Sophias and Silence
Last Sunday, as all of you know, was Lantern Night, so all the new BMC students congregated in the cloisters in complete and utter silence (required singing notwithstanding) to get their lanterns (myself included). I was amazed how Thomas was kept in complete darkness and everything was planned out so neatly so we could have this magical night of BMC tradition even with the looming hurricane. So being in the cloisters during Lantern Night with all the other students there was an experience starkly different from what I'm used to when I visit the site. Different, but still as nice.
Then, this Saturday, after finishing my shift at UnCommon Grounds, I felt like I was too tired to move at all and was ready to call it a night and just stay in my room for the rest of the night, but when I got back to my dorm, my roommate Paige was there with her younger brother Cameron, who was visiting because of Parents Weekend and was staying the night, as well as two of our hallmates, Sarah and Emily. They told me they were getting ready to go sploring (a term Paige coined at the beginning of the year - it means 'exploring', it's just easier to pronounce) and that they planned to go to cloisters and the Chamber of Secrets (a tiny crawl space in Thomas that has a message from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets written in it) in Thomas. Since I hadn't ever been to the Chamber of Secrets and I had been dying to go there since Paige, Sarah, and Emily told me about it a couple of months ago, and I hadn't been to the cloisters this week, I decided to go with them, even though I was super-tired. To be honest, having someone of a different gender there with us in the cloisters made no difference - we still had as much fun as we had last Saturday after the Halloween party with Paige, Emily, and Sarah (I hadn't noticed until now, but the four of us are of different races and ethnicities, and that has made absolutely no difference in our 'sploring adventures'). I think visiting the place and having the perspective of a different race, gender, or ethnicity would make little difference; on the other hand, personal liking of Harry Potter does make a HUGE difference. Harry Potter fans see the cloisters completely differently than non-Harry Potter fans - we see the cloisters as the Transfiguration Courtyard (which I might have mentioned before :P) and get to live out our dream of visiting Hogwarts (or at least a part of it). As a reference, I've attached a photo of the Transfiguration Courtyard from the Harry Potter movies.