Monday, March 16, 2015

500 Letters: Boundless Jubilation

My favorite episode of "The Office" is in season three, episode 17, "Business School." The three main stories going through the episode are Michael Scott speaking to Ryan Howard's business school class, Pam Beasley trying (and failing) to get coworkers to come to her art show, and Dwight Schrute trying to catch a bat in the office. I'll only talk about the first two points here.

Pam tries all day to get people to come to her art show. It's a show with her fellow community ed. art students. People make excuses, or are busy, or just awkwardly say they'll show up without actually showing up. I know Pam's feeling. (I'm guessing my seasoned comedy friends know how she feels as well.)

Michael oafishly works his way through business school talk, not being able to answer the students questions about changing business models in the paper industry. He thought he'd be giving some sort of inspiration speech, instead of being cornered answering questions about the dying paper industry. He storms out after the students fluster him.

Pam's on again-off again boyfriend Roy and her brother (not art fans) show up for a few minutes and walk around. It's evident Roy just hopes he'll get sex in return. Her coworker Oscar and his partner show up, but Pam overhears them criticizing the art calling it "hotel art." She's nearly in tears.

Just as the art show about to end, Michael stops by and is engrossed by Pam's artwork. He doesn't care about the amateur nature of the class, nor does he know that almost no one from the office stopped by. He is mystified and tells Pam he is proud of her. He also offers to purchase the painting of the office building. His joy and jubilation just seems to cut through everyone else's apathy and criticism. Pam is speechless and gives him a hug.

I think that's my favorite scene in the entire series. It highlights the importance of just showing up. You can either sit on your couch or you can show up. People appreciate showing up.

Last letter: No. 111 to Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed (technically I'm listening to it)
Listening: Wil Butler "Policy"
Watching: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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