The North Shore Team is many things. We are pancake makers. We are public harmonizers. We are the late night conversations about strategy. We are knitters. We are piano players. We are thrift shoppers. We are patriarchy smashers. We are ethnic diversity. We are strong bikers. We are poor navigators. We are Sriracha addicts. We are hitch switches in Ipswich. We are midnight ocean swims. We are convoluted book rotation systems. We are Ravenclaw.
When all the Climate Summer riders were together back in Lowell, we decided to sort the teams into houses at Hogwarts. However, oftentimes, there are misconceptions about what these houses represent. Slytherins are not all murderers. And Hufflepuffs are definitely not bumbling doofuses. So for the sake of Climate Summer Hogwarts houses, let me clarify some criteria.
Gryffindors are levelheaded, intelligent, driven, and constantly pushing others to accomplish more. Hufflepuffs are kind, adaptable, and work to see the good in others. Ravenclaws are literary, thoughtful, and shrewd. Slytherins are ambitious, power-driven, and crafty.
North Shore is definitively Ravenclaw. At any point of the day, we are all sitting together, taking a break by reading different books. For every trip we take to concerts and beaches, our backpacks are stuffed with philosophy, mystery, realistic fiction, and historical novels. We rotate books – with Tom Robbin’s book (Villa Incognito – read it!) and gushing critical analysis sessions.
More than just Ravenclaw in an academic sense, North Shore is also very reflective and introspective. At most points of the day, you could find any number of us discussing our place in this movement, criticisms of different theories of change, the parts of bigger systems that make us uncomfortable and how we would transform them, and how internalized this fight has become and the implications for our futures.
For me, the integration of academic and philosophical has been incredibly transformative. In a relative sense, I am very new to this movement. While I’ve always studied climate change from a classical and technological solution perspective, I have never been an active organizer or kept informed about Boston-area activism. So even the prevalent use of phrases such as ‘theories of change’, and ideas of being uncomfortable with notions of classical environmentalism, such as recycling, are very new to me.
My eyes have been opened to a new form of being – one that involves full involvement in fighting for actual change and critically analyzing the systems that I once comfortably operated in. But being new to this, it hasn’t been fully internalized yet – which for now, I believe, is a very good thing. I very much appreciate being able to happily discuss things separate from movement building and being able to analyze things from a non-systemic perspective. I deeply appreciate feeling like a “whole person”, a phrase we affectionately use to describe people that do not relate everything back to organizing.
These sorts of discussions will be what I carry forward back my university – the ideas of questioning and analyzing, actively fighting against systems I disagree with, the worth of reading intricate metaphors aloud, the importance of a holistic approach to issues, and the dangers of stagnating that arise from falling into ruts – no matter how seemingly stimulating the rut may be.
For now though, I will continue having these thought-provoking conversations at all hours of the day, hopelessly purchasing even more books from every used book store we find, and challenging my beliefs while maintaining what is important to me. All of which I believe have been influenced by an identity that I have come to be very proud of (even as a Slytherin myself) – as the Ravenclaw team.