Fact or not?
I recall a friend telling me this job was held the title in concurrence with being a Hogwarts Governor, indicating a particular area in which the Govonor oversaw as instructed by the Chairman, who in 1992 was Lucius Malfoy. Is there any canon mention of this, I can't find one? Ninclow (talk) 01:27, April 30, 2016 (UTC)
Ministry of Magic?
I have been thinking - since Hogwarts is Ministry funded, so wouldn't it make more sense if this position was occupied by a member of the Department of Magical Education? While Fudge did say in the fourth book that ""I've given you free rein, always. I've had a lot of respect for you. I might not have agreed with some of your decisions, but I've kept quiet. There aren't many who'd have let you hire werewolves, or keep Hagrid, or decide what to teach your students without reference to the Ministry", but I feel like this is more of a flustered rant. Obiously, Hogwarts would necessarily have had to reference to the Ministry of Magic on the topic of what to teach the students, as the material taught to them by their professors would have to be consistent with what the Wizadring Examination Authority would test them in as to meet certain educational standards so that they could competently hold a job after school based on their knoweldge and skills.
And again, since Hogwarts is funded by the Ministry and as a general rule does not have the authority to get involved in the running of Hogwarts, (the fifth books notwithstanding), it seems logical to me that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions is a Ministry offical of the Department of Magical Education responsible for looking over the Ministry's Wizardry Budget to put aside enough gold to meet the school's needs, and to that end, would advice either (or both) the Board of Governors on how to make the most of Ministry funds. Since Madam Thomsonicle-Pocus also signed off the supply list, it would also appear that she was tasked with ensuring that no books was used for teaching that was irrelevant to or otherwise in conflict with the material the Wizarding Examination Authority meant to test the students in. And, it would appear, provide educational resources, such as already stated in the BTS section, like providing "supplies and equipment needed for teaching, such as spare books, astronomical equipment, animals used for practising Charms and Transfiguration, ingredients for the Potion Master, etc.", including Lupin's Gryndelow. Can I change the BTS section to reflect this? Given that the Ministry funds the school, it goes without saying that they would have some degree of responsibility in how it is used and if the relevant subjects reflect the standards of Ministry-set tests, even if they would have no administrative authority over the school. More of a mutually benefical agreement between the Ministry, Hogwarts and/or the Board of Governors. Maester Martin (talk) 19:58, September 18, 2018 (UTC)
- We don't know that, and it does not necessarily follow from any hard canonical fact we have right now. We haven't the foggiest about how the Ministry and Hogwarts (and the ICW's Educational Office? -- could there be other entities still?) set the exam syllabuses, even though all signs point to Hogwarts having a generally large degree of independence in setting class curricula (what Fudge says in the fourth book very much supports this, as does Umbridge being convinced that none of her three immediate successors as DADA teacher would have passed a Ministry inspection; also, I don't see anyone at all having to approve Lockhart's nonsensical required readings). Case in point, your argument is based on the fact that the Hogwarts curricula would have to conform to what Wizarding Examinations Authority would test the students in; but who's to say the Wizarding Examinations Authority aren't the ones conforming to what Hogwarts sets as curricula?
- It's all very much empty speculation without any specific information. -- 23:24, September 18, 2018 (UTC)
Okay, in retrospect, my reply ended up a bit lengthier than I expected it would, so sorry about that. To answer your questions - I must have made a poor job of explaining myself, then. My apologies, what I tried to get across were the fact that if the Ministry conformed to the cirriculum of Hogwarts, there would be no reason for a Wizarding Examination Authority to even exist, because that would have recquired the Ministry to blindly trust the judgement of the professors to assess the merits of their own students, meaning the responsibility of testing them would be exclusively up to Hogwarts, not the Ministry, who are usually not to interfere with the school because overseeing it falls to the Board of Governors. Furthermore, the "Ministry standards to some extent dictate what Hogwarts teach" things was more of a side thing because the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions signs off on supply lists, which there would be no need for him or her to do if they were a mere member of the non-teaching staff, since Dumbledore and McGonagall both would've outranked Madam Thomsonicle-Pocus and had the authority to both override any opinion she might have on the subject of the supply list, and thus would've been the one to sign under instead of her.
The "empty speculation" of the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions working from the Ministry, however, if that is indeed what you meant by that assertion, and how Madam Thomsonicle-Pocus would be in charge of implementing the annual sponsorship from the governing body to the school, as well as provide and inspect the school supplies is because both the Ministry funds and the supplies students are supposed to buy themselves are, in the broader sense, school provisions, and it boarders on being completely asinine to think that someone whose actual job title is "Chief Attendant" of such matters are - you know, not charged with attending to the subject of school provisions and ensuring that they are not substandard in any way, and relevant in regard to building up the student's learning curve to be consistent with the two most important exams. So - again, the Ministry of Magic funds the school and pays for all magical education of its students, and so hence, it stands to reason that they would likewise follow up on that responsibility by having a Ministry official make sure they had everything they needed, like a Gryndelow for a DADA class, and checking that the equipment said students used for the education they paid for is of good quality.
And to answer your question of "who's to say the Wizarding Examinations Authority aren't the ones conforming to what Hogwarts sets as curricula?", and the answer to that is fairly simple: J. K. Rowling said that, at least indirectly, when she both decided to model her fictional universe on the real world with whatever modifications were necessary to make it sufficently differ from the "Muggle" one to be magical, and had no objection to those to terms being used for the movies that would re-tell her stories in another format. And even if we speculate that she don't "look at all the props, she might not even know about these", I believe that any piece of information relating to the Harry Potter universe is automatically canon unless contradicted by a higher source? It also stands to reason, of course, that a largely independent school like Hogwarts nevertheless is beholden to certain standards about the quality of magical education set down by the governing body presiding over the society in which the results from that education are relevant. Just like in the real world that Rowling based her wizarding one on.
Also, it should be worth noting that I am not stating this to be absolute fact, I merely meant to suggest that from a "in-universe" perspective, this would make more sense than the assumption in the BTS section that she is "a member of the non-teaching staff", and just wondered if I could replace that assumption by saying she might be working for the Ministry. Otherwise, we have to assume all the Governors are Malfoy-level wealthy and pay for everything teachers needs, seen as the Ministry fuding goes to the student, with the exception of the supply list. Maester Martin (talk) 18:25, September 19, 2018 (UTC)
- That Thomsonicle-Pocus signed the supply list instead of Dumbledore and McGonagall doesn't prove or even suggest that she wasn't part of the non-teaching staff, mind. That's the whole point of administrative hierarchy -- that subordinates take care of business in their own area of expertise (i.e., the Minister for Magic does not sign every document issued by the Ministry even though s/he is the figure at the top; people at the Department and office level would do it too, when appropriate).
- If Hogwarts set the curricular goals themselves, Wizarding Examinations Authority would still serve the very much important purpose of unbiased independent external evaluation, precisely because the Ministry wouldn't blindly trust the judgement of the professors. You missed my point. Of course, I'm not saying this is the case, I'm saying it might be, and that it is incorrect to sustain an argument on something that hasn't been established.
- The job title of "Chief Attendant" does not suggest anything more than "someone who is responsible for". It is equally perfectly valid that Hogwarts would have an employee of their own to check the balance sheets; overseeing if the Ministry funding is being well-spent or evenly distributed. Again, this does not imply necessarily that she works for the Ministry per se.
- Bear in mind, however, that I'm not saying that Thomsoncle-Pocus wasn't a Ministry employee, I'm saying we don't know that and have no good reason to think that; check the article -- I've changed the wording slightly). -- 19:00, September 19, 2018 (UTC)
Okay, so - I'm not actually sustaining my argument on something that hasn't been established, I am basing it on the existence of the occupation of Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions and the set-in-stone purpose of the Wizarding Examination Authority for that, both of which very much are established, and I am sustaining it through acknoleding the fact that there is still the whole thing about Rowling modeling the fictional universe on the real world, so the way I see it, in terms of whose cirriculum is beholden to the other, even if I were to concur that there are no good reasons to believe Thomsoncle-Pocus worked for the Ministry, which I don't necessarily agree with, there are no reasons to think, good or bad, that Thomsoncle-Pocus is a Hogwarts employee, based on what we know of how the governmental structure of the Ministry, how it operates with other duties, and how, as seen in book five, it can interfere at Hogwarts but as a general rule refrain from doing so because running the school are actually supposed to be the job of the Board of Governors, and any competent Minister for Magic would acknowledge that it would not be prudent to disregard the very much existing reasonable expectation that the board and their appointed Headmaster will be able to carry out their duties in a satisfactory manner.
This is also why I think we'll have to agree to disagree on whether we have a good reason to believe that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions were a Ministry position as opposed to a Hogwarts staff members, in part because you are using a governmental structure to try and demonstrate administrative hierarchy. I think that logic is flawed, because a school and a governing body operate very differently, and I fail to see why Thomsonicle-Pocus would be recquired to sign the supply list instead of Dumbledore and McGonagall when both of the aforementioned individuals were signing letters of acceptance anyway and, I would assume, is involved in drawing up the supply list that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions would be supposed to sign in the first place. As an internal affair of Hogwarts, hypotetically speaking, one would think that even if Thomsonicle-Pocus were working as a non-teacher at Hogwarts and whose job it was to check the balance sheets, why her signature would in any way be a recquirement for the supply list, when the the teachers could go to Dumbledore, list what the students of each year would need for their respective lessons, and then the guy in charge draws up and signs it as a verification if its validity to shop owners (if that's necessary for anything), makes no sense.
Top that with the fact that we know there is a Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions signing the supply lists, and that there have never been even in passing acknowledged by students or staff that someone bearing the title in question were present at the school, which would make sense if Thomsonicle-Pocus was, for example with the Ministry and worked with the Hogwarts staff as opposed to alongside them. That being said, though, I have no interest in starting an all out argument with you, so if you somehow think it is reasonable to highlight the "perhaps" factor of Thomsoncle-Pocus working on the school in the BTC section, and not bring that of Thomsoncle-Pocus working for the Ministry into the oquation, I'll of course respect your decision. I'll check out your edit now. :-D Maester Martin (talk) 19:37, September 19, 2018 (UTC)
- We know next to nothing about the Wizarding Examinations Authority, save for the fact that it comprises a number of exam proctors (even the fact that it is a Ministry of Magic division comes solely from the films and is tier-two canon). We can't possibly presume to know how it works with this scant insight.
- I really don't understand why you're saying the Ministry isn't a good example of an administrative hierarchy: more than just the government, the Ministry quite literally comprises wizarding Britain's central bureaucracy; it's littered with advisory boards, liaison offices, administration services, regulatory boards, patents offices, licence-issuing services, and even top-secret scientific research, and is populated by career bureaucrats who are very much unelected and who have no discernible political affiliation (i.e. Arthur Weasley, who worked there under at least 4 different Ministers for Magic -- very much a civil servant). Likewise, things at Hogwarts would not be run autocratically by the Headmaster: for all your stress on Rowling having modelled the fictional universe on the real world, surely you know that, in real-world schools, there are several departments that have specific attribution (i.e., an academic department that deals with curriculum development and assessment; an administrative department that deals with management, financial affairs, an human resources; a scientific board responsible for research; etc, etc.).
- Just because one is the chief executive or manager of an organisation (in this case, the Headmaster), that doesn't mean there aren't a myriad of assorted duties that don't depend on him/her but on his/her subordinates. That is the case in virtually all administrative hierarchies: i.e. the CEO of a hospital with an MBA isn't the chief physician. The reason why Thomsoncle-Pocus's signature would be on the supply lists and not Dumbledore's would be because that's her job and not his. -- 21:40, September 19, 2018 (UTC)
The first point you made here seems to me to look very much like a continuum fallacy , because as far as the written word is concerned in regard to fiction, it is the only situation that allows for the validity of the "argument of intelligent design", because unlike its use by for example creatonists about the natural world, in the world of fiction, the fact of intelligent design is demonstrably true. While is true that we know next to nothing about the elaborated specifics of the division, such as where in the Ministry it is, how the interior of their offices looks like, how many staffs it, etc, but what we do know that there is something called the Wizarding Examination Authority, and that there is something called for the Departmet of Magical Education. And with that - the mystery is solved. We now know, if not with a wealth of details on our hands on how - specifically - it works, but the name alone tells us exactly what it is.
Everything that has ever appaeared or been as much as even remotely alluded to exist within the fictional universe of J. K. Rowling, has its roots in reality. Modeled after our real world, save from some original creatures and magical transportation such as apparition, floo powder and porkeys. That is the thing about fiction, it's made so we can understand it. Rowling is dependent on having the written word on the pages in her books presenting the universe of Harry Potter in such a way that we know what we are looking at without a shred of doubt. This is why, when we see terms such as "Wizarding Examination Authority" - we know exactly what it is, because its existence are mirroring equivalent bodies in the real world, just like everything else in her universe. The only difference is that you slap words like "wizarding", "magical", "witchcraft", etc, on it and have to imagine how it would look like if one scale down the Ministry of Magic as to be consistent with a significantly smaller portion of wizarding citizens compared to Muggles.
Which is why, if you look at Pottermore, all "new information from Rowling" is either mere trivia about what is know, like the character biogrophies, which as you might have noticed, have never onced introduced something new about the structure of Rowling's fictional universe, nor changing it in any way, beyond telling us more about the characters in question and how they got to where they were in the books - or the couple of handfuls worth of exception to the rule by virtue of being Rowling's own creation, such as Dementors, etc., which, again elaborates on things as opposed to alter them. Why? Because by the time you close the last book in the Harry Potter franchise, it would not be an unreasonable expectation for those who have read the books to be able to follow new information. Which again, is because by that point, we know how things work. If we was made aware of let's say the Ministry's Magical Maintainance Department, we know what its purpose is without needing Rowling to spoon-fead it to us, because its a department in a governmental headquarters, and maintainance is maintainance regardless of whether it is magical. And if the department did anything other than magical maintainance, it would either be included in the story, or the department would have existed under a different name so that we, the readers, can understand what its purpose is.
With that out of the way...
A poor choice of words, my apologies: What I meant is that you are using a governmental structure, namely the Ministry, to try and demonstrate how administrative hierarchy operates at Hogwarts, which would necessarily differ because it is a school, not a government, and is a place of learning, not a place of policing and governance. Also, Seth, the real-life schools you used as an example is modern schooling structures set in present times, but with Hogwarts, we are talking of an old, private boarding school stuck in the "the old days", with parchments and feather quills, etc. And if Lockhart and Moody is any indication, Hogwarts quite obviously have no such academic department that deals with curriculum development and assessment, it would be a question of candidates showing their cridentials and passing an employment interview, with the employer having a reasonable expectation that the newly appointed teacher in question knows what they are doing based on what he know of their expertise from conversation. Also - the issue with the latter case is that there would be no reason for that to be her job. There is quite literally nothing about a non-teaching staff member at the school whose signature the Headmaster would be dependent on having for the school's supply list. There would be no actual reason for it to be there, it just kind of would be. it sound like her signature is a matter of Flitwick noticing that she is bored and going; "Oh, no deliveries to make today, Lucinda? Hold on, I'm about to meet with the Headmaster - I could ask him to send over all the student supply list for you to sign, if you'd like?". Maester Martin (talk) 02:26, September 20, 2018 (UTC)
- Apologies, but you don't seem to understand the continuum fallacy, it does not apply at all. The rest of your first argument is a non sequitur -- we can't presume to know something about the Harry Potter universe if we are not told about it. I've grown tired of repeating this to you, Ninclow, and I won't do it again.
- I won't elaborate on your "Magical Maintainance" argument (which is fundamentally flawed -- if that department had any other attributions or specific duties that haven't been mentioned yet in canon, we wouldn't know about it for the very reason they haven't been mentioned in canon; when it comes to in-universe info there's no way to know we haven't been told about something before we're told about it -- which is very much what happens every time Rowling expands the universe with her Pottermore tidbits: for example if, before Pottermore, we were to say categorically that Professor Quirrell didn't press wild flowers as a hobby because that hadn't been mentioned in the books, we would later on be proven wrong) because it would pain me to explain (yet again) the logical fault in assuming something just because it hasn't been disproven.
- Has it crossed your mind, that Thomsonicle-Pocus might be the one who signs the supply list because she was the one who actually compiles it? I thought this was quite plain to see, but now I think you have some reason to think this couldn't be the case. -- 23:07, September 20, 2018 (UTC)
Or perchance there is a slight case of language barrier going on, preventing me from explaining things as well as I would like. So - you said that "we know next to nothing about the Wizarding Examination Authority", a claim I rejected because Rowling created her universe in such a way that it mirrors the real world, and as such, anything that seems vauge isn't all that vauge based on the fact that if Rowling presents a concept such as the Wizarding Examination Authority, there is a reasonable expectation involved in regard to how we understand what that is and how further explonation is not recquired based on how her fictional universe mirrors the real one. That is what I meant by the continuum fallacy, I used it to reject the idea that we know "next to nothing" about the Wizarding Examination Authority because when we hear the name of that, for the lack of a better word, committee, we know by and large what it is and what it does, although we don't necessaily know how they do it.vWhich was also the point I tried to make in regard to "Magical Maintainance", which was't as much an argument as it was supposed to be an example used to explain where I was coming from. And as far as "when it comes to in-universe info there's no way to know we haven't been told about something before we're told about it" and "the logical fault in assuming something just because it hasn't been disproven" are concerned, I would on the flip side say that argument is fundamentally flawed -- because while one can easily say "we didn't know this, but it was there", that is exclusively from an in-universe perspective. In terms of canonical "fact", however, for every intent and purposes, Quirrel's hobby did not exist until Rowling introduced it into the universe. In short, there was no MACUSA in canon before Rowling "put pen to paper" and willed it into existence. Which is why the appeal of ignorance fallavy does not apply within fiction.
That being said -- I must have expressed myself poorly somewhere, I am not saying that she might not meet with the faculty and complies the list of school supplies and books based on their assessment of the school equipment the students of each year will need for their classes, but I fail to see the corralation between compiling the supply lists and the necessity of her signature to validate them, as if her permission was somehow required in order to issue offical school documents next to the signatures of the Headmaster/Headmistress and the Deputy Headmaster/Headmistress who. unlike her, runs the school. It would serve no practical purpose, at least. Not to meantion - if compiling, signing and issuing supply lists were all she did, what did she do the rest of the year outside of in between the end of the school year and September 1? It says she might supply teachers with things, but if she worked at Hogwarts, one should think that her existence on the staff, even if it is only in the movies, were in any shape or form acknowledged by students or staff? If she has to trot around the castle looking for something the teachers need or running in and out of the castle to fetch them elsewhere, someone would have known about it among the students, right? However, it would make perfect sense for her name and role as supplier of the teaching staff to go unnoted and unoticed if it happened from "behind the scenes", working from the Ministry to provide a steady flow of supply to the teachers. Ministry funds is, after all, a type of "provision", and at least to me, it would logically follow that if the Ministry has the financial resources to pay for the education of every magical child in Britain, they most certainly have the provisional resources recquired to follow up on that responsibility:
The supply lists needs to be compiled?
Very well - please leave a copy of your course aims for each year with your next owl, and I will check in with the Department of Magical Equipment Control just to make sure they will be issued a list of academically relevant reading material and quality magical equipment for their respective stages of magical education for a reasonable price
Professor Lockhart needs some pixies?
Certainly, headmaster, it just so happens that I know a chap down at Magical Accidents and Catastrophes who lives in Cornwall, I will ask him to round some up for you so you'll have a freshly caught bunch for his next class.
Professor Lupin needs a Gryndelow?
No problem, the Department, there are always someone at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures that can get hold of one for me to send over.
I am not saying this is set-in-stone how Madam Thomsonicle-Pocus work, but it would make a lot more sense than for her to work at Hogwarts, since she is never seen or heard from, and the Ministry has ample opportunity and vastly more resources to make deliveries of necessary provisions than the school itself has. I would also make sense in regard to exactly how the Ministry can afford paying for so many children to attend Hogwarts: The Ministry gives heaps of gold to Hogwarts, Hogwarts uses one big portion of it to cover what would have been the tuition fees if the students had paid for it themselves, and another portion goes to the Board of Governors for the purpose of paying salaries and the like, and the last one goes back to the Ministry in exchange for school provisions that the Ministry will have a much easier time getting hold of and can deliver them much more quickly and effectively than the school could if it was a staff member just leaving the castle to look for things.
Also - Madam Thomsonicle-Pocus' signature would, if she was indeed a Ministry offical, be tied to the fact that the Ministry funds Hogwarts and compiling the supply lists being something the Ministry do as part of that whole process, and there would be infinitely more reason behind why her signature was recquired than if she worked at Hogwarts. Maester Martin (talk) 02:43, September 21, 2018 (UTC)
- Anything that is vague, is vague. Anything we don't know about the universe Rowling created, we don't know and shouldn't assume to know. That's how it works. Now matter how well we think of a fancy scenario that makes perfect sense in our minds -- the fact remains that it remains to be conclusively proven.
- I don't think I need to explain the painfully obvious fact that people sign paperwork they're responsible for. The practical purpose (whatever that is) is to show that that person was the one who was responsible for it, who drafted it, and who's to blame if anything's wrong.
- Something not being acknowledged in canon before proves nothing. By using that logic, Charity Burbage did not exist until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — sure, you'll argue, she probably wasn't thought up by Rowling until later on in the series, but the point is that it would have been wrong for us to deny her existence beforehand. It's an error in logical reasoning: proof of absence is not absence of proof. That's what you repeatedly insist on doing. Seth Cooper (talk) 01:07, September 22, 2018 (UTC)
That is actually demonstrably false. If I told you told me that you and a friend were going on this trip across Europe and was to stay four days in Norway on a hotel in the capital of Oslo before you moved on, and I said; "Save the money, my friend! I leave in Oslo, and I have plenty of room. You can stay for free at my place, I have three guest rooms for you to pick from". If you agreed to this, and asked where to find the house, and I said that "I live in a red house, with a big garden with a big oak tree in it", that will sound incredibly vauge, because you have no idea where the heck I am talking about. Now, if I made the same offer to someone who grew up in the same area as me and were sufficently familiar with it to know where I was talking about after having moved away a decade prior, suddenly it isn't that vauge anymore, is it? The condition of anything as "vauge" depends on context, and it's completely subjective because in order for it to actually be vauge, it must be vauge. Not just interpeted as vauge, like you seem to have done with the sentence "clawed her way to the very heart of power" sentence on the Umbridge talk page. Which is why you find the sentence vauge, and I don't. But I digress...
There is nothing about the universe of J. K. Rowling we don't know until she tells us something new, because until she does, it don't exist within that universe, that's the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. In the former, existence is conditional, in the latter, it's not.
I am not trying to conclusively prove that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions works for the Ministry of Magic, but I see that in the BTS section, it says that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions "(who is probably part of Hogwarts' non-teaching staff)", and I am trying to make sense of why it makes sense to you that the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions would be working at Hogwarts as opposed to working for the Ministry of Magic, since the recquirement for her signature on the student supply lists would, in the latter case, be much more logical. It wouldn't be some academical subordinate of Dumbledore's who's randomly given the job of signing the lists, it would be a matter of a (non-interfering) cooperation between Hogwarts and the sponsoring wizarding governing body in a united interest to preserve the integrity of magical education and to maintain the quality of the tools with which the student of Hogwarts is issued a demand of purchasing in order to properly undergo that education.
In short - it apparently makes more sense to you why the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions would work for Hogwarts than for the Ministry, and I fail to see how. Where are you coming from with that conclusion?
Also, no, it would have not been wrong of us to "deny the existence of Charity Burbage" prior to her introduction into the franchise, (and not only because it'd be impossible), because although logic dictates that there'd be a Muggle Studies professor since Hermione took the subject, from a literary point of view, Charity Burbage would not be filling the shoes of that teacher/position until it was established that she did. Maester Martin (talk) 02:50, September 22, 2018 (UTC)