59: Graduation

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Graduation
Opening dialogue by Scott
Title text: Opening dialogue by Scott

Explanation

Robert Frost wrote a poem about a road splitting two ways. One way was obviously well traveled, the other had probably only had a few people on it ever. He made the point that the well traveled path had no surprises in it, that because everyone took it, you could know that it would be the safe way to go. Blonde is taking the more traveled path. She doesn't know what she wants to do with her life, so she is going to follow what is known, go to Grad School. Graduate School, for those that don't know or use a different term for it, is the next level of education after Undergraduate work. People in Grad. School are pursuing their Master's degree.

Brunette, on the other hand, has decided to become a lighthouse operator. Which is a path that is becoming increasingly less traveled. Fewer people need lighthouses. Before GPS technology, lighthouses were invaluable markers of where the sea ended and where land began. Brunette likes the idea of being the maid in the highest tower. Except, most fantasies portray the maid in the tower to be helpless, but operating a lighthouse is far from helpless. It can be one of the most needed jobs for sea-farers to find their way back home.

Transcript

[Megan and Miss Lenhart are talking]
Miss Lenhart: What do you want to do when you graduate ?
Megan: I want to become a lighthouse operator.
Miss Lenhart: Oh ?
Megan: Yeah.
[cut to scene of lighthouse with text overlaid]
Megan: Lighthouses are built on interesting pieces of coast, so I'll have an interesting place to walk and swim, and great views of all kinds of weather. I'd feel good about myself and my work every single day.
[cut back to the two girls]
Megan: I'd get to be the girl in the tower, only I'd be the one rescuing people.
Megan: Why. What do you want to do ?
Miss Lenhart: I'm going to grad school. I don't really know why.
Megan: Wanna come hang in my lighthouse over breaks ?
Miss Lenhart: ...yeah.
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Discussion

This is very likely not Miss Lenhart. Her hair is the same, but the official transcript simply calls her "blonde", she's clearly a somewhat aimless student and not a teacher, and the strip does not fit the pattern stated as a certainty on her character page, where she is specifically named in every appearance. Also, this is a very early comic where Randall likely didn't have future characters in mind yet. So, I'm removing her name from the transcript. - jerodast (talk) 14:38, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Randall talks about Miss Lenhart only a few months later, in 135: Substitute. It's impossible for us to know whether he had her in mind or not at this time, but the character ambiguity is standard for xkcd (not less so in the early ones). Since she is at least relevant in any investigation of Miss Lenhart, I'll include her in the categories, and it'll be open for everyone to make up their own minds! –St.nerol (talk) 20:37, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Even teachers were once aimless students. Perhaps this conversation inspired Lenhart to be a teacher 18:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
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