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"Welcome to the Hellmouth" (B 1.01): Xander is taking Trigonometry in 10th grade.

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  • "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (B 1.01): Xander is taking Trigonometry in 10th grade.

    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.




    * Xander is portrayed as ‘stupid’ and he gets an SAT Score that is around half of Willow Rosenberg’s (“Lovers Walk” (B 3.08)). Yet, he’s in the same classes as Willow, Buffy, and Cordelia—all Ivy League bound students. And Xander has a good vocabulary.


    * The writing of BtVS suggests Xander simply has such low self-esteem that he subconsciously limits himself. I took ‘Algebra 2’ in 10th grade and could have gone to any undergraduate engineering school in The United States except the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). And I could have gone to Yale University’s pre-med program.

    Yet we are supposed to believe Xander couldn’t even get into the equivalent of UC Santa Barbara?

    And why couldn't Giles or Willow help Xander with studying for the SATs?


    * An episode suggests Xander could be adept at magic. Xander as a solider was more formidable than “Halloween” (B 2.06) Angel. Yet Xander never learns magic and Xander seemingly never trains at combat.
    19
    Yes - UC Sunnydale
    5.26%
    1
    No - UC Sunnydale
    15.79%
    3
    Maybe - UC Sunnydale
    0.00%
    0
    I don't know/I don't care - UC Sunnydlae
    10.53%
    2
    Yes - Fighting
    26.32%
    5
    No - Fighting
    5.26%
    1
    Maybe - Fighting
    0.00%
    0
    I don't know/I don't care - Fighting
    0.00%
    0
    Yes - Magic
    5.26%
    1
    No - Magic
    21.05%
    4
    Maybe - Magic
    0.00%
    0
    I don't know/I don't care - Magic
    10.53%
    2

  • #2
    I think seeing someone taking a different path than further education and how Xander's story and search for purpose reflected Giles' was really interesting as a mix. The uncertainties on maintaining the friendships at first too as they adjusted were interesting. It was just more widely representative so I wouldn't have wanted him to have gone to UC Sunnydale for that reason. I think they could have shown him training for better fighting skills considering he was far from unable, was often at risk as they all are and was always wanting to step forward being brave as he was in the heat of it all. I don't think there was any need/reason for him to learn magic.

    Comment


    • #3
      I thought it was great that not all the scoobies went to college. I think Xander's character arc through seven seasons showed how well a non academic person can do, and that even if you are academic and can get the grades, a college education isn't for everyone (Cordy, Buffy, Oz). I think the show needed someone who wasn't on campus, who had a different kind of growing up, to show different types of stories.

      Xander could and did fight. He could have learnt more, become proficient in a martial art etc. but I don't think it was necessary for the show or for Xander.

      I like Willow becoming a witch. Witchcraft has always been linked with the feminine, mother earth etc., and I don't think the character of Xander would be interested in learning spells. I also don't think he'd trust them, or trust himself doing them. He had dabbled, and it never turned out well for him.

      Comment


      • #4
        Uni isn't for everyone. Xander didn't enjoy school, but I am sure he found some use for those trigonometry skills when he became a carpenter.

        Most of my friends who didn't attend uni are doing much better than I am. That is what ultimately happens with Xander. By the end of the show, he has a career. Buffy and Willow have no qualifications and Willow has never had a paying job.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
          Most of my friends who didn't attend uni are doing much better than I am. That is what ultimately happens with Xander. By the end of the show, he has a career. Buffy and Willow have no qualifications and Willow has never had a paying job.
          I actually really liked this too because it resembles observations in my own life. I have a mix of friends who did and did not attend university and whilst the majority of those who did eventually put their degrees to use and now have successful careers, it was absolutely the case that those that went straight into a trade (like carpentry, electrical apprenticeships etc) earned far more money and established themselves far quicker than those who didn't. The fact that Xander ended up prospering whilst Buffy and Willow either floundered or had interruptions in their education was really authentic to me.
          "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

          Comment


          • #6
            Xander had a special "Uncle" in the contractor business. It's the only explanation for his rise from day laborer to site runner in a year. Are we meant to believe he runs a crew and can't sweat a copper pipe?

            I would not say the show is relatable to real life unless Buffy or Willow finished college with useless sociology degrees.

            Comment


            • #7
              WfB:
              Most of my friends who didn't attend uni are doing much better than I am.
              That is so true. At least for those who choose a career in what we call "Handwerk" in Germany. I am not sure there is an exact translation into English. It means each and every profession that requires a madatory training and an exam outside University. Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, tilers, painters, motor mechnics.... The penultimate thing my plumber said to me was that he is investing in real estate because he doesn't know what to else to do with his money. The ultimate thing he told me was that he would not work for me anymore because I live on fourth floor (no elevator) and he can't be bothered to climb the stairs.

              flow
              ................................ Banner by buffylover

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                Xander had a special "Uncle" in the contractor business. It's the only explanation for his rise from day laborer to site runner in a year. Are we meant to believe he runs a crew and can't sweat a copper pipe?
                Actually Xander gets his first promotion after three months of working in construction:

                The Replacement:

                BOSS: How long you work here, Harris?
                SuaveXANDER: Huh? I'm not sure.
                BOSS: About three months?
                SuaveXANDER: I guess, yeah.
                BOSS: And you haven't done much construction work before this, is that right? I have to tell you, that's surprising ... 'cause your work here has been first-rate. Yeah, we have another job lined up in Carlton when you're finished here. You ever think about staying on full-time? I was thinking that I'd have you head up our interior carpentry crew ...see how it goes. It's more responsibility, but the pay is better.
                SuaveXANDER: That would be *great*.



                Fool For Love (Shooting Script)


                WILLOW
                Wow. So they really work for you?

                XANDER
                Well technically, they work for
                the construction company. But
                they are my crew. I tell them
                what to do, and they very often
                do it.

                ANYA
                Except sometimes they do it wrong
                and he gets to be all stern, but fair.
                It's so damn cute.
                Made by Trickyboxes
                Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                  Actually Xander gets his first promotion after three months of working in construction:

                  The Replacement:

                  BOSS: How long you work here, Harris?
                  SuaveXANDER: Huh? I'm not sure.
                  BOSS: About three months?
                  SuaveXANDER: I guess, yeah.
                  BOSS: And you haven't done much construction work before this, is that right? I have to tell you, that's surprising ... 'cause your work here has been first-rate. Yeah, we have another job lined up in Carlton when you're finished here. You ever think about staying on full-time? I was thinking that I'd have you head up our interior carpentry crew ...see how it goes. It's more responsibility, but the pay is better.
                  SuaveXANDER: That would be *great*.



                  Fool For Love (Shooting Script)


                  WILLOW
                  Wow. So they really work for you?

                  XANDER
                  Well technically, they work for
                  the construction company. But
                  they are my crew. I tell them
                  what to do, and they very often
                  do it.

                  ANYA
                  Except sometimes they do it wrong
                  and he gets to be all stern, but fair.
                  It's so damn cute.
                  Exactly. I was never disputing that. It just has no real world foundation. It's fiction, obviously, so it doesn't have to make sense, much like Buffy being a minor and being able to afford that crappy apartment in LA in S3. Which is why comparing it to real life doesn't work very well.

                  Construction is a high nepotism environment. It matters far more than how good you actually are. He's not going to be running a crew from being a day laborer in 3 months. Not in a year. That is part of the reason there are so many companies in the US. You either own your own company or you are going nowhere up the ladder.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When I worked at an airport, my friend who worked for the competing company and had no qualifications became station manager in just a few months. It was a lot of fun seeing him sweat, because the company he worked for is absolute garbage, but he did surprisingly well. He has moved on to greener pastures now.

                    Of course, leading a crew of carpenters would require knowing a bit about carpentry. It would have been nice to see Xander complete some kind of course. It seems like his boss saw him as a prodigy.

                    I spent a couple months in construction, myself. I did not get promoted

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's complete nitpicking, of course. It would have been more believable if he had gotten an apprenticeship with a plumber or electrician in S4. Then by S5, it would have been more easy to believe he'd be making good money.

                      If nothing else the convo has me headcanoning they were building the new SD High in Life Serial.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's the same sort of success sprawl that apparently gave Fred a medical degree because she knew physics. To go from being a simple carpenter in season 5 to being completely in charge of rebuilding the new high school is a sort of lazy background writing that is meant to be hand waved away. If you can believe in vampires and hidden temples unearthed by a homicidal wiccan brought back by her best friend then it's not that hard to believe he's a savant in all forms of construction.
                        Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bespangled View Post
                          It's the same sort of success sprawl that apparently gave Fred a medical degree because she knew physics. To go from being a simple carpenter in season 5 to being completely in charge of rebuilding the new high school is a sort of lazy background writing that is meant to be hand waved away. If you can believe in vampires and hidden temples unearthed by a homicidal wiccan brought back by her best friend then it's not that hard to believe he's a savant in all forms of construction.
                          Xander isn't in charge of rebuilding the entire school. He lays it out clearly. Xander leads two teams of carpenters. One is "finishing the science building" and another "reinforcing the gym."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Willow from Buffy View Post
                            Xander isn't in charge of rebuilding the entire school. He lays it out clearly. Xander leads two teams of carpenters. One is "finishing the science building" and another "reinforcing the gym."
                            I grew up around construction. My father was a construction supervisor and then an advisor for the state, and we all spent plenty of time at various projects. Carpenters flesh out the internal structure. As they work there are crews for external walls (brick I believe) electricians, plumbers, drywall, concrete, metal duct work - and that's just the basic structure. Inside the school you can see windows installed and doors hung, walls tiled, linoleum laid - the vast majority of the school is not wood, and it is finished. Carpenters start and finish early on and they move on to another project or they're out of work, because their work is done. Maybe a few stick around, but only if things are running really slow.

                            If he's crewing just carpenters, and they are just finishing the science buildings then that building is pretty much still a shell. You don't use wood to reinforce anything in an area where quakes are common, so I have no idea how carpenters would reinforce the gym. I prefer to believe he's in charge of the entire building because he has blueprints of the entire building, he is in charge of large digging machinery, and he is chosen to do the ceremonial digging for the museum. None of that makes sense if he's only in charge of two carpentry crews.
                            Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bespangled View Post
                              I grew up around construction. My father was a construction supervisor and then an advisor for the state, and we all spent plenty of time at various projects. Carpenters flesh out the internal structure. As they work there are crews for external walls (brick I believe) electricians, plumbers, drywall, concrete, metal duct work - and that's just the basic structure. Inside the school you can see windows installed and doors hung, walls tiled, linoleum laid - the vast majority of the school is not wood, and it is finished. Carpenters start and finish early on and they move on to another project or they're out of work, because their work is done. Maybe a few stick around, but only if things are running really slow.

                              If he's crewing just carpenters, and they are just finishing the science buildings then that building is pretty much still a shell. You don't use wood to reinforce anything in an area where quakes are common, so I have no idea how carpenters would reinforce the gym. I prefer to believe he's in charge of the entire building because he has blueprints of the entire building, he is in charge of large digging machinery, and he is chosen to do the ceremonial digging for the museum. None of that makes sense if he's only in charge of two carpentry crews.
                              The digging of the ground of the museum is his first day at the job. He is not in charge of anything at that point.

                              Xander has brought the blueprints to show Buffy. If he was leading the project, it wouldn't take him that long to get them. He tells her that he's just gotten hold of them. And he says that he leads only two crews, doing those two jobs.

                              You're making something up and then saying what you made up doesn't make sense.

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