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Dear Ms. Leothil,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.

Yours sincerely,

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Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress

 

I wish I'd gotten a letter like this the year I turned eleven. I did get something special that year - my glasses - but I can only fantasize about studying at Hogwarts. I can, however, also use the wizarding world as a great source of inspiration! Whether you've followed my previous challenges or not, jump aboard the Hogwarts express and know you're very welcome!

 

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This time I won't follow the "standard" challenge format. I believe it can work very well for many out there, but during the last challenges I've noticed that the feeling of failing comes across much stronger than any wins I might achieve during a challenge. I've never completed a challenge 100%, and since I have som level of inherent perfectionism it bothers me much more than it should. I still enjoy creating a challenge, but working for stat points doesn't seem to be enough for me. Too often my life gets in the way of my goals, and instead of just letting it go I feel bad for not achieving them. That's why I'll try to have looser goals this time around and won't decide on any stat point rewards or weekly quotas. I will probably still assign myself some stat points at the end of the challenge, but I will decide how they will be distributed when I know what I've done during the challenge. My goals and quests might fluctuate during the challenge, all depending on what life brings in my way during the following six weeks!

 

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For this challenge I split my quests into the Hogwarts subjects I deemed I'd most likely study at N.E.W.T. level.

 

Herbology

The study of magical and mundane plants and fungi.

My eating habits are proving to be one of the hardest things to change. I didn't even know I had a subconscious picture of what a meal should look like before I a couple of weeks ago started wondering why I at the student restaurant put rice on my plate just to throw most of it away after I'd eaten. For my herbology lessons I want to find out if I have more of these subconscious eating habits that could be changed into healthier ones. I also want to incorporate more greens in my cooking at home and encourage myself to always get some salad with the lunch I eat on campus. Eating less carbs is also a plus.

TL;DR: Eat more greens.

 

Transfiguration

The art of changing the form and appearance of an object.

At N.E.W.T. level transfiguration, students are finally ready to start learning how to change one's own appearance. I'm very excited to see changes happening to my body, but I need more tools for it. I've already figured out that I like TRX and free weight exercises, but it's a sad fact that I haven't found a working setup for me yet. I've done a little of this, a little of that, but never really had a plan to stick to. Going to the gym without a plan isn't desirable as it ends up taking much longer than a prepared workout would. Ideally I'd hire a personal trainer, but in reality I don't have the money for that and don't have the time and energy right now to research a program that would work best for me. Until my time is freed up again, I can utilize the group gymnastics that my gym offers. There's a really wide variety of classes, and my goal is to test several different to further find out what kind of workouts I like. I've already tried out a kettlebell class and enjoyed it far more than I'd expected.

TL;DR: Try out different group gymnastics at the gym

 

Charms

Enchanting an object to behave in a way that isn't normal for that object.

It only takes a quick search on Google or Youtube to find mind-boggling videos of people performing moves you'd never imagine to be possible. I believe I'm nowhere near discovering what my body really is able of, and I think it's good practise to stretch one's limits both physically and mentally. I've seen several split stretching routines, and for this challenge I want to incorporate parts of them into my post-workout stretching. I've left stretching out way too many times, and really should make it a core part of my training again. If I feel like I won't have time to stretch, I will cut the workout short instead so that the stretching will get done.

TL;DR: Stretch and work on the splits.

 

Potions

The art of correctly brewing potions.

Among the modern potions we can find moisturizers and cleansing waters. I want to keep up my habit of washing my face every night before going to sleep and moisturizing it every morning before applying makeup. Elaborating on my goals in the Very Girly PVP last challenge I'll also try to keep up my nail care, i.e. making sure I'm not biting my nails or ripping up the skin around them, and taking care to reapply nail polish if it starts flaking. Taking care of other parts of the skin than the face is also appreciated, especially now that the dry winter air is coming.

TL;DR: Skin & nail care

 

Arithmancy

Studying the magical properties of numbers.

Ah, numbers and math! What and where would my studies be without you?

Arithmancy is not an easy subject, and neither are the classes I'm taking right now. The weekly exercises swallow a lot of my free time, and I'm sure I could do better. Therefore, for my arithmancy class, I want to try to get all my weekly exercises done before the weekend so I can enjoy some free time at least a couple of days a week. I have several friends taking the same classes I take, so I'll make an effort to get a kind of study circle started. I also need to prioritize my studies right now, as I'm nearing the end of my career as a student of acoustics.

TL;DR: More studying, less other stuff.

 

Ancient Runes

Studying and learning to write in ancient runes.

Anyone who knows me knows I love the Lord of the Rings. It's my defining fantasy world and has continued to have a special place in my heart ever since I first read the books. As anyone who has read the books or seen the movies know, there exist elvish languages and scripts, of which the most commonly known are the languages quenya and sindarin, and the scripts tengwar and cirth. I've wanted to learn the tengwar script for a very long time, and I'm finally going to do something about it. Learning an alphabet is, after all, easier than learning a language, and I believe that even with my limited free time I could manage to learn some of the letters by heart by the time it's Christmas.

TL;DR: Learn to write using tengwar.

 

Defence against the Dark Arts

Learning how to defend yourself against dark creatures, dark arts and other dark charms.

The darkest enemy in my quest of leveling up myself is definitely sugar. Baked goods, candy, chocolate, everything good conspires against me! But no more will I take it and do nothing! I'm reinstating the ban on buying unhealthy stuff, and adding a ban on making unhealthy stuff myself. If I want to make a dessert, I shall have to figure out how to make one that is sugar free and preferrably doesn't use much white flour. My only exception to this ban are gingerbread cookies, because 1) I will refuse to eat any I haven't made myself anyway (or ones that my mum has made!) and 2) what is the meaning of Advent without gingerbread?! (I'm really channeling my dad here, well there you go!). And I mean proper, scandinavian gingerbread, none of that other stuff I've heard being called gingerbread too.

TL;DR: No sweets, no baked goods, unless homemade and sugar free or gingerbread.

 

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A short and compact version:

 

Herbology: Eat more greens and use them more in my own cooking.

TransfigurationTry out more group gymnastics at my gym, at least three new classes before the end of the challenge.

Charms: Stretch and practise splits after every workout. Cut workout short if stretching wouldn't be done otherwise.

PotionsSkin care morning & night, nail care at least once a week.

ArithmancyDo all schoolwork before the weekend. Prioritize!

Ancient RunesLearn at least ten tengwar letters by heart before Christmas.

Defence against the Dark Arts: Sweets & baked goods ban. Gingerbread are ok.

 

 

This might look like a lot, but I think it's totally doable. Everything is things I want to do, and that makes it much easier to get going! I'm looking forward to Advent and Christmas already!

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WOAH! LOVE YOUR CHALLENGE! Everything speaks to me on a deep level! Good luck! I am definitely going to keep an eye on you!

This message was convincingly brought to you by,"my imaginative brain", co-produced by "my nimble but bulbous fingers".

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It does seem like an ambitious challenge, but if you believe you can do it, then so do I! :)

I love the flexible approach you are taking this time. :)

Thank you for that confidence! :) I'm feeling very happy about this approach as well!

 

WOAH! LOVE YOUR CHALLENGE! Everything speaks to me on a deep level! Good luck! I am definitely going to keep an eye on you!

This message was convincingly brought to you by,"my imaginative brain", co-produced by "my nimble but bulbous fingers".

Thank you! ^_^

 

WOW. Love your challenge and your storytelling. Looking forward to reading your updates!

Thanks! Great to hear that I succeeded in my writing! :)

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Fun set-up for your challenge. Looking forward to your Wizardry!

Thank you! I'm hoping to see some real magic at work during this challenge! ;)

I'm here, I'm here!

Yay! Great to have you here! ^_^

Tapatalk has no idea what I'm doing.

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here you are! I thought you'd vanished all assassin like

Alas, my vanishing skills are not yet that honed! I'm simply almost fashionably late. :D

Tapatalk has no idea what I'm doing.

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Well, well! The challenge has begun! And of course, since my mind knows I'm on a sweet-things-ban, it immediately starts going "Hey, you know what's good? Chocolate. I bet you'd like some right now."

 

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That's not funny, brain.

However, I did not fall for the temptation! I even took a healthier choice at lunch AND made sure I hade time to work out before an obligation at half past four by leaving my lecture early.

 

Week 1, day 1

HerbologyEat more greens and use them more in my own cooking.

I had a salad for lunch instead of pyttipanna (kind of like hash, I guess?), which was the standard meal today. Win!

 

TransfigurationTry out more group gymnastics at my gym, at least three new classes before the end of the challenge.

Very much done, I went to a one hour circuit training class! It had ten stations: jackknives with a pilates ball, short sprints back and forth touching the ground at both ends, burpees, front kettlebell swings, box jumps, dips, bent-over rows, jump rope, russian twists with a 5kg plate, and lunges using a 5kg plate. It was a very intense workout that brought my pulse up so high I got nauseous, which reminded me of why I probably wouldn't like crossfit that much. Luckily the nausea passed once I got to sit down for a while after the class.

 

Charms: Stretch and practise splits after every workout. Cut workout short if stretching wouldn't be done otherwise.

I did 25 minutes of stretching after the circuit training. The splits felt better than I expected, except the middle split of course. That one always strains my knees quite badly.

 

PotionsSkin care morning & night, nail care at least once a week.

Morning skin care is done, and the night care will be done before sleepytime.

 

ArithmancyDo all schoolwork before the weekend. Prioritize!

No schoolwork today, except the one lecture. I spent an hour and a half reading old protocols from board meetings, as it's part of my duties as an (unofficial) auditor of the student union. I should've done it a long time ago, but, well, life.

 

Ancient RunesLearn at least ten tengwar letters by heart before Christmas.

I've started writing down some general rules for writing using tengwar

 

Defence against the Dark Arts: Sweets & baked goods ban. Gingerbread are ok.

I did not buy a single sweet, despite my brain's urges. I did help the current secretary of the board (still talking about the student union :tongue:) bake two mud cakes for a happening tomorrow, but as they weren't for me I don't think it counts. It's not like I'm going to eat them myself.

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That circuit training sounds hardcore. Well done! 

 

I can normally judge the success of my week by how I do on Monday... judging from that you're going to ace it!

 

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Hey! I'm so glad that you are still here... as others seem to have gone missing... But I love your challenge and it makes me miss Harry Potter so much! I will be following you and giving you as much support as I can.

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That circuit training sounds hardcore. Well done! 

 

I can normally judge the success of my week by how I do on Monday... judging from that you're going to ace it!

 

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Ooh, thanks! ^^

 

Hey! I'm so glad that you are still here... as others seem to have gone missing... But I love your challenge and it makes me miss Harry Potter so much! I will be following you and giving you as much support as I can.

 

Yup, still here and going somewhat strong! :) Your support will be invaluable!

 

Great day one!

 

When I get sweet cravings I find apple dipped in peanut butter seems to do the trick for me

 

I wish I could still eat apples. :( They were by far my favourite snack, but when I was 15 I started getting allergic reactions to them. My throat starts itching, sometimes lighter and sometimes worse, and it has made me avoid eating apples if I can. I still do every now and then, but knowing that I'll have to endure some level of throat itching is often enough to put me off any idea of eating them. Especially now that I feel the flu chasing me I'm avoiding anything I might get a reaction to, as my lowered immune defence might cause a stronger reaction.

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Awesome first challenge day! So sorry to hear about your reaction to apples. Some food allergies go away over time, but when you are fighting off an illness is definitely not the time to test it. :(

Have an amazing day 2 as well. :)

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Awesome first challenge day! So sorry to hear about your reaction to apples. Some food allergies go away over time, but when you are fighting off an illness is definitely not the time to test it. :(

Have an amazing day 2 as well. :)

 

Indeed. I've been hoping for it to go away for a long time, but so far no change. Still, it's not nearly as bad as the itching I get from eating cherries or nectarines, but as they are more seasonal I usually disregard that and eat them anyway. :D

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Week 1, day 2

 

HerbologyEat more greens and use them more in my own cooking.

I did no own cooking today either, except breakfast (natural yogurt) which really can't be classified as cooking. For lunch I had fish soup, and for a snack post-dance practice I bought skyr and a protein shake. During the course of the day I had at least four cups of coffee, the reason for which you will get to read shortly.

 

TransfigurationTry out more group gymnastics at my gym, at least three new classes before the end of the challenge.

The past two tuesdays I've been attending a kettlebell class at my gym, but today I couldn't make it. Besides my schoolwork that took a LOT of time and energy today, my wrist has been getting worse again. I suspect I strained it during my dance squad's performance last friday, and so deemed it wisest not to strain it even more. Therefore, today's workout consisted only of my dance squad practise. Which was fun, don't get me wrong! We went through a whole dance from beginning to end during an hour and a half, which is no small feat!

 

Charms: Stretch and practise splits after every workout. Cut workout short if stretching wouldn't be done otherwise.

Unfortunately no splits practise today. Once we finish our dance practise we have to go back to where the orchestra are practising straight away, so we won't be late for our joint information occasion and singing practise. This is something that can't be flexed just because I want to practise my splits. :P

 

PotionsSkin care morning & night, nail care at least once a week.

Done and done and...not yet done, but planned out!

 

ArithmancyDo all schoolwork before the weekend. Prioritize!

And here is the big time consumer today: the weekly noise control exercises! My friend and I spent the whole afternoon working on these, and I find it hard to believe how just a few exercises can raise the frustration levels so incredibly high. The exercises this week are very poorly written, which results in a lot of extra work when we try to find the right formulas to use, and try to decipher how they are in relation to each other, and if we just can assume the values of some variables. We spent a whooping 3,5 hours on just the a)-part of the first exercise today. Three and a half hours on just half an exercise! That is definitely not the way it's supposed to be, and I should know, since the company I worked for last spring and summer dealt with exactly these kind of things! AUGH!

Okay. So yes, I prioritized today! Hopefully the last four exercises will cause me way less frustration.

 

Ancient RunesLearn at least ten tengwar letters by heart before Christmas.

No progress today.

 

Defence against the Dark Arts: Sweets & baked goods ban. Gingerbread are ok.

Didn't buy anything today either, but irony struck me hard again. I looked after a friend's cats last weekend while he was away, and today he wanted to give me some extra thanks and handed me a chocolate bar. My favourite, furthermore! How can this keep happening to me! :D Every time I decide to cut down on sweet stuff people start handing me free candy or just keeping something good around. This summer, at our summer place, my mum baked delicious cakes to have with our afternoon coffee, and last winter I suddenly got loads of free candy during the weeks I was supposed not to eat any.

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Well, I'll try to keep it unopened for as long as I can, and then limit any munching to emergency situations.

 

I really hope the rest of the noise control exercises will be better...

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I think that you had an great day 2! I think that you probably mentioned this before, but what type of dancing are you doing?

I'm going to start working on my standing splits!

 

Can you eat celery? Celery is good with peanut butter and raisins... or cream cheese with raisins :playful:

 

Good luck with things tomorrow!

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I think that you had an great day 2! I think that you probably mentioned this before, but what type of dancing are you doing?

I'm going to start working on my standing splits!

Can you eat celery? Celery is good with peanut butter and raisins... or cream cheese with raisins :playful:

Good luck with things tomorrow!

I'm actually not sure what genre to put it in. :D We're doing choreographies to the music a student orchestra (I guess they're kind of like a marching band in the instrument setup) plays, so there's a bit of everything, from charleston to cancan. I've been in a showdance group too, but had to quit because of lack of time.

Celery shouldn't be a problem, but eating it with peanut butter sounds really weird! :D

Tapatalk has no idea what I'm doing.

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Wow, congrats, you sound like you're already doing really really well and staying strong and for resisting chocolate :) Especially as it's your favourite kind! You're an inspiration!

 

Wow, thank you! :) It's still unopened and I'm a bit proud!  :encouragement:

 

That was a challenging day, and I think you prioritized it properly. Sometimes (ok, very often) our plans do not go as anticipated. You adapted well. :)

 

Thanks, it's good to hear that from someone else as well! I'm awfully good at second-guessing myself. :P

 

Found you back! hehe

 

I love the theme and quest descriptions hehe, I'll be starting to work on my splits again too soon :)

 

Good luck!

 

Yays! ^^ Thank you!

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Week 1, day 3


 


HerbologyEat more greens and use them more in my own cooking.


Wednesdays are always spaghetti days at the student restaurant I frequent, and the portion sizes are notoriously big. I usually ask for a smaller portion, and today I also chose to take a small plate of salad. I think it might be the first time I've taken some salad with the spaghetti! At a discussion group for young adults I attended in the evening, I also chose to eat a banana and an apple instead of sandwiches. Yes, I had an apple and had only a very light itch in my throat, that I was able to ignore very easily! Win! ^^


 


TransfigurationTry out more group gymnastics at my gym, at least three new classes before the end of the challenge.


Nothing today. See my Arithmancy lesson.


 


Charms: Stretch and practise splits after every workout. Cut workout short if stretching wouldn't be done otherwise.


No workout, so no stretching.


 


PotionsSkin care morning & night, nail care at least once a week.


Morning skin care is done, night care is going to be done. I did a quick fix to my nailpolish, but it really has to be completely redone.


 


ArithmancyDo all schoolwork before the weekend. Prioritize!


Guys, these noise control exercises are driving me mad. I found some errors in one of the two exercises I did yesterday, so I had to fix that, and then I spent the whole day fighting with the rest of the exercises. I only managed to finish one I started yesterday and get started on another. That's about six hours of work we're talking about here. Six hours, and not a single whole exercise done. I am freaking out a bit, because I do not have the time to put this much effort into one week's exercises in one course. I still have my computer graphics course to finish as well (the deadline for the next round of exercise is next week), not to mention the course I haven't even began looking at since I haven't had the time. My weekend is booked, with almost too much happening, and I need to hand in these exercises next monday.


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I know I don't have to finish all the exercises, but the thing is I don't even know if the ones I've finished are correct. They might be completely wrong, which would mean no points from this round, and I need a certain amount of points to be allowed to enroll to the exam. I really really really hope the two last exercise rounds won't be this horrible, because I won't be able to handle it.


 


Ancient RunesLearn at least ten tengwar letters by heart before Christmas.


Nothing done today, for reasons.


 


Defence against the Dark Arts: Sweets & baked goods ban. Gingerbread are ok.


Still haven't bought anything, but my parents gifted me with a box of skipper's pipes and two bottles of wine, that they brought back from a short holiday in Sweden. First chocolate and now liquorice. I really can't catch a break! :D


The wine might come in handy when I recover from this exercise round, though...


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