It’s Harry Freakin’ Potter!

14 07 2011

Tomorrow, Friday, July 15th is a rare, glorious day–I’ll be taking a vacation day. Why you ask? Long weekend, a little beach trip, perhaps?

I’ve mentioned that I’m a geek, right? I’m sure of it.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out at midnight. As a result, I will be too emotionally and physically exhausted to come to work after that three hour movie, that I will definitely cry at. I don’t make a habit of this. I came to work the morning after Part 1 came out. I was crashing a bit by the afternoon, but I made it through the day.

But this is different. This is final. The last one ever. And the books and movies that have been a part of my life since I was 14 will be done with.

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. (Until tomorrow.)

Why am I rambling on about this? Ever since becoming a social worker (and maybe a little before then) I have been unable to separate work from entertainment. When I see movies like Precious or White Oleander, I think about what I would do if I were the social worker in the story. When I read classics like Little Women or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I consider how different life would have been if they had a caring professional to provide them with counseling services and social programs. When I watch Glee, I imagine being a singing school social worker. (I think I can make that one happen.)

Harry Potter is no exception.

First order of business as social worker at Hogwarts–sex ed. I’m sorry, but that Room of Requirement seems a little too willing to help. I don’t know if it’s the potion rather than the pill, or something unholy with wands, but those kids need to know. James and Lilly were rather young parents, after all. And witches and wizards are not immune to herpes. (Pansy Parkinson, I’m looking in your direction.)

Next, anti-bullying programs. Is anyone even paying attention when those Slytherins are abusing everyone else? And turning kids into bouncy ferrets, while amusing, is not going to solve the problem, Mad-Eye. If that is your real name.

We also need to work on self esteem. Not for everyone, just for the Hufflepuffs. I mean really, what do they do? Gryffindors get to be brave and valiant, Ravenclaws are a bunch of smarties, Slytherins are working the evil vibe. Hufflepuffs are…nice? Good friends? We might as well be telling them, “oh, but you’ve got a pretty face.” A little strengths based group work would go a long way.

Speaking of groups, how about a Hogwarts GSA? There’s no way Dumbledore was the only one. (Luna Lovegood, my gaze has fallen to you.)

On to our favorite wizards and witches.

Hermione Jean Granger. Smart girl, but unpopular, and looking for validation from boys. We’ve all seen it a million times. Plus she’s the victim of constant prejudice. No wonder she’s always trying to dazzle everyone with her knowledge. We’ll need to brainstorm some ways to get her to see that she doesn’t have to be the best at everything. (I mean, at least she’s not a Hufflepuff!)

Ron Weasley. Kid really gets lost in the shuffle, doesn’t he? And the only one who seems to notice is Voldemort! I think some family counseling is in order. While we’re at it, can we get the Weasleys to the Department of Magical Public Assistance? Food stamps might not cover Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, but it should help.

Of course, we’ve got the man of the hour. Harry Potter. He was abused, neglected, and everyone he loves dies. He might be wanting an individual session or two. That will have to include a home visit. I’m sorry, I get that his mother’s family offered magical protection, but was this really the best the magical child welfare workers could do? At least get him involved in a mentoring program. Something that would help him to embrace his wizard culture, rather than having it be denied.

Enjoy the movie, everyone. I’ll be waiting for my owl.

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16 responses

14 07 2011
Dr. Mom

And may I assume you will offer to do the individual counseling with Harry?

17 07 2011
socialjerk

It’s almost like you know me

14 07 2011
social over worker

Brilliant post :)

I’ve ended up with Harry Potter TOO CLOSE to my actual caseload. It’s utterly bizarre.

17 07 2011
socialjerk

I am insanely jealous of your caseload :)

14 07 2011
Socialwrkr24/7

Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter! Harry Potter!

Sorry, that’s all my brain can compute today…. ;)

17 07 2011
socialjerk

You summed up my thoughts and feelings beautifully! So glad that it did not disappoint.

14 07 2011
bippidee

Adore this post! What about an analysis of where it all went wrong for Voldemort next time – nature vs nurture?

17 07 2011
socialjerk

Thanks! Given Voldemort’s background, the guy never really stood a chance. So much abandonment. But JK Rowling gave us a nice comparison with Harry having a similar start. Had Voldemort been exposed to the surrogate family that Harry was (between Hagrid, the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Sirius, and the rest) perhaps he could have turned things around. It’s never too late for good enough parenting!

17 07 2011
Weekly Social Work Links 25 « Fighting Monsters

[...] Social Jerk in a timely fashion, spreads a bit of social work magic into Harry Potter’s obviously too prosaic [...]

17 07 2011
John Thomas

What a great post. I too have wondered if there wasn’t more that could have been done to guide Harry along. I mean really! That kid endured every single one of the Top 10 stressors a Wizard could endure.

To answer bippidee’s question… it was definitely nurture. The kid was raised in an orphanage and then whisked off to Hogwarts. Where was the love and tenderness?

17 07 2011
ladygilli

I dunno John. After all when Dumbledor found him at the orphanage he was actively setting fires and getting rid of the things that annoyed him. We all know that by that age there is attachment issues….

17 07 2011
socialjerk

I just want everyone to know that I LOVE that this conversation about Voldemort’s reactive attachment disorder is happening.

17 07 2011
socialjerk

Thank you! And yes, perhaps if Dumbledore had taken the kindly interest in a young Tom Riddle that he did in Harry, things would have been different.

Not that I blame Dumbledore. (The thought still brings a tear to my eye.)

18 07 2011
Carolyn

Hey, watch the spoiler alerts here people! Some of us haven’t read the last story, never mind braved the chaos of the lineups for the movie. :)

18 07 2011
socialjerk

Haven’t read it?! What is this you speak of?!

25 07 2011
ruth

It is not just the pupils either, the teachers could do with a little therapy:
Snape- bullied, joins extremist hate group. leaves, bereavement issues with lilly.
Trelawney- alcohol probs – at least in later books.
Lupin -werewolf , exclusion from work, seen as danger.
All the staff are outsiders in some way and seem isolated.
and i guess everyone who survives the final battle could do with some serious PTS work
enjoyed the post- it was nice not to think about serious things to do with SW

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