Welcome Speech to our 4th Cohort

You woke up one morning in your cupboard under the stairs, haunted by nightmares of lecture halls filled with Dudleys – big ideas in your head and magic in your heart.

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It was probably not your 11th but your 20th birthday when an owl suddenly dropped that one letter on your doormat, inviting you to join the greatest School of Liberal Witchcraft and Wizardry Germanyhad ever seen. You scraped together your Gringots-Gold, equipped yourself in the Diagon Alley, flooded the dormitory market with innumerable heartbreaking letters, and beat your head against the wall of platform 9 ¾.

Two months later, you all have made it to this great hall where the first three generations are curiously waiting for you. Over the past three years, this community has grown and flourished. Together, magicians from all over the world fought for the protection of hippogriffs, stood up for the rights of the imprisoned in Azkaban, and cultivated alruunas in front of the city theatre. Field trips to Hogsmeade saw exciting events, incidents and accidents. Countless friends were made, butter beer was turned into love potions, and 12 romances were spotted. Magical things happen when similar mindsets unite. No matter if it you want to stray around the corridors at night, sneak out with the Marauder’s Map, or get lost in the depths of the forbidden forest – there is always company when seeking memorable adventures.

Your fellow Wizards, Witches and Trans-magicians are one-of-a-kind – and so is the castle that you shall come to explore and make your new home. The common room will tantalize you with its cozy atmosphere and indulging aroma of freshly brewed potions. Between the hidden treasures of the reading room, you will find students hastily dipping their feathers into inkpots, trying to finish their parchment papers before 23:59. In the great Mensa hall, choosing a dish sometimes feels like picking one of bertie bott’s every flavour beans – you never know what you are going to get.

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The real magic, however, happens inside the classrooms. Nourished by the lecturer’s rich input, ideas are exchanged and visions shared. Passionate discussions are fought with drawn wands, and sometimes you may even have to dodge a verbal bludger. Opinions differ, and so do our four Houses.

 

If you love data, details and new discoveries, seek special knowledge whilst dancing along the borders of the unknown, you should raven Simon Blitwick’s expertise and claw your way to the Life Sciences House.

If your element is the earth, your forte herbology and your goal sustainable development, then you’re probably the right one to huff and puff into Sabine Sprout’s House of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

If, however, you dare to take a look into the pensieve in order to discover the past and understand the present, and your passions drive you to unusual paths, then you should ride on your Griffin through the door of Ryan McPlummagall’s Culture and History House.

Ultimately, if you are fascinated by the powerful Dark Arts of Politics, willing to fight for your ambitions but have little patience for the incompetence of others, then you might want to slither in LiudneverusSnapalayeva’s House of Governance.

No matter to which house the sorting hat assigns you to, your great freedom of choice will always go along with uncertainties. When ceaselessly moving staircases turn familiar routes into labyrinths, you may feel disoriented or nearly headless.

Remember that sometimes the little twists and turns make your journey even more colorful. So, do yourself a favor – don’t let the stress dementors get you, ask your prefects for help, have a butter beer – have a butter beer with your prefects.

You are starting a new chapter of your life, so – wands at the ready!

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Be courageous and fill the empty pages of your diary. Get to know one another, engage yourself and shape this program. You are now part of it. You are our fourth cohort, so thank you for finally making us complete.

Welcome, LAS Students 2015!

©Rebekka Deuse & Patrick Gross

 

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