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 11th Grade Title text: And the ten minutes striking up a conversation with that strange kid in homeroom sometimes matters more than every other part of high school combined.

## Explanation

This strip is a comparison about the time spent in 11th grade doing various things, and how important those things are to one's future. The first two bars on the chart are 900 hours of class, which is about 180 hours short of how many hours kids spend in school each year (most likely to show the lunch hour), and 400 hours of homework, or an average of about 2.2 hours per school day. Conversely, idly messing around in Perl (a programming language) for only one weekend is shown to have a much larger impact on one's future — specifically Randall's, as learning how to code would have been key to his job as a robotics engineer at NASA. This is likely due to the skills one can pick up in even just a single weekend in contrast to the often redundant, trivial or generalist information that schools tend to convey. Having teachings in school end up not being useful in future is also topic on 1050: Forgot Algebra although there Randall conveys that it is normal and not an excuse to boast about one's ignorance.

The title text is a further exaggeration, claiming that striking up a conversation with the strange kid at school could be far more important than all four years of a high school education. There is always the chance that "that strange kid" might turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Or that he knows a guy who can find you your first job. Or he's the one who tells you about his interest in a to you yet unknown topic and sparks your interest in it as well, and maybe it turns into your future career. Or, conversely, the weird kid could be a school shooter.

## Transcript

[Above a bar graph:]
[The y axis is labeled:]
Usefulness to career success
[Above the x-axis are two small and one huge bar. Below the axis each bar is labeled:]
900 hours of classes
400 hours of homework
One weekend messing with Perl

# Discussion

There's no claim in the title text about gaining "social skills and new perspectives". I suspect it's more about the chance that "that strange kid" might turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, or some such. Wwoods (talk) 21:25, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Or Eric Harris / Dylan Klebold. 108.162.216.54 20:44, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Yep. Or that he knows a guy who can find you your first job. Or he's the one who tells you about his interest in x topic and sparks your interest in it as well, and maybe it turns into your future career. It could happen. 108.162.221.33 01:50, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

I thought the comment about "that strange kid" was about Randall himself. 108.162.212.36 07:18, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

Usually I'm that person people treat as "that strange kid." Really hoping to kick some serious ass in the future. Mostly the asses of all the rudefucks that bullied me all throughout grade school. In space. XD International Space Station (talk) 06:31, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Funny, with a 'hmmmm....' that makes you ponder. The hovertext, to me, can be an afterthought, or a rimshot, or a deeper layer of the onion. I took 'career success' as one's career through life, as in path through life. Most of public instruction is outside->inside...putting a structure into someone. One weekend, you're intrigued by something, and you pour yourself into it to the exclusion of all else. This is inside->out, and that changes everything. And the strange kid in the corner might be you. Jorjor (talk) 15:19, 11 April 2018 (UTC)