Rebuilding Together. Rory interrupts a man with a saw who then starts the "Don't Touch the Man with the Saw" routine that goes on way too long. Rory says she's from Chilton, and the man takes Rory over to the other school kids. He asks to see Rory's hammer. Rory pulls out the fluffy thing and promises there's a real hammer underneath. She says her mother likes to take things that aren't pretty, and dress them up to make them pretty. She says Lorelai once took all of her Liquid Paper bottles and made outfits for them: a clown, a cowboy, a newscaster. Rory promises that her mother isn't actually a crazy woman. Sawguy gives Rory a helmet and some safety glasses. He tells Rory to wear sunscreen and drink water, and that the words "Duck or Run" mean "Duck or Run." Rory says that she's never done this before. He says that tomorrow she won't be able to say that. Rory says that people actually have to live in this house she's building, and that she should probably get more instruction than that. Sawguy tells Rory to ask her neighbor if she's having trouble. "Hey, eh, ih -- Look out!" someone shouts into a microphone off-camera. A beam falls and doesn't hit Rory or Sawguy because they watch it fall in front of them. Sawguy tells Rory she catches on quickly, since he didn't even tell her about the "look out" rule. Rory puts down her backpack and just grabs a nail. She starts to hammer on some board for no real reason until Paris interrupts her. Paris says that this is her turf, and that Rory needs to find somewhere else to work. She says she put together this entire wall. "Go help with cement," she says. I really like Paris. Rory is really impressed that Paris put together this wall all by herself. Paris says she's done it a million times and that it's no big deal. She yells at Louisa to use a different axe for her job and Louisa shouts, "Bite me." Rory smiles and says she never pictured Paris as the Bob Vila type. Paris isn't joking around, and says that these things are important if you want to go to Harvard. She says this is a prestigious organization and that she's been volunteering there for years: "When you apply to an Ivy League school you need more than good grades and test scores to get in." She says it's the extra stuff that gets you in. She started volunteering in the fourth grade, handing out cookies. By ten she was leading a study group where the youngest person in the group was twelve. She's been a camp counselor, she organized a senior illiteracy program, she worked a suicide hotline, and she's manned a runaway center. She's adopted dolphins, taught sign language, and trained Seeing-Eye dogs. Rory asks when Paris had time for a life. Paris says she'll get a life after Harvard. Paris excuses herself, saying, "The drainage on the south side of this place sucks." Paris walks off as Fraulein bops by and says hello to Rory. Paris calls her away.
Rory gets off her bus; CuteDean's already waiting for her. He asks how it went. She says it was a long day. CuteDean's ready to go see Barbarella and wants Rory to bring Lorelai's monkey-face purse so that they can sneak in some candy. Rory stops walking and says she can't do anything tonight because she has a lot of planning to do. She says she's about ten years behind on her extra-curricular activities. She explains to CuteDean that she hasn't done enough to get into Harvard, and that she has to do some volunteer work quickly to make up for it. CuteDean asks why she has to start now and cancel their plans for the evening. Rory says she needs to plan everything because she's so behind. She says she needs to get organized. CuteDean says that summertime is when you hang out and kick back. Rory's face scrunches as she says, "I can't hang out or kick back. I need to find a retarded kid and teach him how to play softball." That's the best line of this episode, by the way. Rory says she's under-qualified and horrible. They're deep into a fight by now, and CuteDean is upset that Rory's blowing him off after already blowing him off once today. He figured that since they just got back together, she might want to spend some time with him. She says that this is about Harvard. CuteDean forgot that Harvard is more important than he is, and he walks off. He says she doesn't have time for him anymore and expresses irritation that none of this can wait one night. Rory asks why he's acting like he's two. CuteDean says he doesn't care about Harvard and just wanted to hang out with his girlfriend, but since he's only two, perhaps he'll grow out of it. They walk off in different directions from the gazebo. Commercial.