BMW: 316, “Stormy Weather”; Feb 9, 1996

All right, an Eric-centric episode!

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Eric still has his internship at the news station. And he can’t drive Cory to school because of it. If only Cory had two parents with vehicles of their own. I mean Amy doesn’t seem to ever work, even when she’s actually employed.

Also Eric is turning 18 in a few days. This is relevant somehow.

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Haha, blizzard.

At school, Feeny warns Eric if he doesn’t do his work, he won’t graduate. Oh no, if he doesn’t graduate, he won’t be able to get a job! Oh wait he already has a job. Well nevermind.

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Shawn and Dana Pruitt are still dating. Her mom comes to pick her up from Turner’s apartment. Turner and Dana’s mom flirt. Shawn finds this disgusting. He thinks it’d be weird if Turner started dating his girlfriend’s mother, which it kind of would be if Shawn and Turner were actually related to each other. Like on Degrassi when Claire’s mom got married to Claire’s boyfriend’s dad and they had this whole freakout thing about whether it was okay for them to date or not. I forget what else happens.

Eric kisses up to the head anchor. Then the head anchor takes his pants off.

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I got nothing.

Eli gets on Eric’s case about missing school for the internship. Eli even follows Eric to the news station. Now Eli is missing school, and he’s a teacher.

The weatherman is on vacation, and they can’t find a replacement for some reason. Luckily, Eric knows how to present a weather forecast.

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So Feeny told Eric’s parents that Eric’s in danger of not graduating, but apparently he’ll fix all the grades and stuff if Eric turns in a 2000-word essay on reconstructionism by 3 pm that Friday. Eric says this is ridiculous and impossible, because he has his work at the station. There are so many things wrong with this.

  1. Why is Eric working at the station so much? It’s an internship for high school students, so presumably the hours would originally have been limited to afternoons in the first place. I can understand that since Eric likes working there so much and does such a great job, they let him work more hours, but he seems to be there all day. I don’t think they even keep salaried employees at the news stations all day.
  2. I don’t know what day of the week it is, so I don’t know how long Eric is supposed to have to write that paper. But here’s a few things: 2000 words is nothing. I know it’s way harder to come up with enough words to say about a topic you don’t care about, but you know how many entries I have on this blog that are longer than 2000 words? I don’t know exactly, but it’s most of them. That first Glee recap was like 5000 words. And sure, this is 1996, so Eric doesn’t have Wikipedia and Microsoft Word to use, so it’d be a little harder for him, but still. Come on.
  3. Eric doesn’t seem to have to work at the station at night. Why doesn’t he just write his paper then? I mean when I was in high school and college, that’s just what you did. If you didn’t have time to do something, you just didn’t sleep in order to get it done. Eric could just spend a couple hours before his job and churn out that essay. No problem.
  4. It’s only February. Eric graduates in May or June. Why is it such a huge “OMG YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO GRADUATE” deal right now? Of course he should be working on improving his grades regardless of how close he is to graduating, but they’re freaking out on him like he graduates next week or something.

I know this episode is one of those “complete your education” episodes, but man, screw these kinds of episodes. Eric has a job. He likes his job. He’s good at his job. There’s room for growth at his job. Eric is not an academic person. He’s never been interested in school, he’s not any good at school, and despite applying to a huge number of colleges, did not get accepted to a single one. Look, there are just some people who are not cut out for schooling, like there are just some people not cut out for working in retail or management. That’s just how it is. And, well, especially with the way the economy is right now, it just drives me insane to see all these tv show episodes where they encourage kids to get rid of their paying jobs in order to graduate high school. One in particular was the absolute worst – basically one of the characters said “the job will always be there.” No it won’t. School will always be there. When it comes up several times on Degrassi, I’ll go into this again, but I think it’d dumb to encourage kids to give up on jobs. Telling kids to use cautious judgment when it comes to jobs is one thing – like in Eric’s case, the weather forecasting part of his job is temporary, so I wouldn’t recommend he get too attached to it. But it’s just ridiculous when you have other cases, like in one episode of Degrassi where one character gets a job on a television show, but decides to go to acting school instead. People go to acting school so they can get good enough to land gigs on shows. You already have a job on a show. This is dumb.

WELL ANYWAY Eric’s 18 now. His parents are standing around, sipping coffee, not doing their jobs. Alan calls Eric a baby.

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He says it’s a big mistake for Eric to be employed rather than to not be employed.

Eric says he’s 18 now and can make his own decisions. Alan says if he’s going that route, than he’s going to treat Eric like an adult, and demands rent, car insurance, etc. Eric says that’s fine and slams all the money in his wallet on the table. Despite my earlier blood-pressure-raising rant, I have to side with Alan here. I mean, he just has a very valid point. If Eric’s going to act like an adult, he ought to start acting like one, and while I think it’s out of line to demand rent and insurance payments immediately, Alan would not be completely in the right to stop declaring Eric as a dependent on taxes, and kick him out of the house. I still think it’s ridiculous to condemn someone for having a job, but point goes to Alan.

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According to the forecast, the blizzard continues, and schools are still closed. Except John Adams High. I hope there’s some huge bus crash and everyone sues Feeny for keeping the school open despite the dangerous weather.

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The station does a little “happy birthday” thing for Eric. Eric thanks the station manager for all the birthday surprises, and the job. He tells Eric they’ve got a real weatherman coming down to take over the job. Eric’s disappointed, but is fine with going back to work as the intern gofer, especially since he has all this time now since he dropped out of school. But there’s a problem.

The internship was only for students. And now that Eric’s not a student, well, he can’t be an intern. So now he’s got nowhere to go. The station manager tells him to call up after college, even though Eric dropped out of high school so college is probably out of the question.

And the cake is cardboard.

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Alan surprisingly shows up, having calmed down a bit. He talks about how after he graduated high school, he went into the Navy rather than college. His dad got really angry, but whatever. Dads, amiright? They make up and whatever.

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Eric showed up to turn in his paper even though he’s not a student. He wrote 20,000 words by accident.

Feeny asks if he’s expecting to just turn in the paper and be instantly forgiven. Eric isn’t, but he just wants someone to cut him some slack. Especially because he’s realized that as a high school dropout, he’s very limited in the jobs he can work at. Feeny decides this is enough of a lesson learned and allows Eric to come back to school. The end.

Oh, right, so Turner and Dana’s mom decided not to date because they thought it would be too weird on the kids. During the credits, it turns out Turner is now dating Dana’s aunt.

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Why do adults keep going on dates at Chubbie’s? It’s greasy burger joint that’s full of teenagers.

All right, so the lesson learned here is: don’t drop out of high school because there aren’t a lot of jobs available. This is sensible. But you know what would’ve been even better? A lesson about how to balance work and school. Because that was the whole problem, that Eric was working so much at the station that he was neglecting his school work.

Cory had like 3 lines in this episode.

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