SFP

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  • Roman Snow

    I guess he was serious after all?

    So:
    – Davenport has to work for his grade like in any normal class
    – Alison gets an automatic F
    – Everyone else gets an automatic A

    Nope, it’s settled, I still don’t like him.

    (As a person. He’s amusing as a character.)

    • Christophe2314

      Nah, I think it’s yet another experiment: he’s waiting to see how many people actually show up for the next class. Then he’ll reveal the grades aren’t set in stone.

    • bryan rasmussen

      I guess he did forget to tell the rest of the class that they weren’t getting automatic A’s so what happens next week when they don’t show up – maybe the guy who thinks the class rules shows up.

      • Alon Rand

        He made it pretty clear that the automatic A’s are for real. The only person who’s not getting the grade he said they were is Davenport, who’s being allowed to work for a pass like normal.

      • Alon Rand

        He made it pretty clear that the automatic A’s are for real. The only person who’s not getting the grade he said they were is Davenport, who’s being allowed to work for a pass like normal.

    • scottfree

      He’s teaching Alison that sometimes she’s doomed to fail from the start, and now they’re both going to find out how she reacts. In her free time, Alison is trying to end domestic violence; she might need to be prepared to face unsolvable problems, yes?

    • Weatherheight

      If the above scenario actually happens, I will need to go get pixelated.
      Because that would be *seriously* unrealistic writing, and for the most part the writing’s been pretty good.

  • Boojum

    Pretty sure he’s yanking her chain. Again. She’s being treated like a regular person, she should savor the experience!

  • Kid Chaos

    Don’t go crazy, Alison; he’s just messing with you. [pause] He is just messing with her, right? RIGHT??? Oh, crap… 😯

    • “It’d be totally unfair to actually flunk you over that, don’t worry about it.

      Oh not you, Allison, I’m selectively enforcing it with you.”

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Well, Davenport didn’t have a choice. Alison chose to gamble with a failing grade and lost.

        • Izo

          The only gamble that Alison made was that people are inherently good and think of others. Her axiom is that ‘we’re all in this together’ – something which is a good axiom, actually, even if not achievable. And that wasnt even disproven here – all that was shown was that most people are either cynical, inattentive, or nervous because they can’t afford the risk of others being jerks.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Well, Davenport didn’t have a choice. Alison chose to gamble with a failing grade and lost.

  • Still pushing buttons, I see … 😉

  • Abel Undercity

    “Class is over, so now I’m just pushing your buttons on my own time. Call it a hobby.”

  • Jamesxide

    Wow! I see where this is going… he’s not failing John because he didn’t give him a choice. He is failing Alison because she did have a choice even if she didn’t even think of using it…

    • VariableNature

      But that’s INCREDIBLY UNFAIR to John though, isn’t it?
      He still has to do all of the work and studying and writing and everything else that comes with this class. Everyone else, by this logic, has a grade set in stone.
      So now Davenport has to do all the work himself, while everyone else gets a free 4.0 to add to their GPA.
      Allison should tell Davenport all about this, so that HE can go report on the professor’s behavior here.

    • Izo

      How dare she be noble and think of others and think humanity is inherently good and can work together to help their own! We better nip that mentality right in the bud!

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    Oh my, Gurwara is going to get his buttons pushed.
    (And of course by “buttons” I mean face and by “pushed” I mean smashed, pummeled and caved in with the fury of a thousand dying Suns.)

    • Izo

      The fact that she HASNT punched someone who is intentionally and unfairly pushing her buttons just goes to show that she’s the exact opposite of a tyrant.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        She threw a mug in Patrick’s face that one time. That was the line, and she crossed it, and I don’t want to hear mitigation: once is all it takes.

    • Balthazar

      I don’t think dying Suns have as much fury as live ones. Though I may be wrong, it’s been a while since I took any physical science classes.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        Well it depends on the type but yes, dying stars go supernova and it’s the event that’s the most exuberant display of energy in the whole universe. Like our Sun in five billion years, you must have heard how it’s going to expand and gobble the planets before it shrinks down and disappear.

      • ∫Clémens×ds

        Well it depends on the type but yes, dying stars go supernova and it’s the event that’s the most exuberant display of energy in the whole universe. Like our Sun in five billion years, you must have heard how it’s going to expand and gobble the planets before it shrinks down and disappear.

  • Alex M.

    Everything about this professor, just……just yes.

  • VariableNature

    Ok wait just one second.
    He can’t actually be serious about that, can he?
    There is literally no way he can be serious about that. That would be the biggest pile of BS I have ever seen in this entire webcomic. It would be unfair and most CERTAINLY get him fired. Right? He has to be joking.

    • Thewizardguy

      I’m honestly not sure whether he is, and if it was a normal student he was talking to, then he would certainly deserve to get fired. But do remember we’re talking about someone that attends college for shits and giggles, as opposed to any actual need. As well as someone who has to have their buttons pushed, because if Allison doesn’t learn how to act when her buttons are pushed she’s going to end up flipping her shit at an inopportune moment.

    • Arkone Axon

      Assuming the next page is him letting her know that was a joke… yeah. I can’t wait to see her reaction to that… :p

    • Shjade

      Well…I don’t think he’s being serious, but technically he DID state the consequences beforehand and she chose it anyway. Davenport he couldn’t fail, of course, since it wasn’t his choice to take an F, but she purposely decided to fail.

      From a “fairness” standpoint, I don’t see a problem with giving her what she asked for.

      • VariableNature

        So, what about all the students who asked for an A? Do they get an A? They better, otherwise the second Allison tells them about her situation, I can guarantee they will storm his office and demand that he give all of them A. And if he doesn’t, what’s stopping them from complaining to the school?

        And what about Davenport? He had the option to choose taken away from him entirely. As Prof. Gurwara said on this page, Davenport still has to work like this is any other, normal class. Is that fair to him? To have to do all the study and essays and finals necessary when everyone else (besides Allison) has a guaranteed A in the class?

        From a “fairness” standpoint, he should reveal that he’s just messing with her next page. It would show he still has a poor sense of humor, but better someone who’s unfunny than an ass.

        • masterofbones

          >So, what about all the students who asked for an A? Do they get an A?

          That’s what he has stated repeatedly.

        • Shjade

          You appear to be under the impression that fair treatment for one person requires fair treatment toward everyone else as well.

          I said that, from a “fairness” standpoint, I don’t see a problem with giving her what she asked for. That stands regardless of whether he also treated Davenport, or any other student, fairly as well.

          Actions have consequences, even if you don’t like them or feel they are undeserved. This is a lesson that may be more difficult to learn when you’re invincible, but that makes it all the more important to learn.

          • VariableNature

            OF COURSE I AM UNDER THAT IMPRESSION! THAT IS LITERALLY WHAT FAIR TREATMENT MEANS!!!

          • Shjade

            If I treat you fairly, but not your friend, I’m still being fair to you.

            You don’t have to be universally fair to all points of view to still be fair in some respects.

            Sidenote: maybe take a breath, drink a glass of water, take a nap.

          • VariableNature

            If you treat me fairly, but not my friend, I’m going to want to know why. Why not treat them fairly? What did they do to you? Why do you believe that you shouldn’t have to be fair to my friend when you feel you have to be fair to me?

            And you still haven’t answered my primary question. Doesn’t Professor Gurwara, under the assumption that the “F” he has given to Alison sticks, have a responsibility to give all the other students in his class, who ALL PARTICIPATED IN THE EXACT SAME EXERCISE ALISON DID, an “A”? If he doesn’t, than on what basis do you believe that he should force her to keep her “F”?

            Sidenote to your sidenote: I’m sorry for being on capslock. But don’t be condescending.

          • Shjade

            I ignored your primary question because it’s irrelevant.

            And he’s not “forcing” her to do anything. He presented a choice. She chose. Simple.

      • VariableNature

        So, what about all the students who asked for an A? Do they get an A? They better, otherwise the second Allison tells them about her situation, I can guarantee they will storm his office and demand that he give all of them A. And if he doesn’t, what’s stopping them from complaining to the school?

        And what about Davenport? He had the option to choose taken away from him entirely. As Prof. Gurwara said on this page, Davenport still has to work like this is any other, normal class. Is that fair to him? To have to do all the study and essays and finals necessary when everyone else (besides Allison) has a guaranteed A in the class?

        From a “fairness” standpoint, he should reveal that he’s just messing with her next page. It would show he still has a poor sense of humor, but better someone who’s unfunny than an ass.

    • The_Rippy_One

      I don’t think he’s serious, I think he wants to see how she pushes back. She has to react, of course, even if its to shrug and say she’ll be in class next [class day]. However she does, will be a barometer of how he handles here for the rest of the semester.

    • Preacher John

      Alison gets to fail, because she made the choice freely and so she gets to experience the consequence of her choice. Mr Gurwara does have a clear agenda here: getting Al to think through consequences to her beliefs & actions, and to have her understand how things can work for non-super-folks.. Of course Alison could go to the Administration and get him over-ruled, but then he’d probably get the sack.. Then she’d miss out on being taught by a baseline human who had the balls to risk her wrath and challenge the ideas of a de facto demi-goddess, which (in the intellectual arena at least) seems to be the kind of person who is in short supply in Al’s world.. Maybe she’ll see the value in that, maybe not..

      • VariableNature

        Ok, let’s ignore Alison here. Let’s give her the F, let’s go with your view.
        Is it fair to DAVENPORT that every single other student (except Alison) got an automatic A in the class, while he still has a full semester of studying and assignments and papers to handle?
        Because there’s no way Alison can get an automatic F in this class without all of the other students getting an automatic A.

        • One of the lessons of the class is life isn’t fair.

          Gurwara said ‘all will be revealed in good time’ back at the start of the experiment http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-6/page-36-5/ panel 1. He didn’t say he’s revealed it yet.

          • Izo

            Actually he said ‘let the truth be revealed.’

        • masterofbones

          No it isn’t fair, but it is what he signed up for. He is getting exactly what he expected. The other students are getting an easier time than they expected.

          As a matter of fact, Davenport got a much better deal than he signed up for. The class is probably going to be half the size as it was planned to be(most of the auto-pass people are likely to be no-shows). It is also going to be made up of the people that want to be there most, ensuring that the class quality is going to be *drastically* improved.

          If Davenport wanted to take this class, he got a fantastic deal

          • Izo

            I hardly see how Davenport got a fantastic deal. He got the deal that ANYONE in any class SHOULD get – do the work, if you do the work well, you will be rewarded based on merit.

            Getting what you SHOULD be getting isn’t a fantastic deal.

          • VariableNature

            First, let’s actually assume that Davenport does, in fact, WANT to take this class. This is a class that he has wanted to take since the second he saw it when he was selecting them last year.
            Are you seriously telling me that Davenport isn’t going to be PISSED OFF that a bunch of people who wouldn’t even take this class as seriously as he would have received an A, whereas he still has to put in all the work he can to get a grade that might be lower than that, even IF he loves the class and puts all his effort into it?

      • VariableNature

        Ok, let’s ignore Alison here. Let’s give her the F, let’s go with your view.
        Is it fair to DAVENPORT that every single other student (except Alison) got an automatic A in the class, while he still has a full semester of studying and assignments and papers to handle?
        Because there’s no way Alison can get an automatic F in this class without all of the other students getting an automatic A.

    • Ganurath

      Tenure is crazy, man.

      • Izo

        I doubt a substitute has tenure. Although I also think tenure is a stupid thing.

        • Moderation

          Tenure doesn’t mean you can’t be fired, it just requires a bit more part on the administration side of it to do so.

      • Izo

        I doubt a substitute has tenure. Although I also think tenure is a stupid thing.

      • Preacher John

        Don’t think he has tenure? He’s a supply teacher replacing regular guy? (unless supervillain who really *did* kill regular guy :p )

      • Preacher John

        Don’t think he has tenure? He’s a supply teacher replacing regular guy? (unless supervillain who really *did* kill regular guy :p )

      • Sean Cavanaugh

        I was under the impression he was just some kind of visiting professor (and thus no tenure) since they all thought they were going to be taught by someone else. I did have a newly hired philosophy professor who had a different newly hired philosophy professor start his first lecture by pretending to be him in an epistemology course. That was pretty humorous.

      • Sean Cavanaugh

        I was under the impression he was just some kind of visiting professor (and thus no tenure) since they all thought they were going to be taught by someone else. I did have a newly hired philosophy professor who had a different newly hired philosophy professor start his first lecture by pretending to be him in an epistemology course. That was pretty humorous.

      • Alon Rand

        I doubt this guy has tenure – he’s a substitute.

      • Alon Rand

        I doubt this guy has tenure – he’s a substitute.

    • Not_Han_Solo

      Believe it or not, his stance on Allison is completely righteous and fairly unassailable, from an academic standpoint. He had an in-class activity which all students participated in. He laid out graded consequences. He has the absolute, ironclad right to stick to that standard if he so chooses–he said plainly “if you do this, you fail the class.” Allison did it. She fails. The end.

      That being said, she’s got him dead to rights on a grade appeal–not because of what he did to her, but because of what he did to the Davenport kid. He was the randomly-chosen target for a concept lesson, and now he has to do work to pass the class–work that nobody else does. That’s capricious grading, and it’s the only red line for grade appeals that anyone can make–when you grade, as a professor, you must grade ALL students on the same standard. Period.

      Had Dr. G said, in panel 2, that Davenport could choose at that point either a white or black stone, same as everyone else, Allison would be completely helpless. As things are? If she chooses, she can get his grades for the whole class thrown out and, if he makes a habit of capriciousness like this, could even get his tenure revoked and him fired.

      Source: am an assistant professor.

      • ampg

        Even setting aside the idea of an appeal, there must be some sort of add/drop procedure in place. Since they’ve only had one class, I’m sure she can drop with no consequences.

      • ruhrow

        Depends on the school. At many, there are guidelines as to what percentage of the final grade may or must come from exams, homework, etc. I would imagine that “100% of the grade comes from a yes/no class activity” would violate the percentage breakdown of pretty much any place that has one.

      • John

        I have been a TA too, and based on my experience I completely disagree with your first paragraph, (but agree with your second). There is no way introducing an in-class experiment worth 100% of your grade would have been acceptable. At all three universities for which I worked, evaluation had to be pre-determined and made clear to students well in advance.

      • VariableNature

        That…that is HORRIBLE. You’re telling me a professor in the real world could pull this sort of stunt and face ZERO CONSEQUENCES???????
        How…..what…..I’m literally at a loss for words here to express how angry that makes me.

    • Not_Han_Solo

      Believe it or not, his stance on Allison is completely righteous and fairly unassailable, from an academic standpoint. He had an in-class activity which all students participated in. He laid out graded consequences. He has the absolute, ironclad right to stick to that standard if he so chooses–he said plainly “if you do this, you fail the class.” Allison did it. She fails. The end.

      That being said, she’s got him dead to rights on a grade appeal–not because of what he did to her, but because of what he did to the Davenport kid. He was the randomly-chosen target for a concept lesson, and now he has to do work to pass the class–work that nobody else does. That’s capricious grading, and it’s the only red line for grade appeals that anyone can make–when you grade, as a professor, you must grade ALL students on the same standard. Period.

      Had Dr. G said, in panel 2, that Davenport could choose at that point either a white or black stone, same as everyone else, Allison would be completely helpless. As things are? If she chooses, she can get his grades for the whole class thrown out and, if he makes a habit of capriciousness like this, could even get his tenure revoked and him fired.

      Source: am an assistant professor.

  • SClayton

    That settles it: I’m a Gurwara fan.

    • Balthazar

      I’m thinking of referring to ourselves as Gurawarriors.

  • Masala Nilsson

    I just had a random thought. If Alison’s hair is so strong that she needs liquid nitrogen and power tools to cut it, shouldn’t it be quite dangerous for a “normal”? Would her hair cut off (or just cut) the fingers of anyone who tries to run their fingers through it?

    The poor girl’s love life just got even more difficult. :/

    • Guest

      I imagine her hair is perfectly capable of moving. It isn’t immovably heavy or stiff; consider that one-atom-thick graphene is 100 times stronger than steel. Her lightweight, thin hair can be picked up by wind, bent by fingers, shaped, tousled, probably can be gelled or tied into teeny knots that would snap the teeth off a comb rather than untangle. It simply wouldn’t break or split.

    • Johan

      That summoned a quite horrible image in my head. Thank you XD

    • TSED

      Nahh It’s flexible. If someone kept applying pressure, then yes, it would eventually slice through whatever (path of least resistance and all that). Most people don’t do that, though; think of guitar players. Some of them play until their fingers bleed, which occurs on very thin steel strings. PROBABLY thinner than her hair. Lots of effort to get to that slicing part – generally hours.

      Her hair should be more supple than steel guitar strings, meaning it’d require more effort to actually start cutting in. On the other hand, if she headbangs, her head becomes an unstoppable blunt trauma delivery mechanism complete with hundreds of high velocity whips attached at the end. I hope nobody ever takes her to a metal show, because that could end reaaaaally badly.

    • Christophe2314

      I don’t think so. The reason they need the liquid nitrogen is because using power tools on hair would be absurdly difficult. When not frozen, it probably just has the texture of regular hair, except it can’t be cut or ripped out. Kind of like how her skin probably doesn’t feel like hard metal when you touch it.

  • The_Rippy_One

    Hee! Oh, he’s a cute evil bastard! I’d be in this class regardless of whether I had an A, an F, or the normal “undecided until we’re done”

    • Izo

      You’d be in a class where the professor goes out of his way to pick on a single student rather maliciously because of a physiological aspect of her which she’s been using responsibly and to help people, giving up a good chunk of her childhood in the process?

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Exceptional students require exceptional challenges. Considering that Alison is a teenage superman, it’s extremely important to work her through any existential problems before she’s 30, depressed, and decides to throw Earth into the Sun.

        • Izo

          Exceptional students require challenges that are actual challenges – this is not a challenge – it’s a blanket, automatic F for doing a morally right thing. Also, if exceptional students require exceptional challenges, then do sub-par students require no challenges? Because that’s what happened to the other students who werent paying attention but got an A anyway.

          And I don’t think this ‘helps’ Alison’s existential problems. All it does is have Gurwara try to tell her that she’s a tyrant when she tries to do something good, and that people are awful, selfish, ignorant, cynical, thoughtless creatures who don’t deserve your risk and faith in them. That doesnt seem to be a good thing for a girl who’s had emotional breakdowns, publicly, to keep her from becoming disillusioned and depressed, who could throw the Earth into the sun, I’m not saying that Allison doesn’t need to be emotionally strong about stuff, or that she should be coddled (she’s definitely NOT coddled, in fact), but no need to go out of ones way to be a jerk to her.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Exceptional students require exceptional challenges. Considering that Alison is a teenage superman, it’s extremely important to work her through any existential problems before she’s 30, depressed, and decides to throw Earth into the Sun.

  • Cherre

    Woah woah woah wait. So the ones who had a choice really do have their grades set? Well shit. While I like the fact that this professor made his point using something (class grade) the students would be invested in, this feels considerably unethical and slightly counterintuitive. It seems like now attendance will rely on whenever Alison is in class.

  • Joshua Taylor

    Not sure if he is trolling at this point but Alison did curse him out, which is actual grounds for ejecting and failing someone.

    • Catnik

      Ejecting, sure. But I’d get a grievance real quick if I tried to fail a student for one outburst.

      • Not_Han_Solo

        You could file one, but you’d lose it. If Dr. G. decided to rest his case for her failure on her profanity, he’d be pretty ironclad. There’s serious stuff in any university’s code of conduct about that sort of thing–not her profanity, but the abusive context of that behavior (she said it to provoke and insult him, and for no other reason). If any student in one of my classes said fuck you to me, I’d be well within my rights to call campus security to remove the student from my class and press not only for course failure, but a suspension as well. Most of us are pretty chill about that sort of thing, but that’s our discretion.

      • Not_Han_Solo

        You could file one, but you’d lose it. If Dr. G. decided to rest his case for her failure on her profanity, he’d be pretty ironclad. There’s serious stuff in any university’s code of conduct about that sort of thing–not her profanity, but the abusive context of that behavior (she said it to provoke and insult him, and for no other reason). If any student in one of my classes said fuck you to me, I’d be well within my rights to call campus security to remove the student from my class and press not only for course failure, but a suspension as well. Most of us are pretty chill about that sort of thing, but that’s our discretion.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      “which is actual grounds for ejecting and failing someone.”

      Not sure if simply saying “Fuck you” after being directly provoked by the teacher would be defensible by the teacher as a failing reason.

    • Izo

      Considering he already had failed her BEFORE she said anything, your point is moot.

    • Izo

      Considering he already had failed her BEFORE she said anything, your point is moot.

    • 3-I

      I don’t want to go to whatever school you went to.

      • Joshua Taylor

        UNCC. Really though it was one professor.

    • 3-I

      I don’t want to go to whatever school you went to.

  • MichaelMRT

    Wait… what?

  • oh yeah baby5665

    Alison: “Professor, It’s moments like these, that you remind me why I like punching things to solve my problems”.

    • dpolicar

      Professor: “Yes, of this I have no doubt. We’ll explore the ethical complexities of that approach later in the course, but for now I’ll just ask you to spend at least fifteen minutes thinking about less violent alternative approaches. If you can manage that.”

      • Johan

        15 minutes is a long time to go without violent impulses ^^

        • dpolicar

          True.
          Then again, spending fifteen minutes without violent impulses wasn’t the assignment.

      • Johan

        15 minutes is a long time to go without violent impulses ^^

      • LitShips

        *PUNCH* “Request DENIED.”

  • HAH what a tool XD I love it

  • The reason why he’s (supposedly) failing Alison and not the other student is that Alison is the only one who actually had a choice and still picked the black stone.

    • Izo

      A-hole professor:
      Berates the class for being a bunch of mindless automatons.
      Fails the one person who was not acting like a mindless automaton.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        That’s actually a very good lesson: people who even begin to think get shit upon in life.

        Question is, do you wanna get smart, or do you wanna have the coveted “passing grade”?

        • Izo

          In that case, the smart thing is to lie to the professor, say what they want to hear, parrot back his or her words to them, pretend to be an automaton until you get the coveted passing grade… then do the right thing instead of what the professor believes after you have the grade.

          But that sort of makes the entire process of taking classes irrelevant, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be so much better if you could actually have a marketplace of different ideas instead of an echo chamber in these classes, and not be punished for it?

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        That’s actually a very good lesson: people who even begin to think get shit upon in life.

        Question is, do you wanna get smart, or do you wanna have the coveted “passing grade”?

      • LitShips

        Uh oh… A free-thinker. We better nip that shit in the bud before she votes.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      It’s completely irrelevant, really. Assigning a class grade that way would be completely against the rules of every school/university everywhere and any teacher actually trying to enforce it likely WOULD be fired.

  • Tony Lower-Basch

    Wow, he’s really explicit about using grades as a way to reinforce his authority, rather than any measure of student achievement. There’s always been an undercurrent of that in schools, but teachers usually try to deny it.

    At first I thought he might at least have some argument about how Allison had, in fact, failed at the exercise and therefore deserved her grade … but revising the original injustice means that the “test” she failed at was given under false pretenses in the first place.

    So yeah, nothing more than “I want you to feel the pain of failing, because I think it will be educational for you to feel pain for your actions, and grades are the power I have to do that.” I presume he would have also failed her for choosing the white stone. It wouldn’t be hard to invent a justification in that direction, either.

    Pretty sure I feel that’s an abuse of the system. Doubtless some folks will feel that it is justified, for various reasons, but it strikes me as subverting the very structures that supposedly justify his authority.

    • 3-I

      It’s exactly the same thing the last professor did when he failed her paper because he thought she didn’t know what humanity is.

      We’re just gonna keep having men who feel like teaching the literal superhero by treating her like crap, I guess.

      • LitShips

        The fact that they’ve both been men is not lost on me. “Better teach this uppity woman to respect male teachers.”

        • Izo

          I don’t really think it’s that she’s a woman and they’re men (at least not with only two people – two isn’t much of a pattern). I think it’s more that she’s young and biodynamic, not that she’s a woman. “Better teach this uppity youngster so-called ‘superhero lottery winner’ to respect their elder teachers.”

          If it happened a couple more times though with men only, I’d start seeing a pattern.

    • Ryan

      I don’t know about that. Grades are overrated, especially in college. Motivating her to wrestle with these issues could be a lot more valuable than a grade.

      • Tony Lower-Basch

        I’m not trying to make an argument one way or the other on whether he is making good or bad use of the power that he gains by disconnecting grades from student achievement. There’s plenty of arguments to be made there, but I’m on a different issue:

        This disconnect is usually one that is strenuously avoided in the academic system. There is broad, if not perfect, consensus that grades are supposed to at least be *presented* as reflective of student accomplishment. Treating them explicitly as a carrot-and-stick power to hold over the students is often frowned upon.

        Prof. Gurawara has gone alllll the way down to the “Your grades are mine to dispense for my own purposes, independent of your efforts” end of the spectrum. Heck, Davenport *thanks him* for the (unusual) chance to have an impact on his own grade. I found that chilling.

      • Tony Lower-Basch

        I’m not trying to make an argument one way or the other on whether he is making good or bad use of the power that he gains by disconnecting grades from student achievement. There’s plenty of arguments to be made there, but I’m on a different issue:

        This disconnect is usually one that is strenuously avoided in the academic system. There is broad, if not perfect, consensus that grades are supposed to at least be *presented* as reflective of student accomplishment. Treating them explicitly as a carrot-and-stick power to hold over the students is often frowned upon.

        Prof. Gurawara has gone alllll the way down to the “Your grades are mine to dispense for my own purposes, independent of your efforts” end of the spectrum. Heck, Davenport *thanks him* for the (unusual) chance to have an impact on his own grade. I found that chilling.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      I still think he’s trolling and joking in regards to the F, but if he’s serious… Assigning a class grade that way would be completely against the rules of every school/university everywhere and any teacher actually trying to enforce it likely WOULD be fired. It wouldn’t be defensible in the slightest.

    • Flipz

      Yeah, I just can’t get behind the “you need to experience pain because it’s educational” argument. Can pain be educational? Sure. But it can also be educational after the fact, and I personally find it unethical to inflict pain when people are almost certain to have past experiences of pain on which they can draw.

    • Flipz

      Yeah, I just can’t get behind the “you need to experience pain because it’s educational” argument. Can pain be educational? Sure. But it can also be educational after the fact, and I personally find it unethical to inflict pain when people are almost certain to have past experiences of pain on which they can draw.

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    Okay that last bit made him a bit of an asshole.

  • Tylikcat

    A Big Sandwich!

    (And color me really intrigued, especially since I don’t see Alison running to administration in a hurry.)

    • Happyroach

      Which still basically makes it extortion, only relying on her good nature. He really is a creep.

  • Monica Gorman

    Go to the dean.

    • LitShips

      She won’t, sadly, because she saw what happened last time she did that. And he KNOWS she won’t go to the Dean, so he’s an asshole and a bully.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    …uh

  • Snorkels

    This Professor enjoys the dance. I look forward to seeing if he has interactions with Patrick or Paladin. It will be nice to see Alison’s morality examined/matured at the end of this arc(?).

    • dpolicar

      It would be totally awesome if he turned out to be allied with Patrick in some fashion.

  • John

    Uhh, is he being an ass or just trying to push her buttons again?

    • Preacher John

      Both? XD

  • Izo

    “And that’s why I had to kill him, your honor.”

    • Johan

      “Meh, I would have done the same. You’re free to go” XD

  • Daniel Vogelsong

    Alison has always had the power where any self-sacrifice had never actually been suicidal. And now, in this instance, it has. I can’t imagine what’s going on in that head of hers…

  • cphoenix

    Well. Assuming she takes him at his word – which he’s just shown there’s no reason to do – then this is a time for her to realize that it TOTALLY DOESN’T MATTER if she gets an “F” in the course. The ONLY difference an F will make to her life is the amount she lets it upset her. Which is a pretty unusual position for anyone to be in – she has a chance here to realize how truly privileged she is, and how special her circumstances are (which may or may not be a lesson he wanted to teach).

    None of this makes me like him any better. He’s shown himself to be a bully and a liar, for a “higher” purpose as defined by him. Rather ironic that he accused her of being a tyrant.

    • VariableNature

      It actually does matter if she gets an F in this course. It means she failed the course. And it will negatively affect her GPA, which could in turn affect all sorts of stuff she does at the college. And it will mean she has to take the course again next semester in order to fill the requirement, instead of potentially taking an elective course.

    • Jared Rosenberg

      Tyrants love calling others “tyrants” it helps them hide from their own evil. I’m sure he says to himself “I only mess with peoples grades, and for a higher purpose, she throws people thru walls and gets people fired…. such a tyrant.

    • Dean

      Although he suggested that Alison’s axiom was that of a tyrant, he didn’t go so far as to call her one- nor did he suggest that tyranny was a bad thing under all circumstances.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Yeah, it would should be noted that “tyrant”, at least in some philosophies, doesn’t mean “a bad despotic guy”, just “a person in a position of, more or less unbound, power”. Especially since we’ve been talking philosophy for the last few pages.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        Yeah, it would should be noted that “tyrant”, at least in some philosophies, doesn’t mean “a bad despotic guy”, just “a person in a position of, more or less unbound, power”. Especially since we’ve been talking philosophy for the last few pages.

      • Izo

        Actually, he essentially DID say she was a tyrant. He asked her what her personal axiom was. She said ‘We got this / we’re all in this together’ to which he said ‘the axiom of a true tyrant.’

        The clear inference: Your personal axiom is the axiom of a tyrant = you are a tyrant/tyrannically minded.

        Also, saying that tyranny is not a bad thing, even if theoretically possible, given that there could be a ‘benevolent dictator’ who truly does want only the best for his or her people…. it does seem to fly in the fact of actual history.

        Then again, philosophy is not always about the reality of history, I suppose. But it should at least be about truth. And I have difficulty seeing something as true if it’s massively shown to be the opposite in empirical evidence. I guess that’s why I’m more of a proponent of science, rather than philosophy. 🙂

    • bryan rasmussen

      he seems like the kind of guy who is pretty ironical about things as a whole.

    • SerialPeacemaker

      ^THIS

  • Kenneth Mayer

    His last line (and in fact the whole class) makes me think of Epictetus’s class in this week’s Existential Comics: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/130

    • Except he seems to be going for more of a Kierkegaardian paradoxical leap, in which action is performed for its own merits in the face of inevitable, guaranteed failure.

  • Kris Dunlap

    I wonder how a big sandwich plays into things?

  • CanuckAmuck

    …And another button is pushed.

  • Mr BreaksIt

    That’s just… what?
    I have to say, if he’s serious, this is a remarkably poorly thought out plot point.

  • bryan rasmussen

    some people’s buttons are a lot easier to push than others.

  • sal

    I can’t stop loving this profe

  • Jubal DiGriz

    But that’s not fair…!

    Oh, wait. I see what he did there. I wish my philosophy professors were lying, heartless bastards.

    • Pfft. At least you had philosophy professors. My freshman philosophy course was taught by a grad student. Most of what I know about the subject came from self-study. Closest I ever got to someone like off-brand Socrates here was a Roman history professor who introduced period geography by leading the class through a hypothetical “Roman citizens playing tourist” thought-experiment, until the end of the class he observed “and you sail into the great slave entrepot Delos, just as the forces of Mithridates arrive to execute every single Roman citizen. Congratulations! You’re all horribly dead.” Certainly made us remember the lesson…

  • Balthazar

    Oh, Guruwara you rascal.

  • Edward L. Howell

    … Oh yeah, she technically “chose” her “F” grade.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      I still think he’s trolling and joking in regards to the F, but if he’s serious… Assigning a class grade that way would be completely against the rules of every school/university everywhere and any teacher actually trying to enforce it likely WOULD be fired.

    • Izo

      Choosing based on a lie. The lie being that if she did NOT choose black, there was no way for Davenport to not get a failing grade.

    • Izo

      Choosing based on a lie. The lie being that if she did NOT choose black, there was no way for Davenport to not get a failing grade.

  • David Bapst

    It would be fairly easy for a typical student in this situation to appeal this, as he gave Davenport an out but not Allison.

    However, this maybe is complicated by the fact that the last time Allison complained about a professor she got them fired…

    • VariableNature

      And in both cases a professor has abused their authority to give her an F for something she did not deserve. In the first case, he failed her paper simply because he didn’t agree with her views, and not on how well she demonstrated her point. And in this case, he’s failing her, presumably giving everyone ELSE a free “A”, and making Davenport have to work for his grade, all over an honestly poorly thought-out Prisoner’s Dilemma game.
      I would report this guy in a heartbeat, and I hope Allison does too if he actually turns out to be serious.

      • 3-I

        Exactly this, except Alison CAN’T report him, because the last time she said anything bad about a teacher, she accidentally ruined his life. She’s not likely to risk that again.

      • 3-I

        Exactly this, except Alison CAN’T report him, because the last time she said anything bad about a teacher, she accidentally ruined his life. She’s not likely to risk that again.

        • Izo

          She’s essentially trapped in a bullying situation specifically because she’s a good person who doesnt WANT to report him, because of how the Board went overboard last time that she went to her counselor.

    • Izo

      Maybe if they didn’t arbitrarily single her out, she wouldn’t need to complain.

    • Boojum

      Davenport asked. Allison assumed.

      • Tylikcat

        Technically, he called Alison over.

    • Johan

      So that could be another test. He’s frustrating.

    • Christophe2314

      In fairness, he gave Davenport in out because he was the only student in the class who was not even given the option to get an A. Alison chose to put down the black stone. That said, I still don’t buy that he actually decided on their grades just now.

    • Lheticus Videre

      The thing is, this guy probably SHOULD be fired for throwing grades around so arbitrarily just to prove a point.

  • Curtis Tunget

    I look forward to more of their discussions.

  • Lheticus Videre

    So that guy gets out of the auto F, because he didn’t choose it like she did. Because she’s “the hero.”

    I don’t care how right he is or not, dude is a dick.

  • Jack Markley

    When startled, the rare Allison extends her neck to better observe her surroundings

  • RobotAccomplice

    See, a normal person would complain to the college administration and the guy would at the very least be reprimanded and told to stop doing this crap. But I’m sure Allison will find a way to screw everything up as usual. She’ll probably go and talk to the guy directly and just get more pissed at him without actually coming up with a solution.

    • scarvesandcelery

      That’s unnecessarily harsh on Allison. Trying to talk directly to the professor would cause less problems than complaining to administration. The last time she complained about being unfairly failed*, she got a professor fired, even though she didn’t want him fired, just to be assessed on her own merits because her college will do anything to keep her happy (even though that doesn’t actually make her happy). She won’t want to get another professor fired, because she doesn’t want the special treatment she’s given by her university. So what does that leave, other than talking to him? I don’t really see the grounds for acting like she’s definitely going to screw up, or that this is a simple situation to navigate. If he really is failing her (and he may just be joking), then she may want to talk to Lisa, or some other trusted friend, first, to get help with her dilemma.

      *Ignoring the fact that his husband/ partner was a victim of one of her world saving battles

      • RobotAccomplice

        Okay fine. But honestly, if I were in that situation, I would first verify that he was indeed failing me and then just drop the course. It’s still like the first week of class, right? So it won’t count against her. But no, she’ll stay on moral principles to try and argue with the professor.

        And honestly? Maybe this guy deserves to be fired. No real-life professor would do or be allowed to do what this guy is doing.

      • RobotAccomplice

        Okay fine. But honestly, if I were in that situation, I would first verify that he was indeed failing me and then just drop the course. It’s still like the first week of class, right? So it won’t count against her. But no, she’ll stay on moral principles to try and argue with the professor.

        And honestly? Maybe this guy deserves to be fired. No real-life professor would do or be allowed to do what this guy is doing.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Damn. It’s because of her outburst, isn’t it? Could be construed as a threat? Or that her putting up the black stone could be interpreted as consenting to fail the class?

    • Sterling Ericsson

      Nope, no university anywhere would accept that. The teacher would be at minimum put on suspension for even trying it and, since he’s a substitute, likely fired.

      • Tylikcat

        We don’t know what his status is. I mean, he could be* the department chair, stepping in to fill this gap. He could be a professor emeritus (I mean, that’s kind of believable, right? Okay, he doesn’t look *that* old.) He wasn’t the person originally schedule to teach this course. He could be an adjunct (the closest you’re likely to get to a “substitute” – this isn’t K-12) in which case his position is perhaps tenuous. But… I wouldn’t jump to assumptions. The one thing that’s obvious about this guy is that he has history.

        * Though I’ll admit it’s unlikely because I hope someone would have recognized him and said something

      • Tylikcat

        We don’t know what his status is. I mean, he could be* the department chair, stepping in to fill this gap. He could be a professor emeritus (I mean, that’s kind of believable, right? Okay, he doesn’t look *that* old.) He wasn’t the person originally schedule to teach this course. He could be an adjunct (the closest you’re likely to get to a “substitute” – this isn’t K-12) in which case his position is perhaps tenuous. But… I wouldn’t jump to assumptions. The one thing that’s obvious about this guy is that he has history.

        * Though I’ll admit it’s unlikely because I hope someone would have recognized him and said something

  • LitShips

    Wow. Bully status confirmed.

    • Balthazar

      Hard to bully someone who has no stake in your class and that can throttle you in an instant.

      • 3-I

        Evidently, no, it is not.

        By the way, “sticks and stones” was always a bullshit philosophy.

      • 3-I

        Evidently, no, it is not.

        By the way, “sticks and stones” was always a bullshit philosophy.

      • Izo

        Verbal abuse, backed by authoritarian power over her when she uses words to combat words? 🙂

        • Balthazar

          Abuse? Hm, I see questioning and a hint of sarcasm mixed with cynicism. Hardly a crime and a well used trick by professors to foster anger heated thoughts and then reflection.

          Think on this, if a belief is “right” shouldn’t it be able to take a beating?

          If by abuse you mean her fail. I’m sure there’s a caveat to that. This comic is way to good to do somethings it’s already done before. It’ll likely a subversion of the previous professor.

          I know it’s sounds corny to say “for her own good” and rarely anything good comes from that statement but though this comic we’ve seen Alison get confronted, tested and inevitably come out a better person for it.

          Let’s give Gurawara a chance.

          If he’s still an unlikeable jerk by the end of this arc I’ll concede defeat 😉

      • LitShips

        Not true. There are clear power structures in place. If you believe that all the power resides with Ali because she’s super-powered and doesn’t really need a degree, you don’t understand how entrenched power structures work.

        • Balthazar

          I agree with your sentiment that entrenched power structures prevent Alsion from punching him in his smug face.

          However, the only power Gurawara has over Alison is her pride. I fail to see how his position in society or as a professor gives him any real substantial power over Alison.

          Quite the opposite, Alison being in the entrenched power structure born to a white upper middle class family who can afford to go to college and has the ability and education to get a job anywhere she wants (of course a feminist would correct me and say that she would get a substantially lower pay than her male counter part which is correct, however, my argument is not male vs female at the moment) has the ability to escape any grasp of Gurawaras smarmy authority he has as a professor and her as a student.

          Take the girl who is on scholarship and needs the A. If Gurawara bullied her she would put up with it because he has power over her. She needs the grade.

          But Alison? I reiterate what power does Gurawara have over her besides her own pride at being right (or as some might put it “her beliefs” he dared to question)

          So back to entrenched power structures. No, I believe that is not the case in this scenario, unless you care to explain your view on “why” instead of saying there are “clear power structures” in place without explaining them.

          Maybe I’m just thick?

          Enlighten me.

  • Eric Meyer

    I’d still show up, I think. This is clearly the sort of class where what you learn within it is more important than the grade, even taking into account issues that grade may cause elsewhere.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      I still think he’s trolling and joking in regards to the F, but if he’s serious… Assigning a class grade that way would be completely against the rules of every school/university everywhere and any teacher actually trying to enforce it likely WOULD be fired.

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    SO, anyone still has doubts about his assholitude? He nearly got away there for a sec, but nope, he’s a dick.

    • Balthazar

      Or maybe, he’s testing her?

      Come now, in a few more pages we’ll learn where he got those scars, or a deceased loved one or that he was trying to help Alison all along and you’ll immediately change your tune.

      As for me, I think he’s the best sarcastic witty bastard since Patrick got his face bashed with a cup.

      This series really needed someone who could stand against Alison on equal intellectual playing field and wasn’t just another mysoginist or psychopath.

      • Izo

        I don’t particularly care how he got his scars. It doesnt justify being an ass to one specific other person. That’s sort of like saying that it’s okay for someone to be abusive to their spouse or children just because he or she had a crappy childhood or was abused themselves. It doesnt mean they’re justified to do that to others. It’s really disconcerting to see how many people defend him though, as if the girl needs to be brought down a peg from…. being a good person who thinks of others first?

      • Izo

        I don’t particularly care how he got his scars. It doesnt justify being an ass to one specific other person. That’s sort of like saying that it’s okay for someone to be abusive to their spouse or children just because he or she had a crappy childhood or was abused themselves. It doesnt mean they’re justified to do that to others. It’s really disconcerting to see how many people defend him though, as if the girl needs to be brought down a peg from…. being a good person who thinks of others first?

      • Arthur Frayn

        Why are these things mutually exclusive? Why can’t he be a dick AND always trying to test her? Why does it need to be either-or?

      • Arthur Frayn

        Why are these things mutually exclusive? Why can’t he be a dick AND always trying to test her? Why does it need to be either-or?

      • Johan

        Nah I’m with Guilherme on this one. Even though thr prof made good points, and I know he’s trying to teach her something, and he probably have a sad backstory, none of this drama was necessary. There are plenty of ways he could go about this. He has good intentions, but he chooses to be a dick.

      • Johan

        Nah I’m with Guilherme on this one. Even though thr prof made good points, and I know he’s trying to teach her something, and he probably have a sad backstory, none of this drama was necessary. There are plenty of ways he could go about this. He has good intentions, but he chooses to be a dick.

  • ClockworkDawn

    What a dick.

  • ∫Clémens×ds

    I’m offended “A big sandwich” is at the very low end of the list of Highest Possible Values.

    • Tylikcat

      Can’t you totally imagine someone in the class calling it out, though?

    • Dean

      What’s a “Big Sandwich”?

      I tried Googling it, but all I got were websites about sandwiches.

    • Dean

      What’s a “Big Sandwich”?

      I tried Googling it, but all I got were websites about sandwiches.

  • Oren Leifer

    Pretty sure he’s just snarking. Now, I really like this professor, and the tone it sets for the story going forwards.

    • Izo

      Wonder how much you’d like him if you were in Allison’s place 🙂

      • Tylikcat

        It *is* also a matter of individual disposition.

        • Izo

          Not sure what you mean? I mean, if you were taking allison’s position that ‘we’re all in this together’ is a non-tyrannical axiom, and a good one to live by, and you are rewarded for that belief by getting an automatic F from someone who is seeming to believe the exact opposite – that people will never be in something together, and who uses grades in a tyrannical carrot-and-stick manner rather than for seeing if you’ve absorbed and understood the material’, would you think Gurwara’s a good teacher? IF you’re putting yourself in Allison’s place. Be honest 🙂

          • Tylikcat

            Well, you’re applying an awful lot of interpretation here – that’s one reading of what’s going on. Obviously there are others (this should be obvious, because plenty of people are posting about them.) As I’ve stated elsewhere, I think we have insufficient information, myself.

            I can’t put myself in Alison’s place entirely without being someone pretty different. I *like* debating with professors – but also was raised around academic culture in terms of stating and defending my arguments. A lot of what Alison is doing here would have struck me as face-palmingly awful at a much younger age – though seeing it in my undergraduates now, I have a lot more sympathy. (I’m much more mellow now than I was as an adolescent.) I would have voiced an axiom on purpose earlier, though not necessarily one useful in terms of the class, and stuck with it. I probably would have played black – but I would have done it in solidarity with John, not because I thought it would save him. (I’m pretty sure. Even assuming this exercise is for real – and I certainly wouldn’t have at the beginning of it, and am still not at all sure – I did things with no more time to think about it with much larger real world consequences for myself at a younger age.)

            And I was pretty used to professors messing with me.* And… look, I am not going to be able to describe this without both going into more detail and more intimacy than I want to here, but that kind of communication was more important to me, especially when I first went to college than pretty much anything short of oxygen. Which is kind of an extreme example of the point I was making – for some of us, this isn’t bullying. For that matter, for some of this, the whole emotional underpinnings would be different. I’ve gotten into some pretty knock down drag out arguments with professors in the past – but I can’t think of any I’ve really been afraid of. Unless you count my father. (And it was the father part, rather than the professor part, that was the problem, there. Also, I pretty much got that out of my system after I took him to court when I was sixteen.)

            What would that mean for Gurwara? I have no clue. Maybe it would change everything. Maybe it would change nothing. It’s hard to imagine such a heated exchange when on my side debate is… sport, though keep in mind that the intellectual integrity of the sport is super important. (I figure other people are serious about the integrities of their sports, too.) If I got that last exchange, I’d mostly figure he was messing with me, and as long as we were within the add/drop period, I wouldn’t worry about it (except to possibly make alternate plans for my schedule just in case I needed to drop the course – but I wouldn’t expect to need to.) I mean, mind you, if I had a chance to hold forth on the merits of solidarity, I would have *totally* taken it… well, though even as a teenager I would have tried to cast it in terms that didn’t reflect badly on my classmates.** (Unless I was a) mad at them and b) about to bail on the class.) I might have smirked and made comments about Gurwara as the dictator or some such.

            Come to think of it, another professor – someone who became a dear mentor and who I now count as a friend – did make comments not that far from this in class about how doing this or that would cause you to fail the class or that portion of the class. (And I remember being kind of shocked and appalled when one of my friends took him seriously. It seemed perfectly obvious to me that this was just his style to humor. Heh. In non-class study group, while trying to ID fungi at the microscope from damaged tissue, he’d come up behind you and growl “Are you finished yet? The patient’s dead!” And this is someone who in his own gruff way has given me some of the support and kindness I value most in my academic career.)

            So this might be more honesty that you are looking for, but perhaps you have a better idea where I’m coming from? Everyone here is filtering this through their own biases and experiences. My biases tend to look at professors and think less “scary authority figure” and more “squeaky chew toy go pounce!” (okay, that was more when I was younger – now I tend to think either “beleaguered colleague who probably hasn’t slept enough” or “someone who might tell me about their research!”)

            * Often me in particular. My favorite history professor that I mentioned elsewhere? I was also his favorite. He expressed this by giving me all kinds of extra work – when seven special assignments were assigned to a class of fifteen, I got three of them. After summer term I got a pile of books he recommended that I read. This, of course, was from a man who thought putting a thirteen year old in twenty credit-hours in the first place was a reasonable idea – which, y’know, sometimes it was. (I wouldn’t call my experience reasonable, but not because of that.)
            ** Not that I couldn’t be obnoxious – when I, as a 14 year old, spent the day at a particularly exclusive private school and got the chance to lecture to the eleventh graders about the underlying message of The Great Gatsby, I was totally in my element. Aiee. I mellowed a lot between my early and late teens…

      • Tylikcat

        It *is* also a matter of individual disposition.

      • I’ve had professors like him. I hated them but I learned the most from them.

        • Izo

          You’ve had a professor that picks on you, gives you an automatic F, and you still feel you’ve learned from them (beyond learning the lesson that ‘some people are total jerks’)?

          Okay, I think you might be a saint then.

      • I’ve had professors like him. I hated them but I learned the most from them.

  • Weatherheight

    See? Not such a horrible fellow. He explains himself!

    The tweak there at the end was kind of unnecessary. Amusing… But unnecessary. 😀

    • Given the expression on his face, I believe he’s just teasing as well.

  • ampg

    I find it extremely…convenient that he had his whole Prisoner’s Dilemma set to go once he got her to state her axiom.

    • Chris Hubbard

      Im not surprised. Im sure he had a way set up in advance to twist just about anything she said into his little test. Plus, she IS a hero, even if retired, her opinions arent that unknown, he probably had a good idea of what sort of things she would say.

    • Haven

      He was probably planning to segue into the prisoner’s dilemma no matter what, it’s pretty broadly applicable. He rejected her first answer, even though it was a smartass one, so maybe he would’ve just kept going until he found an answer that could bridge into his demonstration.

      Anyway, Gurwara has almost immediately become my second favorite character in this comic, next to Lisa. He gives no hecks, and his visual design is really strong. Besides the insane level of color-coordination going on (his POCKET HANDKERCHIEF matches his SINGLE GOLD TOOTH), the fact that he seems to be covered in little cuts and scars is a subtle but powerful contrast to Alison’s invincibility. And that makes this whole sequence a lot more effective, because it reminds us that despite the professor being ostensibly in a position of authority, he’s actually vulnerable in a way Alison never will be. Which keeps the sympathy on him, even though he’s supposedly a “bully”.

      • Khlovia

        LOL regarding the color coordination! Hankie and tie and vest buttons! A stylish fellow!

      • Khlovia

        LOL regarding the color coordination! Hankie and tie and vest buttons! A stylish fellow!

    • Lheticus Videre

      I was calling hax on that in my head last week. How many people must he have gotten incensed that way, super powerful or not?

    • Jared Rosenberg

      Well Alison is pretty well-known. He might not have known the exact phrasing of her axiom but likely it was no surprise to him when she said it. This guy is an excellent foil; He is everything that Alison is not: She’s physically invulnerable, young, and idealistic; He’s physically frail, old and shrewd. The best part is no matter how much he annoys her she can’t deal with him from her strength because clobbering him would accomplish nothing.

      • Tylikcat

        The bit of this sequence where Alison shone, I thought, was where she tried to express the axiom that she actually has been working on and does care about, under a fair bit of pressure. I’m not at all sure that axiom in particular could be anticipated – this was kind of Alison’s big epiphany from the last volume, and community action as a thing is still something sort of new for her. (And, let’s face it, something she’s struggling with.) She totally could have gone with something about fairness, or something about bullies… which would have been simpler and safer* options for her, but instead she took out something less fully formed. Respect.

        In terms of Gurwara’s frailty – age + scars + cane = frailty? I mean, he’s frail next to Alison, sure. I guess I know a lot of people who carry a lot of surface scars that don’t significantly affect their strength or movement. The cane does add to it, but then it’s also a heck of an affectation.

        * I’m not saying safe from Gurwara.

    • Arkone Axon

      Of course he did. He’s a professional teacher. Of course he’d have prepared responses for unruly students and/or frequently asked questions.

    • bta

      It’s perfectly possible that he’s got a dozen games or demonstrations memorized for which he only need a few rocks, ready to use when he wants to make a point.

    • Johan

      Nah, I’m sure he keeps those stones and a dozen other props with him at all times, just in case ^^

    • StClair

      It’s a rather standard, basic scenario (which is why I was a little surprised no one in the class seemed to recognize it). If not the first day, he’d get to it eventually.

    • Maybe he’s a Go player and always has his stones with him 😉

  • APartyofOne

    I don’t care if he makes good points. At this moment, I would throw that man into the sun.

  • masterofbones

    Hmm. I’m curious as to what his motivation for keeping her grade permanently is, and why he would seemingly be trying to talk her into quitting the class in the last panel. It seems unreasonable to me, but at the same time he seems to be doing everything with a clear goal in mind, so I wouldn’t be surprised to find a deeper plan.

    On the plus side, Alison is just derping around in college for kicks, so she is probably the person hurt least by failing this course.

    • AceOfRedSpades

      reverse psychology? trying to keep her on her toes?

    • Izo

      She’s not ‘derping around in college for kicks.’ She’s in college because she wants an education in something beyond just being a superhero. That’s why she quit the mask deal in the first place. She didn’t think people should be looking up to her for stuff like poltiics and philosophy and economics and whatever else just because she’s the strongest and most invulnerable person to have ever lived.

      • masterofbones

        There are far better ways of getting an education than college. College is for people who

        – want a job and need credentials(Alison has no need for this, and by getting her “made to fit” degree has kept this from happening anyway)

        – want to hang out with people their age(Alison wants this)

        – want to make connections(Alison has no need for this. She already has better connections than she is likely to make here)

        If you actually want to learn a subject, hiring a personal teacher would be far more effective and efficient. With her connections/celebrity/cash she could become pretty much anyone’s apprentice just by asking. She is in college because that is what normal people do, and she wants to pretend to be normal every once in a while.

        Regardless, you don’t need to pass a class in order to learn from it, so my point holds – Alison is completely unharmed by being failed.

    • Izo

      She’s not ‘derping around in college for kicks.’ She’s in college because she wants an education in something beyond just being a superhero. That’s why she quit the mask deal in the first place. She didn’t think people should be looking up to her for stuff like poltiics and philosophy and economics and whatever else just because she’s the strongest and most invulnerable person to have ever lived.

  • Meghan

    I… I get what he was doing now, but why is he still giving her an F? Is it because she chose it? I don’t understand. I was never good at philosophy.

    • Graeme Sutton

      He’s pushing her buttons again to see what she does.

      • Izo

        Yep. Bullying tactic.

      • Izo

        Yep. Bullying tactic.

      • Johan

        Could be interesting. I mean, she could throw him out of the window and we’d skip the rest of this arc. Yeah prof, keep pushing her 😀

        • Graeme Sutton

          The life of professor Gurwara is insured for a surprisingly large amount.

          • Johan

            lol yeah, he knows himself and the effect he has on people XD

      • Johan

        Could be interesting. I mean, she could throw him out of the window and we’d skip the rest of this arc. Yeah prof, keep pushing her 😀

    • Johan

      Probably because of the “Fuck you”, which I’m gonna believe was said under mind control or something until I’m proven wrong.

      Also, maybe he’s done teaching and now he’s just being an ass, who really knows? Never had a philosophy class myself.

      • Izo

        She didnt say that until AFTER he had already resigned to give her an F.

      • Izo

        She didnt say that until AFTER he had already resigned to give her an F.

  • So his entire lesson was the Snicker’s slogan.

  • Izo

    Feels like he’s biased against her for being a super, just like the other professor was. Just for different reasons. Thank you for being the only brave one to have a back and forth discussion with me. Here’s your F while the automatons who are scared of me, as well they should be, get A’s.

    She should just report him to the dean.

    • chaosvii

      If he is biased or otherwise bigoted towards biodynamic individuals, then at least he has the skill to conceal it behind plausible deniability.

      • Izo

        Better than the last professor’s attempts, at least. I never said he’s not skillful in his bias – just that he’s biased.

    • chaosvii

      If he is biased or otherwise bigoted towards biodynamic individuals, then at least he has the skill to conceal it behind plausible deniability.

  • Grayson Towler

    Hey, just recently got turned on to this comic, and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve plowed through the archives and gotten up to speed.

    I think if Alison was a normal student, Prof. G would indeed be a bully. But she’s not normal, as much as she dresses the part while in class. I think he understands that teaching someone like Alison is a high-stakes game, and her current idealistic approach needs to be challenged in its early stages.

    The whole “I don’t like bullies” exchange doesn’t seem like a coincidence at all. Prof. G assuredly knows she’s already gotten one professor fired. He also probably knows that when triggered, Alison is an appalling bully, perfectly willing to throttle people, throw them through walls, and threaten entire crowds with death (a threat she is equipped to carry out). In a way, someone with powers like hers can’t help but be a bully whenever they take direct action, since there’s virtually no one who can stand up to her.

    Similarly, Alison’s innate power insulates her from consequences that everyone else has to face. I think he means to demonstrate this by failing her. Her “selfish” classmate spelled out the stakes of failure for most of her fellow students. For Alison, failing a class has no further consequence than damaging her pride. No doors will be closed to her, no opportunities will be denied her, and her GPA doesn’t mean anything for her future. If she’s actually just here to learn, then an F is as good as an A. But will she realize that?

    I’m keen to find out. Well done, Brennan and Molly!

    • Soqoma

      YES. You said it perfectly.

    • Ryan B

      I disagree with your last paragraph. Alison would surely feel the financial consequences of failing a class. If she wants a degree, a failing grade would get in the way of that. Going to school is not simply for the sake of education for most students.

      • Preacher John

        Ah, maybe you missed the comics where it’s established that Alison is massively wealthy from all her merchandising rights deals? All her work and study is not so she can earn more money, she’s already minted..

        • Izo

          She’s also using a large chunk of that money for her projects to help people. Then uses her spare time to do greedy things like being a volunteer firefighter or get an education. All her work and study is so she is not just identified as a person who can punch really hard – she wants to have a life and career beyond just ‘I punch things.’

        • John

          She basically gave all the money away to charity and doesn’t have any left, that’s why she had to go ask pint size for the royalty checks so she had some money to put into valkyrie.

      • Preacher John

        Ah, maybe you missed the comics where it’s established that Alison is massively wealthy from all her merchandising rights deals? All her work and study is not so she can earn more money, she’s already minted..

      • Dean

        But the point is that Alison isn’t most students- getting a degree or not almost certainly won’t affect her future. I don’t see Alison sitting through a lot of job interviews, you know?

      • Dean

        But the point is that Alison isn’t most students- getting a degree or not almost certainly won’t affect her future. I don’t see Alison sitting through a lot of job interviews, you know?

      • Alon Rand

        At the moment, at least, I don’t think she is seeking a degree. Or, at least, that’s not the main point of her attending college – she has literally said she’s just there to learn, and learn as much as she can about as many things as she can. And it’s also been established that she’s pretty much financially secure for life, so the financial consequences of paying for a failed course aren’t going to mean a whole lot to her.

        • Izo

          If she was just there to learn and not to get a degree, she could have just audited the class.

          Which she is not doing, since she IS getting a grade. Therefore, logic dictates that she is seeking a degree.

      • Alon Rand

        At the moment, at least, I don’t think she is seeking a degree. Or, at least, that’s not the main point of her attending college – she has literally said she’s just there to learn, and learn as much as she can about as many things as she can. And it’s also been established that she’s pretty much financially secure for life, so the financial consequences of paying for a failed course aren’t going to mean a whole lot to her.

      • Some guy

        According to the comic, she’s seeking an ‘Independent Study’ degree, where she sets her own curriculum and Lisa Bradley is rubber stamping things for her. She has a full scholarship from the government and the college bends over backwards for her more than the worst star quarterback caricature.

        If by some bizarre chance Gurwa was serious about that F and the college somehow didn’t reverse it (either for being grossly unfair, or just to keep Alison happy), Alison could decide that Philosophy 201 isn’t a requirement for her degree (assuming it ever was in the first place), get Paladin to sign off on it, and go from there.

        It would take some pretty convoluted plot development to make what was probably a joke actually inconvenience her.

    • VariableNature

      If an F is as good as an A, then why not give her an A?
      And yes, she is here to learn, but what’s the point of learning from someone who is actively antagonistic towards you, like Guwara is doing here?

      • The A won’t teach her anything 😉

        • Izo

          The A teaches her to be an automaton and not pay attention in class, and you will be rewarded.

          The F teaches her to be an automaton and not pay attention in class, because if you are not an automaton, you will be punished.

          Neither seems to be a particularly good learning event – the only difference is one is harmful to her, the other is not. So give her an A instead of an F then, if you need to give automatic absolutes. Or better yet, don’t give automatic grades in the first place.

          • You’re assuming he’s being absolutely straight with the class on grades. Everything else he’s done has had hidden nuance, to deepen the lesson being taught. Why would he suddenly stop that for grades when he can use it to teach a particularly telling point?

        • John

          But will an F? Assigning a grade arbitrarily based on a thought experiment doesn’t teach anything. If she doesn’t learn anything in the class, then she would deserve an F for failing to understand and learn the content. But an automatic F without any evaluation doesn’t teach anything either.

          • The F will teach her persistence, I don’t believe Gurwara anticipates giving it to her, I believe he anticipates pushing her to excel.

        • VariableNature

          So what about the other students? Did the professor just look around at them and, in his head, think “None of them deserve to be taught anything, so let’s just give them an A to get them out of my hair”?
          And on a side note, please don’t do that winking emoticon thing in the future. It doesn’t help your comment at all; just makes it look really condescending and rude.

          • I’ll do whatever I want in my replies in order to clarify my precise meaning. The emoticon indicates that I was being slightly humorous in my statement, something I felt the straight statement didn’t adequately show.

            I think people are missing things Gurwara is saying, specifically “I am teaching.” I believe the grades are a teaching mechanism, not a grading mechanism, and that the actual grades will be based on class performance. Yes, he’s lying to them.

    • Graeme Sutton

      Being a bully is more specific than “Using Violence” or even “Using violence to coerce people”. Throwing the guy through the wall was some combination of “defending helpless people” and “revenge”. Bullying, like tyranny, is a pretty murky, subjective definition but most people wouldn’t consider killing a rampaging terrorist before he can kill more innocent people to be bullying and even threatening the crowd was borderline. Certainly she was threatening violence against people who were effectively helpless, but that crowd was complicit in the murder of several innocent people and she was demanding only that they turn over conspirators. Something which, on the surface, was a totally reasonable demand- she was still only acting to protect herself and others.

    • ZBass

      Welcome! Now you can savour the bittersweet feeling of now having to enjoy the comic in realtime 😉

      • Izo

        And the torture of having to wait for the next strip once we’re good and addicted to the storyline 🙂

      • Izo

        And the torture of having to wait for the next strip once we’re good and addicted to the storyline 🙂

      • Natsumeg

        But enjoying the comic in real time has its benefits! I love the comment discussions on each page.

        • Izo

          I guess 🙂 Still find myself counting off the hours until next Tuesday or Friday though.

    • Markus

      I think Professor Gurwa is, somewhat ironically, showing Alison a really important lesson: the most effective bullies are the people who think what they’re doing is right.

    • Izo

      “I think if Alison was a normal student, Prof. G would indeed be a bully. But she’s not normal, as much as she dresses the part while in class. I think he understands that teaching someone like Alison is a high-stakes game, and her current idealistic approach needs to be challenged in its early stages.”

      So what you’re saying essentially is he is singling out and picking on someone, who is trying to fit in and have a life where she is not relying on her superpowers to get her through every aspect of life (otherwise why bother going to college), because of an aspect of herself over which she has no control – the fact that she DOES have powers, regardless of whether she’s using them or not? See.. to me, that makes it even worse than just being a bully. He’s being a bully for bigoted reasons now. Just like the last professor.

      • Preacher John

        Nope. First, the asymmetry of power here is very much in Alison’s favour, (except in the intellectual field) – Alison could kill Gurwara with a gesture or get him fired with a word, and she’s independently wealthy to boot.. Secondly, Gurwara is challenging her to *really* think in the classroom where the consequences are purely academic (for her), and I reckon he’s doing so (unless supervillain) because if Alison is not challenged here, she’ll be working out her ethics on the fly in battles where actual human lives are on the line.. His motivation I’m guessing is that Guwara’s injuries are due to collateral damage in some super-battle..
        And it’s misleading to think of Alison’s powers as an aspect of herself she has no control over – She *does* have control over her *actions* including the use of her powers..
        Also, not sure “bigoted” is the right word for her last professor, after all Alison was *directly* responsible (if unintentionally) for the death of his beloved.. “Unprofessional” is probably closer to the mark..

      • Preacher John

        Nope. First, the asymmetry of power here is very much in Alison’s favour, (except in the intellectual field) – Alison could kill Gurwara with a gesture or get him fired with a word, and she’s independently wealthy to boot.. Secondly, Gurwara is challenging her to *really* think in the classroom where the consequences are purely academic (for her), and I reckon he’s doing so (unless supervillain) because if Alison is not challenged here, she’ll be working out her ethics on the fly in battles where actual human lives are on the line.. His motivation I’m guessing is that Guwara’s injuries are due to collateral damage in some super-battle..
        And it’s misleading to think of Alison’s powers as an aspect of herself she has no control over – She *does* have control over her *actions* including the use of her powers..
        Also, not sure “bigoted” is the right word for her last professor, after all Alison was *directly* responsible (if unintentionally) for the death of his beloved.. “Unprofessional” is probably closer to the mark..

        • Izo

          The only power which is in Allison’s favor here is physical power. Nothing else. And since she’s not in a MMA match with the professor, she has no power here. Especially since she is NOT a psychotic person who will punch his head off for being mean to her. And also, most of her money is being used towards her project, it seems. I somehow don’t think she’s going to use her money to make Gurwara’s life miserable – more likely to do stuff like help abuse victims and build playgrounds for children and whatnot.

        • Johan

          Well the last professor did tell her she couldn’t understand human condition because she wasn’t human herself.
          Your theory about Mr Guwara’s injuries is intriguing, I hadn’t thought of that.

        • Arthur Frayn

          Sooooooooo, calling Hancock the N-word is not bigotry, just unwise?

          Nope. Bullying is still bullying.

          • Masala Nilsson

            Not a fair comparison. POC have been discriminated against for centuries and there’s plenty of systemic discrimination against them left today; it’s not just about racist slurs, people have been beaten up, stopped from getting work, unfairly jailed, etc etc. Alison’s powers make her pretty damn privileged, even if they make her different.

            A better comparison would be something along the lines of, can a POC be racist against a white person? In 99% of cases I can come up with, the answer is no. Any person has the potential to be unfairly rude to any other person, but there’s a huge difference between a privileged person being rude to an unprivileged person in a way that enforces or references the privilege, versus any other situation. The privileged person will have an entire history and system backing them.

      • Imrix

        Yes, yes, he’s being terribly bigoted towards the (lapsed) national celebrity with invulnerable skin who can crush tanks with her fists and got her last professor fired. Oh dear, however will she cope?

        • Izo

          I don’t see how her being powerful means she should be the subject of bigotry for her powers. And she didn’t try to get her last professor fired. She just wanted him to be fair to her. And when he got fired, she was upset about that and wanted to talk to the board to get him re-hired.

        • John

          I do not think the professor was bigoted. BUT… Al was a national celebrity for being a glorified child soldier, and while she is physically powerful and nearly invulnerable, physical power is not equivalent to other forms of power. She doesn’t have any more influence than someone without her abilities, and she knows it (knowing this spurred her decision to get an education to make a difference, plus she knows if she did have any real power to change things the mystery conspiracy would have killed her long ago). Plus, she is part of a minority group that is targeted by hatred and violent acts, and even though she isn’t at risk for the violence because of her anomaly, the emotional weight of being disliked by the “majority” because of your genetics probably doesn’t feel great. She isn’t emotionally invulnerable. She’s a strong willed, confident person who isn’t easy to personally upset, so him picking on her isn’t going to do her much harm, but I don’t think your reasoning has anything to do with that.

          I don’t think the professor was being bigoted though, he didn’t pick on her because of her anomaly, he picked on her because she spoke up first, which is normal in a class. The line about getting him fired, though, was completely inappropriate for a professor to say to a student. That line was an intimidation and bullying tactic, even if the rest was not. And maybe after seeing her so riled up continuing to push her was also inappropriate. And at the end, telling her she is getting an F, that’s also intimidation – since it violates any school policy to assign grades that way, she wouldn’t have assumed she was actually going to fail, so saying it after is kind of a threat. Even if “grades don’t matter” there are a lot of reasons a student wouldn’t want to fail a class.

      • Imrix

        Yes, yes, he’s being terribly bigoted towards the (lapsed) national celebrity with invulnerable skin who can crush tanks with her fists and got her last professor fired. Oh dear, however will she cope?

      • Alon Rand

        The difference, I think, is he’s not singling her out to make himself feel more powerful, or to win some sort of personal victory over her (which the last professor absolutely was) – he’s singling her out because he thinks she needs it to learn a singular lesson. That is, quite frankly, part of a good teacher’s job when they have exceptional students.

        Also, even if it is actual bigotry (I don’t think it is in this case – there appears to be no malice in his behavior, merely a harsh teaching style), the dynamic is very different from what we usually think of when we use that word. Alison is the ultimate in privilege – she is almost literally untouchable in terms of negative consequences. She’s protected by the government from most legal action (unless she committed an extremely heinous and very public crime herself, maybe), she’s wealthy, and to top it all off is nearly invulnerable, strong enough to kill anyone that annoys her, and can easily escape any physical confrontation she chooses by simply flying away. Prejudice directed against the empowered is a very different thing than when it’s directed against the disadvantaged.

        • Izo

          “The difference, I think, is he’s not singling her out to make himself feel more powerful, or to win some sort of personal victory over her (which the last professor absolutely was) ”
          Oh, I think he’s trying to win a personal victory over her. He’s basically trolling he. He admits that he’s trying to push her buttons intentionally. He wants to make her lose her temper. The reasons why are unknown so far, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the person he focuses on is the one powered person in the room.

          “That is, quite frankly, part of a good teacher’s job when they have exceptional students.”
          I don’t consider him to have exceptional students either. The only one who seemed to have the wherewithall to actually speak up and not be an automaton was Allison, and she was singled out as a result of it. That’s not ‘good teaching’ – that’s bullying.

          “Also, even if it is actual bigotry (I don’t think it is in this case – there appears to be no malice in his behavior, merely a harsh teaching style)”
          His harsh teaching style is EXCLUSIVELY directed at Allison though – not to the rest of the class. Davenport, for example, gets a pass. People who werent even paying attention in class also get a pass. The one person who doesnt get a pass is the person who intellectually challenges him with a morally positive stance, even if she’s not intellectually doing a good enough job. It definitely doesnt deserve an automatic failure, specifically directed at her, and it’s not a good teaching tactic. If you think it is, what would happen if you were in Allison’s place and he did the same thing to you? Would you think ‘wow, what a great teacher’ – I doubt it if you say you would think that.

          ” Alison is the ultimate in privilege – she is almost literally untouchable in terms of negative consequences”
          I would argue that she’s LESS privileged than others in the class. She has had responsibilities which far exceed what she should be having to deal with at her age, and has since she was a kid because of her powers. She’s placed in danger repeatedly (some of which her powers don’t make her totally immune to, btw), and she’s had an emotional breakdown because of her realization that she should NOT be getting the special attention for her opinions that she had been getting, just because she can lift a car over her head. She shouldnt be getting special negative attention either just because she can lift a car over her head. She uses those powers responsibly, repeatedly, and has in fact been trying to NOT use them. That’s why she’s in college – so she can have a life that doesnt just involve fighting crime.

          “She’s protected by the government from most legal action”
          I havent actually seen where she’s protected by the government from legal action. She’s protected by the law from legal action in the same way any other person would be. If the old professor’s significant other died during a battle Allison was in, it’s not because Allison did anything – it’s because Allison isn’t omnipotent and can’t save everyone. For example, if a police officer shoots a bomber, but the bomb still goes off, the police officer isnt at fault for the people who died.

          “she’s wealthy,”
          Not that wealthy actually, and frankly, with her powers, she could be a lot wealthier. She chose instead to do things for morally good reasons, rather than for money.

          “and to top it all off is nearly invulnerable,”
          A person shouldnt be singled out for verbal attack just because they’re physically invulnerable. Being ‘better’ than others physically should not put a target on their back from people who claim to be ‘good people.’

          “strong enough to kill anyone that annoys her,”
          And yet she doesnt kill anyone who annoys her, or the professor would be dead. Even with the last professor, she was upset because he was fired and wanted to try to talk to the Board to rehire him. The fact that she has nervous breakdowns is because she is NOT the type of person who will just kill anyone who annoys her (she doesnt even try to fight people just because they annoy her, despite that she knows she’s good at it and knows it feels good to do so).

          “and can easily escape any physical confrontation she chooses by simply flying away.”
          And yet she doesnt fly away either. She confronts it.

          “Prejudice directed against the empowered is a very different thing than when it’s directed against the disadvantaged.”
          Not really. Prejudice against the empowered is just being mad at someone for something which they have no real control over. The only real difference is one doesnt pity the empowered, but does pity the disadvantaged. It’s not even like Allison asked to have her powers. She just tried to do something positive with them once she had them.

      • Alon Rand

        The difference, I think, is he’s not singling her out to make himself feel more powerful, or to win some sort of personal victory over her (which the last professor absolutely was) – he’s singling her out because he thinks she needs it to learn a singular lesson. That is, quite frankly, part of a good teacher’s job when they have exceptional students.

        Also, even if it is actual bigotry (I don’t think it is in this case – there appears to be no malice in his behavior, merely a harsh teaching style), the dynamic is very different from what we usually think of when we use that word. Alison is the ultimate in privilege – she is almost literally untouchable in terms of negative consequences. She’s protected by the government from most legal action (unless she committed an extremely heinous and very public crime herself, maybe), she’s wealthy, and to top it all off is nearly invulnerable, strong enough to kill anyone that annoys her, and can easily escape any physical confrontation she chooses by simply flying away. Prejudice directed against the empowered is a very different thing than when it’s directed against the disadvantaged.

      • masterofbones

        Well, he really isn’t singling her out. She decided to single herself out, and not only that, but she designated herself the spokesperson for the class.

      • masterofbones

        >have a life where she is not relying on her superpowers to get her through every aspect of life

        Except that every time that something comes up she immediately turns to her powers. She doesn’t want to be normal, she wants to pretend to be normal.

        • Izo

          Really. Every time that something comes up she immediately turns to her powers?

          Hmmm…. please tell me an example which doesn’t involve saving people’s lives?

          Did she use her powers to solve her problems with the first professor?
          Did she use her powers on this professor?
          Did she use her powers to make sure all the students chose black?
          Did she use her powers to get into college?
          Did she use her powers to help Paladin with starting up the new project?
          Did she use her powers to get Paladin in contact with her MIT genius friend?

          Seriously… has she used her powers for anything other than to help people and save their lives? No.

          But that last thing you said ‘she doesn’t want to be normal’ – why should she have to be normal? Why can’t she be special, BUT also not be defined by just her powers? That’s why she stopped being a hero in the first place. She didn’t want people asking her about her opinion on politics and legal stuff when she didn’t even know how a bill becomes a law.

          Would you think that Shaquille O’Neal or Michael Jordan shouldn’t want to know how to read, or do basic math, since you don’t need that to dunk a basketball? Why penalize them for having a gift and say that that gift is all they can ever be?

          Take yourself, for instance. I’m sure there’s some skill or skills that you have which are better than other people. Lets say you manage your lawn better than most people. Does that mean you should NOT try to learn how to the law if you want to be a lawyer, or learn medicine if you want to be a doctor? Nah, you’re good at lawn care – you should have a job that is based on mowing lawns. See how limiting and unfair that is?

    • Dean

      Technically, it might disadvantage her slightly if Gurwara’s class is a prerequisite for other classes that she wants to take in the future. Alison would have to take this class again! Oh noes!

    • SerialPeacemaker

      I have been thinking along similar lines since this interaction began. I like the message being imparted here, that you can’t solve a problem if you can’t appreciate it, and alison’s powers essentially mean all her decisions are made in a vacuum.

    • Looked at another way a teach who was bigoted against biodynamic individuals got himself fired. But you’re seeing Ali as the bad guy in that situation, aren’t you?

    • Looked at another way a teach who was bigoted against biodynamic individuals got himself fired. But you’re seeing Ali as the bad guy in that situation, aren’t you?

  • Arthur Frayn

    Now she has a different ethical dilemma: to complain and get special treatment (and risk getting him fired), or take the F because her self-image as honest and noble compels her. I’d complain but tell them to keep him.

    • Richard Hughes

      Realistically, why does an F matter, to her? What does she have to lose by failing a class, or even failing out of college? What does she have to gain by passing, or graduating?

      • Izo

        Assume that Allison was a student who was a good football player. Now assume this football player realized that he wanted to do more with his life than just play football, and wanted an actual education to be able to be more than just ‘that guy who plays football well.’ You’re saying that because the guy can play football, he should be precluded from getting an education in anything else, and that his education doesnt matter as much as the person next to him, who is not athletic or good at sports?

      • Izo

        Assume that Allison was a student who was a good football player. Now assume this football player realized that he wanted to do more with his life than just play football, and wanted an actual education to be able to be more than just ‘that guy who plays football well.’ You’re saying that because the guy can play football, he should be precluded from getting an education in anything else, and that his education doesnt matter as much as the person next to him, who is not athletic or good at sports?

      • Izo

        What does she have to gain by passing or graduating? A degree so she can have a career in something that doesnt rely on her powers.

      • Izo

        What does she have to gain by passing or graduating? A degree so she can have a career in something that doesnt rely on her powers.

      • 3-I

        Have you not been reading the comic thus far? Because the point has sort of been that she is a human being. Do you regularly say that people from rich families or people with artistic talent or people with family businesses have nothing to “gain” by graduating from college, because they have fallbacks?

        • Richard Hughes

          Regularly, no. In a philosophy class? You know it!

    • Izo

      I don’t think she’s wanting special treatment if she complains. She’d be wanting the SAME treatment as he gave the other student.

      • Arthur Frayn

        Correct. But that cannot happen. She has to respect his vulnerability to the over-reaction of the school, even while he’s being a dick. Socrates did not deserve his fate, but was likely a bit of an asshole.

        • Izo

          True. Which makes me feel even worse for Allison. She can’t even get the same treatment by telling her counselor in the same way anyone else would, specifically because of what the Board did last time. If Alison was not such a good person, she’d just say ‘well, it’s not my fault that he’s being a jerk – if I tell my counselor and the same thing happens again, that’s on him, not me’ – because she actually will think it’s on her. Even though it isnt.

      • Arthur Frayn

        Correct. But that cannot happen. She has to respect his vulnerability to the over-reaction of the school, even while he’s being a dick. Socrates did not deserve his fate, but was likely a bit of an asshole.

    • VariableNature

      “Get special treatment”???????
      This isn’t special treatment she’s looking for. If LITERALLY ANYONE came up and said this happened to them, regardless of their background, I would expect the college to take measures against the teacher.

      • Arthur Frayn

        She would complain because a teacher is messing with a student (her). It would receive special treatment and risk getting him fired because of who she is. I thought that was plain.

        • VariableNature

          So let’s say this exact same scenario happens, only in this world Alison doesn’t have superpowers and never operated as Mega Girl. She’s just like everyone else that’s normal. If she complained, would she still be in the wrong for receiving “special treatment”?

      • Arthur Frayn

        She would complain because a teacher is messing with a student (her). It would receive special treatment and risk getting him fired because of who she is. I thought that was plain.

    • Johan

      I’d just pick another class. Seems like he’s just gonna give her headaches.

      • Izo

        The problem being this class is a required class, not an optional one.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      “to complain and get special treatment”

      I still think he’s trolling and joking in regards to the F, but if he’s serious…why would complaining about it entail special treatment? Assigning a class grade that way would be completely against the rules of every school/university everywhere and any teacher actually trying to enforce it likely WOULD be fired.

      • Arthur Frayn

        Because of who she is. If the President of the US walks into a store, that is noticed and has repercussions. If he complains about the terrible service he received, he could ruin the place. She cannot complain and NOT get special treatment.

      • Arthur Frayn

        Because of who she is. If the President of the US walks into a store, that is noticed and has repercussions. If he complains about the terrible service he received, he could ruin the place. She cannot complain and NOT get special treatment.

    • Happyroach

      Actually, if ANY student complained he would be fired. His actions are that egregious.

  • martynW

    Actually, it’s the professor’s bravery that’s impressing me.

    • Balthazar

      Well if she was going to throttle an old scarred crippled man for failing her what kind of “hero” would she be? (Answer: Batman)

      • Preacher John

        Or the Punisher XD

      • Preacher John

        Or the Punisher XD

    • Izo

      He’s not brave. He knows that she’s a good person who won’t react with violence. He’s a bully who relies on her being good in order for him to be bad.

      • Balthazar

        Exactly. Won’t harm anyone, unless she has a crush on you and a convenient cup in her hand.

        Thankfully, neither of the conditions have been met 😉

    • Izo

      He’s not brave. He knows that she’s a good person who won’t react with violence. He’s a bully who relies on her being good in order for him to be bad.

    • Weatherheight

      Everything about this guy suggests that he’s pretty impressive. His bravery was probably either earned through tragedy (based on his injuries) or struggle (his speaking style suggests that English is not his native tongue). I am very much looking forward to his background story.

      Also, kaiju rule.

  • Conclusion:

    1) A dick.
    2) A clever dick.

    • Izo

      I’d vote against #2, since it’s not that clever to do that to someone who can ridiculously easily throw you into outer space.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        However, it’s /extremely/ clever to do that to someone who can ridiculously easily throw you intu outer space, but for various moral and societal reasons /can’t/.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        However, it’s /extremely/ clever to do that to someone who can ridiculously easily throw you intu outer space, but for various moral and societal reasons /can’t/.

        • Izo

          I’d say it’s more cruel than clever, but I guess it’s clever in a Dr. Doom/Lex Luthor sort of way.

    • Johan

      The worst kind of dick

    • Christophe2314

      Like I always say: better to be a smartass than a dumbass.

  • Pugsy

    This guy..

    • Izo

      The professor looks like a troll and acts like one too.

  • Balthazar

    I mean, she did say “Fuck you.” to a professor. 😛

    • Johan

      I wonder if that’s it though. Could it be that she chose to get an F?

  • Joshthulhu

    Still can’t tell if he’s screwing with her. Never been fond of people with inscrutable motivations. Especially those who never seem to be truly sincere.

    Oh, and… Energizer Bunny? What? How did that monologue even go? And go. And go.

  • bardkun

    I love this guy.

    • VariableNature

      Why? If he’s being honest here, he’s abusing his authority in a way that SHOULD get him punished. If he isn’t being honest here, he’s just being an unfunny jerk.

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        >unfunny jerk
        Yeah, well, y’know, that’s just, like, uh, your opinion, man.

        • 3-I

          Why on EARTH would you quote the Dude to support someone being an asshole?

      • Rumble in the Tumble

        >unfunny jerk
        Yeah, well, y’know, that’s just, like, uh, your opinion, man.

      • chaosvii

        I think the reasoning involves the word “moxie.”

      • chaosvii

        I think the reasoning involves the word “moxie.”

        • Izo

          Moxie doesnt mean right, and doesnt mean he’s a good person.

          Taking this a bit further on the superhero comics route, you could say that the Red Skull should be someone people love instead of Captain America, because Red Skull has ‘moxie.’ Doesnt make him less of an evil creep 🙂 Not that I’m saying the professor is ‘evil’ – but so far he seems like a major jerk.

          Or in Batman TAS, from a non-villain, Detective Harvey Bullock tends to be a major jerk, but he’s got moxie. Doesnt make him particularly likable though.

          • chaosvii

            Agreed, Right & Good Person =/= Funny
            But by the same token, some people delight in the enjoyment of characters who are wrong & bad.
            The question was why does the commenter enjoy the professor, and the answer is something to the effect of “Well sure he’s bad & wrong in a lot of ways, but I can’t help but respect the flair with which he conducts himself.”

            Some folks just love the antics of funny jerkbags with lots of moxie.
            Wit wins over some even if it doesn’t with others. I happen to like the cut of this guy’s gib enough to believe that his bad behavior is ever so slightly outweighed by his narrative role. A witty jerkbag who happens to challenge Alison to develop past her current psychological & philosophical level.

            I think I enjoy the character of Detective Bullock because he’s a well written jerk, that I don’t have to expose myself to long enough to tire of his moxie. Sometimes characters are enjoyed (by people like me) even if they’re not the sort of folks that would be pleasant to spend a long period of time with.

  • Nightsbridge

    Uh. What?

  • Welcome to the eternal recurrence, Allison. Everything straight lies – is the professor straight or crooked?

  • This is one of the best superhero/villain fights I’ve ever seen

    • dpolicar

      Which is which?

    • Peter

      Yeah, one of the few times the villain actually deserves to win.

    • KatherineMW

      I don’t think he’s a supervillain, or any kind of villain, even though I don’t agree with hsi grading. He’s definitely singling Allison out in a way that’s quite unfair, but I don’t get any impression that he’s doing so in order to be cruel. He’s making her face academic consequences for standing up for what she believes in, so that she’ll understand why other people may be less likely to stand up for theirs. He’s likely under the impression that she’s never had to face genuine consequences for her actions (she can’t be physically harmed, and is financially well-off), and isn’t aware of the scale of emotional consequences she has faced for acting on her principles.

      Because of the scale of power Allison possesses, it is important for her to interrogate her viewpoints and the consequences of her actions and beliefs more deeply than many other people do.

    • Preacher John

      And the best bit is.. Which is the hero and which the villain?

    • MrSing

      Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to call the prof. a hero, but an apt description.

      • Weatherheight

        “Alison, try on this black cape and tights, see how they fit…”
        Hehehehe

  • Peter G

    “I only hurt you because I care so much for you” said every abuser everywhere.

    • Richard Hughes

      this guy is the best

    • yumtacos

      Ah, but which of them is the abuser?

    • MrSing

      Discussions aren’t abuse. If that was the case I would be abusing you with this comment, and when you would reply to prove me wrong you would be abusing me.
      Intellectual discourse, challenging ideas, and legitimatly proving people wrong is not abuse, stop suggesting it is.

      • Izo

        Maybe he means verbal abuse.

        • MrSing

          Verbal abuse is demeaning a person. He neither demeaned her, nor her ideals. He proved she couldn’t defend them or that they were wrong. That’s not the same as demeaning.
          He even sort of praises her for speaking up.

          • Izo

            … he called her a tyrant from the get-go.

            Then his ‘praise’ it capped with ‘Great conversation, you fail for participating in a great conversation.’ Hardly ‘praise.’ More like ‘what an fool you were for speaking up.’ Also he didnt prove anything.

          • MrSing

            No, he said that her axiom was something that a tyrant would say. It’s subtle, but a very big difference. Her idea was something he challenged and he proved that people do not always work together toward a good, like she claimed. Or else everyone would have voted black. That was the whole point of the excersise.
            The DIRECT praise is “you made us have a great discussion and are very brave”, the follow up is most likely a joke. If it isn’t than he is indeed a dick and I am wrong. But I find it very hard to believe that he would actually fail her for her choice and think he’s actually just teasing her. Something a lot of people do when others are so high strung as Allison was. Is it nice? No. Is it abuse. No.

          • Izo

            Lets assume what you’re saying is correct, and it’s not verbal abuse.

            Perhaps he meant abuse of authority. Which is a lot easier to show that it is given that what he did DID abuse his authority over her.

          • Izo

            Perhaps he means abuse of authority then, and THAT… it clearly is

      • Izo

        Maybe he means verbal abuse.

      • Stephanie Gertsch

        “Discussions aren’t abuse” is just a subset of “whatever I’m doing currently doesn’t count as abuse.” Interestingly, sea lioning isn’t abuse either.

        I don’t think this guy is abusive, if only because Allison seems like she doesn’t have enough fucks to give for his trolling. But yeah…That kind of statement is highly suspect for an educator. If your students are looking browbeaten rather than eager and curious, the fault is your teaching.

      • Stephanie Gertsch

        “Discussions aren’t abuse” is just a subset of “whatever I’m doing currently doesn’t count as abuse.” Interestingly, sea lioning isn’t abuse either.

        I don’t think this guy is abusive, if only because Allison seems like she doesn’t have enough fucks to give for his trolling. But yeah…That kind of statement is highly suspect for an educator. If your students are looking browbeaten rather than eager and curious, the fault is your teaching.

        • MrSing

          That would be a valid point, if what the prof was doing was actually abuse. As it stands, it isn’t.

          • Stephanie Gertsch

            Aaaaaand page 42 went up.

          • MrSing

            You don’t think he was just jossing her? To me it seemed like he was making a joke. But we’ll see what happens. If he does give her an automatic F I was wrong and you were right. If he doesn’t or fails her for legitemate reasons I think my point will still stand.

          • Stephanie Gertsch

            I’m not tied to the word abusive pet se: I pretty much think the professor is just shallow and boorish. But yeah, giving some students automatic As and failing another based on a class exercise is an abuse of power.

          • Izo

            It’s an abuse of his authority over her.

            1) I hire you to work as my secretary. I then tell you ‘You suck as a secretary. Wash my car, or you’re fired.’

            I’ve used words only, so I haven’t abused you. I have done something, however, that is outside the bounds of my authority as your boss. I’m abusing my authority over you.

            2) You’re in a car accident where the other driver hit you then drove off, and you didn’t get his license plate. You call the police. An officer arrives, looks at the scene and says ‘Based on what I’m seeing, this accident was probably because you went through the stop sign, so you’re at fault, and I’m going to give you a ticket.’ Even though the other person left the scene and there’s no way to confirm the police officer is deciding. The office gives you a $300 ticket and leaves.

            The officer used words only, but also gave you a financial burden on top of it. He or she abused his or her authority.

          • MrSing

            Your point only stands if Guwara actually goes through and fails her SOLELY on putting forth a black stone. If he doesn’t I was right and you were wrong. If he does I was wrong and you were right.
            We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

    • SerialPeacemaker

      while it may meet some technical definition of abuse,it is more like an object lesson in her own privilege using the only power structure available to leverage her, one which she has personally chosen to validate.

      • Edward L. Howell

        … yikes. Well spoken.

      • Edward L. Howell

        … yikes. Well spoken.

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      Exceptional students require exceptional challenges.

      • Izo

        An ‘automatic F no matter what’ isnt a challenge. A challenge is something that has the possibility of being overcome.

        • Rumble in the Tumble

          Yup, there is no way in hell the man will not break his word. Set in stone, you heard him. There is absolutely no chance for him to change that grade in the last minute, preferably after a heated debate at the end of semester to finish this chapter in style. It’s hopeless, might as well give up, partner.

          • Izo

            The sarcasm does not become you. The point is still that an automatic F, regardless of anything else, capped off by a taunt after class is already over that, yes, she does have an F and shouldnt bother coming back to class, is NOT a ‘challenge to overcome.’

            And a class should not be a gamble – it should be based on merit and learning knowledge. Not a ‘will he/won’t he’ roll of the dice.

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      Exceptional students require exceptional challenges.

    • Balthazar

      So you’re telling me my dad didn’t beat me to build up my character?!

    • Balthazar

      So you’re telling me my dad didn’t beat me to build up my character?!

  • Martin Cohen

    Nothing just happens with him.

    She will remember what happened the last time she complained about a grade.

    But maybe she would hope that would happen again.

    • Happyroach

      That still doesn’t change the fact that he committed an extremely unethical act that deserves to get him fired.

  • Graeme Sutton

    trololololol

  • JohnTomato

    Chaotic nasty.

  • Richard Hughes

    Here’s a question she’s going to need to think about: why does she care if he fails her? Why does she want to pass the class? What does she lose if she fails, and what does she gain if she passes?

  • Liz

    “Oh, I’m not too worried about that. I’ll have a passing grade at the end of this class, Professor Gurwara.”

    “Oh? What makes you say that?”

    “Because I have an academic advisor (whom we saw here: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-2/page-7-2/ ). It’s her job to make sure that if I’m seriously struggling, the appropriate resources are made available to me. She’ll no doubt look at my grades sometime soon, point to this one, and ask what happened. Then I will tell her the truth, which she will bring to her superiors. You will be reprimanded or fired, the Dean will email an apology to everyone in the class, and I will have a grade reflecting my mastery of the material.

    Even if that doesn’t happen, upon handing in your grades, someone will no doubt point out that giving out 20-something A’s, maybe Davenport’s B, and my F is a bit lopsided for grade-inflation reasons. They’ll ask what happened, and probably open an investigation into your grading metrics.

    The only people who lose out here the way things are are you and the students who, thinking they had an automatic A, will phone it in or skip after this week and have to retake the class. That was kind of a crappy thing to do them, by the way. Still that’s your problem to fix, not mine. Have a nice day!”

  • Sendaz

    She should just smile, nod and turn up for each and every class because she can still learn from him. Remember in his statement in the second box he hopes only the people wishing to learn would show up.

    Yes it may be annoying with the F hanging over her head, but it’s philosophy 201. Unless she really wanted to go for a higher level after in philosophy, it is probably not going to stop her from progressing in her other studies.

    I think he is pulling a bit of a Kobayashi Maru on her to see what she will do next in what looks like a no win situation.
    Plus while she gets an F for the course itself, nothing says he might not set her extra credit work/social experiments using her unique perspective that might be able to pull that up.

    Plus it may make him wonder what she is planning in kind. 😉

  • Iarei

    Well, he’s openly exercised the power to supersede his earlier arbitrary grade assignments so it wouldn’t surprise me if he continued to do so. I imagine the only reason he let Davenport away without a fail was to isolate Alison. So he’s either gauging how much her indignation centers around unfairness to herself, or he’s just being a superdick. Probably both.

  • Ryan B

    Interesting. He’s forcing her into a situation where she has to weigh her grade against her reputation (and moral code) and decide which is more important to her. She could complain to the school, but doing so would most likely jeopardize the permanent A grades of her classmates and would earn her the resentment of those classmates. If he follows through with the F, then he’s a dick because he is showing that he not only doesn’t care about Alison’s reputation or well-being, he is showing that he doesn’t care about the education of any student he’s teaching because he’s risking his own job by doing so. After all, how likely is it that the school would be able to bring in a SECOND replacement professor?

    I wouldn’t say he’s being brave, necessarily. He is probably bluffing, knowing that he could be potentially risking his own health. Is that brave? I think “brave” holds a certain moral connotation. Maybe he would be brave if this were a clear-cut situation with a bully and a victim. Part of his point is that life is not quite so black and white. We don’t know why he is really doing what he’s doing just yet but I believe we will find out in the next page.

  • Mrs. E

    Drop the class, show up for lecture anyway? She’ll be learning without having to put up with grade BS.

    • Izo

      It’s a required course.

    • Izo

      It’s a required course.

  • DGotts

    I honestly think that he might be doing this because she was the only one who willingly put forward the black stone, not because shes super. Could be wrong. Doesnt change a dick move, but it is more interesting as a “Put your money where your mouth is” than the “You’re biodynamic. Deal with it” angle

  • EveryZig

    I’m pretty sure that at the start of the next class he announces that there are no automatic grades… to the people who showed up.
    Then he laughs.

  • Cherre

    Sorry, didn’t mean to repost – please ignore.
    Woah woah woah wait. So the ones who had a choice really do have their grades set? Well shit. While I like the fact that this professor made his point using something (class grade) the students would be invested in, actually setting grades like this feels considerably unethical and slightly counterintuitive. Now attendance will rely on whenever Alison is in class, because I highly doubt anyone else will be inclined to interact and would rather see her and Professor verbally battle.

  • Oh no!

    I guess Allison will just… have to drop his course and take it from a different professor in order to get credit for the semester.

    Because that’s how college works.

  • MrSing

    How much money are you willing to bet he’s just making a joke here because he’s a bit of an ass? Seeing how he also continues to say the rest of the class got an A?

  • FlashNeko

    Wow.

    This… I honestly can’t tell if he’s joking or not but given everything else that’s gone on in this scene, this really highlights how male patriarchy works in higher education.

    Look at the way he gives the guy another chance because “Oh, I’m sorry, that was purposefully unfair to you to prove a point so you get another shot” whereas Alison is manipulated into an unfair choice but “Oh, I’m sorry, you have to take the consequences of your action (that were in no way manipulated by me of course to put you into an unfair position).”

    Look at how he wrote her off earlier as “too stupid to know who to be mad at”, which is pretty classic gaslighting to a degree, but people give it a pass because he’s the “calm and logical” old man and she’s the “angry and hysterical” woman.

    Look at how he subtly tries to re-frame things as the only time he considers himself is being “unfair” is in the case of the guy he purposefully takes the black stone away from but it’s okay to turn two of the women in the class against each other because it’s somehow Alison’s fault the other person is in a financial situation that requires her to perhaps be selfish to the point of harming others just to keep her head above water, IE her black stone was taken away from her metaphorically.

    And all those saying how “brave” this guy is for talking this way to her despite her physical might are missing the point. Yes, she is physically stronger than him but he has all the REAL power in this situation.

    This is especially true since he seems to know more about how she ticks in regards to her reluctance in using what societal power she does have than he lets on. He knows it would only be seen as her “causing more trouble” (both by herself and the faculty at large) instead of her speaking out against abuse and he does not hesitate to exploit that because he knows he can get away with it.

    Really, Prof. G and Furnace are two sides of the same coin. It’s just that one burns with words and social power and the other… well, burned with actual fire.

    • Loranna

      Alison was *not* manipulated into an unfair choice. She heard the rules of the game as did everyone else; she even understood, unlike some who weren’t paying close attention, that everyone putting down a black stone would net an ‘A’ for everyone. The Professor talked fast, yes, but again, he clearly stated the rules; it’s not on him that some people weren’t listening, even when The Professor Was Teaching.

      Not only that, but you’re making a premature assumption. We do NOT yet know if Alison has gotten a failing grade. He made a parting shot at her, after verbally jousting for the first portion of class. We do not yet know if he was serious, and plans to fail Alison, or whether he was engaging in some snarky humor, after having established a degree of trust and intellectual respect. Notice, he is quick to praise Alison for speaking up in the first place, for putting her beliefs out there in a classroom of strangers.

      I hereby propose an alternate interpretation of Professor Gurwara’s last comment: he is offering Alison a way to bow out of the class if, after she has time to reflect, she finds herself feeling uncomfortable subjecting herself further to his style of teaching. Notice Alison’s facial expression in Panels 2 and 4: she is sullen, wary. Her eyebrows are drawn together as if she were staring at an enemy. Even though time elapsed between her outburst last update and the end of the class (notice the chalkboard has gone from blank to chock full of stuff), her expression implies she still resents the situation. Reminding Alison that she DID, on her own accord, choose to fail the class is, in effect, giving her permission to drop the course. And, by implication, her whole major, since this IS a required class for the major, but that’s still her choice to make. And the Professor reminds Alison, she can “Have it your way!”

      I admit, this interpretation is not without its flaws. I’m still unsure what to make of Professor Gurwara’s own facial expression in the last panel, whether he’s scowling at her, or if his mustache has, somehow, swallowed up his wry smirk. But I don’t see any signs yet that there’s Patriarchy At Play here; not only is it not yet certain if he’s planning on failing her, but there are other ways of interpreting his intention here, besides “He’s a bully and was out to get Alison all along.”

      Loranna

      • Izo

        I don’t think it has anything to do with him being a man (ie, Patriarchy at Play) – just that he’s being bigoted towards biodynamic people like Allison… IF he is failing her automatically. I’m a bit annoyed about the people who did not pay attention getting an A as well, but getting an A for not learning anything isnt getting the same emotional response from me as getting an F for not being an automaton and paying attention to what’s said in class.

    • Loranna

      Alison was *not* manipulated into an unfair choice. She heard the rules of the game as did everyone else; she even understood, unlike some who weren’t paying close attention, that everyone putting down a black stone would net an ‘A’ for everyone. The Professor talked fast, yes, but again, he clearly stated the rules; it’s not on him that some people weren’t listening, even when The Professor Was Teaching.

      Not only that, but you’re making a premature assumption. We do NOT yet know if Alison has gotten a failing grade. He made a parting shot at her, after verbally jousting for the first portion of class. We do not yet know if he was serious, and plans to fail Alison, or whether he was engaging in some snarky humor, after having established a degree of trust and intellectual respect. Notice, he is quick to praise Alison for speaking up in the first place, for putting her beliefs out there in a classroom of strangers.

      I hereby propose an alternate interpretation of Professor Gurwara’s last comment: he is offering Alison a way to bow out of the class if, after she has time to reflect, she finds herself feeling uncomfortable subjecting herself further to his style of teaching. Notice Alison’s facial expression in Panels 2 and 4: she is sullen, wary. Her eyebrows are drawn together as if she were staring at an enemy. Even though time elapsed between her outburst last update and the end of the class (notice the chalkboard has gone from blank to chock full of stuff), her expression implies she still resents the situation. Reminding Alison that she DID, on her own accord, choose to fail the class is, in effect, giving her permission to drop the course. And, by implication, her whole major, since this IS a required class for the major, but that’s still her choice to make. And the Professor reminds Alison, she can “Have it your way!”

      I admit, this interpretation is not without its flaws. I’m still unsure what to make of Professor Gurwara’s own facial expression in the last panel, whether he’s scowling at her, or if his mustache has, somehow, swallowed up his wry smirk. But I don’t see any signs yet that there’s Patriarchy At Play here; not only is it not yet certain if he’s planning on failing her, but there are other ways of interpreting his intention here, besides “He’s a bully and was out to get Alison all along.”

      Loranna

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      … you didn’t miss the fact that the part about gaslighting and “turning two of the women in the class against each other” never happened, right? That part where he suggested that Alison is mad at herself, not at Gurwara, or anyone else for that matter? You can’t blame patriarchy in higher education for seeing issues where there are none.

      • Izo

        Why do you keep saying anyone’s ‘blaming patriarchy’ – I’m pretty sure if Gurwara was a woman, everyone would think it’s just as unfair to Allison.

        • chaosvii

          Likely because commenters miss the point when they make unfounded accusations like “X was gaslighting Y” or maybe its when a commenter actually uses the word “patriarchy” in the framing of their argument that “X is doing A, B, and C.”

          Bringing up the notion that the situation is unfair to Alison is a odd thing to do. It has nothing to do with what the criticism being leveraged by Rumble in the Tumble towards FlashNeko’s claims.
          Rumble is addressing the fact that Flash is assigning various observations of the professor’s actions to a patriarchy-based cause, one of the said actions is not only not necessarily gaslighting, but presumes things that are not in evidence. Flash is contending that what the professor has opted to do by saying “perhaps you are angry at the only person in the room who elected to receive a failing grade.” amounts to something other than gaslighting.
          I am of a similar critical opinion that what Flash has brought forward is a faulty observation. The relevant clause by Rumble is “seeing issues where there are none” not “You can’t blame patriarchy in higher education for…” The public opinion of this scene and who’s in the right isn’t being discussed, it’s the claim that gaslighting took place.

          Patriarchy is sufficient to explain various extant issues, but it is not worth bringing up things that didn’t probably didn’t happen in the first place and then proceed to go about explaining how those non-events were supposedly caused by said phenomena.

      • FlashNeko

        The problem there is that you could easily argue that his “you’re not mad at me” comment could be believably taken as a gaslighting tactic, since it’s just as likely his “suggestion” is meant to make her look like a crazy woman spewing nonsense.

        And given the way he seems to know more about Alison’s emotional weakspots than a teacher encountering her for the first time should, it’s not a stretch to think he might have known about the other students with financial troubles and set-up the situation so that they were purposefully opposed to each other.

        (I admit that last point may be a little more Machiavellian than he’s capable of pulling off but… he leads me to think he can pull that off.)

    • Rumble in the Tumble

      … you didn’t miss the fact that the part about gaslighting and “turning two of the women in the class against each other” never happened, right? That part where he suggested that Alison is mad at herself, not at Gurwara, or anyone else for that matter? You can’t blame patriarchy in higher education for seeing issues where there are none.

    • Johan

      All good points. Also, something that really bothers me is that he knows who she is and what she can do, and made her furious. That’s not brave, not in this situation. She did loose control twice, and he kept pushing her regardless.
      Had he been alone with her, it would have been different. But all the other students were there. It’s not everyone’s responsibility to keep Alison’s feelings in check because of what she can do, but he saw a dangerous situation and made it worse. Unnecessarily too.
      I really can’t get over how weird this arc is. I think I know where this is going, and I don’t like it.

    • Johan

      All good points. Also, something that really bothers me is that he knows who she is and what she can do, and made her furious. That’s not brave, not in this situation. She did loose control twice, and he kept pushing her regardless.
      Had he been alone with her, it would have been different. But all the other students were there. It’s not everyone’s responsibility to keep Alison’s feelings in check because of what she can do, but he saw a dangerous situation and made it worse. Unnecessarily too.
      I really can’t get over how weird this arc is. I think I know where this is going, and I don’t like it.

    • That’s one way to look at it. Another way is he’s drawing on Alison because she’s the one who deliberately stepped up to prove her point.

    • That’s one way to look at it. Another way is he’s drawing on Alison because she’s the one who deliberately stepped up to prove her point.

  • Nepene

    This school has terrible teacher selection policies. You’d think that in the interviews they’d check out for this sort of thing. “Do you intend to deliberately antagonize, insult and fail people you dislike, particularly those of different races.” given that the previous teacher did the same. I understand he’s probably a temp teacher and of course more frustrated, more poorly paid and all, but really, they need to have more in depth interviews.

    http://www.newschool.edu/registrar/academic-policies/

    This gives the proper procedure to follow upon posting a failing grade (her school is the new school, I think). As first steps.

    “Before appealing for a change of grade, you should first ask the
    instructor to explain his or her reasons for assigning the grade. If you
    are not satisfied with the explanation, you can appeal the grade as
    follows:

    Write a letter to the faculty member stating clearly your
    objection to the grade received and requesting a different grade. Copy
    your letter to the department chair or director, or, if the faculty
    member is also the department director, to the dean or school’s
    director.”

    I’d note from their document on grading that what he is doing is against the normal policies for grading.For a D grade, for example.

    “”>

    Below‐average work that indicates a student does not fully understand the assignments;
    probation level though passing for credit”

    as stated on their grading policies, it’s supposed to be based on multiple assignments, not her performance in a single lesson, and given the responses it’s hardly clear that she understood the assignment worse than others.

    People have noted he could kick her out for swearing, and they indeed have internal procedures for that, which include an in depth investigation. He didn’t kick her out and he’s allowing her to stay in the class which would speak poorly to him finding it offensive, and if he did get a formal investigation done for a minor use of a swear word it probably wouldn’t go his way. I suspect he wants to get her to remain silent for this, although that would be an unusual lesson to teach since college students have a general history of blatantly badgering their professors for higher grades and complaining. This isn’t a place where you need to be a superhero to win, grade inflation is a big thing.

  • Giacomo Bandini

    oh Guevara-dude, what a MAGNIFICENT BASTARD you truly are…

    He is posing several question for the poor Allison to answer.

    First one: if Guevara gives an automatical F to Allison and John, he is an horrible bastard who deserve to be fired; if it’s all a lie, it’s just a retorical trick; But if Guevara choose a third way, spare one of his students and damn the other one, what does it make him? Is he just a bully?Or he’s a different kind of being?

    Second question: Guevara lied. Once when he said that the other profesor is dead, another when he said he would have given an “F” to john. Now, is he saying the truth? Or is it still part of his game?

    Last question, the most important of it all: What are you gonna do now, Allison? Right now, Guevara is not “bullying” the innocent and weak John: he is attacking the powerful megagirl. Powerful not just in the sense that can tear his head off with minimal effort, but also that she can have him fired with ease. So, now, Allison can easily have him fired, but that will mean two things: the first, that everyone will think tha Allison is a bully who remove every professor who criticize her, and it dosen’t matter that this is true or not; the second, Allison would never know if it was justice. Did the college fires Guevara because they really thought he was a bully with his students, or because they do not want to cross the hyper-privileged Mega Girl?
    Will Allison choose to suffer the prepotence of a superior, or rebel to it by drawning on her privileges? Is it better to suffer an unfair defeat, or to win an unfair victory?

    Who are you, Allison?

  • Giacomo Bandini

    oh Guevara-dude, what a MAGNIFICENT BASTARD you truly are…

    He is posing several question for the poor Allison to answer.

    First one: if Guevara gives an automatical F to Allison and John, he is an horrible bastard who deserve to be fired; if it’s all a lie, it’s just a retorical trick; But if Guevara choose a third way, spare one of his students and damn the other one, what does it make him? Is he just a bully?Or he’s a different kind of being?

    Second question: Guevara lied. Once when he said that the other profesor is dead, another when he said he would have given an “F” to john. Now, is he saying the truth? Or is it still part of his game?

    Last question, the most important of it all: What are you gonna do now, Allison? Right now, Guevara is not “bullying” the innocent and weak John: he is attacking the powerful megagirl. Powerful not just in the sense that can tear his head off with minimal effort, but also that she can have him fired with ease. So, now, Allison can easily have him fired, but that will mean two things: the first, that everyone will think tha Allison is a bully who remove every professor who criticize her, and it dosen’t matter that this is true or not; the second, Allison would never know if it was justice. Did the college fires Guevara because they really thought he was a bully with his students, or because they do not want to cross the hyper-privileged Mega Girl?
    Will Allison choose to suffer the prepotence of a superior, or rebel to it by drawning on her privileges? Is it better to suffer an unfair defeat, or to win an unfair victory?

    Who are you, Allison?

  • Khlovia

    But we are still not practicing our listening skills.

    “If every stone on every desk is of a single color, then every student shall receive an A in the course. This rule is the master rule, and conquers all other rules before it.

    That means that the previous rules are irrelevant. In abeyance. Not in force. Random noise. Retroactively unextant.

    Therefore, it is not the case that “If you put the white stone on your desk, you get an A in this course.”
    It is not the case that “If you put the white stone on your desk, …you do not even have to come to class; I will mark you present.”
    It is not the case that “If you put the black stone, you fail the course…. you will have to take it again next semester.”

    It is ONLY the case that, well, shucks, for various reasons there was a lack of unanimity in stone selection, so, too bad, nobody gets an automatic A. That is, or should be, the sole consequence currently in force, according to the “Master Rule”. In other words, it’s an ordinary class in which every student has to work for their grade like an ordinary student; big whoop. (Thus leaving the professor securely out of trouble with the Dean; the only outcome/interpretation which does so.) The master rule does NOT say anything about who flunks what, why, or when. It does not specify a negative consequence for lack of unanimity; it merely specifies a positive consequence for unanimity. They did not achieve that; but that does not, by itself, bring the superseded rules back into play.

    What should happen on Monday is that everyone who skips class gets a sarcastic email that evening from Gurawara explaining it and telling them they’d better plant their posteriors in their desks on Wednesday or they really will get marked down. Most of the students learn to listen and logic better, and/or become lawyers; and one of them learns to cope with rigged classroom simulations–which may possibly prove educational in the real world someday.

    Gurawara hasn’t yet decided whether Alison’s intense engagement in the argument means she believes she’s actually got a stake in the outcome and is thus one of the students who needs this explained to her, or whether she just habitually engages intensely; that’s why he’s still testing her in the last panel.

    I hope Alison can figure this out before she shoots her mouth off.

    • Izo

      Except Gurwara just said she’s getting an automatic F. If what you said was accurate, that the ‘white stone’ rule is overruled, then so would the black stone rule be overruled. So why would he then say, after the class is over, that she’s getting an automatic F?

      • Khlovia

        See above: “Gurawara hasn’t yet decided whether Alison’s intense engagement in the
        argument means she believes she’s actually got a stake in the outcome
        and is thus one of the students who needs this explained to her, or
        whether she just habitually engages intensely; that’s why he’s still
        testing her in the last panel.”

  • Khlovia

    But we are still not practicing our listening skills.

    “If every stone on every desk is of a single color, then every student shall receive an A in the course. This rule is the master rule, and conquers all other rules before it.

    That means that the previous rules are irrelevant. In abeyance. Not in force. Random noise. Retroactively unextant.

    Therefore, it is not the case that “If you put the white stone on your desk, you get an A in this course.”
    It is not the case that “If you put the white stone on your desk, …you do not even have to come to class; I will mark you present.”
    It is not the case that “If you put the black stone, you fail the course…. you will have to take it again next semester.”

    It is ONLY the case that, well, shucks, for various reasons there was a lack of unanimity in stone selection, so, too bad, nobody gets an automatic A. That is, or should be, the sole consequence currently in force, according to the “Master Rule”. In other words, it’s an ordinary class in which every student has to work for their grade like an ordinary student; big whoop. (Thus leaving the professor securely out of trouble with the Dean; the only outcome/interpretation which does so.) The master rule does NOT say anything about who flunks what, why, or when. It does not specify a negative consequence for lack of unanimity; it merely specifies a positive consequence for unanimity. They did not achieve that; but that does not, by itself, bring the superseded rules back into play.

    What should happen on Monday is that everyone who skips class gets a sarcastic email that evening from Gurawara explaining it and telling them they’d better plant their posteriors in their desks on Wednesday or they really will get marked down. Most of the students learn to listen and logic better, and/or become lawyers; and one of them learns to cope with rigged classroom simulations–which may possibly prove educational in the real world someday.

    Gurawara hasn’t yet decided whether Alison’s intense engagement in the argument means she believes she’s actually got a stake in the outcome and is thus one of the students who needs this explained to her, or whether she just habitually engages intensely; that’s why he’s still testing her in the last panel.

    I hope Alison can figure this out before she shoots her mouth off.

  • fairportfan

    He’s right bastard, isn’t he?

    I sort of like him.

  • fairportfan

    He’s right bastard, isn’t he?

    I sort of like him.

  • Aroel

    Umm…I’m not comfortable with the comments stating that Allison can’t really be harmed do to her physical invisibility and superhero status. It’s sort of like saying men can’t be abused by women, or physically stronger people can’t be abused by their physically weaker partners. In Alison’s case, if she *won’t* physically hurt Mr. Gurwara because it’s against her principles and/or she doesn’t want a bad reputation, and she *won’t* go to the Administration because they’ll react disproportionately and that’s against her principles and/or she doesn’t want a bad reputation, then Mr. Gurwara, while having much less privileges than her, is still in a position where he is capable of bullying her. Even if Alison were to do these things, failing someone for no reason other than acting on their principles is still an act of bullying. Even if the victim fortunately has enough power to respond to said act, a bullying act is still a bullying act, and should be referred to as such.

    I’d also disagree with folks who say that grades are meaningless to Alison. She doesn’t *want* to get through life just by being a punching machine, or by riding on her celebrity status to get her positions she’s not qualified for. She *wants* to be able participate in society based on qualifications other than her superpowers. If she doesn’t pass her classes, she’ll have no other choice but to punch things or use her privileges to get free rides. While this may not be nearly as dire a consequence of bad grades as that faced by her classmates, having the option to find a place in society not based on her superpowers is not something Alison takes lightly.

    • chaosvii

      Very much agreed, Alison wants to live in a world where she can participate in society fairly, on the merits of her skills & character, not in a world where certain unfair advantages are simply going to be disproportionately leveraged against people in a position of vulnerability as a matter of course.
      But the eternal conflict is how this is a desire that cannot be fulfilled without overcoming the legacy of how people in vulnerable spots simply do not have any reason to believe that they can afford to risk what chance at relative security, comfort, or peace they think they have. Vulnerable people object less often than one would hope, because they know that raising objections works out in favor of the advantaged overwhelmingly more often than towards the vulnerable. And even when the vulnerable get their fair due, it may be at the cost of a lot of grief that is hardly compensated by being treated fairly this one time.

      It takes a rare person to devote themselves to such a gamble, rarer still is how Alison does not experience risk the same way most people do. And recognizing (or at the very least, feeling the pain of) that differing paradigm between herself & others is part of what drives her to understand what goes into this stuff.

    • We’ve actually seen Alison being hurt, by her roommates when they kicked her out. And her teammates reaction to her dropping from the team probably hurt as well.

      That said, I don’t think Gurwara is bullying her. Pushing her out of her comfort zone, yes, but that’s his job.

      • Aroel

        On reflection, perhaps bullying was a bit of a strong word. My impression of him was not that he was failing her to flaunt his power (though that’s just my impression, I could be wrong), but that he was failing her to teach her a lesson. Not bullying exactly, but I don’t agree with the “hurt someone to teach them a lesson” style of teaching, and while it’s better that it happen to Allison than someone with less power to deal with it, I don’t agree with it happening to Alison either.

        I actually for the most part liked his class, and I thought teaching Alison that not everyone has the privilege to risk themselves the way she does was a good lesson. However, it could have been taught to her without failing her.

  • Aroel

    Umm…I’m not comfortable with the comments stating that Allison can’t really be harmed do to her physical invisibility and superhero status. It’s sort of like saying men can’t be abused by women, or physically stronger people can’t be abused by their physically weaker partners. In Alison’s case, if she *won’t* physically hurt Mr. Gurwara because it’s against her principles and/or she doesn’t want a bad reputation, and she *won’t* go to the Administration because they’ll react disproportionately and that’s against her principles and/or she doesn’t want a bad reputation, then Mr. Gurwara, while having much less privileges than her, is still in a position where he is capable of bullying her. Even if Alison were to do these things, failing someone for no reason other than acting on their principles is still an act of bullying. Even if the victim fortunately has enough power to respond to said act, a bullying act is still a bullying act, and should be referred to as such.

    I’d also disagree with folks who say that grades are meaningless to Alison. She doesn’t *want* to get through life just by being a punching machine, or by riding on her celebrity status to get her positions she’s not qualified for. She *wants* to be able participate in society based on qualifications other than her superpowers. If she doesn’t pass her classes, she’ll have no other choice but to punch things or use her privileges to get free rides. While this may not be nearly as dire a consequence of bad grades as that faced by her classmates, having the option to find a place in society not based on her superpowers is not something Alison takes lightly.

  • Alex Bennett

    “I am an old, heartless bastard,” he says. Whelp, guess that settles it.

  • Alex Bennett

    “I am an old, heartless bastard,” he says. Whelp, guess that settles it.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    So, a bit late, but it’s still before the next page sooo…

    It occurs to me that professor’s injuries may be related to a superhero event, kinda like the S.O. of the previous she confronted with.

  • Darkoneko Hellsing

    So, a bit late, but it’s still before the next page sooo…

    It occurs to me that professor’s injuries may be related to a superhero event, kinda like the S.O. of the previous she confronted with.

    • 3-I

      It’s possible, but I hope it isn’t, because that suggests something horrible about this school’s hiring practices. One is happenstance. Two is conspiracy. c.c

  • chaosvii

    So uh, I’m still not sure how to take that penultimate panel there. Is Alison feeling emotionally numb? Recovering from the embarrassment of flipping out early in the class? Just holding onto her outrage of being trolled with carefully selected logic?
    Alison, I’m acutely aware of how much I desire to know how you feel. And all I can conclude is you don’t look okay, so have a sincere talk with somebody soon.

  • chaosvii

    So uh, I’m still not sure how to take that penultimate panel there. Is Alison feeling emotionally numb? Recovering from the embarrassment of flipping out early in the class? Just holding onto her outrage of being trolled with carefully selected logic?
    Alison, I’m acutely aware of how much I desire to know how you feel. And all I can conclude is you don’t look okay, so have a sincere talk with somebody soon.

  • Mike

    What’s with everybody freaking out over getting a bad grade, here? Is the point of studying philosophy “getting good grades”? This guy is an awesome teacher; whether or not he’s a good professor seems wholly aside the point.

  • Survived, yes. Been hurt, in the sense of having injury externally inflicted on him, I’m not so sure.

    People are reading his face as scarred, but to me it just reads as grizzled/rugged. As for the cane, there’s no shortage of rheumatological and neurological conditions that can lead to using a cane without external intervention.

    I think it’s likely he’s survived externally inflicted injury, as storytelling tends to push us that way, but I don’t think it’s as guaranteed as people are assuming.

    • Tylikcat

      The kind of linear markings on his face seem pretty different than most natural marks one sees on faces. I’d have to go back and compare this with other characters as it could be a stylistic thing, but especially looking at the close ups, the scar interpretation seems solid to me.

      I’m not making any comments about the cane – but then, I suppose it’s hard to draw a limp, and I haven’t seen anything in his posture that reflects a lot of the more general infirmities. I can’t see him *move* – it’s almost as annoying as all the context you lose when you’re not actually in the room with someone.

  • noctuatacita

    I don’t think that’s his intention at all. I don’t have an opinion on whether he’s actually going to give her an automatic F or not (I don’t think he *could*, for reasons that have been spelled out by other people in the comments — that sort of thing is unfair enough to get him in huge trouble if he did it to normal students, and the college has established that they’re treating Allison special. The only way it would work is if she didn’t complain, which is a variable he may or may not be willing to gamble on.)

    Anyway. I think he’s maybe trying to teach Allison restraint. She’s already lost her temper a couple of times in ways that would be not-so-okay for normal people; in someone like her, who can’t be physically stopped and has enough good pr built up that people might figure she’s in the right even when she isn’t, it’s discomfiting at the very least.

    The reason people are okay with superman is he’s pretty much morally infallible; Allison isn’t. She’s a regular person with non-regular-person powers and has to be held up to a higher standard (it’s not really fair, but not many things are).

    I hope that makes sense?

    • Izo

      I admit that, since I can’t foretell the future, maybe he won’t be doing the creep move that he’s seeming to be doing. I can only base what I say on what I’ve seen so far. I’ll be pleasantly surprised to be wrong if what you’re saying is accurate. I still think she’s already shown herself to hold HERSELF to a higher standard, putting herself at risk for years, using her merchandising money for the purpose of helping others rather than herself, volunteering as a firefighter, having emotional breakdowns at the idea that people think ‘punching things hard’ means her opinions matter so that she realizes she should have an actual education instead, and always reigning in her temper far more than anyone else would be able to (look at Garwara – he has a little tenuous power, and he immediately abuses it – she has a LOT of power and does not)… so he doesnt need to do this.

      • noctuatacita

        Very good point!

  • Izo

    All I’m saying is that she is obviously NOT the type of person to handle most problems violently, even though she’s more than capable of doing so, regardless of the consequences. She shows a lot more intelligence and foresight than most people her age do (especially as someone who has immense power).

    She should be recognized under the law the same as anyone else. Another person might lose their temper, and a stupid person might even hit Gurwara. Allison doesn’t beause 1) violence isnt always her go-to answer, 2) she knows that with great power comes great responsibility, and 3) she’s trying to not have a repeat of the last professor, which is why she seemed so reticent when he suggested that she try to get him fired. She wants to be treated like everyone else, not singled out unfairly positively OR negatively.

    • Tylikcat

      Well, choose your stance. If you can count on her not to react violently – rather like one might count on her not to go to the dean – than it might be worth it to rile her up. Depending on one’s motivations, and how much one cares about being physically intact. (Again, some people care about getting certain things done, or making certain points, very much, and their own bodily health rather less.) There’s a lot we don’t know about what’s going on with Gurwara.

      I think what makes Alison an interesting character is that she’s flailing, not that her heart is in the right place and she’s a good guy. I think it’s pretty unlikely she’s going to physically harm someone who is not presenting a physical threat to her or anyone else. This is part of why I find it a little disturbing that so many people are all “Oh, it’s stupid to make her angry…!” Yeesh. That kind of thinking leads to you not speaking openly to anyone who has more power than you or power over you. Which is pretty abhorrent to me.

      (Sure, there may be some boundary cases involving active danger of grave bodily harm. But those should be the exceptions.)

  • Izo

    Granted. But either he knows that she won’t hurt him, or he thinks she might and doesn’t care. If the latter, he’s not clever. If the former, he’s not actually clever either, but just gambling on Allison being a good person despite him being a jerk to her.

    • Peter

      If he gambles and wins because he is just that good at understanding people i think that counts as clever. Also, how the fuck is “being a jerk” and “getting thrown into space” even remotely compareable?

  • Johan

    I kinda want to see her do that now XD

    • Balthazar

      As much as I do too, I feel like that’d be a hard one to weasel out of.

      Alison: What?! Anyone could’ve lifted his car and planted it on the roof. I have an alibi!

  • D. Schwartz

    Remember, going to college, in the best form, means having the values you walk in with challenged. Challenged in class, challenged in social situations, challenged in day-to-day life.

    This challenging should result in thinking critically about everything and having nothing win you over without careful consideration. Because as Allison shows us every week nothing should be taken for granted and easy answers are not.

  • D. Schwartz

    Actually what he’s teaching her is that the fight for what you believe in is never over and that there is always stumbling blocks that stop you and make you think about what you are doing.

    So he may not be your cup of tea but he’s really effective. Not good, nice, or likable but effective.

    • Izo

      No, he’s teaching her ‘the fight for what you believe in will not be rewarded, but doing nothing and being quiet will.’ It’s not effective at all – it’s the type of thing that in superhero stories creates Magnetos 🙂

  • Izo

    If grades truly don’t matter, tell every single student on the first day of class that they are all getting automatic F’s.

    See how many people continue to take the class for the love of ‘learning about the philosophical study of values.’

    If even one person continues to take that class because grades do not matter, I’ll buy you a steak dinner.

    • John

      Yea seriously, even though grades don’t always matter with respect to learning, there’s no way I’d keep a class that I was guaranteed to get an F in, no matter how much I loved the subject matter. It’d ruin your GPA and cut off your chances of grad school. It just eliminates future opportunities to learn. Maybe if you had no intention of ever going to grad school, but still an F can get you put on academic probation and kicked out of school, another risk not worth taking. And if it is a required course for your major, if you fail you’d have to take it again, and classes are quite expensive. Students could easily think of “passing the course” as way less important than “learning about the philosophical study of values” but it doesn’t mean a single one wouldn’t recognize the practical importance of passing a class.

    • Some guy

      Well, grades don’t actually matter for Alison. She’s not going after any specific degree and the administration has made it quite clear that she has the run of the campus. Everyone else? You’d be correct.

      Supposedly she’s just here to learn so she can come up with her big solve every problem forever solution. She obviously needs this course to gain a little better perspective of the world.

      A Philosophy teacher that can’t knock a new student out of his or her entrenched comfort zone is pretty shit, One that actually meant a guaranteed F (or A, for that matter) based on a first day’s Prisoner’s Dilemma is pretty shit, and a college that would uphold that is also pretty shit. Unless they actually meant to have Gurwa give Alison that F for real, she’s actually found a teacher she needs.

  • Christophe2314

    Oh yeah, Batman throttles old people all the time. Don’t you read the comics?

    • Peter

      Yeah, but those are criminals in their prime, right? Not teachers that can’t fight back.

      • Christophe2314

        That was a joke, dude.

  • 3-I

    Because this comment section honestly believes that her superpowers mean that other people deserve to try to hurt her.

    • Balthazar

      No, I think you’re setting up an oversimplified straw man for most of the people not crying for Gurawara’s head.

      We (well, at least “I” as I can’t speak for everyone) believe Alison is occasionally short sighted and a little too sure of her own sense of righteousness that she fails to listen to others, regardless if they are right or wrong.

      What I hope Gurawara is doing (again “hope” he may just be a jerk face) is that he’s trying to get Alison to notice that and perhaps listen to others and think from there point of view when she can. She doesn’t need to agree with them, but understand them.

      So, why Alison? Well because she’s strong ridiculously so and due to this people feel afraid of her power though it is of no fault of her own.

      Why?

      Well I could go into how simply by existing she tears the social contract man kind has worked so hard to build into pieces but then I’d be taking up way too much space.

      Just rest assured, we (again really “I”, but you get the idea) want to see Alison, the protagonist of this awesome webcomic grow through the comic. We like the controversy it builds up as it brings up discussion and thought.

      In short, no we are not here because we are superhero sadists. 😉

      • 3-I

        Nice accusation of intellectual dishonesty and logical fallacy, but many regular users of the comments section have been expressing support for people being dicks to Alison for no reason for several chapters now. In addition, the last few chapters have been all about her listening to other viewpoints over. and over. again. while not. saying. or thinking. anything. And suddenly, when she turned on Patrick for saying and doing monstrous things, a thousand people like you crawled out of the woodwork to say that she was a short-sighted, self-righteous bully who was incapable of listening to reason. This argument KEEPS coming up whenever she doesn’t just exist as a viewpoint character.

        Also, no. She does not tear apart social contract theory just by existing, and if you honestly believe that, I entreat you to go back and read the first few chapters again.

        The point of the comic seems to be the focus on the fact that physical strength and invulnerability DOESN’T mean she’s immune to emotional harm. That just because society WANTS to treat her as if she’s an outsider, it doesn’t mean she actually is one. She is a human being, who is just as vulnerable as anyone else. The problem is that people in the comic and out of it think that since she is bulletproof, she can’t REALLY suffer.

        And I’m not buying into your stupid perfect victim theory. People keep treating her like shit, and then the comments section keeps going into full-on uproar whenever she stands up to it, because it isn’t about her growth as a character. It’s about silencing her.

        The problem you have isn’t that I misunderstand you, it’s that I disagree with you.

        • Balthazar

          I didn’t say that she didn’t have feelings nor did I intend to for you to take that from my response.

          It is very clear that the comic is centered about the unfairness Alison is put up against. In the first chapter a man hits her with a car and proceeds to berate her for “destroying” it. As a super hero she was held to an unfair higher standard than others just because she was stronger. Any confrontation she tries was turned into an “assault”.

          No, I’m not arguing with you there. It is unfair that society is quick to believe, as you say, bullet proof means emotionally bullet proof. The comparison with Cleaver brought that up as well, that society wanted to push them into what they wanted them or expected them to be without treating them as thinking humans and not some stereotype with 2d emotions.

          No argument there.

          But back to my point of my last response “Why Alison?”

          I didn’t see a mention of it in your response so I will iterate it here but we’re not against Alison because she’s super. At least for me this is more than just a “I’m insecure and want to see a person stronger than me proven wrong.” It’s more because she is the protagonist of the comic. The comic centers around her and as the reader I’m interested in how she continues to grow as a person.

          Yes, I don’t think Alison is perfect but neither is anyone else in the web-comic, but I honestly don’t care very much if Patrick has a sudden change of heart and decides to make a program to help the homeless. The snippet about pint size was nice and gave some closure (and depending on who you ask some foreshadowing) however it was more of a “isn’t that nice” than anything.

          So I don’t think I am being unreasonable when I say I want to see Alison continue to grow. I don’t think understanding others is the same as “silencing” and so if I had to disagree you it would probably be with that point.

          My comment was meant more of a defense of Gurawara than an attack on Alison, but if you took it that way I apologize. I just believe we should wait a bit before jumping to conclusions. The “he hates her cause she’s super” comment I’ve seen seems a a little off mark especially when another professor did the exact same thing (admittedly with less style) and I don’t think this author is one for such obvious repetition.

    • Izo

      It IS really disturbing how many people in the comment section think that if someone is better than other people or has a skill others lack, it means that person deserve to be attacked, ridiculed, taunted, picked on, or harassed. Even if they only use their powers or abilities to help others, try to rely on education instead of their gifts, and don’t abuse those powers. As if the goal should always be to be mediocre and never, ever, ever stand out or you’re the villain.

  • chaosvii

    I’d like to see how the class deals with the game of their arbitrarily assigned grades being arbitrarily reassigned. If he can grade on the basis of a game once, he can do it a thousand times. But could he get the whole class to be willing to be graded on their merits simply because they refuse to accept the consequences of this unfair precedent?
    What if some people maintain the advantage of a secure grade they had before while others are suddenly disadvantaged?

    I mean obviously this would have less ethical tanglings if he had simply posed those additional games all within the same class period, but perhaps he remains devoted to the notion of pushing buttons as a way of prompting dissonance within students. It fits his heartless bastard persona for sure.

  • Shjade

    You say this as if making a choice based on a trick isn’t still making a choice.

    It is.

    • Izo

      No, a learned choice requires consistent agreed-upon rules and standards to be in place to make an informed decision. Choice made under false pretenses of the choice-giver is not choice.

      For example:

      You sign a contract where ‘I will pay you $100 and this contract will be in similar effect for all likewise contracts signed at this time.’. But there’s another sheet of paper under the first contract, and the paper on the first contract is made of carbon paper, so the second contract beneath it gets signed as well. The second contract says ‘You will pay me $1,000.’

      You made a choice. I have to pay you $100, but you have to pay me $1000. You could have not signed any contract at all. You could have checked more closely to make sure that I wasnt going to do something so duplicitous. You could have questioned me more about the wording of the contract. It’s not my fault that you chose to sign, right?

      Except it is my fault. I tricked you. I gave you a choice, but I did not give you the full information necessary to make that choice.

      You can either pay me, or you can be angry at me for being a jerk, or you can challenge the validity of the second contract – and you would win, because the choice was based on deception, and you made your decision based on facts, some of which I had deliberately and maliciously hidden from you.

      • Shjade

        I’m just gonna stop you at “learned choice.”

        I said “choice.”

        If you want to argue it’s not a specific kind of choice, that’s fine, you do you. It WAS a choice, made with clearly-defined terms.

        Her expectation of what the class would do is irrelevant to the choice she made with the options she was given. Whether it would hold up in a court of law or whatever other arguments you’d like to make about its validity is also irrelevant.

  • Balthazar

    Just reminded me of that scene from man of steal.

    Rude trucker? Tie his car in a knot around a telephone pole.

  • Izo

    Let’s lay some science on this debate and why this teacher is… not a good teacher, y’all! 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tSqSMOyNFE

  • Tylikcat

    Oh, it totally could matter – the whole argument outline above is about perceived power imbalances. So in that case Alison’s physical power, her political power, and her whiteness don’t matter, but Gurwara’s positional power and gender do (also, his nefarious ability to play on Alison’s good nature – this one particularly amuses me, since Alison can pretty much end it whenever she decides to. Yup, done, having a terribly civil little chat with administration.)

    Honestly, I think it’s a pretty weak argument – but it’s really interesting what some people see as real or important power in a particular situation, versus insignificant power. (And I am saying this for all versions of power – I find the “It’s stupid to anger the superhero in your classroom,” arguments disturbing as well, if for somewhat different reasons.)

  • Timtombimbomb

    Allison should withdraw from the class, then attend anyway.

  • Peter

    Because he wins their discussion?

    • Izo

      How did he win their discussion? He even admits he did not disprove her axiom. A personal axiom cannot be disproven. And he certainly did not prove that her axiom is that of a tyrant.

  • Mitchell Lord

    …And now he’s a dick. I’d still come to his class, though. (That said…I’d also DROP the hell out of that class…FAST. Or, rather, since it’s the first day, Withdraw with no issues.)

  • Izo

    Her trying to see his side of it – being the better person (unsurprisingly) …. right before he twists the knife afterwards, utterly unnecessarily.

  • Chris

    The proper thing to do at this point is to make an appointment with the department head, for a conversation about what is and is not acceptable grading policy.

  • MisterTeatime

    … how in the living hell did we get from the end of the previous page to the start of this one? Did he just say “okay, sit down, I’m ready to actually teach” and Alison and Mr. Davenport magically stopped caring about everything he’d done beforehand?

  • Shjade

    Aw, you’re not a shit debater, friend. I didn’t mean for you to feel down. D:

    There’s nothing wrong with people disagreeing! And there’s nothing wrong with you for not convincing me to see things your way. I’m sure you’re still a super cool person. 😀

    *shares Oreos with*

    • VariableNature

      Thanks. 🙂