The United States Air Force Academy Class of 2015 is going to miss the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on July 15. Don’t worry, soon-to-be Basic Cadets; while your friends are watching the movie, you can live the Hogwarts’ experience. There are many aspects of the first year in a magical boarding school that are common to the first year at a military academy. My top ten list of commonalities follow:
10. “First years” (doolies) restricted to campus and wearing a uniform.
9. Nighttime adventures using secret passageways. At the Academy, adventures are called “Spirit Missions” and sometimes involve the unmapped labyrinth of restricted, underground tunnels.
8. Teachers and prefects dole out demerits and privileges. At the Academy, all upperclassmen act as prefects.
7. Both schools serve rich food family-style after announcements.
6. Students live and compete in a coed “house” with a specific culture. The Academy calls the houses, “squadrons,” and like Hogwarts, assigns the students to their squadron through a mysterious algorithm.
5. Sharp enmities develop between classmates in opposing houses/squadrons.
4. Students required to participate in violent athletics. Hogwarts: Quidditch. Academy: pugil stick fighting, boxing, wrestling, and sometimes water polo.
3. Sometimes, the people who make your life the most miserable, are the same people who are trying to save you.
2. Other times, the people who make your life miserable are simply evil. Painful experience will help you tell the difference.
1. Esoteric core curriculum. Both schools require Potions (Chemistry), Arithmancy (Calculus III), Magic (Physics), Divination (Political Science), and of course, Flying!
Copyright Anne Martin Fletcher 2010. Feel free to copy and share this list, but please include the copyright notice.