Harry Potter And The Invisible Curriculum

It’s been a long day. Sick wife. Patreon Rewards due. Novel writing. Trying to land a more permanent day job. All (except the first one) good things, but tiring. So I’m just going to pen a short rant here:

It strikes me that the greatest feat of magic ever produced at Hogwarts was its ability to teach those kids things like grammar, composition, and basic math without ever having taught any classes in it. Harry Potter writes better than most of my juniors, and to my knowledge he was never assigned a single essay nor asked to read a single work of literature or piece of technical writing.

If I were a completely humorless scold obsessed with defending all aspects of my identity from the slightest hint of disrespect, I might scream at Rowling about this, as she obviously feels such instruction unnecessary, and I can only laugh bitterly at how wrong she is.

However, I can’t help thinking that there must be the potential for a whole treasure trove of secondary adventures at Hogwarts: Harry Potter and the Misplaced Modifier. Harry Potter and the Greatest Common Factor. Harry Potter and the Supporting Paragraphs. Harry Potter and the Law of Sines. Harry Potter and the Periodic Table. And of course, that page-turner, Harry Potter and the Five-Paragraph Theme of DOOM.

I may turn these into flash fiction for my Patreon supporters someday. Mention it in the comments if you’d support me in exchange for that.

2 thoughts on “Harry Potter And The Invisible Curriculum

  1. Having never read any of the books nor seen any of the movies, it’s impossible for me to comment on their content, but if I were writing a series about a school, I might not mention any of the classes that didn’t particularly move the plot along (stuff occurs between scenes).

    Sorry about your wife. I hope she recovers quickly.

    Unfortunately, I’ve always found it necessary to have a day job as a technical writer, even while crafting textbooks and self-help tutorials in the evenings and on weekends. At least my kids have all grown, but we have the grandkid over a lot, so I still have to work my schedule around them as I attempt to enter the challenging world of SF/F writing.

    Submitted eight fiction short stories in the month of April. So far one story was rejected by two separate sources. Oy. Now I’m working on my planned submissions for May.

    At least when I was writing textbooks, I didn’t have to put my fingers on a keyboard until I had a signed contract.


  2. Not that Harry didn’t write scads of essays offscreen, but he is definitely better off for not having learned the five-paragraph form, a thing that can make the most dazzling brilliance sound like a halting Fur Elise played one-handed a piano. As a teacher of those who have, the phrase “there are many…” alone has probably haunted your sleep more than once.

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