As she's signing in, the secretary tells her, "Try to remember who you are, Joan. 'Coyly stated by the Almighty.'" Joan seems to know it's God as soon as he said "Joan," though -- but how odd is it that the guy calling students into Price's office would know her name? Usually that's the giveaway, but here, it doesn't make sense. Joan asks, "Remember who I am: that's my assignment?" The secretary manifests some stereotypically gay mannerisms, and normally I wouldn't jump to conclusions, but since I know this role was described as "Gay Male Secretary God," we can just cut to the chase and call him Queer Deity for the Straight Girl, or QDftSG for short. (And if Joan turns out to be…flexible…we'll change "straight" to "self-absorbed.") I'm all for God being gay, but what's with the "male secretary" thing? Aren't we past the era of "lady doctors" and "male nurses" yet? As some old second-wave feminist used to say, there are only two jobs that are sex-specific: sperm donor and wet nurse. And frankly, even the latter seems to be up for grabs. Frink wants to know why they didn't just get Scott Thompson for this role. Me: "Because Scott Thompson probably costs ten times what this guy does?" QDftSG says, "It's easy to get derailed when confronting your future. Try to stay grounded. And stand up straight. I didn't create you to slouch." Joan complies. QDftSG: "Go." Joan: "Wait. You know my future. So why do I have to go discuss it with Price?" QDftSG: "That free will lecture just doesn't land with you, does it?" Hee! Before she can reply, Price emerges from his office, clearing his throat loudly: "Growing old and dying in here, Ms. Girardi." Yeah, that oughta light a fire under her. Joan: "Works for me."
In his office, Price tells her he's received Mr. Tuchman's evaluation: "You've listed one of your major considerations for your destination of higher learning as 'weather.'" Joan says she's not good with cold. Sing it, sister! I wish I'd gone to university in San Diego, or Fiji or someplace. The one year I spent in a dorm, I lived by myself in a 10' x 10' room, and for most of the year, I had a loud, scary old space heater running constantly and was wrapped in an electric blanket turned up as high as it would go. My best friend Margaret, who lived across the hall, would come over and freak out about how hot my room was. She's a nut who'd have her window open on even the most frigid days. (M, if you're reading this, which I doubt, you know I kid because I love.) I'm sure between the two of us, we were responsible for a hefty hike in the cost of residence the following year. Price points out she failed her physics test. Joan: "Physics is hard. Look, why don't you just tell me what schools you think I have a shot with." She mentions UT Austin as her first choice. Price: "UT is a fine school. Unfortunately, they do have as one of their admissions criteria evidence of brain activity." Whoa. Price, dude, that's harsh, even for you. Joan: "But…I got straight Bs last semester." Price: "Mmm. You were somewhat farther down the musical scale the year before." Wouldn't that be the year of Kevin's accident, arsewipe? I find it hard to believe he's unaware of that, given that Helen used to work in that very office. Joan says that was her old school: "I was different then." Price is completely devoid of sympathy or even humanity: "There's a reason they call it a permanent record, Ms. Girardi. Any four-year school is out of your range. I'm recommending Arcadia Community College." Oh, come on. There must be any number of four-year schools Joan could get into, especially if she really pulls up her socks between now and graduation. Joan starts panicking, saying she can't stay here: "I'm going wherever Adam goes." Price: "Adam Rove is a gifted student. He has a promising future. I'm sure you don't want to hold him back." Man. Talk about violations of ethics and professionalism. Discussing another student's prospects, completely discouraging (and ignoring) Joan…I just want to smack him into next week. He dismisses her by handing her the brochure for Arcadia Community College. She's speechless.