Finding Magic in a Modern Day Room of Requirement

A Blog by one of our Steppingstone Scholar Interns, Tyiana.

Photo Aug 05, 3 50 36 PMDuring the third week of my internship, I heard that one time a customer came into the Resource Exchange, took a look around and said with excitement, “Have you ever heard of Harry Potter because this place really looks like the Room of Requirement.” If I had heard that a few months ago, the reference would have gone over my head. I would’ve asked, “What’s a Room of Requirement? How does this place look like it?” Now, not only do I know what the Room of Requirement is and exactly how this place looks like it, I could also tell you how to get in it, what you’d find in it, and why everyone should have one. While the Resource Exchange isn’t exactly the Room of Requirement… it is pretty close. 

Tyiana's craft suppliesAt the end of my junior year, I was advised by a friend to read the Harry Potter novels. At 17 years old, not only had I not read the books, but I also hadn’t seen the movies either (well, I saw the first ones years ago but had forgotten them entirely). Despite the final movie having come out 8 years ago and the final movie having been released 4 years ago, I thought, “Why not?” That became the beginning of my obsessive love of all the Harry Potter related. I was hooked to the Boy Who Lived from the first line.

Tyiana's project suppliesBy the time I began my internship at the Resource Exchange, I was on book 4 of the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (my favorite of the seven). So when I was told that we were to work on projects everyday of the internship, there was no question as to what the basis of my project would be. Starting with a walk through of the area, I quickly noticed the many items to choose from to bring a little Hogwarts to Kensington. I started by looking for things that resembled the main Harry Potter items: a wand, glasses, a broom, and the Sorting Hat. As to be expected, some things were definitely easier to find than others.

Tyiana with hat 2I started by visiting the Random Room (the true Room of Requirement) and picking up a couple packs of chopsticks (around 2 or 3) because I thought that they would be about the right length and thickness of a wand with some manipulation. Then I wandered over to eyeglasses section and found a pair almost identical to Harry’s. Next I picked up some red and gold beads (Gryffindor colors), brown tape (for the outside of the wand), gold painted fake fruit and lace place mats (to make a Golden Snitch) and a glue stick. Then I went to the sewing section for brown thread, red and yellow yarn, black fabric, and leather. I was also able to find an old tiki torch to serve as the shape of my broom.

Tyiana's sorting harOver the course of the past few weeks, I’ve transformed these everyday items into the mandatory Hogwarts necessities (see pictures). The process has cost me blood and sweat, but fortunately no tears. Through gluing, sewing, and a dream… I’ve brought a little of Platform 9¾ to N. 2nd Street.  

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