Glee Episode #5: The Rhodes Not Taken

Word of the Day: Why. It is probably the most important question we can ask of ourselves. Honest answers to the question “Why?” give us a better glimpse of who a person is and who we are. “Why” shows us what motivates a person or what is considered important. The answer doesn’t always come right away – if we want the real answer. That’s probably why it takes a whole episode for the characters to understand their reasons why.

“We have obligations as teachers to give kids opportunities for growth and enrichment.” – Emma
If only all teachers acknowledged this obligation as their reason for teaching. There are too many teachers who focus on the salary (however much or little) over the students. The best teachers out there are the ones who make you better people, not better test takers. They’re the ones who teach you about life and academics, and help you to realize your full potential.

“If Glee’s gonna win, I need to give her a second chance. She is a talented performer, and I really think that the kids are going to learn a lot of valuable technique from her.” – Will
Will has a couple reasons for keeping April around, both seemingly focused on his students. His first reason is to help April and allow her to achieve what she was 3 credits short from achieving. His second reason is to help his current students become better singers and performers. At the root of it all, though, is Will’s desire for Glee to win and reclaim his glory days.

“You need to think about why you’re doing this and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get it.” – Emma
Not only should you think about what you’re willing to sacrifice, but you should also consider whether “this” is even worth the sacrifice. And is the “why” worth the sacrifice, too? Is the businessman willing to sacrifice family time to get the promotion just because he wants prestige at work? Am I willing to sacrifice a couple homework-less years of my life to get my Master’s degree in order to pursue my desire to work with college students? Is Will willing to sacrifice the integrity and innocence of his students in exchange for April Rhodes just so Glee can succeed?

“I just know that I want to spend more time with you now.” – Finn
Goodness, who knows how many times this has been my reason why…

Kurt: Maybe Quinn is lactose intolerant.
Artie: That doesn’t explain all the crying.
Tina: Maybe she just doesn’t like the group.
No amount of speculation about the “why” behind Quinn’s recent behavior can replace Quinn’s personal obligation to face the truth.

“I need to get a music scholarship so I can go to college, so I can get a good job, so I can take care of my kid. And I can’t do that if you don’t come back to glee club.” – Finn
I remember the idea of college driving my decisions, even down to the courses I studied in junior high. I needed to take the right classes so I could get into a good school, so I could get a good job. But that’s all. Finn’s motivation is much weightier and goes beyond just having a good job. He wants a good life, something that college can provide.

“I realized being a star didn’t make me feel as special as being your friend. If I let you down when you needed me the most, I’d never forgive myself.” – Rachel
Rachel said in the pilot episode that “being a part of something special makes you special”. She thought that “something special” was glee club, but now she realizes it’s the friendship she has with the glee kids. The relationships we form are often the strongest reasons why we do anything.

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