Hello and welcome to your very first course in History of Magic. I don’t imagine many students are thrilled to take this class, but I’d like to think that in some way shape or form I can make it as enjoyable as possible.
My name Professor Samuel Becker. I was born in Bohicon, Benin, which is a small country located in West Africa. As a child I had a dream about a wizarding school in Africa, centuries old. At first I believed it was just that, a dream, but I woke the next day to a stone in my hand, inscribed with the name of the oldest wizarding school in Africa; Uagadou. Needless to say, my parents and I were both excited and I completed my education there, receiving my NEWTs in Ancient Studies, History of Magic, and Transfiguration. I returned to my parents, who were living in Uganda at the time, to assist with their magiarchaeology, but found that I did not enjoy it as much as they did. Thus, I began to travel the world, exploring countries and immersing myself in as many religions and practices as possible.
However, one cannot travel continuously with no income as I quickly came to realize. It was just my luck that the noble school of Castelobruxo was in need of an Ancient History professor. I applied and accepted the job offer, remaining at my post for four years before returning to my travels abroad. It was not long after I ran into the same problem and heard that the prestigious school of Hogwarts in England was looking for a History of Magic professor. It was time for a change of scenery, having spend most of my life in the Southern Hemisphere, and so I decided to move to England. Once I arrived, I applied for the position where I was accepted and stand before you today.
Now, enough about me, let’s go over class procedures before moving on to the invigorating material!
Well since we are online, there aren’t any specific classroom procedures, but I would like you all to remain as active as possible in completing assignments, treating each other with respect, and participating. I encourage discussions about assignments, the class, etc. but these things will all be monitored so stay appropriate.
When appealing your grades, be sure to be kind and respectful. I'm a person, a professor, and knowledgeable about my subject material. I expect you to be kind, and if you think you deserve a better grade I will gladly look your assignment over. If you are rude, use rash language, or are in any way indelicate I will not only give you a ONE on the assignment, but you will not be allowed to retake the assignment..
Also, do not plagiarise. Be proud of your own work and do it with your heart.
I highly encourage each of you to take notes for this class, and others, that will aid in your ability to grasp the material presented. While it is not necessary to do well with notes, you may find that you learn more and will have an easier time when it comes to the final exam in this year and future years. This class is split into nine weeks, here’s what you can expect for each one. If you have any questions, feel free to owl me and I will try my best to answer them: I’d like to start off by saying that there are many facets to magical History. It is deep, and there is a lot to cover. Over our nine weeks, we will skim the surface and what I want you all to really get out of this class isn’t the dates: it’s the people and their stories. I want you to understand how people have shaped history. I want you to be able to look at events in history and as long as you know around when they are, I’ll usually not ask you questions on specific dates. It’s not as important as the ideas, the people, and the messages; that’s what’s important in history.
Some of you may have noticed that there is indeed a book in the library titled A History of Magic that was written by Bathilda Bagshot, but we will not be using it for this course. You are welcome to read it, but you should understand that magic has changed over the centuries and some of the information may not be current. Should you come across a disagreement, always give the answer provided to you in the lesson. If you would ever like to discuss something you read, feel free to owl me.
I cannot begin to explain the many reasons why history is important. In attaining my NEWTS in History of Magic, I had to take a class called “Importance of Magical History”. It was a twelve-week course that had three sections that were ALL mandatory. The first was “Importance in Everyday Life”, the second was “Importance in a Macro View”, and the last was “Micro Theory of Historical Importance”. Essentially, over 32 weeks, I studied concepts and theories as to why history is important. And now I am expected to explain to students in one lesson why they should care about this “old stuff”.
History is important to us because we are living it, because we are in it, and because we are going to make it. It is happening at every second, minute, and moment in time. Consider a timeline; there is not one moment in time where we stand still for two seconds. So, basically, we are creating history this very moment as you read this sentence.
History is also important to us because without it we cannot possibly hope to survive. If we as a wizarding society didn’t study history, we wouldn’t know that there was a Statute set forth to separate us from Muggles. We wouldn’t know that those underage cannot use magic outside of school. There would be laws broken every day and wars breaking out every second, because we just wouldn’t know.
I’ll leave you with a short introductory lesson and one assignment to complete. Next week we will begin with the big stuff: the beginnings of magic! Good luck!