Month: April 2006

Summer Swim

7am – the alarm goes off. Buzzing. Not music. Music never worked for me. Not since I started waking up on my own. The covers are off and I pull on my swimsuit in seconds. It’s a summer morning and I’m going swimming. No shower. Showers don’t work in the summer because the bathroom gets hot. The water fluctuates and then I’m tense before 8am. Not good.I bike to the lake, only a quarter mile away. My towel is around my neck keeping my bare chest warm. I take the easy route, down the hill to the left of my driveway and bank hard around the right hand turn. The wind feels fresh on my face. Most of the neighbors aren’t out yet. They’re still sleeping or drinking coffee in their kitchen alcoves. I don’t know. Their sprinklers are on.

The sand is cold. The water is still until I step into the waters edge and watch ripples radiate out towards the rising sun. There’s an orange glow that softens to yellow as it rises into the scattered clouds. There is a silhouette of a sailboat to my left. It is still. Gray. Taller and perpendicular to the horizon. It’s the left margin of my morning. To the right is a dock. Part old and part new. This is easy to tell. The new wood is yellow. The old, gray.

I’m only testing the water. I don’t walk in. I jump. I walk out the dock stepping around seagull droppings and holes large enough to catch my large toes. The dock sways a little – like I’m on a boat. I find the spot where I hid shampoo on a shelf under the dock and drop my towel.

The morning sounds have been limited. An alarm. Air racing by on my bike ride. A car driving by above the beach. The crunch of rocks under my feet. The creaking of the dock.

A splash.

A gasp.

Hogwarts Violates Equal Protection?

I’ve been reading Harry Potter lately. I’m not going to bother explaining it because if you haven’t heard of it you clearly don’t care. Harry attends a school called Hogwarts, which is exclusively for wizards.

To jump subjects for a bit, we are studying the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment in Constitutional Law. Today, we got to Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case that held the “separate-but-equal doctrine” established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) to be unconstitutional.

When the Court approaches laws challenged with regard to race, they look first to see if there is a sufficient state interest, and if it is closely related to the purpose of the law. Very rarely to laws using race as a classification survive this strict scrutiny.

Jumping back now, I posit that Hogwarts may be violating the Equal Protection clause. This is a bit of a stretch considering that Hogwarts is in England and out of the jurisdiction of a U.S. court and the school is fictional. But… but… but…

The book sets up wizards to be a separate race from muggles, the later of which are non-wizards. And the school is exclusively for wizards. Muggles aren’t even supposed to know about wizards.

There are a myriad of issues here… just kinda interesting to think about.