Saturday, December 17, 2005

Going Down Day

When working at a boarding school in a remote area, comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to pretend that they work at Hogwarts? We even have school “houses” though they don’t mean as much as they do in HP. But one of the events that is most reminiscent of the wizarding world has got to be the tradition of Going Down Day.

Going Down Day is the last day of the semester. The kids come to school just long enough for one last assembly where they sit quietly, politely ignoring everything the principal says until he solemnly announces “you are dismissed” at which point a pandemonium ensues the likes of which boggle the mind. Shrieking and cheering and lots of hugs goodbye, a few tears and much racing about as the kids prepare to leave the school. This they do en masse, escorted by a number of teacher chaperones including Dana Crider, a burly high school math teacher who bears more than a passing resemblance to Hagrid in terms of stature and devotion to the students (though not, thankfully, in body hair or fondness for dangerous fire-breathing animals).

Dana shepherds the posse of students into waiting school buses and they all proceed down the mountainside together. The closest major town with a train station is Dehra Duhn, located at the foot of the mountain. All the kids are loaded onto a train—the Shatabdi Express (see, even the name is similar!)—and they travel as far as Delhi together before scattering to their homes around the world. It’s very fun. And very Harry.


At 11:06 PM, Blogger Preya said...

this is hilarious--I wrote a post a while back about how much Woodstock is like Hogwarts! Though I did not even think of Mr. Crider at the time--wow, you're right, he's Woodstock's version of Hagrid! Going down day--man it's been ages since I've thought of it:)


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