Unfortunately, school policy is that you can only claim the title of RA in single combat with the current holder.
What? You didn’t think Ruth got the position due to her administrative competence people skills, did you? Dorothy had better brush up on her Krav Maga.
It’s no use, Ruth won the title with the help of her secret move: “The femur snapper” which is unblockable and undodgeable.
Eh, if Dorothy can stunlock her before she gets the ult off then she’s got a solid shot.
Dorothy counters with speeding car. It’s super effective!
YOU STOP THAT
first of all how dare you
with integrity and no regrets, that’s how
Integrety, no regrets and a boyfriend whose parents are best friends with the Dean.
plus there’s something about throwing the old RA’s keys into the Crack of Doom or whatever. it’s probably not difficult.
Hey! You leave that alone!
Billie’s cleavage is impressive but ‘Crack of Doom’ might be a touch oversell
No, I think Doom is acurate.
“look Billie they can hire more than one R.A.”
“NO THEY CAN’T”
“who looks after the other wings, then”
“…SOMEONE ELSE BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE THE JOB”
Ooooh, what could this portend, I wonder?
ruth hasn’t been guaranteed fired from her position yet, or did I miss that part?
Well lets see. She did a crap job of being an RA(I’ve had good Resident Advisors. I was never afraid of them or taking a problem to them.) She’s currently in the hospital due to overdosing on alcohol. Any search of her room, which I guarantee has already happened will turn up indisputable proof of her drinking in the dorm. She carried on a relationship with one of the students under her supervision while distributing alcohol to that student, who is underage btw. All of this in addition to her even being capable to do her job, physically or mentally, means that she’s probably fired. Literally the only good thing about the whole situation is that she will actually be able to get help for her very real issues with a chance at rehabilitation and/or habilitation to a healthy mental and physical state.
I like Ruth as a character but let us be honest here. She done fucked up. She done really badly, possibly felony level, fucked up.
she wasn’t drinking. She’s in the hospitial because she was suicidal not because of alcohol poisoning.
She’d cleaned up the room while trying to foil Mary’s blackmail. There’s likely no blatant evidence there of alcohol. As Locke said, she was in a suicidal depression, not an alcoholic coma when she was committed. She’d be sober for a day or so at that point.
She’s also a minor, so it’s not clear what that does to the “distributing alcohol to a minor” charge, if they even knew about it. If nothing else it would be difficult to prove, since they were both capable of procuring their own and there were no witnesses to them sharing. And frankly, if that was actually enforced on college kids passing drinks around, you’d lock about 2/3s of most campuses.
She may actually be a horrible RA, but no one in authority seems to know that. She has a good rep with them and currently seems to be getting support from her floor, not complaints and relief.
Neither Ruth nor Billie is a “minor”, they’re 19 and 18, legal adults. They’re underage with respect to drinking alcohol.
Ruth is 20. I believe thejefff meant both were minors wrt drinking age.
Exactly. I don’t believe either is a technical legal term anyway. “Underage” probably would have been clearer though.
Sorry, Billie, no sympathy from me here.
Go get ’em, Dorothy.
Yeah I know Ruth probably needs the money or whatever comes with the job but I think it might be time to try something else.
A lot of students need the money. If we’re going to hope Ruth gets money, hope for a lottery ticket win rather than a job she’s horrible at and abuses students with.
I wonder how many lottery tickets Ruth’s alcohol budget would buy.
Maybe Marcie can get her a postage-stamp-sized area of floor in her studio to rent…
I think that Billie’s point is that Dorothy doesn’t care about the people. She’s mostly being self-serving and taking advantage of an opening created by a personal tragedy.
And yet, she would probably be good at the job. Certainly better than Ruth.
Yup, that’s where Billie’s coming from.
And that is especially bothering her, because she loves Ruth, the person who the tragedy occurred to, so it likely feels extra crass, because she’s still holding out hope that she recovers and comes back into her position (which is actually not that unlikely seeing as how Chloe likes Ruth a lot and might be willing to throw a second chance at her, certainly more than trust an unproven Freshman however awesome she might be).
Except that’s how most things in life work. The only way to not profit off someone’s loss is to invent opportunities completely out of thin air. She’s not doing anything wrong and, as many pointed out, would likely be far better at it than Ruth.
(On paper anyway. I’m not sure Dorthy yet has the requisite mean streak to keep people like Mary in line.)
Oh I’m not saying otherwise. I’m just saying that Billie has a point and as a party emotionally invested, she was on her full right to express it.
I actually hope that Dorothy gets it, somehow. It will teach her the difference between thinking you care for the people and actually caring for the people. Such beliefs are challenged when you are presented with the reality of a never-ending streams of complaints, blamings and entitlement that will ensue. You either get to actually care or become a cynical jerk like Ruth.
That’s certainly what Billie is accusing Dorothy of, but I honestly don’t think Dorothy is being that cold-blooded about it. It is possible to be both ambitious and care about other people’s well-being. Billie’s biased about the situation because of her personal feelings about Ruth – it doesn’t mean she’s seeing the situation accurately.
That being said, I think Dorothy’s got a bit of an uphill climb ahead of her if she wants to become RA. For one, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Ruth gets fired – the higher-ups of the Residence Administration appear to be fond of her for whatever reason, and most of her misdeeds as an RA are not widely known. Plus, everyone but Mary on the floor seems to want to keep quiet about the ones they do know about, and there’s a pretty good chance Mary’s going to be blackmailed into silence now. And finally, even if Ruth were fired, it is definitely against university policy to make a first-year student an RA, no matter how unusual the current circumstances. There are certain to be other students on campus who applied for such a position but did not get it, and they would be eligible first. At least, in any real-world situation like this one, that would be the case. It’s possible, of course, that Willis plans to bend the laws of reasonable outcomes for the sake of drama.
I’ve always thought the trick to good governance and leadership is in the ability to align various people’s interests towards a common goal. So I’m with Dorothy here.
The problem is (as is the case here) when the person in the position of governance literally does not see why ‘common best interest’ is a synonym for ‘my own personal ambitions’ and that no-one else really has a role other than to advance that.
Sorry, that should read: “why ‘common best interest’ should not be a synonym for ‘my own personal ambitions'”
The vast majority of jobs are done out of self-interest, and that’s the way it should be. Doing a job despite hating it is a recipe for poor job performance and low job satisfaction.
There are a few people who get power thrust upon them despite not seeking power who manage to do a good job. But despite what stories might indicate they’re incredibly rare and not a viable general strategy for choosing leaders. Power and opportunity goes to those who step up.
The two don’t conflict, though. Wanting to add it to her resume doesn’t stop her from wanting to do the job well, and the job being done well benefits the floor’s residents.
And considering the amount of effort she puts into everything else she does to improve her resume for Yale, she would do the job well, or else her motivations would not be the reason she failed.
Indeed, she would do a good job and prioritize doing a good job and that would be a point where her ambitions and the overall general good would meet. And she’s not wrong that if Ruth is unfit, someone is going to need to step up and better Dorothy than someone entirely unsuitable.
Thing is, somebody who does a good job for their own personal self interest is better then somebody who cares and sucks at it every time. And it’s debatable how much Ruth even cared in the first place. But it’s not debateable that she sucked at it. She doesn’t deserve another chance, not at this RA position.
Okay but why would that be bad? Theres no RA, why not have someone who actually shows they give two shits about the people.
Actually hiring a replacement would mean an end to Ruth’s employment limbo, and put her officially out of a job. Which would leave her unable to afford to stay at IU
Seems like we are assuming she can’t get a loan, which I don’t recall being discussed in the comic or the comments.
I certainly don’t know that she couldn’t, but Ruth and Billie seemed convinced keeping her job was necessary to remaining at IU.
I don’t know the exact reason why. I don’t think it’s come up yet
Ruth seemed to think that nothing could change without everything breaking, and Billie seems to have believed Ruth, but we’ve already seen that this wasn’t true–turns out that Carla was correct.
But maybe I’m missing something obvious like “Canadian citizens don’t qualify for student loans to American universities.”
Oh holy crap, it never occurred to me that she’d be paying foreigner prices. She could probably just buy a mansion instead.
International student prices are about the same as out-of-state prices… which is still a lot more than in-state, granted.
Isn’t she a US resident, though? Didn’t they move to the US when her parents died and they went to live with her grandfather? I assume he’s in Indiana, though I don’t think it’s been explicitly stated, and that qualifies her for in-state.
I think that’s the case. There’s also the possibility that her grandfather has a decent amount of money, which would make getting a loan harder and most loans require someone (usually a family member) to cosign and we know her grandfather is very spiteful and thus might refuse because “you made this failure, now deal with it” or otherwise abuse her for the funds she needs to continue attending and getting her own housing.
There’s also on top of all this, the fact that we know that apartments are expensive in the area surrounding the school given that Marcie is working multiple jobs and is still barely affording rent and food despite having umpteen billion roommates.
Of all the things, I think the most pressing on Ruth and Billie’s minds is the abuse part. It’s known that “Sir” is very prone to abusing Ruth over perceived failures and “I lost my job over a mental breakdown and alcohol abuse (ya know the same thing that killed my parents)” would be giving the mother lode of all ammunition to him to abuse her with.
And even beyond the practical aspects, while it might well be possible for her to cobble together some way to continue on in school – she’s suicidally depressed and in the midst of a severe episode. It’s not likely she’d be able to get her shit together and find loans and housing and another job rather than just going with the flow and getting swept right back home to her grandfather’s abuse, because she knows she’s a failure and doesn’t deserve any better. Not without a lot in the way of support.
Because Billie doesn’t care about the RA position, only Ruth.
It’s also a little tactless to go after someone’s job within a day or two of something so serious. Maybe Dorothy would be better for the job, but the “blood” isn’t even cold yet.
That’s the kind of thinking that results in someone else getting the job and no one saying, “Gee, that sure was tactful of you.”
Dorothy doesn’t give ‘2 shits’ for the people, she is using them as points on her resume. And admits she’s not ashamed of what she is doing.
She doesn’t have to be ashamed of it, but agree, yeah the blood ain’t even dry yet. She will likely be good as a politican, she is cold blooded enough.
Damn, that’s right, it’s only been a day or two in-story, huh? Shit, now that I think about, they’re still in their first semester, aren’t they?
It’s still Monday, and Ruth was only brought into the health center Sunday night
This. This is literally the morning after she was placed in the hospital. I do not begrudge Dorothy’s ambition, but Billie was always going to take this personally, especially as Dorothy was there in the hospital last night and thus Billie is likely interpreting it as her watching her girlfriend be admitted into the hospital and planning then to steal her job as she tried desperately not to die.
So yeah, anger is very understandable on Billie’s part.
The implication Billie is making is that Dorothy isn’t really interested in the others on the floor; she just wants the RA gig because it would look good on her political résumé. That gives the whole thing a very cynical and hypocritical air.
Then again, Dorothy does sometimes come across as very cold, able to perfectly mimic empathy and emotion where she doesn’t feel it when it benefits her personally. That isn’t the way she always seems but, occasionally, that is the feeling I get from her.
I mean, she even admits as much right here.
I would say they combine. I doubt she has the skillset to completely fake it(as of yet). My bet is it just doesn’t ring strong enough without her personal interest backing it up.
She admitted that she’s not ashamed for thinking being RA would look good on her Yale application. That alone doesn’t make it cynical or hypocritical, any more than getting paid for it would. If she thinks she can do the job well, and cares enough to put in the effort to do so, she is correct to not be ashamed for wanting to add to her resume.
The timing is not the most tactful, but I don’t think Dorothy fakes empathy. She lacks the social skills to convey it some times (her attempts in yesterday’s strip were clearly using the same methods she applies to schoolwork, which is not so effective with people), and her study habits make it hard for her to be fully present with people, but I don’t think she’s ever pretended to feel something she didn’t.
I don’t think we contradict each other here.
However, she should be ashamed of thinking that a first semester freshman is qualified to handle any and all problems everyone on her floor can and will come to her with if she’s RA.
… then again, I guess this would not be the first time a politician decided that zero experience == great for the job.
She’s just following modern politician traditions.
She… kinda doesn’t?
She wants the job.
One of the reasons she wants it is because it will help her do other things.
She admits to both of those. Neither suggests she doesn’t care.
Also, Ruth didn’t exactly care a whole lot.
Let’s be real here. No one takes an RA job as a selfless act of sacrifice for the common good. No one is just trying help the people on their floor. (In fact, normally you get assigned somewhere rather than staying on your own floor with people you know, but this is a special situation.)
People might take it for the financial benefits. For the single room. For the power over others. Or because it looks good on the resume.
I think you might have just described why Dorothy’s personality has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way.
I think I might have accidentally replied to the wrong person. That comment was directed at BenRG.
Too soon, I think. It’s not really a bad thing, although it certainly seems to show that Dorothy is more “thinking” on the Myers-Briggs scale, while Billie is more “feeling”. And sometimes being too rational can come off as callous.
Billie is still codependent on Ruth. All she knows is that Dorthy is trying to muscle in on Ruth’s job, something she really needed.
Dorothy is right, she would in fact be good at that job.
That is hardly the point right now though. She probably would be, but she is evading some valid criticism saying so. Doing your job competently is the main concern, but not the only one.
Why should it be? All the best strategists have multiple reasons for every move. Good on resume, check. Help friends and neighbors, check. Make some extra cash, check. Her doing it for the resume and her helping people are not mutually exclusive states
That’s more of a reinforcement of “she would do a good job”. Again that’s beside Billie’s point here. Billie recognizes the strategy at play, and that’s exactly why she is upset. At her best she can file Billie’s “vote” as it is her acceptable loss.
No, the criticism is crappy. Who honestly cares what her motivations are? She’s good at the job, she’s good at the job. It honestly doesn’t matter if she cares or not or it ultimately benefits her if she keeps doing a good job.
Of course, no freshman with 0 training (including the mandatory training all RA’s go through) is going to be given an RA job in the real world. Somebody would have been assigned to them at least temporarily already. But that didn’t come up yet.
Is she good at the job? If she thinks that acting like she was in last strip is ‘being a good RA’, she won’t be.
She’s showing more concern for the residents then Ruth ever did. She might not be good, but she is BETTER.
You miss an important factor in your declaration Dorothy’s ability to do a good job is the only true concern.
She is an authority figure. That is, in our current flawed system where an administrator also has to be a leader, if people don’t listen to her, she can clean herself on the toilet with her good work ethic. Being able to do a good job is much more important, yes, but for each member of the wing who rebels against her, her authority will be all the more eroded over time.
Billie’s criticism doesn’t have to be ‘good’ either. It just has to be valid, and something Billie cares for is genuinely harmed by her attempt to become Ruth’s replacement. She literally cannot have Billie’s best interests in mind as a leader, because Billie’s best interest involves her not leading. Until Dorothy manouvers out of that position, Billie is, at best, her acceptable loss.
RA isn’t a leadership position. Or even an administrator. Which is why they use part time sophomores with minimal training.
They dress it up, but you’re really just there to keep an eye on things and bring anything serious to the attention of real adult authorities. It’s a glorified babysitting job.
As for not having Billie’s best interests in mind, your argument would be true of any replacement Chloe brought in. Billie wants Ruth back, so anything else isn’t good enough.
Of course, that may not actually be in Billie’s best interest, so it’s quite possible Dorothy (or another replacement RA) could actually be in Billie’s best interest, despite Billie’s wishes.
In MOST cases a US RA wouldn’t be a position of power, but Chloe is so overworked and hands off that Ruth pretty much could and did rule with an iron fist.
Of course, all RA replacement would face the same rebellion from Billie, but for the conversation at hand I don’t see why we need to involve them.
As for what Billie’s best interest is, I’m not talking in a philosophical sense, or even what’s best for her in terms of her emotional and mental health. In this case, her best interest is what she would find the most preferable(even though her current mindset is depression-slash-panic induced indignation).
She only said so when directly asked, though. She actually evaded it when Joyce asked more generally.
Dorothy is a freshman. One of the floor members. She literally CAN’T be their RA. There are generally back up RAs in case anything happens. There is definitely an alternate who is not a freshman who should be able to take over the floor. If this college made one of the freshman girls who moved onto the floor just two months earlier an RA, I’d be shocked. And the fact that Dorothy thinks she’ll be an RA before her sophomore year is kind of surprising to me.
Oh, happy milestone Willis
Damn it Dorothy and Billie
hooray, kids! also, how do reasonable statements fare in the face of ‘but that doesn’t feel good’? a tricky thing to deal with in the face of public opinion
Simultaneously looking after the interests of others and your own isn’t being hypocritical. It’s what politics is supposed to be about — harmonizing personal and public interests.
Billie is pissed, but someone’s going get the job. It’d be better to have someone who actually cares.
At the same time, I’m not sure if Dorothy is the best choice.
Realistically speaking, it wouldn’t be Dorothy. She’s a freshman and it’s supposed to be for sophomores. They’d bring in somebody from outside the dorm.
Narratively, that depends on whether Willis wants to introduce a new character. I’d expect Ruth to keep the job, if only to keep her on the floor in the main cast. Just keep her going to therapy and with closer supervision.
Narratively, I’m pretty sure that the RA position is either going back to Ruth with a “don’t fuck up again” warning or will be going to someone who’s not a freshman who’s outside the wing who may in fact be worse in certain ways than Ruth was.
With possibly an “interim” RA appointed who will be much worse than Ruth was.
Agreed. Though I hadn’t thought about the replacement being worse.
And, hey; Sydney Yus is suddenly looking for a new job as of right now…
Do you know how hard that surprise was for Willis to set up, and here you ruined it.
As a lot of people are saying, they’re probably going to ask Sarah. She probably doesn’t want the job, but she is a lot like Ruth and is the only second-year introduced so far. And as a scholarship student the money can only help.
It sucks for her to hafta replace Ruth, but at least the position would be going to someone who’d do a good job. And more importantly, it would keep the position out of the hands of someone like Mary – the Dumbiverse equivalent of Delores Umbridge.
I dunno, Dolores had some actual political power backing up her delusions of superiority. Not really enough to have the leverage she thought she did over a man like Albus, though, so I guess the parallel to Mary stands.
I hope Dorothy gets the job
As opposed to where Billie’s been sniffing.
Work needs to get done, and somebody’s gotta do it. Good on Dorothy for stepping up.
Pffft, we don’t need qualifications Dorothy.
WE NEED DRAMA!
Happy birthday, Willis’s babies! Have a comic strip about an ambitious woman who wants to do important things! 🙂
Sniffing up Yale’s ass is Dorothy’s sole purpose in life.
Dorothy’s not wrong. Ruth was an abusive, alcoholic girl with a lot of baggage and a chip on her shoulder. Not to sound rude but I think she’d be much more appropriate to be in a position of power than her. Sorry your girlfriend’s woefully unfit for her job, Billie.
I think Billie is more scared of Ruth returning home to her grandfather, who Billie believes isn’t safe. Even she must know deep down Ruth was a terrible RA
Heck, Ruth being a terrible RA was basically the founding point of their relationship.
Overall Ruth hid that though. Except for Billie’s interactions (because that’s when her depression went on overdrive) she helped Dorothy with her problems, conducted meetings, gave info, talked to Amber, etc. Basic RA stuff. Dorothy’s not wrong, but if Ruth is getting help, and she is once again capable of doing her job (maybe at a different hall?) to cut off her university supply money, and send her back home would be more detrimental for her health.
She also blew off a meeting after a school shooting so….yeah, she’s terrible.
Ruth DID go to the meeting. She didn’t make much of it because barely anyone bothered coming and doing so would be a waste of time, since hardly anyone would be there to get anything from it. She told them to lock doors, keep in dark rooms, and subscribe to campus alerts (which sounds like the advice she was supposed to give).
Now that said, the responsible thing to do would have been to say ‘Okay, nobody make plans for Monday because there will be a floor meeting. I will see you there or nobody will see you again.’
Threatening your charges is in fact the hallmark of a REALLY BAD RA.
Yeah, turns out translating ‘reschedule the meeting’ turns into threatening when you try to translate it into Ruth speak. Who knew?
Ruth WAS a terrible RA, not denying that. I’m just saying she did schedule and go to the planned meeting and only brushed it off when it was already clearly a wash out. A responsible RA would reschedule.
Ruth is not a responsible RA.
She literally suplexed a student at the first meeting. She constantly threatened people with violence and stole Billie’s ACTUAL belongings and started tampering with them. She slapped Mary in the face. Between all of the acrobatic feats we’ve seen Amazi-girl pull, especially in the toe dad arc, the most unrealistic thing is that no one complained to any sort of authority figure about Ruth’s behavior. 95% of jobs would not allow that sort of conduct.
Yes, Ruth was very bad at her job.
The theft of Billie’s items was personal, it isn’t right, but it was Ruth’s pathetic sad attempt to get Billie’s attention.
Ruth slapped Mary in the face because, omg is Mary needing her ass kicked every time she opens her mouth: she is a racist, homophobic, overzealous religious nut. Smacking her solved nothing, except making most people feel she deserved it.
Ruth’s most saving grace was her final one, shutting Mary up and getting her off Carla’s back by threatening to black mail her by telling the office of the glue on the rug bit and her horrible remarks about trans people.
True, Ruth should have been turned in long ago: but did you see the head office’s reaction to Ruth’s discovery in her room? All they worried about was “why Ruth, she was their most stable RA?’
Authority figures didn’t care what kind of RA the dorm had, as long as it was quiet. I think maybe that’s why no one bothered to turn her in
. It would have been no use.
Yeah. Ruth was still, as an RA, not good at her job. Just because she got away with those things doesn’t mean she should’ve done them, that she was justified in doing them or that she was good at her job. Because she wasn’t. That conduct is unacceptable, ESPECIALLY from a person in a position of power.
Billie does bring up an interesting point though. Like voluntary service when applying for college, do you do it because you care or because it looks good on applications. I myself did it for applications, and would have dropped (and have dropped it) because of the amount of other things to do. Everything Dorothy says or does ends with “doing it for yale.” Which is true for anyone with goals, but on a college application you don’t write I did voluntary service so I can get into college. You don’t pretend to care about people just so you can RA position and say that to their face.
If she also does a good job does it matter?
You don’t make a point of it, but you also don’t blatantly lie when called on it. If in your voluntary service, someone had asked you if you doing it for the college applications, you wouldn’t have denied it, would you?
Not to the colleges I wouldn’t. Nor to the kids I was tutoring or their parents.
Can she even become an RA now? At my university you had to at least be going into your second year, and it was mostly third or fourth years that worked as RAs. Heck you couldn’t even be a desk assistant until your second year.
I was thinking the same thing. My college kept freshman practically isolated from everyone else (even freshman only dorms) and all the RA’s, student counselors, etc were juniors and above.
I believe this is IU’s typical policy as well.
RA wise, anyways. No freshmen allowed.
I was under the impression that was the case as well.
I definitely was not mature enough at that age to respect some one who wasn’t at least a solid year older than me as an authority figure
While that is the case–and this was brought up before when her ambition to eventually become an RA was just speculation–I guess it’s never too early to prepare.
Right, and RAs have to go through all kinds of training before the year starts. They won’t just drop someone into the role, particularly a freshman, no matter how friendly they’re being to everyone. (Which isn’t necessarily an indication of how good they’d be at the job anyway.) I’m sure that if Ruth does indeed end up losing her RA position, they probably have some extra people qualified as RAs that they can pick from.
According to Ruth, training is only two weeks, so it wouldn’t be too long. They could have Ms. Bishara continue as acting RA for that time while Ruth’s replacement is trained, but they probably have a few ‘call backs’ they can do.
Yup. And there’s a whole philosophy on why freshman aren’t hired for leadership roles that the school is going to be very loath to break, especially given the fact that the floor is already in crisis due to the mental breakdown of the previous RA. My guess is that we’ll see a former RA called back up or a second choice given a runout if Ruth is deemed unfit to return to active duty.
I was an RA and at my school if an RA suddenly lost the position, they were replaced by someone on the wait list. Those people didn’t go through formal training before starting, so my guess is that it wouldn’t be an issue here. However, yeah, I can’t see them hiring someone who’s been in college less than a semester, especially if that person never applied for the job before.
This does seem to be me to be an example of how unrealistic Dorothy is. Not in her goals, but in her strategies for reaching those goals. She’s trying to schmooze up to people who will have basically no effect on her getting made RA.
Much like her entire strategy for becoming president is focused on transferring to Yale. Which is apparently much harder than just getting in as a freshman. Nor is it clear how going to Yale translates to becoming President.
I think it’s less trying to shmooze up to them and more trying to actually do the job already
that’s her idea of how a good RA would act and she’s already doing it
imho that’s good logic
(even thought… in this situation she still won’t get the job anyway)
No,but it might prepare her for the job next year.
Eh, even if she can’t become RA, a demonstrated ability to fill the role and willingness to do it even without the compensation normally afforded probably jumps her application to the top of the list once she’s eligible, and might look great on a transfer application even if she transfers before formally taking the post.
Indeed, it’s a great way to show her best foot forward for next year, which would definitely look good in her 2 and transfer plan she’s got.
Over at real-world IU, being a sophomore or above is required (very first bullet point here) A freshman, particularly one who already lives on the floor, becoming RA would be pretty irregular, which I doubt the RA supervisor wants to introduce to an already delicate situation. Yes, the RA should care about their charges, but they need to be an authority figure first and a friend second.
Then again, Law of Drama and conservation of characters, so who knows.
… did Dorothy not read the policy about no freshman RAs? (I doubt it.)
… does she want them to break the rules for her? (Maybe, but I doubt it.)
I’m guessing she’s either getting her foot in the door early for next year, or angling for some made-up position like “assistant RA”. Maybe of Chloe continues to hold the post for the rest of the year, Dorothy thinks she can take up a lot of the slack and so have a great reference for later.
…. the problem is, she’s kinda transparent. Not about her motives (she’s a genuine do-gooder after all, whether or not it helps get her into Yale) but in her approach. You don’t get people to open up to you about their problems by approaching them spreadsheet in hand out of the blow and having them fill in the neat blanks on your form. You need to genuinely engage with them, open with a bit of small talk, catch them at the right time….
… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Dorothy does not have the makings of a good politician.
I agree..right now Dorothy has the drive but she doesn’t know how to approach people yet. She operates mostly on rationality, as we see here – she sees this situation as a win/win for her, because she might get a position, and of course since she’s only been asking since the position opened up, people will see her and know that she’s a nice and understanding person and vouch for her/be willing to open up to her, right? It’s kinda like the politician who goes out and shakes hands and makes really basic small talk. That’s great, but how do the people know that you actually care? You have to tap in with their feelings, because most people vote with their feelings and not with their brains. She can learn, though.
She might. This is the kind of thing good politicians do – not the great natural ones, who just know and remember all this kind of thing without the effort. They just do it behind the scenes as prep. Take the notes after the meeting, check them before seeing them again.
She just has to get past the stage of doing the prep work publicly.
No, Dorothy definitely cannot be an RA right now. The possible options are as I see it are as follows:
1) Sarah gets the gig. The resident Grumpy Grandma being in charge of all of the kids has some storyline appeal.
2) Asma is asked to transfer from desk duty to take over. Maybe Dorothy could do the desk job instead?
3) Carla is old enough, but that would be a disaster. Therefore, she is my favorite choice!
2 is the one I favor; 3… oh god pls no.
Oh gods guys, what if it’s SYDNEY YUS. I mean, it’s not like she has her job at Galasso’s taking up her time anymore… ^<__<^;;
Now that has dramatic potential.
And not to be pedantic, but option 4:
4) Ruth comes back, and either she will be carefully monitored to make sure she is not continuing her romantic relationship with Billie or alternatively Billie will be re-located to another floor to remove the conflict of interest.
Yes, it’s a bit optimistic, but things have been going fairly well for Ruth given the circumstances, so we can’t be COMPLETELY sure that she’s out of the picture as RA. Willis has stomped on Ruth’s hopes, but he has not yet strangled them to death. But be prepared that we may have to shout “DAMN YOU WILLIS” when the decision is finalized.
Billie just batmans in to call people on whatever real or imagined shit she sees: 10/10
Mike’s hands as he’s pushed from frame: 10/10
Happy Birthday Sons of Willis!
That Joyce is pushing Mike away with only one arm is also really impressive. Billy storming in like the goddamn Hulk really wiped that from my mind, but that’s the first thing that stood out to me.
“Joyce is pushing Mike away with only one arm is also really impressive.”
Maybe before, but we also saw she knocked out a person twice her size(and a very thick head). Her figure is deceptive – she ought to have a lot of muscle strength.
She’d be a dang good fighter pilot.
Joyce pushes Mike away without looking or interrupting her conversation with Dorothy. That’s the way to deal with the likes of him!
Thank you Willis for this brilliant detail!
Yeah, I think Dorothy would definitely make a better RA than Ruth has been so far. Only thing is in most colleges you have to be in your second year before you can be an RA.
Hm… I’m not sure if this constitutes breaking the happy streak.
Well, no, it definitely does, but like- it’s not specifically shattering it with a full-on Damn You Willis moment.
It’s still part of the setup.
she’s a freshman how the hell can she replace Ruth
I can see why Billie would consider this a betrayal but let’s honest, the R.A job was a Job that Ruth hated. She’s glad she has that curse lifted off her and Dorothy is eager to have the job so why not ?
However, it’s a job Ruth NEEDS to stay in school and away from her abusive… grandfather(?) I forget the relation.
Grandfather is right.
In Dorothy’s defense, I don’t think she has any way of knowing that Ruth /needs/ her job as RA.
Ruth hated her job because she hated everything, though. The curse was depression, and the abusive grandpa.
She might be able to enjoy being an RA, or at least not hate it once she’s got that handled a bit better
*abandons the Muzak momentarily to cue up “Raw Raw Rooster” on a nearby television screen*
What’s a Saturday Morning without a Merrie Melody?
If not Dorothy who else? Ruth can’t handle the job and considering the residential adviser superiors know about Billie’s own connection to Ruth and alcoholism I doubt she’d even be considered.
Oh and happy first birthday to your kids Mr. Willis!
They could bring someone in from the outside. I don’t know what IU’s policy is or where Willis wants to go with this, though.
A) Happy birthday to Chase and Zack!
B) Dorothy, the fuck?
C) Dorothy, you’re a freshman. Freshmen don’t get to be RAs.
She could be preparing for the position in a later year, plus, while it does not come across as immediately empathetic, Ruth almost died in her mind. She doesn’t know if Walky was right in the fact that the same thing could have happened to Billie. They all learned Mary was blackmailing them.
To Dorothy, these things were all surprises, so while she might agree that it will look good on a Yale application, checking in on everyone more regularly could also be her overcompensating for her lack of previous knowledge on how people were doing to try to prevent similar occurrences.
Freshmen can’t be R.A., can they? What year is Ruth? Is she a Sophomore like Sarah? (which would mean Sarah’s eligible to be R.A., but not Dorothy; although I doubt Sarah would touch that job.)
Pretty sure Ruth’s a grad student, IIRC.
Ruth is 20 – so most likely a third year.
Ah, okay then. For some reason I thought she had mentioned grad school like, a year ago or something.
You might be thinking of Roomies, where she was a grad student.
Haha, that’s probably it, ty
Ruth was a grad student in the Walkyverse, but in the Dumbiverse she’s an undergrad – most likely a junior.
Dorothy’s a freshman. She’s also managing a very heavy courseload and extracurriculars and dating and pals and she still goes jogging every morning. Fierce!
Ruth, Sarah, Carla, and Rachel are sophomores. Of those, Rachel seems like the best potential RA, but the audience cares way more about Sarah. (We love Carla, too, but I doubt she’d want the job.) Either way we don’t know yet whether Ruth will be allowed to resume.
I think Carla would take one look at the job description and run in the other direction screaming. Fuck no, responsibility!
On the other hand, she’s shown interest in having power to abuse before. It’s possible she could also think ‘Hmm, this means more opportunity for sweet pranks.Where do I sign and who do I have to pay to make this happen? Welcome to Carla Rutten’s corrupt administration!’
If she was RA, she could cover up any appearance that she cared about people with “Whatever, this is just part of my job, I don’t actually care”
Rachel’s a sophomore? Guess I missed something – I was assuming she was a freshman (along with everyone on the wing not named Ruth, Sarah, or Carla).
She knew Carla last year, as she said ‘Oh yeah, sometimes we forget your an asshole.” “I KNOW. It’s all these new freshmen! I have to build mind share all over again.”
Carla’s statement implies Rachel isn’t a freshman.
Thanks! Somehow I remembered that exchange as proof Carla wasn’t a freshman, but forgot who she was saying it too. xD
Yeah, exchanges like that can be tricky!
And Raidah. You forgot Raidah.
Freshmen were allowed to be RAs at my university. I don’t know if that’s the case across the board.
I’m gonna assume that Freshman can, in fact, be RAs at IU, because it would be deeply OOC for Dorothy not to have checked first.
While Dorothy probably would be a great RA, freshmen can’t actually be RA’s, AFAIK. Like, sophomores could /apply/, but it was usually third and fourth years who got the job because by then they were salty enough to enforce rules. Ruth was a terrible RA, no joke, but I’m actually more worried someone like Mary could get it.
…Sarah could apply, actually. And would probably be a lot less terrible, mostly because while she is kind of super-salty, she genuinely cares about people even when she doesn’t want to.
I was under the impression Mary was a freshman too?
People we know are not freshmen: Ruth, Sarah, Carla, Mandy (and so most likely Grace) and maaaaaaaaaaybe Rachel(s)?
Mandy (and Grace) aren’t freshmen? I was aware of the others, but those are a surprise.
Mandy is the one who coined the term Ruthless, implying she knew her already.
I assumed Grace wasn’t because I assumed she and Mandy are the same age. She could be younger, I guess.
*coined the nickname Ruthless
Raidah doesn’t live in that wing, so she’s irrelevant to the ‘who should be Clark wing’s new RA’ discussion.
Er, what? Why would they have to hire an RA from among the floor? That has nothing to do with it during the normal hiring process.
If anything, I’d expect them to prefer to bring in an RA from elsewhere so that preexisting relationships don’t interfere with the job.
Raidah wouldn’t actually avoid that, but that doesn’t matter to the policy.
Of course that all depends on what drama Willis wants to stir up.
We did just find out that Sydney Yus is a sophomore, and she did just lose her job.
Ooh, Spencer! THAT’S the kind of evil thinking that The Willis thrives on! I wouldn’t put it past him that he already planned such a development.
They wouldn’t have to, but the discussion was focused on girls in the wing who could feasibly take over. Bringing in outside ladies to the chat brings in Raidah, Sydney Yus (PLEASE?), Chan, Char, etc.
…those things aren’t mutually exclusive, Billie.
Holy carp, the WillisSpawn are a year old already? How can this be?!
My dream>Your feelings
It’s simple, you want what would make you happy and I do the same
Galasso’s avatar is a perfect fit
You know characters in this comic are meant to make questionable decisions that will bite them back later, right? Pretty much everyone is questioning it right now.
Happy birthday to the kids!
Nggh, lots of threads going on with the characters here, hmm? Dorothy probably would be better fit for RA position, but can’t help consider the long term effects of Ruth losing her position. Namely, yknow, can’t afford college, possibly eventually forced back to be sent to her abuser.
Someone qualified to answer, would the faculty’s current awareness of Ruth’s mental condition any way alleviate at least some of the long term consequences of losing her job fully? Cuz, I got her “Don’t let me die” moment in my head and I’m betting it’s weighing pretty heavily in Billie’s mind right about now.
It already has. If Chloe had only found out about the relationship with a resident and the underage drinking, Ruth would probably be fired already.
It does seem like Joyce is shocked by the idea that Dorothy might try for Ruth’s job, but she also might be uncertain how to handle the situation, since both of them are her friends, and she probably wants to take both of their sides right now.
That second paragraph was supposed to be part of a reply to a different comment altogether. How did I even do that? -_-
You can only have one comment box open. If you open a second one, it just moves.
Yeah, this. Also, there’s the fact that Chloe likes Ruth personally and seems to have at least empathy and sympathy for mental illness, so is very likely in my opinion to either throw her a second chance or appeal to her bosses for having understanding for Ruth during a health crisis.
And my guess is she might get the job back (possibly after an interim manager does a worse job), but now be under way more observation and be under a much shorter leash and so will have to wind down a lot of her RA style (which if the drugs continue to work for her, would be winding down naturally already as a lot of her brutality was stemming from the fact that rage was one of the few emotions she could reliably feel).
Ooh, a conflict between Dorothy and Billie is brewing.
Dorothy is definitely suited for RA except she’s only a first year. But Billie could lose Ruth and her family life is not great. How Ruth could be reappointed RA is going to be a tough plot to resolve.
Given that the blog art of Ruth is her toting a suitcase….
Also, DAMN, Dorothy is cutthroat when she wants to be. Ruth isn’t even fired yet! Granted, it’s the most likely scenario, but it isn’t official yet. Wait til the body is cold why don’t you?
If Ruth keeps the job, no harm done.
If she needs replacing, Dorothy’s not getting the job anyway as a freshman, but doing the job anyway gets her foot in the door for a potential exemption to the ‘no Freshmen’ thing and, more probably, fast-tracks her to the top of the list of applicants for next year.
True enough, I suppose.
It doesn’t matter how theoretically good she is at the job, most freshman aren’t gonna respect a fellow freshman as an authority figure full stop. She could be the best dang RA IU has ever seen but half of her charges would still see and treat her as a peer rather than as a leader.
I think it’s an interesting fact that Billie has reverted to her High School “Mean Girl” attacks but everyone she tries them to doesn’t give a shit. Sadly, she doesn’t seem to have matured at all.
She’s been in this awful mood all day, and her friends are fully aware of why that is, so they’re not taking it personally. Which is good, because arguing with Billie right now would be a bad idea.
Hopefully she starts her own therapy is soon, so she can start working on dealing with her anger better.
What therapy? She doesn’t need therapy. As long as Ruth is okay, she’s fine. Just fine.
But… this is a time in your life where you WANT to be padding your resume to look attractive to future career/education prospects, Billie. Geez.
In her defense from her perspective Dorothy is trying to pad her resume with her girlfriend’s job like the day after she had a major depressive incident. I’d probably be pretty ticked off too were I in her shoes.
Like, Dorothy’s actions are fully justifiable, but Billie is very justified in seeing it as a personal betrayal and ghoulish preying on a personal tragedy for personal advancement*.
*Like, that doesn’t make it inherently wrong for Dorothy to do, but it definitely means she’s going to piss off Billie and possibly Ruth for it.
You make a good point, I didn’t see it as a personal thing. But I can appreciate how Billie would feel that way.
I like this trend of Joyce shutting down Mike’s shenanigans.
I wasn’t sure what you were talking about at first, and then I noticed Mike’s flailing arms as Joyce shoves him right out of the panel.
I’m definitely loving that
She learns quick.
Billie, Puddinghead, Ruth was a terrible R.A. She threatened students with violence, blew off a meeting after a school shooting, and her solution to the blackmail was to encourage Carla to use violence. That’s in addition to many many personal problems.
Ruth needs to do what she should have done in the first place: ruin her life by getting student loans that leave her in decades of debt for little gain.
It’s the American way!
If you’re not ashamed, Dorothy, why are you avoiding Joyce?
I posit that Joyce’s opinion of her as a morally ideal person (Perfect Cinnamon Roll, anyone?) is something Dorothy has become a bit too used to, so much so that she doesn’t want to come across *to Joyce* as even a shade hypocritical/self serving even though she intellectually knows human beings are allowed to be these things.
Interpersonal complications abound! Happy birthday Little Willises!
It doesn’t look like she’s avoiding Joyce. It looks like she’s walking away from Billy, but Joyce is mostly stunned and not moving at the moment.
It looks to me like she’s particularly uncomfortable being next to Joyce, who had just called her altruistic, after being shown to be, well, not.
I agree with Schpoonman that it looks more like she is avoiding Billie who has been threatening people with violence all day rather than Joyce.
I don’t think she is solely doing it to look good for Yale the way Billie is stating it – she probably knows that could be a benefit in her mind, and isn’t something to be ashamed of because while it helps her goals, it also allows her to support everyone like she said in the very first panel.
And the fact she started so early after Ruth’s departure is possibly Dorothy overcompensating for a previous lack of knowledge about things going wrong around her – one of the ways people can try to make sense of bad events is to keep a much more active eye out for signs of the same thing happening again.
This isn’t exactly a normal situation; even if freshmen normally aren’t allowed to be RAs, it’s also like a month? into the semester, so finding a sophomore+ willing to do it may not happen (especially if moving to the floor would be expected). So if you already have someone doing the work and references(and let’s face it, Dorothy a bunch of those as ‘resume items’) then you might bend an age rule.
And wanting to help and having ambitions aren’t mutually exclusive. I mean, I’m pretty sure Dorothy even wants to be President to help people.
To the first part: I doubt there are no available sophomores that want to build their resumes, save money and are qualified. This is an emergency, but when I was an RA usually another RA took on that role until the position was filled again through the proper process. Grabbing people off the hall without vetting them usually results in bad matches.
Second part: True, but using people’s stories to help you get a personal promotion is a surefire way to get them to not trust you enough to be able to do your job properly.
One: Joyce just casually pushing Mike away is kinda funny.
Two: While Dorothy might be better suited to being an RA she can’t because she’s a freshman, and she’s already over extending herself. Course work, dating, social life with friends, probably at least one extracurricular to look good on an application, and she’s somehow still able to get up early in the morning to jog. She’s being over ambitious and is going to burn herself out if she keeps this up.
She’s both volunteering at a soup kitchen once a week and working on the school paper, so definitely full of extracurriculars.
I fully expect there to be a Dorothy burnout storyline at some point. Too many hints at it for it to not happen eventually. And it’s the sort of depressing but all too real that is DoA’s bread and butter.
Oh, yeah, that’s definitely coming and it’s better it happens now (in this year) rather than at Yale.
Happy Birthday, Willis Twins!
I had a friend like that. She was a RA. We were friends but her chipper competitive attitude really grated me wrong a lot of the time.
She got a full ride to Stanford. So you know. It paid off.
Actually now that I think about it, she wound up married to a kind of weird artsy type who’s obsessed with cartoons…
Like others commented above, I don’t think that freshmen would be allowed to be RAs.It’s pretty fucked up that Dorothy is only doing this to get clout with the admins who make the decisions. She would be better than Ruth by just not being in the same situation, but I do wonder what kind of RA she would be. Her heart is in the right place most of the time, but she can be very stringent in her standards, which might push people away, especially if she is in charge of people with particularly messy habits and lives.
Also, reasons why her plan would not work: it’s not a great thing to disclose personal information on students with the people you’re interviewing with in order to impress them, because that is the exact opposite of being able to keep confidential stuff confidential except in case of emergency/mandatory reporting. It’s also not very nice morally to use them as examples of how great you are at helping people solve problems. That’s a weird space to be in, because people, like Carla here, would think you really only care about folks when they can get you something. Additionally, she obviously has no experience about being an RA, but walking up to people in public and jotting stuff down is also not the best method..people will tell you more in private, and they’ll tell you even more when they know you and trust you.
From what I recall from my interview, the admins mostly wanted to know whether I was trustworthy, compassionate, patient, able to handle stressful situations, etc. and then they gave several scenarios. They also asked me about a time when I did something wrong and how I fixed it/what I learned from it.
I am excited though, at Dorothy having some character development – I feel like I haven’t seen her as much as the others.
*edit, wow, I read this strip like twice and I didn’t realize this is not Carla. It’s been a weird week, and my eyes are tired.
Also, another reason Dorothy may not get it: if she has too much going on, she either won’t get the job at all or she may lose her shit if she doesn’t give something up. This position is very demanding and time consuming. You are on call anytime you’re not in class/doing necessary stuff. So if someone knocks on your door at 2 in the morning with an emergency, you’re the one answering it.
We saw Carla interact with Dorothy last strip though, so the point that Carla doesn’t see Dorothy’s actions here as genuine still stands, imo.
On the other hand, just combine this strip with yesterday’s strip, and your comments about Carla is still pretty much 100% accurate.
Ah, ok! Then my point shall stand.
All of this!
And yeah, one of the tricks of getting folks to open up to you is to be seen as not writing things down when needed. Students (and I know I always default to students because of my job) need to know that if they bring up something sensitive that it’s not going to leak out of you like a sieve and so it’s prudent to know what needs to get disseminated around and written down and what just needs to be heard and checked in later to see if it’s something they want the other teachers to know.
And that trust brings a lot and means that you’re the first people come to in a crisis. If people are worried that you’ll write their pain down to loudly ask about next you see them in a public space, then they’re not going to go to you when they need help.
And they’re certainly not going to come to you in the case of things they are worried they’d get in trouble for.
But yeah, I think Dorothy’s flaw here is she’s engaging in good politician instincts, make the rounds, gladhand, show a personal touch and remember people’s concerns. Those are things that build loyal constituents and voters.
But she’s not showing good teacher or student leader instincts (at least here). Because she’s not creating an air of “come to me when you have a problem and I’ll take care of it and I’ll keep confidential what you need kept confidential”.
but what if you have a crappy memory for interpersonal stuff like I do. If I can’t write it down, I’m going to forget all about it 8 times out of 10. Any tips for alternate ways to remember?
I think the kind of thing that Needs To Not Be Written Down is generally significat enough to be memorable. Technique for when you still aren’t sure memory won’t fail you: just think about it a lot, repeat it to yourself
come up with a code phrase for it and write down that
you’d be surprised. thanks for the tip though.
i might have once (and I am very ashamed of it) forgotten that a friend of mine wasn’t out and mentioned their gender orientation to my parents. They’re pretty accepting of trans people, but it was still a horrible move on my part
I actually have a mind like a sieve, so what I do is write it down afterwards if its something I’m prone to forget and putting it in code if its sensitive information.
Basically, I live and die by a complex system of post-it notes, half in code.
Yup! It’s like, people can tell when you’re not being genuine, you know? And I don’t mean to be pessimistic about it, but we don’t actually know what kind of RA Dorothy would be. I agree that she definitely does lack that casual and comfortable vibe you have to give off. When she was out there with the clipboard it seemed very clinical, or like she was just asking for a survey or something.
Well, she’s not giving off a “I’m going to take your femurs” vibe, so she’s already a huge step up. Ruth’s kind of established a pretty low bar for RA.
And frankly it’s already a part time job for college students. The bar started out pretty low. Your job really consists of passing along announcements, making your presence known so the wild stuff stays under control and contacting the real authorities if there’s actually a problem.
I think it depends on the school. At mine we did way more work – a lot it was emotional labor (a lot of kids come to college with serious issues, we were basically peer counselors) and we also met twice a week and put on dorm activities and stuff like that. It was easily several hours a week on top of a 10 hour campus job. I think Ruth sucking at this job makes it seem easy, but it’s really as much as you want to put into it, and the people who live in the dorm notice when you’re putting in effort and when you’re not.
For example, it was totally possible that you could lose your job if someone had a legitimate complaint like Ruth did – so you did have to do the bare minimum. Most of the time when there were RAs that were (emotionally) absent, freshman wouldn’t think to bring it up because they assumed all RAs were like that, which is a shame because the RA is often the first step to getting mental health on campus – you might not immediately get therapy or whatever, but it plants the seed in your head that you might be able to get resources/help from the school. Freshman talk to their friends, but they also talk to RAs, so the RA can try to make a difference or they won’t bother. This only happens if as an RA people actually put effort into it – people have a lot more potential to affect on others than they realize.
I can see the conflict between Joyce and Dorothy brewing already. Perhaps Joyce isn’t pleased Dorothy’s being partially motivated by future rewards, rather than the pure goodness of her heart. I can see Dorothy (or someone else Joyce confides in) pointing out you can say the same of the Judeo Christian concept of heaven, with Joyce retorting that’s different somehow, which would lead to ALL SORTS of drama.
Screw hedging bets, I’m going all in with this theory.
I dunno, the idea of being good because God will punish you if you aren’t seems like it was very explicit in the blend of fundie Christianity Joyce was raised in. I rather doubt she’d see it as an issue, having already accepted that Dorothy can be both an atheist and a good person.
That’s a great theory. Their moral and social differences make for interesting interactions between them.
I have the feeling that the evangelical brand of christianity that spewed up Joyce and Becky does think in terms of reward and entitlement.
It will be interesting how much Joyce can shake off those behavioral patterns.
I think that brewing conflict was always going to come up, because there was always going to be a head come to with regards to ambitious women. Cause the type of culture Joyce grew up in loathes ambitious women and views them as literally demonic (no, really).
And that echoes through a lot of that culture. It’s okay to be a woman who sacrifices (especially for her man) or who politely and kindly steps down from power or who happens into power out of no desire of her own, but actively campaigning and seeking power?
Nope, it’s seen as the worst thing a woman can do and the traits of the book’s greatest villains. And in that culture, it’s cited as one of the key origins of “Eve’s sin” and so on. And a lot of that derives from the marriage of that strain of Christianity and active anti-feminism including bristling at the idea of women working outside the home, which they’ve always seen as an aberration that leads to broken families and homes.
So yeah, I think that’s definitely going to be some future Joyce and Dorothy conversations.
Oh right. That’s where the “Hillary Clinton is a Satanist. We can tell by the coded messages in her emails” thing came from.
I kind of know a lot of this intellectually, but I didn’t grow up with it so I can’t always make the connections until it gets spelled out.
To your point about the demonization of ambitious women, I was thinking the other day about the mainstream standard of the stereotypical, heteronormative, gendered nuclear families. It’s interesting that in that vision of the nuclear family, the family is nuclear, the man will go to work, come home to dinner, and maybe spend 3 or 4 waking hours at most around his kids a day before going to bed, and we as a society don’t really expect more. It definitely affects children’s upbringing to have an physically present but emotionally absent parent (or one that they feel is never around), but at the same time some people aren’t affected by that at all – they know their father is working and all that, and that’s what they will grow up and aspire to.
On the other hand, our society expects women to devote superhuman amounts of time and energy to their children. We are supposed to (a) have kids, (b) spend every waking moment with them, in a specific way. But then if women get jobs, people are so worried about what if we don’t see our children, won’t they miss us, we’re not mothering properly, then we get fired because we “might get pregnant and leave”. And single working women don’t tend to get nearly as much clout (eg comments about abstaining from sex, being stupid to get into a relationship with a non-trustworthy guy, being shat on for not giving that guy a chance) as single dads, who tend to be rewarded for keeping on despite the lack of the trifling woman who left him, what kind of mother is she?!.
And that’s not even considering families that are seen as “non-standard” like families with queer parents, families where there is dysfunction, families of color, etc. and how these rules also work to oppress people in these situations.
But it just occurred to me that most people are fine with their dads seeing them maybe a few hours in a 24 hour period pretty much all their childhood, mostly because that’s what they’re socialized to expect. They feel lucky that dad gave them the time of day at all. But if Mom gets a job or worries about her career, she gets resented so much.
50 cent wrote a book for kids that’s sort of similar to his own childhood. It’s pretty interesting because as a boy child he feels like he has to connect more with his dad, who his mother left after he treated her badly, and his desperation to make that connection while being willfully oblivious to the fact that his dad is not a good father, like at all. On the other hand he resents his mom, who he sees more consistently than his father and contributes more financially because she has a job, but whom he blames for their separation because he is conditioned as a boy child to be hyper masculine, which often means claiming everything on women while using them for his livelihood.
His view of his mother is also complicated by his struggles to acknowledge and accept her queer identity the way he simply and effortlessly accepts that his dad has several women that he’s seeing (his mom has a girlfriend, but it’s never stated what orientation she is, so she could identify as anything if she wanted) and dealing with wanting to fit in with (the male) kids at school, who also happen to be steeped in toxic masculinity and homophobia. He actually ends up violently rejecting another kid who tells him that it’s ok that his mom is queer, and that he won’t judge him. It’s quite an interesting read because it examines at a kid level the different expectations and effects of the gender binary and the way that women get judged by men and men and boys judge each other in order to keep in line with society’s expectations.
*blaming women, not claiming them. Also there’s this part right after his violent confrontation with the kid and the girl he likes is like “yeah, no, I’m not going there” and I was like “yes!” because she doesn’t owe him the time of day just because he likes her, and why should she want to be around someone that physically went off on a person because they said something he didn’t like? He had to prove he was a better person, not just expect to assume he was better than that.
It’s also interesting to think that the traditional “nuclear” family isn’t really that old either. The whole “father gets up and leaves for a work day and rarely sees his kids while the mother stays home and takes care of them” is a couple hundred years old at best. When pretty much everybody worked on farms, or in small craft businesses, family was always around. Mom might stay closer to the house with the smaller kids, but Dad wasn’t far away and the older kids would work the fields (or the shop) too. As likely would the extended family – grandparents, cousins, everyone living in close proximity, if not actually together.
This is a very good point as well. In the past it was very common for children to work. I wonder when exactly the idea of the nuclear family came about – after child labor laws and laws that required kids to stay home/in school instead of working with the rest of the family, and thus the family dynamics changed – now kids had a childhood in the way we think about it now. You reminded that in many places now, young kids/teenagers can be found working with the family to help make a living and/or be near their parents.
I don’t see this as a bad thing Dorothy would do a good job is genuinely caring and yeah it would look good on her resume. I totally get her not shamed reaction
I suppose “if you’re good at something, don’t do it for free” can even apply to altruism.
I totally get why Dorothy wants the job, and I agree that it’s not a betrayal to want it. However, it still makes me a little uncomfortable, mostly because I… don’t like it when people do things just to put it on an application. I don’t know why, but I never have. And the fact that this particular listing is a major influencer on how she treats people…
On the one hand, it doesn’t matter why Dorothy is being kind as long as she is. On the other hand, the idea of someone being nice to people only to get a job that you only want so you can get into a certain school is…. I don’t know the word I’m looking for, but it just feels bad, man.
It feels bad.
I know exactly why it feels bad.
Because you don’t feel you can really trust them. Because you feel that as soon as there is no benefit to them to help you, they’ll probably not be there anymore. Because you can’t be sure that they will actually stay kind once they’re accomplished their goals.
That uncertainty is why it feels bad. Conditional niceness… isn’t.
It’s similar (though not the same) to why many minorities don’t trust the majority being nice to them. Because we usually bring up certain conditions to this niceness. They have to behave perfectly and not make a fuzz or make us uncomfortable or anything like that, and maybe -then- we will deign to treat them as full human beings. Conditional humanity, as I like to call it.
And that’s why Carla is the most suspicious of everyone in these last two strips. She knows all about conditional humanity. She despises it. She will not accept it. And she will not accept any kindness that comes with strings attached.
So little Miss Perfect White Cis Woman using Carla as a springboard to her own career? Over Carla’s dead body.
Sal wasn’t hot about it either – she described it as pity or feeling like a project. Not quite the same feeling, due to different contexts, but the detesting of conditional niceness is the same.
Dorothy may be in for a bigger headache than she anticipates if she somehow gets the job and tries to play ‘conditional nice’ with all the girls on her floor. Even if most of them accept it, that’s at least two who won’t.
All of this. Doesn’t make her ambition bad per se, but definitely gives her an air of untrustworthiness from folks used to being burned by folks like her, because her reaching out inherently feels fake and temporary*.
*Been dealing with this with a student right now, where two of his classes are going well, but one is really dragging him down and making him feel awful and it’s because for those two of them, me and the other teacher really come from a position where we get a lot of the stuff he’s going through and the last teacher doesn’t and so all the reaching out feels less real from that teacher because she doesn’t quite get what he’s dealing with and doesn’t feel safe to tell.
Everyone sets conditions for receiving good treatment. The problem for a lot of minorities is that they’re given unrealistic conditions and are condemned much more quickly for violating them due to implicit biases.
Every RA is temporary. They all move on. Dorothy didn’t suddenly start being nice and helpful after Ruth’s downfall. That she’s stepping up to show she deserves the job on merit should not, I feel, be held against her.
Seconded. But then, I have a really weird relationship with that sort of thing (I blame my brain), so I thought it could have been just me.
I do feel that she could be a good RA, but not while she’s trying to do it for Yale. She can be very genuine and good with people, but her interactions with the hall the strip before, when she was trying to act like what she thought was a good RA candidate, were uncomfortable at /best/.
Additionally, given how much she already has on her plate, I’m not sure if she’d be able to handle the obligations. There’s already been a lot of speculation she might be heading for a burnout even before this possibility was raised.
Agreed, using the people at IU as a springboard and then walking away from them when ‘better things’ are offered to her is just plain nasty in my book.
It’s a fucking RA job.
It’s not like she’s screwing them over, leaving them in the lurch or anythign like that.
She gets the job, she does it for a year, she moves on. She’s not making a lifetime commitment here, nor should she be expected to.
There’s no nasty here. She’s just not particularly good at schmoozing people. It’s a skill she’ll need to develop if she wants to be any kind of politician.
Yeah, plus serving for a time and having to stop or shift because of different priorities or opportunities or life is pretty common even in dedicated activist or social work scenarios. It’s all about how you arrange the transition so those you leave behind are well cared for.
One: Dorothy’s slamming down is in itself a thing of beauty, I will have to admit. It’s a perfect return of Billie’s attack, in that the words in themselves are pure and polite defense, but in between there lies an attack on Billie for trying to shame her for having ambitions.
And Dorothy knows a thing or two about being shamed for having ambitions. Of course she does. Maybe not so much personal experiences (her parents are supportive of her), but in the way society still treats women with ambition as something to be aware of; which she has studied extensively. She knows she’s going to have to fight this kind of thing, and as we can see, she’s already preparing for it. Good for you, Dorothy!
Two: However, the slamming down did not happen in a vacuum, and the beauty fades because of the circumstances.
Because while having ambitions is all nice and good, there’s still something about the way she is treating other people to fulfill them. My reply to Ashlee’s comment covers most of that, so I won’t repeat it here. So while Dorothy may have been right in shutting down Billie, she still has certain behaviour she needs to answer for.
Three: Billie, Billie, Billie… I can see what you’re doing too. You’re trying to find a new way to save Ruth. Of course you are. That’s still the only way you can feel some self-esteem. But not everyone can be defeated like Mary, and perhaps more importantly, not everyone who acts in a way you don’t like is a monster. Sooner or later you’ll end up doing more harm than good…
…Not that you particularly care, unless the harm your actions cause is done to Ruth. That would destroy you. Which means it’s all the more important to thread more carefully now…
…But even more important than that, you need to start taking care of yourself. Now. I think that’s the only possible way to even have a glimmer of a hope of a healthier relationship with Ruth.
Four: Joyce, I love your pushing away of the Resident Douchebag. Way to go!
I agree with you in that Dorothy has the right to do as she pleases to advance her cause. The thing bothering me is her coldblooded way of go about it.
She does not care for the dorm, she is simply using them to further her own agenda. She will be a great Politian.
As to Joyce’s ‘pushing away of the resident douchbag? If you mean Billy I think that is pretty harsh. Billie is an alcoholic depressed young woman.
If Billie were male and sleeping in his girls room, would he be a douchbag?
Also, I don’t see Joyce as pushing away anyone or anything. She is just standing there questioning Dorothy as to her motives. I don’t think she has had time to process what is going on.
Joyce is more apt to think well of her friends, and she likes Dorothy: or did.
no edit: sorry for the typo’s. Late for me 🙂
With that avatar and username, I think it somehow feels inappropriate for you to apologise for making some typos. 😉
The floor douchebag is Mike. Look at the first panel.
I think he meant Mike, Joyce is literally pushing him away in panel one 🙂
I meant Mike indeed. No harm done in thinking otherwise, as long as we’re now clear.
Much like Ruth didn’t care about the dorm, she was just using the position to fulfill her more short term ambition of staying in college and away from abusive grandparent. Completely cold-blooded.
Or the unnamed RA in the men’s wing who’s apparently using it to watch Star Trek marathons.
It’s a job. It’s not an altruistic position open only to saints. Dorothy’s being a little too blatant about how she’s approaching it and her people skills aren’t up to what she’s trying to do, but the hate for it here is a bit much.
Yeah, strongly agree on her having to deal with how society views ambitious women. I mean, in her universe, they are currently close to the end of a terribly covered presidential election where Clinton expressing a stated desire to want the job of president was seen as a bigger scandal and character flaw than a sexist, racist rapist with a thin skin and a thick roll of scandals and foreign entanglements.
So I’d say she’s keenly aware of how the world sees ambitious women.
in this strip Dorothy reminds me of the strung out student from the Zits comic (does anybody read newspaper comics anymore?) where she gave another guy an apple and then took a surprise photo while he was eating it, adding it to her college application with the caption “organized a food drive to improve student nutrition”
at least Dorothy is not padding that much lol
Happy Birthday to your twins.
I don’t get why people are siding with Billie on this, as though Dorothy is doing anything wrong.
Dorothy has always proven herself as someone who balances her ambitions with morality very well. EXCEPTIONALLY well, all things considered. On one hand, she pursues certain activities for her personal gain, like her work as a reporter, but on the other she doesn’t deliberately run stories which would bolster her reputation at the expense of others. She didn’t reveal Amber’s identity as Amazigirl, nor did she exploit Joyce’s suffering for a quick news piece on the prevalence of sexual assault on campus. She knows that while these kinds of articles would gain quick attention, it would end up hurting all of those involved and that is not something that she could live with.
We literally JUST finished a short arc where she was concerned her teacher would out Robin as a lesbian, even though Robin’s policies are reprehensible to her and her fall from grace would no doubt benefit Dorothy (Considering she would have first-crack at an interview with Leslie).
Throughout Dorothy’s appearances, she has always shown herself to know when to draw the line on her ambitions. And, sure, Billie is pissed that anyone would take over Ruth’s job, but is it really fair to lash out at Dorothy? Someone who has done literally nothing to exasperate the situation.
If Ruth gets fired, it has nothing to do with Dorothy. It’s not like Dorothy is going out making sure Ruth gets fired. It’s not like she is exploiting the situation. It’s not like she has done ANYTHING to make it more likely that Ruth would get fired.
All she is doing is preparing for if that is a reality, to possibly fill the role.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
Well, for a start I think her response to Billie was about as flat and uncaring as you could be without actively being hostile. Her girlfriend is detoxing in the hospital after an apparent suicide attempt and that’s the most empathetic/diplomatic response she has to say about gunning for said girlfriend’s job? Little callous, I feel. Billie’s confrontational attitude about everything doesn’t help, I know. I dunno. Feels a little out of place for Dorothy too. Reducing feelings to bullet points and brushing off people’s anger like that seems very…Robin of her.
Billie was openly hostile. Billie opened the conversation by attacking Dorothy. Billie presented it as a right or wrong scenario, rather than as a necessary step following Ruth’s hospitalization.
People can’t be 100% empathetic all of the time. Sometimes they can react to being bullied. Sometimes someone can retreat from a situation which is deliberately awkward, because the other party openly confronted them and made them look like a terrible individual in front of their closest friend.
Billie IS attacking anyone and everyone around her, looking for someone to blame for what happened to Ruth. She lashed out at the worker at the health center, at Walkie, at Sal, and even at Sarah. Dorothy is just another in a long list of people she is assigning blame to and attempting to make feel terrible, because it’s easier for her to be angry at the world than it is to move forward in a healthy and productive way.
There’s nothing anyone could say to appease Billie. Her anger doesn’t stem from anything they have personally done, it’s all just misdirected aggression. I think Dorothy excusing herself from the situation is about the best possible way to handle this, and even if she isn’t acting in the most empathetic way possible, she still responded in a perfectly reasonable way considering Billie tried to make her best friend look down on her.
The way I see it is that Dorothy probably realizes that logically she is right, Ruth was a terrible RA and Dorothy would be a much better RA (the needs of the many etc) but she also realizes that all Billie has is emotional responses and logic can’t compete with emotion so Dorothy is nipping it in the bud and walking otherwise all there’d be a is a raging argument in the hallway which achieves absolutely zip
Dorothy is a good person, which is part of why this feels weird to me. It is literally less than 24 hours since Ruth was sent to the health center, and Dorothy seems to angling for her job.
It’s surprising that Dorothy doesn’t seem to realize how cold this seems
It seems more like a logical and (not trying to start a fight here) masculine way of dealing with a problem.
What I mean is Dorothy sees a problem, no RA, Dorothy sees an opportunity to improve her chances of Yale and solve the problem at the same, the upshot of it all is that its a win for her because it improves her CV and the floor get a good RA so basically much like a stereotypical male she sees the problem and fixes the problem
Dorothy also wants to be a success so when she sees an opportunity to get ahead she’ll go for it and thats something to be admired especially when she can do it without crapping on other people
The job would be filled quickly, it has to be. The school isn’t going to allow a dorm full of teenagers and young women continue to run without SOME accountable supervision. Whether it is a temporary position while Ruth recovers, or as a permanent assignment; someone is going to be put in that position of authority. It’s not something that she is able to wait about.
And, honestly, Dorothy doesn’t even know Ruth. They have barely interacted throughout the entire course of the comic, and they’re most solid connection is that Ruth’s girlfriend is the childhood friend of her boyfriend. Hell, she and Billie don’t even have many scenes together, and so taking time to be overly sympathetic would come off as more emotionally manipulative and disingenuous.
I will also point you back to Walky, and HIS feelings on this matter. Walky was terrified for Billie, and it worried him to the point that it became a reoccurring cause of concern for Dorothy. It wasn’t long ago that he stated very plainly that he felt betrayed by Ruth, because he went to her for HELP with his friend, only to find that she and Billie had formed an emotionally unhealthy and co-dependent relationship.
As the audience, we can sympathize with Ruth and Billie because we see what they have been through… But to Dorothy? What Ruth did was a violation of trust. Of authority.
Yeah, Dorothy should just wait around, do nothing to help anyone, and when someone else gets the job because they applied before she did, she can comfort herself by saying, “well at least I didn’t look cold!”
No one is going to give Dorothy a single thank you, job, or help her with her life’s ambitions just because she hung around and did nothing after a tragedy.
Dorothy is not going to get the job regardless because she is ineligible on the grounds of being a freshman.
This. Dorothy becoming RA would be a win-win for everyone and that can only be a bad thing, if the only reason Ruth should stay RA is so she doesn’t go back to live with her Grandfather then thats not a good enough reason.
Dorothy is unapologetic about her ambitions and nor should she be, men don’t apologize because theres nothing to apologize about and if it seems a little cold well so be it
Dorothy gets something on her CV which looks good and the floor get an RA that won’t go around assaulting or threatening people so go Dorothy, to thine own self be true
Congrats on your twins’ birthday! Only seventeen more years before the Yale applications.
Joyce just treated Mike as an irrelevant distraction and shoved him away! Not only is that a big thing for her, I suspect that it might be a big thing for Mike! I suspect that this may trigger an obsession regarding her on his part; we’ll have to see.
As for Dorothy? This isn’t the first time that she’s basically indicated that she views IU and all of her ‘friends’ there as just stops on her ladder onto ‘better things’, after which they will likely all be comfortably forgotten. The thing about panel 5 is that I’m increasingly wondering if she can live with that plan anymore. Every connection she forges, no matter how temporary she tells herself they are, will make it harder for her to walk away later. Every day in this environment makes it harder for her to look in the mirror in the morning and justify her cold and utilitarian approach to people.
Remember that time when she broke up with Danny? And when she started dating Walky? She’s always been pretty open about her ambitions.
I agree that Dorothy sees IU as a stop on her way to Yale. That’s been explicit from the beginning, and she’s said so multiple times.
She’ll have to leave her friends to go to Yale, which will suck, but they’re going to graduate and go their separate ways eventually no matter what. Neither actually means that she has to (or even intends to) stop being friends with them.
Joyce has been treating Mike that way for awhile. There was a scene where she just kicked him in the shins, so she & Dorothy could get in to see Walky.
She’s got by far the best approach to handling him of anyone in the cast.
There is nothing wrong with what Dorothy is doing. She’s shown herself to be helpful and motivated to solve problems without having an official title, so why not take the steps so that way her help benefits her in some way?
That being said, the school probably has a pool of rejected RA candidates from last year that they can call upon to fill the roll, rather than giving some freshman who was originally a resident power over her peers.
The thing is that she’s just as much said that, if a Yale acceptance letter were to arrive tomorrow, she’d leave all the people that she’s allegedly ‘helping’ high and dry without a second thought.
People come and go all the time, if Ruth had been offered a grad position somewhere else that offered better opportunities do you think she wouldn’t have taken it?
This isn’t about Ruth; this is about Dorothy and the falseness of her ‘interest’ in others. Ruth would have the excuse that she’s never purported to be interested in anyone else anyway.
I don’t think its falseness on Dorothys part, its Dorothy being open and honest about her intentions.
Her interactions with Joyce, Leslie, Danny and Walky shows she does care. Dorothy can see an opportunity to do something that might help her achieve her goals and its something she’d probably be good at so why shouldn’t she go for it?
There’s also the possibility she doesn’t get an invite to Yale, should she not go for any opportunities at all because she might leave?
She’s not going to be accepted to Yale mid-semester. She needs good grades at IU to beef up her application, and mid-terms aren’t going to do that. It’s unlikely she’ll be able to transfer without at least a full year at IU.
Her chances of actually getting accepted to Yale are just one of many things Dorothy is deluding herself about.
Everything we’ve seen of Dorothy indicates she would take all reasonable steps to clean up after herself before moving on. Nobody is entitled to Dorothy sticking it out if a better opportunity comes around. Everything is temporary, an RA’s job as much as any other. It adds a risk factor to hiring her, as it might mean extra transitions, but it’s entirely possible and common for people to care about people and do a good job while cultivating personal ambitions.
OK, fine I DO enjoy Mike being pushed out of frame and from there on not being relevant to the story.
Joyce did that with one hand. This is a friendly reminder not to piss Joyce off.
This is such an great Dorothy moment. She very calmly, very friendly, very politely but also very firmly stands her ground. Yes, she wants to RA position. Yes, she wants to go to Yale and wants this year to look good on her resume. No, she is not ashamed of it and see no reason to be.
She doesn’t lash out. She doesn’t get overly defensive, she doesn’t retaliate. She doesn’t raise to Billie’s bait.
And poor, poor Billie feels how everything slips away and look for things to lash out against.
I enjoy how Joyce is one step behind everyone else in the conversation and struggles to keep up.
Dorothy won’t be a bad replacement, IMO.
Happy birthday, Willis’ kids! I hope your day will be totally rad.
Happy birthday to your kids!
This is about yesterday’s comic, oops, but:
it still really bothers me that Dorothy asks Rachel a question and then before she can answer it, says “If not,” etc. It feels so weird and awkward, like she doesn’t even actually care about Rachel’s answer at all.
Given that we just learned today why Dorothy was acting so oddly in that strip, I’d say it’s relevant.
Might just be me but I’m seeing some interesting parallels between Dorothy and Clinton (I’m assuming Clinton is Dorothy’s hero) in that for the last few decades the prevailing view of the media (at least the media that makes to my shores) is that Hillary is a bit cold, a bit calculating, not feminine enough, too ambitious
Yet to get to the position Clinton has you have to be ambitious, you have to do what you have to do to get to the top and its even harder if you’re women so to see some of the comments on here about what Dorothy is doing is interesting
Well, when you put it like that…
Somehow I get a bad vibe from Dorothy today and yesterday. It’s not about her angling for the position of RA, but … I don’t know, wrong method and wrong aims? no, not aims, rather short-term objectives?
Is an RA really expected to know about the people on their floor on such a detailed level? Who is struggling with which exact study task and so on?
This feel rather like some sort of stress-response mechanism to me than an actual, thought out plan to become RA.
A good point – although the possibility exists she just wants to go above and beyond the call of duty. She is the kind of person to, for good and bad reasons both.
I think there’s a bit of both.
The “Spreadsheeting” really seems to me like a coping mechanism. And there’s probably a bit of “How did I miss Bilie & Ruth & Ruth’s depression and Mary’s blackmail and all these other things and what else am I missing that could blow up!! I have to be sure not to miss anything else. Must take notes!”
I can definitely see that.
That’s a good description, and very similar to Becky’s freakout about Billie and Ruth. “she gave me her room, I should have understood.”
Happy birthday, Willis’s kids!
Congratulations, Willis, on making it to a year!
Firstly, happy first birthday to the twins!
Are we replacing Ruth and her nemesis Mary with Dorothy and her nemesis Billie? (Cue Mary in black hooded robes peering out of the shadows “Yes Billie, unleash your anger, join me on the self-righteous side..”)
Face it, Billie is going to be antagonistic to ANYONE who who even hints that they want to be the new R.A. She’s going to treat anyone who helps Ruth as a threat. Basically, she’s looking for a fight and will treat any change in the status quo (eg: before Ruth got busted) as a personal attack and will respond without thought of the possible consequences. Right now Billie needs help just as much as Ruth does and hopefully she’ll get some before she goes as far down the rabbit hole as Ruth did. Of course given the general thrust of this comic, if anything is going to be poured on the flames of Billies anger I suspect it will be chlorine trifluoride rather than an extinguisher.
Joyce got surprisingly good at keeping obnoxious guys in check XD
Angling for the job of the woman who’s no longer doing the job and never can again?! THE HELL YOU SAY.
I’m completely with Dotty on this one.
Did Joyce tell Dorothy that she’s afraid of being alone in public places to the point of panicking yet? I think now would be a dramatically appropriate time to do so.
Congratulations on the birthday!
Happy twins-day!! A year already! I guess at this point, you’re gonna keep them, huh? 😉
So I’ve had this gravatar since the first time I used my emailadres and posted a comment on a webcomic which was yeaaaaars ago. I think it was randomly generated and no matter what I can’t seem to get a new one which sucks since I only ever comment on DOA and as such would love to have a nice DOA gravatar. When I click on “get a gravatar” it takes me to the site where I’m already logged in with my wordpress account and it says my gravatar is an icon I made myself for wordpress, not even the one I get when I comment.
Anybody know how to fix this?
(sorry, unrelated to the comic)
Kudos for Joyce here tho!
Happy birthday to the children, Willis!
And damn, Dorothy is on her on her right to aim for a job that will benefit her, and Billy is being immensely aggresive and subjective, but is it that hard to deffend your possition?
I mean, I’m pretty sure that Dotty is aiming at the RA possition as a plus of being more aware of her wing mates’ status, but she could answer with a “True, but people comes first, I’m no vulture” instead of a “Yeah, this will boost my carreer, what about it?”
There’s nothing wrong on being proud of your aspirations, but making things clear helps to avoid missunderstandings
Aaand Dorothy’s power-hungry streak coated with (sincere!) good intentions rears its somewhat-unpleasant-looking head.
……This actually makes me like her a lot more. Yay for rounding iout characters!
I actually think Dorothy hadn’t considered becoming RA at all until Billy said it.
What strikes me is how Joyce is seeing this. Her friend Dorothy is spreadsheeting the wing, not because she cares about anyone but herself, but for freely admitted non-altrustic, perhaps selfish, purposes. That is amoral and non-christian in Joyce’s experience. It calls into question a lot of Dorothy’s behavior.
Is she really Joyce’s friend at all or is joyce just part of an application essay. Is Wally just another Jacob with extra attachments. Is everyone else just a means to an end, useful only so she gets a shot at a magic ticket to power. Joyce thought Dorothy cared about the people around her, but not so much.
Even worse, she is doing this all in a very long shot way. Very few transfers into Yale. Better and probably more valuable to get a shining degree at IU and do masters degree at an ivy league school. That’s hard but not nearly impossible. Ditto being a frosh RA.
She’s starting to turn into Lex Luthor. He is competent and knows how to fix what’s wrong with other people and society too. He cares about others until they get in the way of his ambition.
I think the key is Joyce’s disappointed face in the last panel. Her esteem for Dorothy just took a big hit.
Yes, the notebook of everyone’s weaknesses does seem a little sinister.
If Dorothy is such hot stuff, why isn’t she already at Yale or some other Ivy league school?
Because admission into Ivy League schools (and other similarly selective schools) is essentially a crapshoot? Once you’ve got a sub-ten percent admission rate you’re choosing between candidates who have nearly-identical test scores, academic backgrounds, and levels of extracurriculars.
And I say this as someone who got into their first choice school, so not bitterness on my part.
Additionally, aside from Yale, we don’t know much about where she applied. We just know that Yale specifically is her dream school. She may not have applied to all the Ivy Leagues, for all we know.
Additionally, I know from a cousin’s experience that Yale at least used to have some weird ceiling quotas from the Midwest (as recently as the early 2000s), so idk if that could have affected Dorothy as an applicant from Indiana.
*handing out buttons*
Keener for RA
Make 3rd Clark Great Again
I’m not even mad. Dorothy would make a good RA.
Agreed… for as much as I feel bad for Ruth, and want her to get better, she *was* a horrible RA.
Everyone is saying that Dorothy would do a good job, but I’m not so sure. And, sure, she has the right temperament, and the organizational skills. And is just a genuinely good person who cares about her dormmates.
But she’s hella busy! She barely has time for her friends. She’s studying her heart out just to handle her current course load.
Most of my RAs were on light schedules, at most 12 hours–the minimum to count as a full time. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ruth was part time–how many classes did we see her in?
How many classes do we see anybody in?
Hell, Joyce is the main protagonist and we’ve only ever seen her in three.
How much RAing did we see Ruth do?
Dorothy might have to drop her volunteer work or the newspaper thing. Or just burnout (which is likely a plotline coming up anyway.)
I don’t know. People’s expectations for the RA seem to be much higher than my memories. I barely remember ever seeing my RA. A couple meetings. The occasional room inspection (fire hazards mostly – with warning given so you can hide the candles and hot plates).
Happy birthday, Willislets.
OK, so I think I “need” to make another comment on this:
Look, Dorothy -is- a good person. Or at least, -we- know she does good things, or at the very least genuinely -tries- to do the good thing. We know that she does genuinely care for people. Her main mistake with Danny was being too afraid to hurt his feelings for too long. She’s treating Joyce as a full human being, instead of simply “the enemy” that Roz treated her as. By and large, she’s doing good.
As such, -we- should not have any problems with her having ambitions. And -we- can understand why she’d use clipboards and spreadsheets to keep track of things. We should not begrudge her having the ambitions she has. We should not begrudge her for trying to fill the vacant RA spot*. And I agree that she’d probably do a good job; that the main danger of her getting it would in fact be about burning herself out (which is an interesting discussion in itself).
But the other people in the wing -don’t- know all this. Most of them don’t know Dorothy like we do. And to -them-, her current approach is…
…An approach that has absolutely all the hallmarks of -pretending- to care while really not giving a damn. Answering your own question before Rachel gets a chance to get a word in? That has all the hallmarks of fake concern right there. No wonder
And her response to Carla’s perfectly understandable annoyance? Gods, that is just about the worst. How many times do you think Carla’s been dealing with people with clipboards or notebooks and clearly just pretending to care about her well-being, while they are in fact trying to put Carla down for being Carla the star-shaped peg, and not just fitting nicely into the square hole that society demands of her. That’s the impression Dorothy gives Carla right now, what with not actually listening to the very important message Carla is trying to tell her.
And finally, today… Dorothy is not telling Joyce the whole truth until Billie steps in and confronts her more directly. Again, there is -nothing- wrong with Dorothy wanting to be RA, but she doesn’t tell Joyce that that is her goal? She tries spinning it into a purely altruistic act.
And again, it’s perfectly understandable for -us- why she did it. We know that Dorothy knows that ambition for a female is seen as dangerous, and one must give every impression not to have it and working in the shadows until one has a secure base to make a move from.
But look at Joyce in the last panel. To -her-, Dorothy basically just lied by omission. Her best friend did not openly tell her what was going on. To her, I’m sure that the last sentence may sound hollow. “If she’s not ashamed for trying to become an RA, why didn’t she just tell me in the first place?”
*I’ll just assume that if the plot demands it, a plausible enough excuse will be found for it to happen.
Yeah, I can certainly see how it comes across – especially to Carla yesterday.
It’s the commentators here tearing her apart for it that I don’t really get.
She wants to do the right thing, something that will help not only her but the other students in the dorm, but she doesn’t trust that they will see it as the right thing. She also probably realizes that it is going to hurt Billie, so on some level she doesn’t trust herself that it is the right thing. And it probably comes less from the mindset “a position has just been vacated and I can fill it!” (which to some degree is more like Becky eagerly scooping up Sydney’s position at Gallaso’s, although that too can be defended given Becky’s struggle to find a job) and more from the mindset “people are probably hurting without Ruth and I feel like I can help” (which probably stems more from her own sense of loss for not having Ruth there, and her sense of disillusionment that Ruth was “abusing” her position to have a relationship with Billie, than it does from any response she’s seen out of anyone else).
Self-motivation is, obviously, selfish, and Dorothy is not exactly sure how to reconcile that to herself, which is why she’s afraid to give Billie anything more than a curt answer and walk away from the situation. She wants to help both the other students and herself, but at the same time, she is scared of her own motivations.
*the origins of her own motivations
Personally I think most of the other residents think of her as a rather harmless geek. “Here comes the freshman with the clipboard again”. It’s not like they have a hard time deflect her if they want to. ‘
I don’t think they see her as top RA material either, but on the other hand, after Ruth I think they are cool with most things.
For most of the residents, it will probably be partying on as usual!
I think this sums up a lot of my feelings on the whole matter a lot better than I could, thanks.
ALSO: Dorothy hasn’t done anything to ask for the job yet. People say the timing isn’t right- she hasn’t done anything yet!
of course. an awesome (if shitty) twist, would be that Dorothy gets a second rejection letter from the ivy leagues stating that her family is blacklisted for some major indiscretion that served as an embarrassment to all three major schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton) that not only is her dream never going to happen due to bureaucracy, but its due to some major secret her parents kept hidden from her..
There’s nothing wrong with Dorothy wanting to be an RA but the timing feels gross because Ruth is hospitalized right now with a huge delibating problem and there hasn’t been any mention of her being fired yet. Dorothy would probably be a better RA but this is premature so her tact feels wooden. It’s like an employee gunning for their manager’s job when they were just in a car wreck.
One can both really care about people and have non-altruistic motives at the same time. A man once asked the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes why he had seen him giving charity to a beggar on the street, thinking that it conflicted with his idea that everyone is ultimately selfish. Hobbes replied that by giving charity, he gain the pleasure of having another person being grateful to you and possibly took a man off the street who could have become an obstruction to traffic, have died of exposure or starvation and become a horrid-smelling corpse or started robbing stores in his desperation.
Dorothy does care, but that doesn’t mean she can’t see the personal benefits of helping out too.
Ehh, I always think of it as this: If you give up a tangible benefit to yourself so that others will acquire said tangible benefit instead, it’s for all practical reasons not selfish. The “oh, but feeling good inside counts” stuff is mostly for people with too much time on their hands (aka philosophers) to muse about.
i don’t agree entirely, as there are ways to help that can actually help the helper too, but we I too think philosophers have too much time on their hands.
Then you get a tangible benefit in return, and we end up in murkier territory, I suppose.
Still, I’m fine with that too, at least as long as what happens actually -does- help the helpee.
yeah, it’s stuff like loaning startup money to water purifier companies in Africa. There’s one that’s making these amazing water purifiers that have really cheap materials, can be bought for $1 and they’re making a killing while helping a lot of people due to the sheer volume of the market they’re tapping
and there’s a difference between helping people and straight-up charity. Nothing wrong with either, but it’s only charity that is required to be solely for the sake of the helpee.
also, not saying dorothy does not have selfish motives partly. just saying there’s nothing wrong with that as a secondary motivation.
Two issues I have, which others have already pointed out.
The first is simple: The “selfish” motivation (“This will look really good on my transcript!”) is Dorothy’s PRIMARY motivation. And, possibly, her only one. She tells Joyce “I want to be supportive. Everything has been kind of nuts.” There’s no real indicator that she wants to be supportive for everyone else’s sakes, it’s simply what has been inferred. In fact, when Billie calls her out for it, Dorothy refuses to give a straight answer, despite Joyce being right there, but also fairly admits that the only reason she does what she does is for that Yale submission. “We want to help AND turn a profit!” isn’t in play here–Dorothy just wants to turn that profit and isn’t above emotional manipulation to do so.
The second issue: Dorothy’s free time. She basically has none. The girl schedules her time so stringently that she has to decide to skip a bathroom break when she ends up tempted into a quickie with Walky. Given we’ve already established that her primary motivations all involve her own ascension, who’s the more likely victims of her ever more compressed time: Projects and studying for 95% of her grade, or other people who have decided they aren’t NEARLY so motivated in life as she is?
I do like Dorothy. I really do. And in those rare moments where she’s caught without that agenda to pursue, she’s utterly adorable and we see those points where she is, in fact, truly a good person. But, just for instance, look at Joyce–she was convinced at first that Dorothy, her second best friend, was just trying to be helpful. Now, she just realizes she’s been duped. And, as others have noted, that yes, there is a certain bit of “lying by omission” involved here, since Dorothy couldn’t even be bothered to give a straight answer to a straight question.
Congratulations, spawn of Willis!
The revelation that this is literally the next day reminds me of why I have very complicated feelings about Dorothy as a person. I always get the logic behind her actions but there is a certain level of everybody else’s feelings come secondary to hers that’s always right there and usually you’ll find her just merrily going along ticking off boxes on the path to her Big Dream in the wake of someone else’s emotional devastation. It’s great that she’s driven but she seems so laser focused on what she needs to get what she wants she can’t even for the sake of pretending she cares just…wait to give other people the time to heal. Ruth was a terrible RA, yeah. Dorothy would likely be very good at the job probably. (I say probably because given her course load and the small bit of time she’s carved out for a social life I don’t know how much time she’d able to really give the job. She could overlook things.) But considering that everything that went down went down YESTERDAY and given that she knows people are still processing and going through things and given that she should have at least looked up if she’s even eligible for the job yet, she should know now is not the time to be blatantly puffing up your resume. Or at least try not to be so transparent about it.
There is a certain amount of narcissism that has to come with wanting to be president and being the kind of person that has an actual shot at getting it that this aspect of Dorothy’s personality isn’t really that much of a shocker. You need a certain level of detachment from humanity to make the choices and the sacrifices that you’re going to have to make.
Pudd’nhead Chloe will be thrilled to appoint Dorothy Temporary Acting Provisional RA. It’s one less thing to take up her time. And it just might last out the semester. If the wing stays quiet, no problems, why not?
Someone tell billie that, after your girlfriend is out of the social depression, youre supposed to CHEER THE FUCK UP.
Yeah, because telling people with depression to “CHEER THE FUCK UP” works so well.
People keep forgetting that Billie’s nearly as screwed up as Ruth and needs help just as much.
Plenty of folks here seem to believe Amber’s PTSD is a thing she can just get over and that it’s her fault for not dealing with it. Recognition and support for mental illness is not exactly a high priority for a lot of people.
I’m not addicted to the stuff, I only get depressed when I’m out with friends on weekends.
I’m a social depressive.
As others have pointed out, Billie isn’t exactly in a good place herself. But just because she seems happy now doesn’t mean that Ruth is completely cured either.
Happy birthday to your twins! 😀
Happy Birthday, spawn of Willis!
So… Is it just me, or is Dorothy basically making the Bombers’ Notebook from Majora’s Mask? 😛
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
Who should be doodled inside Book 6?
©2010-2017 Dumbing of Age | Powered by WordPress with ComicPress
| Subscribe: RSS
| Back to Top ↑