Review of Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

 

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YES! There’s going to be another Harry Potter book!

That was my reaction last year when I heard that there was going to be an eighth Harry Potter book. As a child of the 90s, I grew up reading… no, devouring, the Harry Potter series. I fell in love with the characters. I loved Harry Potter, Hagrid, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Snape, even Voldemort. Even though I am not a wizard, I felt like I could totally relate to the characters in the series. I remember reading one book and then waiting anxiously, excitedly for the next book to come out.

But when it came time for the seventh book to come out, I was eighteen and graduating from high school. The end of the Harry Potter series was, at least for me, the end of my childhood. It was such a powerful moment.

And now, nine years later, we see the eighth Harry Potter book. This time, we see Harry Potter as an adult, married, and with three kids. Similarly, I graduated, have a child, and in a relationship with a man that I love. But besides that, I was so excited to see what became of Harry Potter.

We saw Harry Potter as an adult in the epilogue of the seventh book but I wanted more details. What did he do for a living? What kind of father, and husband, was he? What did Ron do? Hermione? I always imagined nothing but the best for Hermione, although I was a bit surprised to find out that she became Minister of Magic… I always imagined that she would be advocating for house elves, goblins, and muggles.

I was also surprised to find out that Ron Weasley took over his brothers’ joke shop. But then, I suppose it is only natural. After the death of Fred Weasley at the Battle of Hogwarts, I suppose that George needed some help with the joke shop. Speaking of… there was no mention of any of the Weasley’s, except for Ron and Ginny of course. I wanted to know what happened to Bill, Charlie, Percy, and their parents. But then again, this eighth story is the story about Harry Potter and his son, Albus Severus. Again, we don’t see that much of Harry’s other kids, James Sirius and Lily Luna.

We do see them on King’s Cross though, every year as they depart for Hogwarts. I like how the play starts off where the seventh book ended, with the epilogue. It was nostalgic to read the very first act and very first scene and find that it was pretty similar to the epilogue. I could not help but see the film replay itself before my very eyes (yes, I’ve seen the HP films that much). Also, starting the eighth story with the epilogue reminds us of how the seventh book left off. It uses some of the plot points that Rowling carefully plotted in the epilogue, such as Albus Severus’s fear of being sorted into Slytherin and then discovering that he has, in fact, been placed into Slytherin house.

While I would have loved to see an explanation for why that was (I can only guess that he chose that house because that’s the house that Scorpius was placed into), the eighth Harry Potter story is a play. A play has dialogue and very little description, unlike the rest of the Harry Potter novels. While it was interesting to read Harry Potter in a vastly different format from the other books, I still found myself missing Rowling’s long flowing descriptions.

The dialogue itself read really well. The dialogue read similar to the dialogue from the seven Harry Potter books. I also felt that the dialogue was true to the characters. I only wish that there were more descriptions. But since there wasn’t, I had to imagine the play in my head and try to fill all the empty gaps.

There was a couple of gaps in time when the play fast forwarded through the kids’ years at Hogwarts, until we were in Albus Severus’ fourth year. That is when everything started to happen. I admit that I was disappointed that we did not get to see exactly what went down during the first three years of Albus Severus’ time at Hogwarts. But again, it’s a play and there’s only so much description that you can put in.

But the play really takes off with Albus Severus’ fourth year of Hogwarts with a time turner. It was nice to learn more about this elusive device. We only briefly touched upon them in the third book when Hermione used it to go to more than one class at a time. And then, all of the time turners were destroyed at the Department of Mysteries.

But the way that the time turner was used to go back in time to Harry Potter history (specifically, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) to save Cedric. But of course, as we all know, if you meddle with time, you can change the future. And change they did (Albus Severus and Scorpius).

This caused them to meddle with time again to try to reverse their actions. Turns out that if Cedric had not died, then he would have became a death eater, Harry Potter would be dead, and Voldemort would still be alive and ruling the wizarding world.

To be honest, I think this was a bit too fan-fiction for my taste. But that wasn’t a big deal because I’m just glad that there is another Harry Potter book and I got to see Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger all grown up with kids. I only wish that I could have seen the play live in London. Though I hear that it might be coming to Broadway and possibly being made into a film and then.. just maybe.. there might be a DVD available.

Well, one can hope.

Tell me your thoughts below! Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Did you like it? Dislike it? Did it live up to the original?

 

Update on Baby, Future Plans, etc

 

I know, it’s been awhile since I posted on this blog. Two months, actually. I’ve been really busy with the mom life. My baby girl is almost 6 months old. In fact, her six month birthday is this Saturday. After six months of exclusively breastfeeding her, I’m planning on starting her on baby cereal this Saturday.

The past six months have been 20160817_104645filled with so many firsts. And they all happen so quickly! I saw her find her hands and feet for the first time. I saw her roll over from tummy to back, and then, months later, a few days shy of her 5th month birthday, she rolled over from back to tummy.

The past few weeks, she’s been doing a lot of commando crawling. Commando crawling is when the baby gets around by lying flat on their back. She is going to be crawling on her hands and knees soon. She’s also been holding her own chin up with her own hand. It’s really quite cute.

She can sit up. I have to prop her up but once she’s in that position she does a really good job keeping her balance. Compare that to just two months ago when she could not keep her balance very well.

Having my baby girl has been such a life changing experience. I never really knew what people meant when they say that your life begins with the birth of a child — now I know.

In other news, about a week ago, I made my very first YouTube video. It is a photo montage of my baby girl’s first three months of life. Check it out below. I am open to any suggestions / comments. I used the free YouTube editor to add the pictures. But if you know of a (better) free editing software than please let me know about it below.

I’m planning on posting my (second) YouTube video on my baby girl’s first six months of life. I will post the link as soon as I post it on YouTube.

 

In other news, I might be going back to school. As many of you are aware, I completed my Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications degree at SNHU last year. I might be going back to get my graduate certificate in Quality Assurance. I’m currently looking for schools that offer the program. If any of you have a degree/certificate in this field, then please leave a comment below. Tell me how you like it and any relevant experience.

Until next time… I’ll try to post again soon.

 

 

 

The Day in the Life of a New Mom

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The last time I posted a blog entry, it was Anne Frank’s birthday. Nearly two weeks later, I am posting again. Looking back over the past two weeks, I am in awe. Has it really been two weeks? It has honestly went by too fast. I meant to post more frequently this month but between the feedings and the diaper changes and sleeping, I haven’t had the time to log onto my blog and post.

So, this time around, I’d like to do one of those “a day in the life” things. I know that this type of post isn’t anything new. In fact, it almost borders on the cliche and even boring. But, hey I’m a first time mom. This is all new to me.

So, without further ado…

(note: all times are approximate as are feeding & changing times. I feed my baby on demand).

8:00 a.m. Wake up. Change diaper. Feed baby.

9:00 a.m. Put baby to bed.

9:30 a.m. Eat breakfast. This is usually cereal because it is easy to make.

10:00 a.m. Change diaper. Feed baby.

11:00 a.m. Put baby in either her crib or her bouncer. Check Textbroker for any writing jobs.

12:00 p.m. Finish writing assignment on Textbroker. Feed baby. Change diaper.

1:00 p.m. Eat lunch. Usually this is a sandwich.

2:00 p.m. Feed baby.

3:00 p.m. Complete another writing assignment on Textbroker. If there isn’t one, then wash dishes or vacuum.

4:00 p.m. Feed baby. Change diaper.

5:00 p.m. Eat dinner. This is usually a hot meal.

6:00 p.m. Feed baby. Change diaper.

7:00 p.m. Do another writing assignment on Textbroker.

8:00 p.m. Feed baby. Change diaper. Put her in her pajamas. Dim the lights. Start getting her ready for her bed.

9:00 p.m. Watch something on Netflix or YouTube. Like Orange Is The New Black (Love love love the new season that just came out).

10:00 p.m. Feed baby. She falls asleep. Put her in her crib. At this point, I will also go to sleep as well.

2:00 a.m. Baby wakes up. Change her diaper. Feed her.

3:00 a.m. Go back to sleep.

7:00 a.m. Feed baby. Change diaper.

And it starts all over again.

So, that’s basically it.

If you’re a mom, tell me how you spend your days. How’s the mommy (or daddy) life?

 

How She Came Into My Life

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When I was twelve years old, I came home from school to watch an episode of Boy Meets World. By then, I enjoyed watching the late afternoon & early evening shows on the Disney channel.

The episode that I watched on that particular day resonated with me. It was one of the season one episodes called, “Teacher’s Bet.” The episode discussed the concept of racism and prejudice from both the modern-day and historical. It directly examined how one incidence of prejudice affected a minor character and then we see how each of the main cast are affected by it. In the classroom, the kids learned about Anne Frank and how she was killed simply for being Jewish.

I remember being intrigued. By that point, I was a lover of books and was constantly on the quest for a good book to read. The very next day, I headed to the local public library and checked out Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Thus began my relationship with Anne Frank.

I resolved to learn as much as I could about Anne and that terrible, terrible period. I went back to the library and checked out all the books on the Holocaust and Anne Frank that I could carry. Over the next few weeks, I devoured those books. I was fascinated. How could this have happened? How could someone with so much potential have died simply because she was Jewish?

In Anne, I saw myself. Anne Frank was a German Jewish girl who hid out in an Amsterdam attic from the Nazis. But she was more than that. She was a writer. She was in essence a teenage girl and all the many attributes that come with that. She often wrote in her Diary that her parents didn’t understand her. She enjoyed being the center of attention. She liked to entertain & make people laugh. She was crazy about boys, as many teenage girls are. In short, she was relatable. Many people often asked me why I liked Anne Frank so much and that is my answer: I could relate to her. Through the pages of her Diary, she was like a confidant, a friend, someone I greatly admired.

I’m writing this on June 12th, the anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth. Every year, on June 12th, I think of Anne and the positive impact that she has had on my life.

Oh… and by the way, today five years ago, I joined WordPress.

 

I Am Average

NXWR1651E3 When I was five years old, I dreamed about marrying Prince Charming and becoming a princess. When I was seven, I dreamed about being in a beauty pageant. I continued to go through life thinking that I was special, that the entire world revolved around me.

And then, I turned fifteen and my dreams changed. They became more grounded in reality. Suddenly, I was faced with the prospect of college just a few years away. Suddenly, I realized that I had to be more grounded, more career-oriented, more realistic.

I dreamed about going to medical school and becoming a surgeon (driven no doubt by endless hours of watching surgical shows & Grey’s Anatomy). I then became a vegetarian and then dreamed about becoming a veterinarian so I could help animals. In the middle of all that, I also dreamed about becoming a famous, best-selling writer. This all happened in high school.

And then, after high school, after college, as someone in their mid-twenties, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not so special after all. As someone who went through life with an over inflated self-esteem, I always believed that I could accomplish anything, no matter how impossible it seemed. I believed that I could fly (I never wanted to because of my fear of heights).

Coming off of this mindset, I realize now that I’m not so special after all. I am average. I’m not the smartest, though I work hard, I’ve always worked hard, at my studies. I’m not an athlete (I’m really clumsy). I don’t really have a special talent, such as the ability to roll my tongue or a photographic memory.  This realization is slightly depressing because it means that I am just like everybody else in this world. I am no different from my neighbors and friends.

So, what does this mean? What can an average person do to become even just a little bit extraordinary? The only thing I can do is to keep trying new things, hoping that maybe, just maybe, I will find something that will make me just a little less “average.”

But, at the same time, maybe it is a blessing in disguise to be average?  Because, if I wasn’t, then I would probably let the extraordinary-ness get the best of me. So, what can I do? Just accept the fact that I am average and work hard, hoping that maybe, one day, I will make myself even greater.

I will rise above the average-ness.

 

The Meaning of Motherhood

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What does it mean to be a mom? When do you officially become a mom? Is it during the process of giving birth? Or does it happen before the birth during those nine pivotal months of growing a human being inside you? Or, do you become a mom even before the pregnancy at the moment of conception when sperm meets egg? Or does it happen days, weeks, months, even years after the birth when the child in question looks at you with her big, bright, wide eyes full of so much possibility and potential?

Before the birth of my daughter, I only knew about the concept of motherhood as a daughter. As a daughter, I had a mom who was always there for me from the moment of birth to getting accepted into the college of my choice. She was a stay-at-home mom so she was there for all the little moments. I remember going shopping with my mom, taking walks with her, and watching the soccer world cup games while eating spicy Korean ramen in the middle of the night.

Twenty-seven years, my mom gave birth to me. It was a hard labor and I was told that she nearly died. I often wonder what my childhood would have been like if she had not survived. I know that my life would have been drastically different. I would not have grown up speaking Korean and eating Korean food. I would probably have lived in a different state from the one that I grew up in. Without my mom during the most important years of my childhood, I would have a complete different set of morals and thoughts. I would have been a different person.

I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot, particularly since the birth of my daughter. Going through her birth makes me appreciate my mom even more so for the labor pains, for the growing pains (on both of our parts!), and simply being there for me. Before the birth of my daughter, I didn’t really understand what it was like to be a mom.

But now, I realize that it is in the little things. Yes, the actual process of birth plays a HUGE part in becoming a mom. But then, your life begins — your new life begins after the birth of your child. You have become a mom. You are now responsible for a human being that you helped create. That is both terrifying and awe-inspiring at the same time, causing me to do the very best I can with my child.

So, to answer the questions that I posed in the beginning of this post, I believe that being a mom is a lifelong process. You officially become one at the moment of conception and then again at the birth of the child. And then, you become a mom again each and every time you experience the little moments of your child’s life. That includes being there for your child’s first smile, first laugh, first diaper change, first cry, the first time they walk, the first time they start eating solids, the first time they go off to school, and so on. Because at each of those moments, your child will look at you and smile and you will know that it is all worth it. It is all about the little moments that happens each and everyday after you bring your child into the world.

 

A New Life Begins…

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For me, my life began anew on February 27, 2016 with the birth of my daughter.

I’ve heard this saying before from family & friends, as well as on tv & books. But I’ve never really understood what it meant. When I first became pregnant, I knew that my life was going to change. But I never knew how much joy it would give me to hold my precious daughter in my arms or to simply look into her eyes. I never knew how it could be possible to fall in love with someone so completely that it fills you.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my significant other but this is a different kind of love. The love between a parent and child or mother and daughter or father and daughter is so different and so new and so wonderful.

I’ve only been a mother for three months (gosh, has it really been that long? Seems like time has flown) and I’m loving every minute of it. Yes, it is exhausting (all those sleepless nights of feedings & diaper changes & staying up with the little one) but it is so worth it in the end. Because, in the end, I have a little child who is fully, completely, a 100% dependent on ME. This little child came from me & my significant other. Every time I look at her, I see bits and pieces of me, of him, on her face, in her expressions, and I am filled with awe and joy.

Since my daughter has been born, my priorities have changed. Everything has taken a backseat to my daughter. She is the number one thing in my life right now. Every decision I make comes about after thinking of her first and her needs. She is the light of my life and I’m so glad that she has come into our lives.

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Welcome to the world, baby. Mommy & Daddy loves you.