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Will Schuester

Dramatis Persona

The new age teacher has traded in the stern countenance, boring old vests, ancient pair of spectacles and atrocious hairdos for a more affable and approachable nature, funky apparel, preferably no spectacles and a carefully cultivated hairstyle. Why? For times change and my chosen poster boy for this new School of Cool is Glee’s Will Schuester.

A handsome Spanish teacher with a passion for show-tunes, Will takes over as the head of the McKinley High Glee Club with the intention of resuscitating it and giving it a second life. Evidence of his motivation can be seen in his christening of the Club as ‘New Directions’. But the quintessential high school clique pyramid mandates that the Glee club, on account of its ‘uncool’ness languishes at the bottom, be sneered at, derided and have fruit slushies thrown in their faces every day. Add to that, Principal Figgins’ whimsical budget cuts and the school’s megalomaniacal cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester’s covert and blatant attempts at sabotaging the club and preserving the law of the Social Jungle, Will’s professional life is nothing short of waging a daily war.

On a personal front, Will is married to his high-school sweetheart, Terri, a selfish, self-centered and for a lack of a politer word, bitch. Will can probably sense these traits sub-consciously but turns a blind eye against them and the school guidance counselor, Emma’s romantic advances, in order to be a faithful and loving husband. When they decide to have a baby, he even works overtime to save money for their child and pampers Terri silly, even momentarily succumbing to her demand to take up an accountant’s job which is better paying, until he is reminded of his love for teaching by Emma and his students.

But when he finds out Terri was only faking a pregnancy, out of anger and betrayal, he divorces her and nurses his heartbreak. Free from any obligations, he tries to pursue a relationship with Emma which sustains for a while before falling apart as he, secretly, hasn’t been able to forget Terri. Will, usually a level-headed and mature man, is blinded by jealousy when he sees Emma with her new boyfriend and lets the little green monster get better of him. He tries every trick in the book, worthy of an immature adolescent, to win her back, before accepting defeat when he hears of her marriage and moves on, questionably in the form of making out with rival show-choir instructors when drunk.

No one is infallible and neither is Will. While he believes in fair-play, honesty, integrity and sincerity, his acute desire to keep Glee Club afloat and alive, leads him to indulge in a few unethical activities such as planting drugs in a student’s locker and threatening him with visions of a bleak future unless he joined the club or failing all the cheerleaders in Spanish so that they’re unable to continue practice, as payback for some diabolical scheme of Coach Sylvester. While he encourages free-thinking and creativity, he, sometimes cannot stop himself from being narrow-minded or controlling about the choice of songs or choreography, which causes the students to resent him at times. He claims to champion equality but he doesn’t make much effort to budge an inch from status-quo either.

These would remain his shortcomings if he didn’t realize his mistakes and try to make amends for them. Every time he senses himself going wrong, he stops to assess the situation and duly apologizes, He also manages to extricate himself from sticky situations admirably. His sensitive yet firm handling of a student crushing on him showcases his concern for her well-being and not destroying her fragile sense of self.  When he tries to shine the spotlight on other students of the club and is met with dissent, his adamant stance on giving them their place in the sun exposes his willing nature to evolve and avoid his past gaffes.

But what makes Will Schuester a truly inspirational character and torch-bearer of the pedagogic community is that apart from Spanish and singing lessons, he imparts his students, lessons in life. He taught them to stand up, face their fears, discover themselves and accept it and be at ease with it. He showed them that momentary lapses in judgment is only natural but holding one’s head high and staying strong after the debacle is only proper. He taught them to be perceptive of others’ emotions and feelings and have regard for them. On losing the Sectionals, he pushes them to be bigger and better as for true performers, the show must go on. But mainly, he was able to cut across the school’s various so-called social strata and unite jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, divas and punks under one umbrella who ultimately conglomerate to form the heart and soul of their platform of passion – New Directions.

Now wouldn’t you love to have a teacher like that?
Well, don’t stop believing!

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Sayonee Ghosh Roy
I humbly profess to be spoilt, pampered brat with old-school upbringing. You could let me loose in a book-store and I'd never come out, except if you lure me out with coffee and Italian food.


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