Gardening Monkey Master for next Patreon comic!
I mean I don’t doubt it considering Dorothy as a puppy won
We’re an eccentric fandom, aren’t we?
I am planning on a campaign for Hospital Doorguard-san for Nov.
Not toll someone suggests Monkey Master slipshine.
That was weird, and I think I saw was a little sexist.
Gardening Slipshine would be a dirty comic.
Batman still does a better job at gardening though.
Well he is the best at everything… except that thing Logan does that isn’t very nice… Deadpool is second best at that, so Bats must be third… unless we’re counting Lobo, he always seemed pretty good at that kinda stuff.
I’m sure those four could swap some interesting stories over beers.
Logan, Wade and Steve(none of which can get drunk) drank together before Logan died. Batman and Lobo can get drunk, but one of them usually doesn’t and the other does too much. So I don’t know how that would go.
Although this premise is a great reason to reference randomguy.
Rorschach and Deadpool!
A nut and a fool!
I know Logan drinks beer anyway, and I’m not sure there’s anything Deadpool wouldn’t drink if he felt like it.
Wait, so walk is ditching class and running mad, for a TV show? Or is it something more serious.
Walky is ditching class because he doesn’t want to confront the cold, hard truth that college math isn’t as easy for him as high school math was, and that he’s not going to get through college without a lot more effort than he’s used to.
Walky’s majoring in Lying Convincingly
With a minor in Distracting Daydreams, as taught by Professor John Dorian.
His concentration is, clearly, Lying To Himself.
It’s call Political Arts.
Do you flunk out of that if you do all your reading and homework?
Onpy if you admit it.
that panel 4, though. may we all be so lucky
also, hey! finally a monkey master tag without a dexter!
…though now that i check, it has happened before
Walky, you’re an AMATEUR at denial, take it from a real pro like half of the 1st world!
*plays Peter Gabriel’s “Shock The Monkey” on the hacked Muzak*
This is just….painful.
I’m finding it comforting in its familiarity, somehow.
But… Walky isn’t cool. Just ask Billie.
Billie isn’t cool either.
…Billie is hot.
Billie is high s-cool.
no, billie is now cool-ege
I wonder about Billie’s opinion on the Duke.
Cowboy? Thin White?
Come on, Ethan, everyone knows that time isn’t real.
Yeah. If it’s a typical 50-minute class, Walky has like probably two weeks until it’s over.
Where was your avatar from? I’m pretty sure I’d remember Joyce being made to wear a condom covered dildo on her head.
The hat belongs to Roz.
Joyce lost a bet.
(Do a tag search for roz+joyce)
The condom cap is Roz’s, and the grumpy Joyce comes from… huh, in hunting down that strip, I found the actual comment thread where the grumpy Joyce in condom cap originated.
Ha–I remember that old Batman comic you did 🙂
It took me a while but I just got it
Walky’s smile in panel 2 makes me think of the original Bubblegum Crisis. There’s a promo shot for the series where Linna is grinning like that.
So is something actually going on with Dorothy? Her schedule’s off based on the information in this strip, and while she looked fine yesterday it’s apparently due to stress?
Maybe it’s theasy possibility that, she’s failing to ? That would be a great twist.
She still has a very important, difficult conversation she needs to have with Joyce, which she can’t put off forever.
I imagine she is trying to arrange some concrete options to minimize the odds of needing to bring up the topic more than once
Ah, but Joyce is in Walky’s non-class.
Only a problem if she were planning to talk to her now.
I’d imagine she’ll wait until after Joyce is done with class for the day
Poor Walky. The kid is just about to have a flat out panic attack at the thought of failing. He needs help ASAP.
I filled out my ballot today, and know I’m wondering how it would go down if Willis decided to run for president and was somehow chosen as the democratic nominee.
Willis: As your President, I will make sure that stupid peoples online opinions are properly ridiculed, there will also be a let the President buy more Transformers tax.
I would do anything for Willis to be a candidate…
With the candidates we’ve got, I’d vote for a dog if that was an option.
… Jill Stein?
*dodges thrown bottles*
Is that that fourth candidate who I’ve heard literally nothing about…?
She’s a doctor who won’t say vaccines are good for kids.
Probably! She’s the Green Party candidate.
Can we get a Hot Shot monument in Washington? With a stand selling jam next to it?
…what kind of jam?
The good news: Food is now free. The bad news: Only food Walky likes.
Someone needs a reality inhanced back hand.
Shhhhhh. Ethan. Don’t interrupt a daydreamer, that can be dangerous…no wait that’s sleepwalkers. Please continue.
[Insert Joke Comment About How Some Commenters Want to Shake Walky Here]
Gods, Walky, if you’re failing calculus, maybe you shouldn’t be going for a bachelor’s?
Hey, not everyone is great at calculus. It’s a different style of thinking. I know many people who, depending on their degree, have graduated with a B.A. and even a B.S. without ever taking the class. And I go to a top tier university (where I struggled a lot my first few years but finally have my life together at).
Let’s try to be nice and remember that everyone has different strengths, sometimes a certain teaching style isn’t for you, and the transition into college is very difficult for some people.
Yeah I mean I basically was in exactly the same place as Walky here (except no girlfriend) my first semester of college many years ago. I basically changed my major to avoid calculus (and worked my butt off to not get kicked out the next semester). Never really learned it but made it all work out and now I work in a science field and get by with me excel and some knowledge of stats. It would be interesting to try to go back and learn calculus but I think in addition to not knowing how to study or work hard going into it like walky I have some legit issue with understanding it the way it’s taught. But now that I have a million coping mechanisms maybe I’d have a good shot.
Anyway no you don’t need calc to get by in most fields. Most people never use it. And every time I say so online I get a few jerks ranting on about how no I’m a liar or can’t do science or whatever but it’s the truth. All depends on what you decide to do and how.
So Walkys got a shot anyhow. My motivation was not returning to my hated “home” town. Maybe Dorothy can be Walky’s.
Pretty much, I love teaching calculus and calculus is super useful for making a lot of other math stuff make sense, but in real life, unless you’re in physics or mathematics as a career, you’re usually not using math beyond algebra and geometry.
True story. I am working on my PhD in a very quantitative field of social science. I do complex statistical analysis for a living, and my calculus is terrible. That gave me some trouble in my coursework, but it affects my research 0%.
The first thing they teach in Calc 1 is the fundamental theorem of calculus, which in my experience is way harder to remember than everything else after it. After that, over half your grade is “do you remember the extremely simple Power Rule?” But maybe the course hasn’t gotten that far yet.
The one that says that the integral is the opposite operation of the derivative? What’s difficult to remember about that?
No, the power rule is that the derivative of a*x^b is ab*x^b-1.
…plus a constant!
I have a Bachelor’s, and I never even got close to taking calc. To be fair, though, Walky’s major is telecommunications. That sounds a little mathy to me, so yeah, he’s out of his depth.
And the alternative his parents have down for him – medicine – requires a prodigious amount of book-learning, or so I’ve read.
Not really. Telecommunications as a major is mostly about how television programs are created and distributed, business practices, and multimedia presentations. It’s not very technical (although many Telecomm majors might minor in Comp Sci or Information Technology to round out their skills), more of a liberal arts major.
A Communications major is about studying the methods by which we communicate and building a more effective communicator. It can broadly be understood as what used to be known as a standard liberal arts education:
So, he really doesn’t likely need calculus as a required course or much in the way of math, but he’s gonna have to get used to reading lots and lots of stuff pretty darn quick because those types of courses tend to be heavy on reading and discussing the reading and he’s not going to be able to bluff and bs his way through college the same way he was in hs.
Walky is a Telecommunications major, not a Communications major.
While he might not specifically need calculus, I believe IU’s gen ed requirements require a math credit, and if he plans on this road, he had best be prepared for tech classes out the wazoo – which may entail more math than he hoped (though probably not calculus).
I was so, so glad when I got to college and discovered that my (English) major required me to take no math past what I’d done in HS. Not to brag, but to illustrate: my SAT scores were 7XX verbal… and 5XX math. Yeah.
What actually are normal scores?
That was so opposite my scores. 5XX verbal and 7XX math. I just do well in math…..and I still don’t like it. Thank goodness that I can program Excel and other programs to do all of the math and statistical analysis I need to do.
My computer science degree (which I never finished for a variety of reasons) never required more than college algebra. I took trigonometry out of spite.
I’m having trouble believing you. The CS program where I was required the entire first calc series of classes and then some.
I’m having trouble pinning down Amber’s expression in the first panel. I feel like she wanted to say something but was having trouble getting the words out.
I’ve no clue what it is that’s giving me that impression, but I can’t shake it
It’s the ‘something about you burns the corner of my mind but I’m not sure why’ because of his resemblance to Sal.
I don’t think so. She’s let go of a lot of that hate for Sal, and the conversation AG had with Walky was downright therapeutic
But she still hasn’t figured out why Walky seems so familiar. It’s like when you see someone on the street and go, “where do I know them from…?”
I had to go back and look, but not only did she stammer a bit when talking to him when he popped in on her and Dorothy this morning, but her panel 1 expression looks a bit like her panel 4 expression here:
…perhaps *someone* is developing a taste for caramel?
I think you might be right there.
She is misinterpreting Walky’s denial and deceptiveness as that Walky also has a crime-fighting alter-ego. But who?
Well, now I want to see AG chasing him across campus, only to trip over Dina & Becky
It’s not like there are any badass vigilantes around with a remarkable resemblance to Walky in a wig.
Because her mouth is partly open like she’s speaking? I had to take a second look to be sure the balloon tail was pointing at Ethan, not Amber.
Ha! I was about to comment on the Alt Text, by suggesting that MM take on Batman in a funny contest, but then I realized that Walky’s dream is MM “apeing” Gardening Batman! (I have that shirt, and I love it!)
Which is funnier? MM in Batman’s costume? Or Giant Batman acting like an Monkey?
Walky would probably say Giant Batman acting like monkey. Because… monkey.
I like how dissonant today’s IW! And the DoA strips are.
Appears that Walky is about to crash and burn.
Amber is all “huh? That’s a complete different set of problems than what I’m used to.”
“And believe you me, I’m used to a whole slew (SLEW) of problem sets.”
So Monkey Master is like Batman, he can make anything funny?
Well the juxtapositioning of a character into a situation where they are not normally found, especially if said character tends to be serious and the situation is either ‘everyman normal’ or fun/relaxing, does tend to be funny. OOC played for laughs, etc, etc.
Not batman as a beekeeper this time ? 😀
Probably behind the paywall. That’s were the good stuff is.
AMBER: Uh, do you want me to help you with your math homework?
ETHAN: I’ve heard I’m pretty good at tutoring, if you want to meet sometime.
WALKY: NOTHING IS WRONG
NOT ENOUGH NOTHING!
NEVER ENOUGH NOTHING
The downside of tying one’s self-esteem to “effortlessly” passing all one’s classes.
been there, done that, could damn near teach the course.
I didn’t even do that on my own… everyone else did it for me.
I think Walky redefines the saying “How can anyone so smart be so dumb?”
NOT ENOUGH DDR!
Panel 1: I find the specific worry above other worries of Dorothy finding out in specific very interesting. Largely because I feel it supports the theory that Walky has sunk a considerable amount of his self-identity and self-esteem into being “naturally smart”* and so believes his entire self-worth resides in that manufactured identity (which then becomes so much more complicated and raw when you note that he’s black and thus besieged with culturally racist messages that people like him are “naturally” dumb).
*There’s a whole interesting pedagogical theory based on how teachers should avoid calling students smart or certainly not praising them for being “naturally” gifted or smart, because it hides all the effort and consumption of information that belies that and ill-prepares the student for when they have to genuinely struggle with a subject. Largely because of reasons like this where the student assumes that academic success comes from something natural about them rather than their effort and accumulated knowledge bases.
And so his hiding it from Dorothy and his panic at nearly being seen by her is fascinating, because I think he really does believe that that “smartness” is all anyone could ever see of value in him, because it’s all his parents have ever valued. And so he believes that if Dorothy saw him struggling, saw him needing help, saw him in that vulnerable place of being lost, that she would see him as worthless even though it is so many of his other qualities that are what actually makes him attractive to her.
And it’s sad because it’s the flip-side of all the terrible messages Sal has internalized from her parents and a sign that both of them have been massively screwed up by their parents penchant for treating the two of them more like props of status than actually kids.
Also, I love that Ethan’s history of support of Amber’s panic attacks before she started pushing him away means he’s always the first one to offer support and empathy when someone is exhibiting the classic signs of a panic attack in front of him.
Panel 2: Well at least his subconscious is aware of the denial and panic spiral that is devouring him. The first step is having some deep dark part of your soul you never want to admit exists figuring it out and niggling you about it for years on end… hey, it worked for me and the whole trans thing.
The point about Walky and racially charged ideas of intelligence is a really interesting point. I’ve seen some comments about IQ based on race that were absolutely toxic.
I think one of the, perhaps subconscious, reasons for him to be freaking out is not only because he threw a lot of self worth into that pile is because he knows how he’ll be treated if/when he loses his parent’s favour.
On that sidenote about not calling students smart, can I just say I HATE that idea? Yes, it’s not a good idea to build up one person on one ground only, but the idea I was smart is partially what got me through some of the rougher years of my life, and any sort of ‘oh, you worked so hard’ alternative would have been utterly hollow because, really, I didn’t. School is something I’m good at and I appreciated that being acknowledged. I think the key is to mix things up so that a person can’t put stock in just one thing (like being pretty or smart or whatever). That helps a lot more than switching up whatever the one thing is, especially when the new one thing isn’t true.
That’s my general approach as well. I more was just noting the theory as it was particularly relevant to Walky’s situation.
Yeah, I can definitely see the relevance – the kid puts way too much stock in being ‘naturally smart’ for his own good. I blame the parents.
For me, being called smart gave me the idea that I had this status that I had to protect at all costs. So I did my very best to never be wrong and never make mistakes. The thing is, that is very stressful and makes it impossible to learn from your mistakes.
Because every mistake is the worst thing ever and every reminder of a past mistake triggers a mayor panick attack.
I think that is the reason you’re not supposed to call kids smart.
Maybe the reason you thought you were not good at other things (That was implied, right? Correct me if I’m wrong here.) is because like me you were incapable of accepting the unavoidable risk of failure that those other activities have exactly because you were told you were smart growing up.
Oh yeah, no matter what compliment you pick to try building folks up, it’ll never work for everyone because when you only ever tell people they’re Good Trait X, it becomes their whole identity and leads to a whole plethora of problems – from Walky’s to your own.
I had a few other things I felt good at, but being smart was what came up a lot, and like I said it actually helped me. Any problems branching out were more painfully low self-esteem than fear of failure. That said, you are not me and those were totally valid problems. I hope things are better now!
One of my favorite encouragements that I put on every assessment I write is “You’ve got this!”
Says nothing about how they’ve got this, just that they do. That despite their anxiety, they’ve got the skills and the faith of their teacher.
Sometimes I get notes on the tests circling that and saying thanks, which is really heart-warming.
See, that is perfect. You sound like a great teacher.
I think you are spot on about Walky’s sense of self worth, and there is one really ugly aspect of that.
He thinks his only worth lies in being smart because he has seen what his community and his parents do to a black kid who ISN’T smart and who ISN’T playing along.
Yuuuuuup. Something tells me part of this panic is because he knows EXACTLY what he can expect if he comes home with poor grades (especially if his sister is doing well). He can’t have 100% tuned out EVERY argument his parents had with Sal.
Shit, yeah, that’s dead on.
The point of his identity being tied to his smartness does cast interesting new light on the final panel of http://www.dumbingofage.com/2012/comic/book-2/02-choosing-my-religion/do/
Panel 3: And that’s the other half of Walky’s self-identity and self-esteem. The idea of himself as the “cool nerd”, the one who’s too cool for school, because being just a nerd openly means one is somehow less manly, but being the smartest kid in the class who never tries and would blow this joint if he had half the chance? That can be worked into his weird ideas of what makes one a man or not.
And that’s not just him, that’s a common thing a lot of folks face and especially black nerds face as being “too into” learning can sometimes be read as trying to “act white” because of internalization of cultural messages. And its the core of why a lot of nerds face ostracization and physical abuse in their schooling growing up because of how that has been historically interpreted as girliness or signs of being a wimp (i.e. gay).
And that’s tragic because it means the path out of this is gonna be really really hard, because he’s gonna have to abandon everything he thinks makes him a worthy human being and the entire mythology that governs his life to grow and improve as a person. And that’s a lot to do and work that a lot of people are willing to go deeper and deeper into denial to never have to do.
That all said, it makes me hope that him and Joyce or him and Becky talk more because they have real experience with having to throw away everything they thought they once knew about what makes them a valuable person and start anew and so will have some real practical advice for him when he’s ready to listen.
Panel 4: Hmm, I wonder a lot about how Amber is taking this, because panicking, having a mental breakdown, etc…, these were all things to hide away, keep secret, be ashamed of, or else face intense abuse from her dad.
So I wonder if seeing other people in the throes of a mental freakout will allow her to be more forgiving especially of what she sees as the Amber alter’s flaws and let her move out of the weird mythologies she is using to keep what she thought was the central construction of herself she needed to survive and into something that is best for her DID and will avoid some of the nastier bits that have been happening of late*.
*Sorry I totally bailed on the really interesting comic where the Amber alter was very intentionally vague about language surrounding her and Danny’s breakup and her back was turned so we couldn’t see if her blush temporarily went away or if Amber got a truncated version of events because AG is hiding memories for “Amber’s own good” (especially her team up with Sal). I was having a really bad mental health night and probably wouldn’t have been able to take the usual “I think DID is this random thing I see in movies” crap.
Panel 5: I think Walky might also be one of those students who need to be interested in the material to really pay attention and truly absorb, as well as being an auditory learner with a decent memory and so has been able to coast through the boring classes and really shine on the classes that interest him or allowed him to prop up his self-image of himself.
And that’s a problem because it means when he struggles with a subject or a subject starts countering some of his central mythologies, he pushes back and actively resists learning because it feels more like torture than learning. And I think this is happening most dramatically in Calculus, but I feel its also happening in Gender Studies as well. And the only reason he’s not freaking out there is because he hasn’t had Leslie come to him about grades yet and thus probably still feels he can just bs his way through that “easy course”.
And I think it might be Leslie talking to him about an essay he submitted being unacceptable in his attempts to snow her or something like that that finally shatters his central mythology and allows him to rebuild from the pieces. Because it’s one thing for a “hard” course to be hard and for him to struggle with it. But it’s a very different thing for an “easy” course (in his mind, gender studies is not an easy course and is often one of the more challenging courses owing to how much cultural baggage can get in the way) to be difficult for him and require reading and effort.
I’m rooting for him at the end of the day though he’s not likely going to enjoy the maturity ride he’s about to embark.
Going by past experiences in this comic, things with Walky are going to get worse still before they get better. I mean I sure hope that’s not the case, but he seems fully committed to fail if only to prove a point, whatever that might be.
And I haven’t had the chance to say this but I really enjoy your takes on the strips. A+ keep ’em coming.
Is there anything specific that leads you to believe he’s doing badly in Gender Studies? I mean, yeah, he has a lot of toxic masculinity, but I know a lot of people who do well in classes but don’t actually internalize any of it.
(In my experience, it’s with biology classes and people who don’t believe in evolution. But they still get As. They see it as telling the teacher what they want to hear.)
Because he doesn’t know enough about the subject matter to bullshit it successfully and Leslie sees through bullshit really well (she’s famously called out Roz and Joe for trying to sell her shit and call it shinola), which are two big strikes for his ability to bs his way through the class.
Well, it’s not necessarily bullshit. He is smart and does well in school without studying. College may be tougher, but it’s not all tougher in the same way. That he’s hit the wall in Calc doesn’t mean he’s hit it in every class.
I was much the same in college, though I didn’t really hit the wall until later years of math & physics. Everything else I could do pretty much just by retaining class discussion & reading (for some classes). My notes were atrocious and I never made any use of them.
Nor, from what we’ve seen of Leslie’s class, am I sure exactly what “studying” he’d need to do that he hasn’t been. It seems much more of a class participation thing than anything else.
Leslie’s class has her providing information for discussion (which he should be writing down), assigning readings, and he’s already had at least one quiz. There is studying he should be doing, even if it’s just re-reading the books.
I don’t actually remember the assigned readings or quiz, but I’ll take your word for it.
But taking notes and re-reading the books? That’s exactly what he’s been getting good grades without doing for years. If his memory’s good enough to retain most of it without studying, why not? It’s what I did through most of college.
It’s possible he’s failing everything and college is just generally harder enough that his old slacker ways don’t work for anything. It’s also possible that he’s only in trouble in the one class he’s been shown to be in trouble in and the problem is more specific.
And Walky mentions a quiz here: http://www.dumbingofage.com/2013/comic/book-3/04-just-hangin-out-with-my-family/slutshame/
Because sharing is caring, especially with information.
Oh yeah, if your memory retains the info without studying, that’s fine. But you need to HAVE the information to retain it, so if he’s not doing his readings that could fuck him over.
I would take it at a slightly different angle that it’s not that he considers Gender Studies an “easy” course, but a “not real” course. It’s not a “real” subject the way math, science, history, language, etc are. As far as he’s concerned, there are no skills or facts to learn for Gender Studies, it’s just feel-y opinions where no one can be wrong. It’s kinda like when his mom makes him do something ‘cultural’ (and I’ll bet you anything she did) and he just cooperates exactly as much as he needs to to get credit for being good.
An easy course in a “real” subject would, of course, be admitting brain-weakness. But free credits for cultural enrichment nonsense? That’s just cleverly gaming the system.
Was expecting a specific alt text. Got it. All is well.
Ahhhh, it’s strips like these that remind me why the Walkerton’s are the parents I hate the most (albeit, not the worst parents – Blaine, Toedad, Mama Brown, Parents Siegal, sup?)
Can I just say that the more we learn about how Dorothy thrives on stress (even seems to feel like stress is “fun” and how she probably couldn’t function without it), she reminds me of me an a lot of other relatively functional ADHDers out there?
Cuz, like there’s a few different ways undiagnosed ADHDers wind up: There’s folks like my sib (and Walky), who’d been naturally smart all through school and able to coast by on it but run into needing to study but being literally unable to wind up crashing and burning either through video-games/slacking (Walky) or party time central (my sib). There’s folks who wind up in anxious breakdown land (where Walky seems headed) because they know something’s always been harder for them but till now they’ve been mostly able to function but they know they’re already barely keeping head above water (or they’re one of the first set who has enough wrapped up in being “naturally smart” that they feel it’s a reflection on their worth when being “naturally smart” isn’t enough anymore.)
And then there’s the folks like me, who somehow figured out that adrenaline helps us to function and so become stress junkies because overloading ourselves on inhumane workloads (at one point I was taking 8 courses, 3 labs, working part time, volunteering part time AND in two clubs). Sooner or later, you hit burnout and smack into the proverbial wall of cannot-do, and then because generally speaking you think of yourself as someone who Has Their Shit Together and Thrives On Stress, you wind up in a cycle of burnout -> crash -> recover just enough to get back into the swing of things -> work ridiculously hard and forget to eat on occasion -> suffer stress-related illness and weak immune system -> more stress -> take on moar (because that’s what you do when you’ve run out of cope amirite?) -> worsen burnout -> burnout again -> crash -> repeat.
Unnntil you wind up in the ER because you went to an exam with pneumonia and your prof called an ambulance for you because your lips were blue and you were hacking up a storm and told you explicitly, “I don’t want to see you in class if you are this sick again, seriously you need to be at the hospital no really go now we will sort out your exams and shit later.” And then the ER doc gives you a lecture about how 20 doesn’t mean immortal and you really need to take care of this asthma thing and eventually you lose your temper with some medical person and rant about how you can’t “just relax” because relaxing at all ever means you get nothing done and can’t function because your brain is always going at amillion miles an hour but if you’re not doing something you can’t start something and once you’ve ranted yourself breathless and teary they just say, “Um… so have you heard of adult ADHD? You said your sibling has it and you’re kind of sounding like a textbook case…”
… and long story short that was how I was diagnosed with ADHD (… precursor to autism diagnosis – but autism and ADHD are pretty comorbid and even if you don’t actually have ADHD, autism does come with EF shit that can be pretty similar to ADHD in many respects)
… short version: Dorothy reminds me of me and it makes me worry for her wellbeing because MY story ended with a two week long hospital stay and two years of sub-50% lung function before I regained my asthma control, I’d neglected myself so bad (well, and I caught the flu – but the flu wouldn’t have been as bad if I hadn’t bought the whole self-discipline out of asthma bullshit line hook, line and sinker).
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
Who should be doodled inside Book 6?
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