Just a note: thank you to everyone who made it to the events. We raised enough money to build a school!  It’ll be in the Salavan Province, on Road No. 13 South.  We’re not going to torment the kids’ ability to learn phonetics by calling it The XKCD School, but we will be writing a dedication which will go on a plaque.  You guys made this happen — does anyone have any suggestions for what it should say?

Also, I’m currently happily hiding out for a while working on drawing and other projects, but I’ll hopefully be doing some less fundraise-y free signing events around Boston in the next month or two.  I’ll let you know once we have any places or dates!

230 replies on “School”

  1. Expanding on previous post:

    import Knowledge;

    public class School implements XKCD {


  2. It should be something about or from xkcd, have a puzzle or something in it, somehow include velociraptors, and be witty yet admirable all at the same time. And maybe put in a scavenger hunt with multiple easy cyphers or puzzles that increase in difficulty as one gets to the end, and the end should be a quote from Douglas Adams:

    “So long and thanks for all the fish”

    The school should be:

    The Monroe (In)Doctrine(ation) Institute
    or have some other acrostic as the name


  3. The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind, but, whatever you decide to do, do NOT use a number 3 pencil on a scantron test!


  4. Whatever the plaque says, make sure the math curriculum (I know I spelled that wrong) includes the material covered on the test in comic 135 (velociraptors)


  5. I like the import idea, but don’t you think it should be in Python?

    from knowledge import wisdom


  6. I think it should simply say:

    “I love this bakery.”

    You know, from the Discovery Channel comic. It would be entertaining to hear the students’ interpretations of its meaning once they learn English from the school!


  7. Just make sure they don’t have to go into the image properties just to see the alt-text on the plaque.


  8. You know, I thought about all the silly quotes – things like “Duck”, or about velociraptors, or all the fun stuff.

    But this is a school. It’s an important place. As much as the humor is appreciated and enjoyed, it ought to be something more… real.

    So, I think Randal’s quote from the picnic would be a perfect basis. It embodies not only the spirit and culture of XKCD but something more, that drive that pushes people to exceed limits.

    “Maybe wanting something does make it real.”


  9. Just want to say i agree with austin, maybe add “How high can you dream?” to it.

    Also my captcha is school


  10. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

    Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
    From John Stuart Mill’s essay “On Liberty”

    Considering that Laos is a communist dictatorship, I think the latter would be especially potent.


  11. No doubt this will be the coolest school in the whole world. Except possibly for the one near my hometown that has fire escape slides.


  12. Bravo Austin! But hhomour and inspiration are not mutually exclusive. Examples: Elizabeth’s (To lear math and languge…) and xkcd itself.


  13. Bravo Austin! But humour and inspiration are not mutually exclusive. Examples: Elizabeth?s (To lear math and languge?) and xkcd itself.


  14. There was this quote that remains stuck in my head… Even if it’s too long, I thought it still was interesting:

    “Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her school life is something like this: “You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself – educating your own judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.”

    – Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook [ ]


  15. I say embed a screen in the plaque and rickroll everybody who looks at it…


  16. Too many people have the idea of associating xkcd with the school. The purpose of a school is for learning, especially in a region where education can make a huge difference for the future of society. Chances are that most of them will never be able to read xkcd in their lives.


  17. My vote:
    “The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind”


  18. please please please come visit Brattleboro, VT. It’s an awesome town and I don’t have a car (or brochasaurous) to stalk you to boston yet.


  19. All in all, it really comes down to two in my opinion:
    “The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind” or
    “Maybe wanting something does make it real.”
    Humour probably doesn’t translate well, and getting an education is a major oppurtunity in that part of the world. Both of these inspiring, original quotes would fit nicely.
    And the joke should be in the alt-text.


  20. The text should be

    To the power of the internet, it made your school, it made your lives, and most of you snobs have never gone without it.


  21. First, I just heard about this and I think it’s amazing what you all have done.

    As for the dedication, my vote goes for either “Maybe wanting something does make it real” or “The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind”. Those two really sum things up the best. I’d be happy to see either one of them make it on the plaque.


  22. “The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind” or
    “Maybe wanting something does make it real.” get my vote too.

    Nice, serious… and if they ever do get the rare opportunity to google that motto one day, the second one links pretty directly to XKCD. Which’d be a nice subtle little alt-text for the fellow lucky enough to do it…


  23. Every great mind, in the history of this world, once walked through doors just like these


  24. It should have the kayak guy on it and say “Come explore the future with me!”

    and at the bottom it should say “XKCD (DNE)”

    thats my ideas. take what you want from it.


  25. Gotta be:

    “A million people may call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them.”

    Or something by Sagan:
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. ”

    Or the other suggestion: “Maybe wanting something does make it real.” is also lovely.


  26. “Come explore the future with us.”
    -xkcd 209

    “e^(i*pi) – 1 = 0”

    xkcd 212

    “Truly, this was the language from which God wrought the Universe.”

    xkcd 224

    “[School-name] is an an awesome ass-school”

    xkcd 37 (kinda)

    “The past is just practice.”

    xkcd 24


  27. > “e^(i*pi) – 1 = 0?
    Euler is rolling over in his grave. Didn’t you mean
    “e^(i*0) – 1 = 0?


  28. “The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind”
    is the best.

    i hate “maybe wanting something does make it real,” one because of the element of doubt it holds. keep it positive. also, the first one is related to education .


  29. I think you should put these two together on it:

    “Maybe wanting something does make it real.”
    “Come explore the future with us.”

    School=Dream -> Reality


  30. I prefer “Come explore the future with us!” , “The infinite possibilites each day holds should stagger the mind” and “Maybe wanting something enough does make it real.” The main text should be something serious and inspirational.

    But the plaque definetly needs alt-text too and I think it’s the perfect place to add a silly joke. Ideas:

    “Just watch out for velociraptors”

    “import knowledge;”

    “Holy crap, it’s the 21st century!”

    “[Citation needed]”

    “F1rst p0st!!!”

    “Never gonna give you up!”


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