My So-Called Life
Self-Esteem

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Key Grip: D | 4 USERS: A+
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Self-Esteem

Mr. Katimsky's class. He's reading a sonnet by Shakespeare, in which the Bard describes all of the human frailties and flaws of his lover, declaring his love for her despite -- nay, because -- of all these things. Close-up of Jordan's eyes, as we are expected to believe that he understands the sonnet. "What kind of girl is Shakespeare describing? Is she the most beautiful girl?" Brian Krakow says no. Mr. Katimsky asks more leading questions of a similar ilk, and Krakow laughs appreciatively. No, he says again. "So he's not in love with her?" And now Catalano pipes up, "Yeah. He is." Mr. Katimsky asks, "And why is that?" Jordan's train of thought derails at this point, but Brian comes to the rescue: "She's not just a fantasy. She's got, like, flaws. She's real." Ricardo Katimsky says thank you.

The Only Bathroom. AVO: "Dear God. I know I'm cutting English. And I've done a million other terrible things. Including not completely believing in you. But please. Please help me to pass this midterm. Oh God. Who am I kidding? It's too late. It's over." Sin, the secret Geometry whiz, is sitting in the windowsill opposite. Angela says, "You have Ms. Lerner, right? For Geometry?" Uh-oh. Clique boundaries are being shattered. "So?" says Sin. "Nothing, I just didn't study at all." Sin says she didn't either, but Angela points out that she really needs to, and that she may just skip it, as she is destined to flunk it regardless. Sin says, "I just may skip it myself. I'm sick of being the little schoolgirl. It's just not worth it." Angela says, "Why did I let this happen? I've totally blown it. Why does he have this, like, power over me?" Sin says, "I haven't cut a midterm in a real long time." Bad men. Ruining lives.

Fade to later. Sin is helping Angela study. Blah blah transversal blah blah congruent. Whatever. The bell rings. In a rare semi-false note for this show, female solidarity seems to have cured all ills in a rather pat fashion. "We should take the test," says Sin. "It'd be pretty dumb to skip it." Just then, Sharon busts in. "Did you hear? The copy machine ate our Geometry midterms. It's been postponed till tomorrow." Shrieks of girlish glee. Wow, good thing Sharon happened upon this particular bathroom. "Lerner's having another review session this afternoon." Angela says she'll definitely be there. Sin says she doesn't need it. Girlish giggles. The sisters are doin' it for themselves. It's rainin' men. Or something.

The hallway. Richard Katimsky fretfully checks the slim pickings on the Drama Club sign-up sheet. He spots Rickie trying to escape, and calls him over. "Why are you doing this?" says Enrique. "This is not something I'm gonna do, okay? I'm just not the type of person who joins things." No, it's not okay, says Mr. Katimsky, and he makes a references to that famous Groucho Marx quote about joining clubs. Rickie: "What?" Mr. Katimsky wants to know what the problem really is. "Don't let the fact that your English teacher is a dork stop you from fulfilling your potential. Just pretend that I'm a track coach and I noticed you can run fast. It's as simple as that, Enrique." Stop calling him Enrique! "Stop calling me Enrique!" he says. Mr. Katimsky apologizes, but can't help himself, because it's such a great name. "When I was in high school, I hated my name. I hated it." Rickie says that he doesn't hate Enrique, and Richard says that that's good, he's really glad. Because, "Nobody should..." The sun goes out. Entropy ends the universe as we know it. "...hate who they are." But this beautiful, sly remark, of course, gets right through to Rickie, and we realize what Mr. Katimsky has been trying to do for him all along. Indeed, we realize what, more than his name, Richard probably hated about himself in high school. Step aside, Ethan on Dawson's. The original Gayoda is here. Mr. Katimsky saunters away. The Buffalo Tom Electric Guitar Of Having A Good Role Model plays. Rickie signs up for Drama Club. As "Enrique Vasquez."

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My So-Called Life

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