The episode starts off where the boys are sitting at the bar having a bit of Scotch, while enjoying a nice peaceful evening. Jess rushes in and informs them that they have 21 minutes to help her make a life changing decision. She also downs all their scotch (not wise, it burns like hell going down). She has been volunteering at the local children’s museum and they offered her a position as head fundraiser. She is torn because she does love it at the museum, but she has always thought she’d become a teacher.
What’s not helping are the budget cuts and delayed construction at school. She is now forced to share a classroom with multiple teachers and things are just getting way out of hand. So when she was offered the job, she told the museum director that she would think about it. It has her questioning if she was on the right path.
The gang decides to reflect on how they found the professions that they are in now. Winston tells her how hard it was to decide to quit playing basketball (since his love for the game began moments after birth). It was actually a broken leg that made him stop. Not really helpful, but still, Winston’s insights are usually pretty humorous if not whacky.
Schmidt is up next and I, of course, am giddy with anticipation. He began as a candy striper while in college and fell in love with a nurse. He casually asked her boyfriend what he would have to do to get a girl like that, to which he replied ‘get a job in marketing’. However, college Schmidt was a. still in college and b. he thought he was too fat for marketing. So he and Nick got jobs selling Christmas trees. He was a Jewish giant who loved selling Christmas trees. Schmidt took advice from an old Christmas tree king who told him (while on his death bed) money is everything. If anything, this flashback explained Schmidt more than any other backstory to date.
Jess admits that the museum job does pay more than teaching, and Schmidt tells her to take it. But she longs for something more than the money. She wants the passion and to get her hands dirty. She asks Schmidt if he misses selling those trees. Coach chimes in about how he came to be a coach. It started when he was sideline coaching at one of Winston’s games. Schmidt and Nick decided to call him Coach. So is he actually a coach? We may never know.
Nick keeps trying to interject and the group cuts him off, but he’s onto something. He starts to talk about the first day he ever poured a drink, to which he asks Jess about the first day she ever taught. While looking for chalk, she found a boy who was hiding out after being picked on for being new (and apparently out of style). She took him under her wing and began tutoring him in math. Nick suggests they look him up to see where he is at today. It turns out it’s not as positive as he wants it to be, he is a wanted criminal, for 53 counts of embezzlement, that is.
Now it’s Nick’s turn to share. He started law school and was told that one person would be gone by the end of four years. He realized that he didn’t like the people there, and more importantly, he didn’t like himself there. But he kept at it because his grades were good and he even signed up for the California Bar exam. One day he was studying at the bar and Red over-served himself so he jumped back there and made a drink. Nick Miller had found his true calling.
Cece shows up with 2 minutes to spare and she always doubts her career. She’s a 31 year old model. Come on now. Jess asks her advice and told her not to ask the guys or bring up her first student Clifton. Cece tries to tell her that Clifton was not her first student but her phone beings to ring. Coach answers for her and yells that she still has one minute. Sike, it was a butt dial from Jess’ mom. Cece still has time to impart her wisdom.
She explains to Jess that she was in fact her first student. She reminds her of the first day they met. Cece was having trouble reading and more importantly she doesn’t understand the material. Jess shows her how she reads when she can’t see and Cece is hesitant to join. She then shares that her dad just died and Jess is quick to invite her over to make it better. Ah, a friendship is born.
This is all Jess needs to make her decision. She declines the job but stays on as a volunteer. Even after she makes her decision there is still a bit of indecision behind her eyes. Refreshed Jess makes the best of her school situation and realizes that maybe one day she can be a principal. Nick reveals that even though he’s a bartender he took the Bar Exam, and passed (what?! Is this the same Nick Miller from seasons past?). Poor Winston quits his job, and burnt some bridges in the process. Cece takes up bartending and Schmidt decides to sell a few Christmas trees.
As I leave this episode I want to know how exactly this advanced the plot. Maybe the world may never know. Until next week!