to not spoil the podcast for future listeners!
Foresight: This theme is explored through a few different lenses. I will focus on one of those lenses. When Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Ginny are sharing a compartment on the train to Hogwarts, a dementor enters their compartment. This is when Professor Remus Lupin takes charge in protecting the children.
Foresight is shown in two ways here when reflecting on Lupin, who was sleeping in the same compartment. Though a challenging spell, even for adult wizards, Lupin was able to have the foresight to be prepared in conjuring a Patronus in order to push the dementor away. Afterwards, Lupin gives everyone a piece of chocolate. Why did he have the rich, chocolate? Because he had the foresight, knowing that dementors were going to be staying at Hogwarts, that he might need to carry some. This shows not only foresight, but that finally, it seems, Hogwarts has a competent and prepared Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
What struck me about this situation was when I was teaching students with autism. Every year, my students participated in the local Special Olympics, where different events were held (running, jumping, throwing, etc.) and each student was able to participate in two events. The last time I did this with my students, before relocating for a few years, I had them choose their two events showing them their options. When preparing for this day, I had the foresight that this will be a long day, potentially hot, and when not participating in the two events, perhaps boring. I mean we’re on the field for several hours and each event takes maybe ten minutes? What did I, along with my paraprofessionals, do? Each student was told to pick two books, a small activity/game to bring, and a snack/water while I brought a blanket, the coloring materials (including dry erase boards, which all of them loved!) and other small activities to keep them entertained. The adults took charge of walking breaks, bathroom breaks, and opening conversations on topics that the students were highly interested in discussing. By having the foresight in all this preparing, we were able to at least decrease the chances of someone having a meltdown due to boredom.
Such a lovely and thought-provoking podcast that I highly recommend to those who have enjoyed Harry Potter. What makes this podcast even more special is that you can tell that both hosts enjoy each other’s company and bouncing ideas off each other. This makes a big difference in listening to any podcast. I’ve listened to one before (not currently) where there seemed to have been a tension between the hosts and it made me uncomfortable the entire time I listened, which wasn’t for very long. I’m soooo glad that Vanessa and Casper work so well together because that does add a lot to the listening experience.
Can’t wait to jump into book four – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!
If you love Harry Potter, come check out the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text site and podcast!
To read my book review of the third book, please go here: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban