by Veronica Zolter
Fueled by a recent study showing that robo-graders’ test scoring ability rivals those provided by armies of angry adjuncts, the College of Dreamy Oaks has decided to launch its new freshman English program this fall, virtually people-free.
You read right. Or was that “you read right?” Past or present tense and such minor details won’t matter much any more. Unless the robots say so. The department of Robo-Rhetoric will feature one snappy new robot for each 25 freshmen, bringing artificial intelligence to the bright and shiny forefront at Dreamy Oaks.
“We are not just waiting for a brave new world, we are creating one,” said English department chair, Vinny Toro, the first ever to eliminate an entire department of people in favor of robots. “We don’t need to bring them coffee and donuts at our annual back-to-school boot camp. We will just carry Windex and a recharger.”
President Jonathan Jones, whose salary has increased precisely the amount gained by the firing of the entire Freshman English staff, applauds Toro’s innovative approach. “Robo-readers can do anything teachers did. Except drive from campus to campus. And organize. And write op-eds to try to shame us. Instead, our robots will be full-fledged members of the faculty. They will spit out assignments. They will grade them. They will even have their heads turn in complete 360 degree circles saying ‘warning! warning!’ when students text in class. I have never met a teacher able to do that. We have already ordered 40. Who knows? The department of Robo-Education or Robo-Finance may be next.”
The I.T. department did not wish to dampen the optimism of President Jones or Dr. Toro, but was a bit guarded in its assessment of the plans, especially since they were not consulted before a hefty campus check to the Intergalactic Takeover Institute was dropped off at an obscure post office box in a distant state.
“We will do our best to keep the robots in working order,” said Jane Jabber, I.T. manager. “We will put our best student assistants right on it as they really have a way with newfangled equipment. The rest of us will focus on inconspicuousness. We wouldn’t want to take attention from the president’s new baby, of course.”
High school valedictorian Anson Qwerty was recruited to Dreamy Oaks and plans to hack the robo-system over the summer, showing his superior I.T. skills. “No, I’m just kidding with you,” he said. “What I really hope to do is build a clone programmed to gloss over plagiarized papers. I’ll market it to students across the globe.”