Oh my goodness, I am *this close* to being done with the complete draft of my thesis! It’s at 99 pages right now… and I think that’s as long as it’s gonna get. I still have to add a bit to the conclusion section, but I know I’ll need to edit a bit too before I send it to my thesis chair tomorrow. I’m so close to the end of this thing… but it’s making me feel downright queasy. I am just so worried that it’s not good enough. I know I am my own worst critic, but I really do struggle with scholarly writing. Boo

The most stressful part of working on my thesis today was the Appendix section. I had to transfer my coding instrument and coding keys into the same document that the rest of my thesis is in… and I was having the worst formatting errors! Every time I tried to bring over my list of categories, all 99 pages of my thesis would turn itself into three columns, even though that was NOT the setting I had it on! I was getting really frustrated, but I figured out that if I made a table instead of trying to make a small section with three columns, then I would be able to keep everything formatted like I needed it. Yipes stripes…

I took the notes my thesis committee had to heart and added in some statistics where I could. They asked for some seemingly specific numbers, but it was pretty much impossible to find what they wanted because it seems that people didn’t really keep records of the kinds of statistics I was most interested in. Alas. I knew my project was going to be a bit difficult going into it… it doesn’t seem like the whole of academia considers studies about film history to be a priority.

I worked for hours upon hours on my paper today, but called it quits around 6 pm because I just couldn’t focus anymore. Plus, the phone rang and it was some woman doing a survey about the economy. Since I used to work at a survey research center, I tend to take pity on phone survey people because I had friends who did that for a job (I dealt with paper surveys…). So, I did the phone survey and then had dinner with my parents.

After dinner, it was time for tonight’s Glee-run of “Duets”

(SPOILERS – this episode has been out for months now, but my opinions about “Duets” tie into plots of future episodes, so I am throwing up the “SPOILERS” message in case some people aren’t caught up through episode 2×16 yet)

So, “Duets.”

I’ve probably seen this episode 5 or 6 times in its entirety by now, not including the dozens of times I’ve seen some of the music numbers.

My absolute favorite part of this episode is still when Finn and Rachel sing “With You I’m Born Again.” However, there are 3 major aspects of this episode that really strike me, plot-wise, when it comes to the episodes that have followed it this season:

1. I actually didn’t hate Rachel Berry during this episode. In fact, this may be my favorite Rachel Berry episode because even though she’s still a little bit selfish, her motives are actually decent. She is the one who tells Finn they should throw the duets competition so that Sam and Quinn would win and that Sam would feel like part of a team, to ultimately help them win Nationals. And beside Rachel being nice(ish) to Sam and Quinn this episode, it’s her interactions with Kurt that make you want to believe that she does have his best interest at heart (even though in later episodes, she completely throws his feelings for Blaine by the wayside for an attempt at her own gain…).

When Finn convinces Kurt to not sing his duet with Sam because it would put a target on Sam’s back for bullying and ridicule, Rachel is the one to ultimately prop Kurt back up again. At the end of the episode, when she approaches him at his locker… that is a really great moment between the two of them. She tells Kurt that she knows he’s lonely, but he doesn’t have to be alone. She sympathizes that he’s not allowed to express himself because there may be negative affects (which we do see in later episodes… i.e. when Karofsky bullies and threatens Kurt). It’s a really touching moment when she says that there are 12 people in glee club who love him for who he is, and how they are going to win Nationals because of him. (And, even though Kurt has been at Dalton for the past 8 episodes, he’s headed back to McKinley soon… so he technically should be with New Directions at Nationals.) I saw some pictures/footage of Kurt and Rachel interacting in an upcoming episode… I’m hoping that Kurt and Rachel’s friendship once he gets back to McKinley is like the friendship they have going in “Duets”.

2. Sam Evans… sooooo glad he’s not Kurt’s love interest – Now, I know there are people out there who ship Kurt and Sam, but I am not one of them. Nothing against Sam… I think he’s a good character and has a bunch of layers we have yet to see on the show. But I am beyond grateful that the writers (at least so far) have made him the cute straight boy who Kurt kinda fancied for an episode instead of Kurt’s actual love interest on the show. Those of you who have seen all episodes through 2×16 know that 1.) Kurt is introduced to gay Dalton Warbler Blaine in 2×6 2.) Kurt admits feelings for Blaine in 2×10 3.) Blaine tells Kurt he cares about him but doesn’t want to screw up their friendship in 2×12 4.) Blaine kisses Kurt (and Kurt kisses back… twice) in 2×16. It’s pretty much implied that the two of them are dating/in some sort of relationship heading into next week’s 2×17.

Sam, though an attractive kid, is not Kurt’s type, even though Kurt may not have realized that right off the bat. It was important, however, in this episode for Kurt to be crushing on another straight guy (after Finn during the first season) to continue the plot lines of 1.) Kurt being lonely 2.) Kurt being the only out gay kid at McKinley 3.) Burt and Kurt’s father/son relationship that comes with some of the best conversations on television.

3. Burt/Kurt scenes are some of the very best moments of Glee – “Duets” is the very next episode after Burt’s health issues/stint in the hospital. In “Duets,” Kurt is shown taking care of his dad… making him soup and making sure he rests on the couch. These son-taking-care-of-father moments are combined with father-taking-care-of-son moments when Burt and Kurt have a conversation about Kurt’s feelings/acting on his crushes on straight guys.

This episode brings up a couple times how last season Finn called Kurt “that word” (which starts with a “f” and rhymes with “naggy”). Finn apologizes but tells Kurt that Kurt needs to cool it and that “no means no”. Burt pretty much tells his son the same thing awhile later. Kurt complains that Finn pressured him to not duet with Sam because there are homophobes at the school and it would ruin Sam’s reputation. Burt told his son that he agreed with Finn. When Kurt went to complain, Burt told him that he heard the whole story from Finn’s mom and how Finn thought that Kurt was acting on his Finn-crush too much.

Kurt goes off a bit how it seems that it’s not okay for him to be himself, but Burt puts it into perspective and says that Kurt is going to just have to go it alone for awhile until he meets the right person who is equally brave. Kurt is frustrated and rhetorically asks why he can’t walk down the hallway holding hands with the person he likes, or why he can’t slow dance at prom.

I have a hunch that by this season’s end, Kurt will get to do both of those things. With Blaine. But there was no way that back in episode 2×4 (a pre-Blaine episode), Kurt knew he was going to end up in a relationship with 1.) someone he likes and 2.) someone who genuinely likes him back.

At first, I was a bit POed that they were rerunning “Duets” again, as this is the third time it’s been on this season. But, I’m glad they did… I love the music numbers (esp. “With You I’m Born Again,” “River Deep Mountain High” and “Le Jazz Hot“), and it was good to be reminded of the challenges Kurt was facing with regards to him and others accepting him for who he is. Plus, it’ll be oh so sweet for Kurt fans to see him and Blaine (hopefully) overcoming the obstacles Kurt thought he would be facing. I don’t think it’ll be an easy road for these two boys, but I am hoping it will be a truthful and honest portrayal of the challenges two out high schoolers face in a likely narrow-minded town.

That being said, there was NO SIGN of Kurt or Blaine (or Karofsky) in the promo for next week’s episode. So, hopefully this means that TPTB are trying to keep their storylines underwraps for as long as they can. We did see Blaine shoving Karofsky in last week’s promo, and I’m pretty sure that’s supposed to be in 2×17. Regardless, I am ready for new Glee 🙂

(END SPOILERS)

Well, off to bed… gotta rest up so I can finish my thesis draft COMPLETELY tomorrow!!!!!!

Have a good one

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