Full Potential of Students

Full potential of students

xkcd – Full Potential of Students – By Randall Munroe – http://xkcd.com


  • Box 1: When teachers complain, “You’re not working at your full potential!” (BOOM)
  • Box 2: Don’t take it too hard.
  • Box 3: They complain way more when you do [work at your full potential].
    • It’s headed this way!
    • Somebody stop him!


  • complain (v.) /kəmˈpleɪn/  to say that something is wrong or that you are annoyed about something
  • Potential (n.) /pəˈtenʃəl/ qualities or abilities that may develop and allow someone or something to succeed
  • You’re not working at your full potential = you could do better.
  • Don’t take it too hard = don’t be too affected by it / don’t take it too seriously
  • way (adv.) /weɪ/ (informal) here; a lot more; used to emphasize how extreme something is
  • It’s headed this way = it’s coming this way.


  • The underlying idea of this comic strip is that students have a lot of potential, are very creative, and can achieve many things; while at the same time, teachers complain that students don’t do what they are asked to do. In this regard, this comic strip also makes criticizes the educational system where students should follow only what their teachers say.

Language Feature

  • Way as an adverb
    • Notice the use of way in box 3 (with the meaning of “a lot”). Here, way is used as an adverb as emphasis. This use of informal, but it quite common in oral English. Here are some other examples:
      • This is way too easy/difficult.
      • It’s way too hot to go running now.
      • Waking up at 6 am is way too early for me!

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