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Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.

Hogwarts, school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Setting of the famous Harry Potter series. Home to many great witches and wizards learning the values of their craft. But, as Chester A Bum put it, why would you want to send your kids to this school? In fact, would you want to be a wizard at all?

Well lets look at Hogwarts track record. We had monsters within the school protecting an artefact that could resurrect Wizard Hitler, a giant snake that can kill you when you look at it, a supposed mass-murderer being hunted by things that eat your souls, a tournament designed to pretty much kill off kids, a tyrannically rule by a crazed woman in pink, an attack on the school by a bunch of Wizard Nazi’s and finally a school ruled over by Wizard Nazi’s where corporal punishment is seen as the easy way. Oh, and if you’d never seen nor read any of the Harry Potter books, I did just go and spoil all of them. But would you really want to send your kids here?

Ask yourself, when was the last time your school had a mass-murderering maniac running around on its grounds. And that’s the most sensible one out of all the options. I repeat the fact that there is a snake that can kill you by looking at you. And that’s one of the easier challenges they faced. Say you missed all of that, starting off as a bright 11 year old going to Hogwarts for the first time in 1997. There you’re held prisoner to force your parents in line while you are punished for thinking that perhaps muggles aren’t the wizarding equivalent of Jews. And to top it all off you have to try and survive the ultimate battle between good and evil since your teachers didn’t see the point in sending you home (yes I know that only happens in the movie version, but my god that scene has to be the STUPIDEST things I’ve ever watched). Would you be jumping at the chance to go back again? Or would you go ‘Hey mum. Dad. Can I go to a normal school where I’m either not being attacked nor opposed under a Draconian rule?” And if your parents say no kiss goodbye to a decent education.

Because here is the second big problem with being a witch or wizard in the Harry Potter universe: it severely limits your job opportunities. Lets say as a kid you always wanted to be a movie director. It was your life dream. But suddenly a letter in the post reveals that you’re actually a wizard, so off to wizarding school you go. But you don’t give up on your dream and when you graduate you set out to try and become that director… only to find out that you can’t. You have no qualifications whatsoever. You never got taught English, or Maths, or History. Oh sure you know the history of the Wizarding World, but you know nothing about the history of the country you love in.

Now movie director is a rather fanciful dream that’s probably never going to be fulfilled. But accountant is a perfectly acceptable dream, one that’s likely to happen, one that if you want you should pursue at all costs. But you’ve just come from an education where you learn nothing more then the basic counting skills everyone gets when they’re a little kid. You have no concept of calculus, or even algebra. So anything involving maths is barred from you. So if you go to Hogwarts you really have little chance of getting a job in the real world.

Furthermore you can’t even do stuff that’s related to English in some way, since you were never taught the greats like Shakespeare. Now that isn’t too bad (well, it is, but I digress), but what if you wanted to study at university? Become an English teacher for example. Again, you have no qualifications prior to this, so no university is going to let you in. And even if you do get let it, you’ll still be behind since you never studied it in class. If you wanted to be a scientist (and I don’t see why wizard scientists can’t exist), you’d have to go right back to high school to relearn everything. Even then you’d need to make money in the meantime, so you’ll have to accept a job that you won’t like merely because they don’t care about qualifications.

So I finish by asking the same question: would you want to send your kids to Hogwarts. Yeah it’s dangerous, but that’s a minor detail. No the big problem comes from the fact that you’ll have no future outside of the Wizarding World once you do choose to go. So it’s probably a good thing we didn’t get letters in our letterboxes. Otherwise we’d have no future at all.

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