Article by Aisling Jones
Photo by Sila
Many people feel that the current Hufflepuff Head of House, Danica Priaulx, is a cranky unfeeling woman. So the idea to interview her was a little daunting. Due to this I chose to ask some of my fellow Badgers for a few questions they wanted answered and then one night after her class we chatted.
And in that chat I found, not a cranky, unfeeling person but a warm and remarkable woman who has her own passions that she wishes to share with us all.
My first question was simple enough, What plans did she have to help the Hufflepuffs get ahead this year. Her reply was “by not celebrating mediocrity, if you set the bar high more will strain to reach it” Which, seems to be working as we are the leader in points and as a group are closer than ever.
Moving on to the next question, “Why Astronomy? What was it about the stars that made you so passionate about them that you chose to teach them?” and her reply is one I just, can not put into words, as neither could she. She simply took me to a window and motioned to the expanse of stars. It was a beautiful clear night and each one was shining like a beacon of magic in the dark expanse of the sky. You could even see the milky way. I could put her answer onto canvas, but not words. There are no words for it. The moment itself was beautiful and special and one I will treasure for always.
It took a bit to compose myself after that to move onto the next question. As it is known that she has many alarms and other spells cast on the tower to alert her to students in it when they should not be. “How many alarms does she have set on her Astronomy Tower?” Hre reply was very simple “That’s for me to know and students not to find out” So there you go, lets not test this one folks! Best not to piss her off.
Moving back to the stars the next question was “What is your favourite Constellation?” and to that she replied to me first with poetry as well as the name of the stars. “The pleiades, more a star cluster than a constellation. “
“’And if longing seizes you for sailing the stormy seas,
when the Pleiades flee mighty Orion
and plunge into the misty deep
and all the gusty winds are raging,
then do not keep your ship on the wine-dark sea
but, as I bid you, remember to work the land.’”
by the greek poet Hesiod and then she followed it with;
‘Many a night I saw the Pleiads,
rising through the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies
tangled in a silver braid.’”
She moved on then to give a full explanation of why these stars are special to her. “I come from a place that depends on the sea and in many cultures the pleiades signals when to go to sea and when to work the fields. They represent hard work in that respect and echo the sentiments of Hufflepuff” I should have added a new question there to ask where she comes from, but I was so caught up in the poetry I forgot.
Moving on to something I knew she has fussed about in the past but new students may not, especially muggleborns. “What are your thoughts on Pluto and how the Muggles have demoted it to not a planet?” her reply both explained some things and corrected my wording…
“They have reclassified it to a dwarf planet, not demoted it, Aisling. Terminology is everything however their definition doesn’t match ours and therefore only worries me when I work alongside them.” I also learned then that she works with muggles every so often. That would likely be an entire interview on its own so I simply moved on.
It’s a well known fact that we Huffles like our baked treats so, I thought to ask her about hers..What Cookies and cakes she likes best. Her reply was “Gâche” . Which, I have no idea what that is and I will have to remember to ask Archie if he knows so we can make her some.
Last year our Quidditch team was almost unbeaten and we won the house cup, so several or our team had some Quidditch questions for her. “Do you think we can get the House Cup this year?” and “What do you think of our Quidditch team?” Her answers were “If we prove we are unafraid of toil, certainly.” and “Well I obviously think they’re exceptional and need to keep up the good work,” I then asked her if she had any Favorite none Hogwarts teams and she replied simply she had none among those.
Moving away from Broom Games and onto Academics, I know in the past she’s given us some more artists homework and that some students, out of frustration or an attempt to get a better grade to by making her laugh, have done more humorous homework so I asked “What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a student do or send in for homework?” Her reply was ”I don’t recall many homeworks dear, though Upton’s imagery of the moon and earth’s orbit was lovely” [[Editor’s Note: Said imagery can be found in our exam answers article.]]
To end my interview I asked her if she had any advice for us students in general and she gave me a simple answer “ I would reiterate to follow rules and to make themselves proud..”
All in all in this interview I found her a much warmer person then many see her as she teaches. Likely she has a teaching persona and a normal persona. As well, some of our students can get on just about anyones nerves with their antics. So, maybe let’s all try to be a little nicer and better behaved in her classes and around her and we might just get to see the nicer side of her.