Title text: The bunch of disadvantaged kids I was tutoring became too good at writing, and their essays were forcing me to confront painful existential questions, so I started trying to turn them on to drugs and crime instead.
This comic jokes about the common rant by teachers when they are annoyed by lazy or ignorant kids. They commonly say that the kids are not working up to their "full potential" and they need to work harder. The comic comforts the kids who were subject to this — by telling the students if they did reach their full potential, they could, instead of providing better essays and science fair projects, possibly create a monster robot with 6 mechanical legs apparently able to pick up and throw cars, and use machine-guns and force-fields. This is definitely not what they wanted when they said to work to your full potential.
Note that such a huge and complex machine is usually seen in Sci-Fi books or movies. Mostly, it is the main antagonist that creates them.
The title text describes a parallel to the example in the strip, using philosophy rather than engineering. Randall expresses frustration when his teaching gives underprivileged kids the intellectual skills needed to raise existential questions that bugs him. His somewhat destructive solution is to put the students back on the broad road, where they won't have time or peace of mind to think about philosophy.
- Narrator: When teachers complain, "You're not working at your full potential!"
- [Explosion in background.]
- Narrator: Don't take it too hard.
- [Car casually spirals through the air while a crash is heard in the background.]
- Narrator: They complain way more when you do.
- [A mechanized, 6-tentacled robot rampages around, picking up cars and creating a small warzone before the student inside while the lamentations of people and the building of military forces are in the background.]
- Throughout the third frame: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
- In the control center of the robot: Click, beep, whirr
- Out-of-frame: It's headed this way!
- Ponytail: Somebody stop him!
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