Mrs Verdinas, Rory’s guidance counsellor at Chilton, speaks to her about her lack of socialising at school, which Headmaster Charleston told her about a few weeks ago. Mrs Verdinas is her new guidance counsellor; the previous year it was Mr Summers, who we never saw.
This means that only a short time into the academic year, Headmaster Charleston, who is running an entire school, has decided the big problem he needs to address is Rory reading at lunchtime. How he knows about this is a bit of a mystery, unless he spends his free time stalking students in the dining hall.
In a school with hundreds of students, Mrs Verdinas and Headmaster Charleston have been keeping such a close watch on Rory that they’re bothered she’s been spending her lunch times reading and listening to music. Even though she’s getting good grades, works on the school paper, and interacts well with other students on class projects, none of that counts because she doesn’t have any friends at school.
Apparently colleges don’t accept “loners” (really?), and Chilton isn’t going to write a good letter of recommendation for Rory (have they never heard of simply telling some vaguely-worded white lies?). And friends in class doesn’t count, they have to be friends to eat lunch with. Mrs Verdinas never even checks what Rory is reading – perhaps reading Gore Vidal at lunch is better preparation for college than gossiping with Madeline and Louise?
It isn’t even a matter of Mrs Verdinas having a quiet chat to Rory to suggest she might try socialising a little more outside class, she more or less threatens to ruin Rory’s academic future unless she gets some lunch friends, stat!
Yes, it’s all pretty unbelievable, but that is the plot of this episode.