Why Are Students at an Educators’ Conference?

Link To Today’s Strip

It’s a very good thing the side of the room on Becky’s right wasn’t already crowded. It would have been very awkward for her to have to point in the other direction.

I had to think about this for several seconds before I realized there wasn’t anymore of a joke to this then the “young people are morons” beat that Batiuk’s been hitting over and over for years now. Although it really is Becky’s fault, since she’s telling them to wait “here” and pointing right in front of the door, apparently.

Also, why is the welcome sign on the inside, so people will only see it when they leave? It’s amazing how often Batiuk does that kind of thing, like having classroom numbers taped to the insides of doors.


Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

31 responses to “Why Are Students at an Educators’ Conference?

  1. William Thompson

    Welcome to the OMEA Super-Spreader Event! And this is the first time anything about Batiuk’s enablers has ever been called “Super.”

  2. William Thompson

    “Wait here!” Becky says, immediately blocking most of her students. As usual she has the situation well in hand.

  3. Banana Jr. 6000

    You can’t get in? The goddam doors are hanging wide open! There’s plenty of room! Why does Becky, an experienced band director, not know how to create enough space for a party of 25 students? Why does she expect students to take initiative when she just gave them a 47-page list of rules to follow? What is Becky even telling them to do? First she says “wait here” while pointing somewhere else, and then “wait over there instead” while pointing at the same place. Why are newspapers still devoting space to this incoherent shitshow?

    • Saturnino

      “Why does she expect students to take initiative when she just gave them a 47-page list of rules to follow?”

      And “Wait Here” probably wasn’t on the list, even if there was a “Plan B.”

    • Mr. A

      Even if we were to agree that this problem was caused by the students’ stupidity, and not Becky’s misdirection…it still wouldn’t be funny. It’s too low-key. You need to take it up to absurd levels, e.g. they don’t move even when there’s a big disaster and everyone else is stampeding out of the building:

      – “She told us to wait here, and that’s just what we’re going to do!”
      – “But there’s a bomb threat! And we’ve already been standing here for five hours! I think maybe she forgot about us…”
      – “Do you want to get us in trouble? What part of WAIT HERE do you not understand?”

  4. Epicus Doomus

    “Wait here, I’ll wave you over when…uh, check that. I’ll nod instead.”

  5. billytheskink

    This is the pose they will use when they build Lefty’s statue.

  6. Hitorque

    1. Why the hell are students there, unless they’re being honored or something?

    2. Why isn’t this conference virtual? The reality of Covid has to reach Northwest Ohio sooner or later.

    3. Judging by the lobby, I presume Westview High is either very early, very late, or arrived at the wrong venue…

    4. So instead of getting hotel rooms for a three-day conference, Westview goes straight to the convention center? Are they driving to and from the conference all three days?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well, I was a band geek in Ohio and I do remember some of our different ensembles playing at the conference…but it was only when it was held in Cleveland. We did not travel 2 hours by bus to Columbus for the event.

      Typically, only local groups would be honored but maybe that has changed.

      Still, I doubt they are having an actual event this year.

  7. Gerard Plourde

    The theme of this installment isn’t “today’s kids are morons”. It’s more accurately “Becky would louse up a one car funeral”. No wonder Dinkle still has to show up at Westview.

    There is one skill TomBa has mastered – the glacially moving plot. I guess we should be happy that we didn’t have three days spent on the bus ride. (Unless that’s being saved for the return trip.)

  8. Lord Flatulence

    No, the kids are just following orders. Becky’s the moron.

  9. Jimmy

    This strip is confusing as all get out. She seems to be blocking the entrance in one crowded panel, then everything is opened up.

    Nonetheless, I can relate to the tenor of the strip. Last year, I taught middle school (grades 6-8) and was dreading taking my extracurricular students to the state conference (I used to do risk management, so I was concerned for the worst). As we were waiting for the charter bus to come, the district rep pulled up and said everything was cancelled because of the virus. On Friday, March 13, 2020.

    You can’t convince me Friday the 13th is unlucky.

  10. Hank Grim


  11. Charles

    Come on in so I can abandon you all to mill about aimlessly while I spend the rest of the week standing around looking at things Dinkle comments on!

  12. Banana Jr. 6000

    Seriously, what the hell does “the here that’s over there” mean? Is she trying to say “your other right”? Bear in mind this is a one-armed person who may not be able to point where they want to. I honestly have no idea where she wants the students to go. Or how this is going to solve the problem of some students not being able to enter – ignoring for the moment that the strip’s visuals show no apparent obstacle.

  13. Gerard Plourde

    And enough already with the pinned-up sleeve. Becky lost her arm decades ago. The excess material could be removed by a tailor (either one employed by the store or by an independent shop). And was the accident so severe that it required amputation at the shoulder?

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Yeah totally annoying and out of place.

      Another remnant of a bad story. Of course she had to lose her arm, the misery factor is increased and then Batty can tell the NYT that he proudly has a handicapped person in his strip.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        Tom Batiuk loves his fetish objects. Becky’s armless sleeve; Bull’s football helmet after he died in it; every place and object pertaining to Lisa. All of these are prominently displayed at every possible opportunity.

        There’s also the flashbacks to some past moment of severe injury, like Funky’s car crash, or that woman that Cayla beaned with the softball. It’s the only time Batiuk adheres to the “show don’t tell” principle of storytelling. Because he loves showing you death, pain, and injury. Everything else he stuffs into a word balloon.

        For all the death and misery that happens in Funky Winkerbean, the strip spends little time actually addressing it. Instead we get the injury shown off from many different angles, and uninjured people (especially Les) endlessly talking through their feelings about it.

    • You beat me to it. I (and all the world) know Becky lost her right arm. Even if she can’t afford to have her clothing tailored (something I find hard to believe), she can pin the right arm of her coats INTO the pockets of the coats. Instead, she and TB celebrate her amputation and that is so sad.

    • billytheskink

      I’m sure the total arm amputation was done simply to set up this BIG REVEAL. And he’s stuck with it ever since to remind everyone (specifically the folks who give out awards) of this BIG REVEAL.

      • Banana Jr. 6000

        And this is the other driving force behind Batiuk’s fetishism, and disinterest in exploring a story: it’s because he can’t write for shit.

        This is an 18-year-old girl who’s been disfigured for life, lost her scholarship to a prestigious school, lost her ability to pursue her talent, lost the ability to do basic tasks like tie shoes, and all she has to say is “I don’t blame him.” Why the hell not? Wally was 100% to blame for it, and is both sue-able and prosecutable. Ditto the doctors who gave Dead Lisa the wrong diagnosis. Luann gets madder than this over a zit.

        But an honest reaction would require Becky to have an emotion, and possibly a conflict with another character, which this world absolutely cannot tolerate. Only designated villains and faceless walk-ons can ever be the bad guy. So everybody just rolls their eyes and gets on with something more important, like wangsting. There is no anger, no acceptance, no coping, no overcoming, no nothing. Instead, we get fetish objects. They represent suffering without actually being it.

        Batiuk can’t even set up a shocking reveal right. The pizza clerk in just looks bored to see Becky’s stump revealed in panel two.

  14. Wow, the artwork in this one hits a new low. How long did this take Ayers to draw, 20 seconds?

  15. Count of Tower Grove

    “We can’t get in.”
    “Nobody told us we have to pay admission.”

  16. Dood

    “Somebody’s gotta go back and get a shitload of dimes!”

  17. Marmaduke Is A Dog, Do You Get The Joke

    Longtime lurker, first time poster!

    I have to break my silence to confirm that OMEA always serves as a performance space for students. I grew up in Cleveland and I believe both band and choir kids would travel there every year; my brother did both and he performed at OMEA multiple times. It was considered an annual event just like regionals.

    Of all the details Batiuk gets wrong, this ain’t one of them.

    • Banana Jr. 6000

      Welcome. The OMEA website confirms what you’re saying:


      There are a lot of performing groups, actually about 25. Mostly high schools, but some colleges, community bands, and the “President’s Own” military bands.

      Which could actually be interesting, but Batiuk doesn’t incorporate it into the story. Or even explain why the kids are going to the convention. He loves to write about the Ohio Music Educators Conference, but he has absolutely nothing to say about it.

      • Mela

        Thank you everyone who explained the OMEA does feature have performing groups (except for most likely this year)-that’s fabulous for those bands! I stand corrected-there is a reason for them all to attend. My knowledge of the OMEA is limited to the strip, which I don’t believe has ever shown Becky/Dinkle dong anything besides walking around quipping.

  18. bayoustu

    That vintage strip billytheskink posted is especially infuriating: not only is Becky’s sleeve PINNED TO HER BREAST, but there’s also a couple wiggle lines in case you missed it! Subtle as a flying mallet…

  19. robertodobbs

    I’ve read the strip maybe 10 times and I can’t even begin to “get it.” What is the joke? Is this a Zen koan?