Macklin: Last week we discussed the definition of sexual misconduct. This week let’s talk about responsibility. Whoever you had for sixth grade health—Ms. Franklin, Sister Peter Marie—what did they tell you about sexual responsibility?
Natalie: Don’t get pregnant.
Zoe: Or herpes.
Owen: Yeah, and definitely never have sex in your girlfriend’s parents’ bed. No matter how many times she swears they’re away for the weekend.
Macklin: We learn to protect ourselves. But let’s think about this: how do we protect ourselves emotionally? Keep ourselves from getting hurt? Is that even possible? Say we have sex with somebody that we probably shouldn’t—a roommate, a co-worker. Your best friend’s ex.
Lee: Professor Dixon.
Macklin: Yes well. We laugh about that, but there’s something that disturbs us too. Why is that? Sometimes sexual relations are about power. And with that power comes responsibility.
For your video diary entry this week, I’d like you to talk about sexual responsibility. Yours to others, others to you. But ultimately what is your responsibility to yourself.
Bonatelle: Alright. We’re going to invite Professor Dixon to join us.
Thaddeus: Will we have an opportunity to question him?
Bonatelle: Yes. But this is not an inquisition. Or a lynch mob.
Dixon: I’m guilty of falling in love. Of wanting to be with someone. Which—last time I heard—was neither illegal nor unethical.
Macklin: Feeling sexual desire and acting on that desire and two completely different things. College professors are supposed to have the maturity to know the difference.
Dixon: You know, Macklin, you of all people shouldn’t be so high and mighty. I seem to recall you sitting in the hot seat at an ethics committee meeting last year.
Macklin: I was challenging my students on their assumptions about sexual roles.
Dixon: You snuck porn stars into the a cappella choir.
Owen: Hey, what are you up to tonight?
Natalie: I hate when people ask that.
Owen: Okay. Sorry.
Natalie: Well what if I say “nothing” and you ask me to do something totally lame and I have no way out?
Owen: Me do something lame?
Natalie: So what were you going to ask me?
Owen: No. The moment’s passed.
Owen about Natalie’s date: You know he just pledged Sigma Ata. They’re like Nazis in letter sweaters.
Zoe: Art is life, right?
Lee: Life is art. You are… art.
Natalie: Not every problem can be solved. Sometimes your life is just wrong. And you feel like crap. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Macklin: You worked in Washington. Power’s quite an aphrodisiac.
Bonatelle: I never fondled anyone’s cigar if that’s where you’re headed.
Macklin: No interns?
Bonatelle: Worse. A Republican. And yes, it was in the middle of an impeachment. And yes, he worked for the opposing counsel. And yes, if anyone had found out my credibility would have been shot. But yes. And no, I don’t regret a second.
Macklin: That. That’s it.That look in your eyes. Right there. I wouldn’t care if Dixon slept with half-a-dozen eighteen-year-olds. If he slept with the president of the college—if he slept with Dean Harper. As long as he did it with passion— with joy. But you could see it in Dixon’s eyes. There was no real passion there. Dixon betrayed passion. He used passion as an excuse. Because he was afraid. Of his failing marriage, of not publishing. Of death. But that’s why I think Dixon needs to find another job. Not because he had sex. Because he’s having sex for all the wrong reasons.
Owen: Hey Richard. Do you know why Natalie jumped?
Richard: You’re going to have to ask her.
Owen: You’re amazing. I don’t understand why a girl like you would want to throw it away.
Natalie: You didn’t know me then. You don’t know me now. You’re just like everybody else. You see me as “The Jumper”.
Owen: Then tell me, how do you see you? I want to know.
Natalie: It’s a bargain you make with yourself, okay? An escape hatch. “Maybe today I’ll trying drinking. See if that makes me feel better.” Then drugs. More drugs. Cutting yourself. You’re scared. So you make a deal to make yourself feel safer. That if it doesn’t stop—next week, next month—then you’re going to do something to make it stop. And then next month comes. And the thought of waking up another day and feeling as badly as you did the day before is worse than the unknown. So you decide to jump. Seems simple. Clean. Elegant.
Owen: What did it feel like? Like flying in a dream?
Natalie: It happened so fast. I just remember thinking I’d made a terrible mistake and now I couldn’t take it back. How every other problem in my life I could fix. Except jumping.
Lee about calling Rachel: I don’t know what to say. What do I say to her?
Richard: You’re asking the wrong alcoholic.
Sarah: You know she and Richard Thorne had this weird Barfly-meets-Sid-and-Nancy twisto thing.
Owen: Yeah, I heard every gory detail.
Owen: Well, uh, some. So she’s lived. She has a past. It’s not like she has and alien soul or webbed feet.
Sarah: Well apparently all we do know is that she bounces.
Lee: I didn’t apply to Bedford to get away from you or to meet other girls. I love you.
Rachel: Lee, I wanted to tell you why I’ve been so emotional lately—
Lee: Forget all that. We can be together. Nothing has to change because I’m in college.
Rachel: I’m pregnant.