Jesse Bass
Eli Walker
ENG 101
Heilker and the Hogwarts Room

An unknown poet once said “Every day is a struggle and every day is just another battle,” which can prove to be deeper than you could imagine and connecting struggles with achievements has been the most important underlying skill that I possess. The depth of my intuition allows me to encounter these struggles and battles without fret nor fear because times of trouble call for actions to be made. I have found that when I need to, I can overcome anything somehow by being “more than myself” so to say, like Paul Heilker in his essay On Genres as Ways of Being, where he said: “…I would need to be more than I was in order to complete this writing assignment, that I was going to have to be bigger and bolder and more significant than I used to be, than I liked to be, than I wanted to be,” (Heilker 94). This quote relates to me and my space, the Hogwarts Room in the second floor of the Wilson Library facing old main, because as I sat there reading Heilker’s essay I stumbled upon that exact quote while I was working on my own writing assignment that I feel it necessary to complete while being “more than myself,” just like Heilker did.

With new ideas come new expectations. I expected this uprising of idea to be rather nonchalant rather than coming off to anxious but what needs to be done will be done. My whole life I have been overcoming challenges relating to family struggle, socio-economic status, and complex setbacks, but I find myself happily sitting as the first in my family to finish college yet alone make it to the prestigious Hogwarts room of Western Washington University. In the essay stated above, Heilker described this act of overcoming struggle as “the sublime, the experience of having a discourse pull us up and out of our mundane ways,” (Heilker 94) where this challenge in life actually sparks positive output. The verb he used, sublime, literally means “to elevate to a high degree of moral or spiritual purity or excellence.” Sublime however also has a vernacular meaning as an adjective which means “of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe,” which happens to be the exact word I would use to describe the Hogwarts room. Heilker also referred to genres as “a way of being” and I now see how and why he decided to frame his concept of genre around the ways of being rather than textual material and found hope in his own life through the lexical connections he made during his time. The genre I would place on my space on campus would be one of grandeur or beauty so I should just simply state it as sublime. It is the space I go to when I need to achieve great things from an academic standpoint, and I’m sure there are others who feel the same way that I do. The aura radiated off fills me with hope and confidence that I can get my work done and my creative juices flow rampant. The thought of being in the Hogwarts Room fuel my imagination stove, creating luscious ideas and cooking them to a more palatable state to be used for scholarly purposes.

Inspiration and trust build like Lincoln log cabins because the feeling in the room is tense in the way that you don’t want to be the one to make a weird loud noise because it is so quiet in there all the time that you would definitely get a lot of vicious glares coming back at you. The Hogwarts Room is no place for horse play, but only one-hundred percent business. Kind of hard to get your head around, the thought of one-hundred percent business all the time because there is no way I would be able to handle that or handle being in the Hogwarts Room for reasons extending past academics for long at all, that’s just not how I work but however when need be it is how I work. It is interesting the transition from work to play and vice-versa because it would be so nice to only have to spend time on leisurely activity. Like in elementary school when the long recess bell rings and all the kids get sad because they have to go inside and learn cursive again; it is a very natural way of being.

I feel that if Heilker were to go to the Hogwarts Room himself, he too would see the magnitude of a mind erection that it produces. The safety within the room itself in an academic stand point is enhanced by the serene quality that it contains. The 17 giant windows that paint the walls, each containing a small stained-glass focal point in the center of their massive glass sheets. The limitations for light to enter is equivalent to the amount of ideas that pass in and out and they resemble each other respectfully. The room may not be very well lit by lights, but the windows allow for optimal natural light to enter, just like the way new ideas can enter and leave as they freely please just like genres do as a way of being. How might we use Heilker to connect Genres to The Sublime within the Hogwarts room when given the hint of the lexical cohesion between the word and definition of Sublime with Heilker’s take on “Genres as a way of being?”

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