Tuesday, May 27, 2014

IRL Hermione Granger used Time-Turner to steal Ivy League education

by Melissa Scott, Writing Intern with Germar Derron

Editor's note: My contributions to this piece mainly consist of nerd knowledge and bad jokes. Enjoy.

            
                                    “Wit Beyond Measure is [Woman’s] Greatest Treasure”


Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
 for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival
Luna Lovegood, of Ravenclaw, quoted the above in her typical sing-songy manner.  The quote is attributed to Rowena Ravenclaw, one of Hogwarts four founders and house namesake. Though the Sorting Hat shouted Gryffindor from atop Hermione Granger’s head, like Harry in Slytherin, Hermione would have fared well in Ravenclaw.  Members of Ravenclaw are characterized by their wit, learning, creativity, and wisdom. If Disney decided to cast Hermione in Inspector Gadget 3 (produced in a world where losing money was awesome), she’d be Penny. Penny plays the intelligent, overlooked, underutilized girl, who had all the answers and solved all the problems. And in the end, Inspector Harry gets all the credit. 

Emma Watson lived her role as the brainy Granger in the Harry Potter movie series. This past Memorial Day weekend, she graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

The actress (age 24) began attending Brown back in 2009. She admitted that the challenges of her acting career forced a fifth year of studies, rather than the usual four. During an interview this past March, Emma told Ellen DeGeneres, “So in America I know everyone graduates in four years, but I’ll graduate in five. I ended up taking two full semesters off and then I worked during all of my breaks [and then I learned to use the Time-Turner].”  She never mentioned the Time-Turner or intimated its use.

Emma’s career as Hermione Granger catapulted her, at the age of nine, from pre-teen obscurity to international fame. Her drive and focus to attend Brown University, after starring in one of the most popular movie franchises of all time, is incredible. But to graduate, with honors, is a remarkable feat for the young starlet.

Emma deferred her courses, for two semesters, after only eighteen months at Brown University. At first glance, it looked like the celebrity couldn’t handle the Ivy League. But in fact, Emma did so as a way to incorporate more into her schedule (after figuring out the Time-Turner).

She spent her two semesters off, in March 2011, working on films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Bling Ring, This is the End, and Noah. She won multiple awards for her roles.

Warner Bros.
She even attended Worcester College, Oxford as a visiting student, during her time away from Brown, so she could keep up with both her filming career and her studies. Subsequently, Watson finished her bachelor’s degree at Brown, once her initial filming tasks were complete.

When asked about the way Brown students treated her at school, Emma affectionately acknowledged their kindness towards her.

She thoughtfully recounted, “I think people kind of took pity on me! Brown kids were actually really protective of me, especially in situations around Providence. They kind of, I don’t know, saw it as their role to help me have that experience somehow.”

Emma also detailed her inclination to keep diaries and journals, which explained her passion to pursue a degree in English Literature and writing at Brown.

She happily admitted, “I have around thirty diaries. I remember when I got the part of Hermione my grandmother suggested I write about what it was like to audition, and what it was like when I got the part, so I didn’t forget anything. And I really enjoyed it, so I just kind of kept it up.” Enthusiastically she announced, “I write every night before bed.”

Her love of writing and recording information is perfectly compatible with her character as Hermione Granger, who always wrote down and remembered - everything. Emma also clearly possesses many of Hermione’s admirably studious qualities. She’s undoubtedly hard-working, intelligent, and committed. Did she get the role or did the role get her? Think about it.

Emma sat with the other 2,000 Brown graduates, of 2014, during the ceremony on Sunday. Her mother, Jacqueline Luesby, attended the event. Emma posted pictures of herself in stunning red lipstick, complete with her cap and gown get-up on Twitter. She simply captioned it ‘!’. She looked flawless as usual, bearing a sweet smile and proud expression.

Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
 for Paramount Pictures Internationa
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But for Watson, life at Brown University was not always smooth sailing.

She revealed in an interview with Elle, in April, that after initially enrolling, people told her it would be difficult if not impossible to graduate, due to her high stress career.

Emma argued, “So many people told me it wasn’t possible. I kept saying, I don’t care. This is what I want. And graduating will, for me, be really symbolic of that. I will be there.” Then she confirmed, “And I will be throwing a huge party. And getting very drunk.”

Now, with a degree in hand, and Hermione-level college knowledge, Emma is back at work. Currently, she is filming alongside Ethan Hawke for her new movie, Regression. Either she doesn’t understand “time-off” or she has mastered time with a certain object from a certain film. 

Either way, I say “good for you Emma.” Not many people can say they’ve graduated from both Hogwarts and an Ivy League institution. If anyone deserves a toast, she does.



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