The quad of John Brown University temporarily turned into a Quidditch pitch Monday afternoon. Students in the Harry Potter Gateway classes taught by Tracy Balzer, director of Christian Formation, held several matches of the game J. K. Rowling created for her popular series.
The sport turned dangerous, however, in an extra game held at the end of the set. While freshman Megan Higerd chased the snitch toward J Alvin as the seeker, she lost her footing and fell, rolling over herself and dislocating her shoulder.
Her friend Bekah David, a sophomore transfer student, said Higerd heard her shoulder pop out. The Balzers and others tried helping Higerd get into a car to go to the hospital, but David said she could not move because of the pain.
Instead, they called an ambulance, which drove onto the Quad. The paramedics put Higerd into a temporary sling and took her to the hospital, David said. Two hours later the hospital staff were able to put Higerd’s shoulder back into her socket.
The emergency room doctors had great fun talking to the University people about Quidditch, Balzer said, and Higerd was a trooper.
At press time, David said Higerd was “in much better shape,” although she was sore from stretched tendons.
David drew an ironic parallel between Higerd and Harry Potter in the second book. Both were number seven and playing the position of seeker when they injured their right arms.
Apart from Higerd’s injury, students judged the Quidditch event a success. David said the Gateway Griffins, the new students, won the last match. The transfer students from the other section of Harry Potter Gateway, the Thuper Therious Thestrals, won three of the four games.
Balzer said she aimed for the game to encourage group bounding, make memories and provide a fun way of engaging with the material.
She did not require students to participate in the games, but heard positive opinions from the students who played.
“There was lots of laughing, and always requests to keep playing beyond the time I decided,” Balzer said. “Lots of people, in and out of class, have expressed a desire to form a Quidditch team.”
An international Quidditch league exists, Balzer added, including a team at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Sophomore transfer Tausha Laakman said the students practiced Sunday afternoon ahead of the matches Monday. She estimated that about half of the class participated in the games.
“I had an awesome time, though I’m sore now,” Laakman said. “I would do it again.”