By: Jimmy Christmas

BLOOMINGTON, IN: Last Tuesday, a Tuesday like any other, Professor Thompson braced himself and asked a question to his lecture students. It was a simple question, one he had answered just one slide ago, however, all Thompson saw was a saw of dead eyes and empty faces. Thompson then attempted to take back the power telling the class that they would all “just sit in silence until someone decided to give an answer.”

Needless to say, the silence during the remaining 55 minutes of class were excruciating. This was the last straw for Thompson.

The class met again earlier this week and Thompson was in a much better mood.

Thompson then asked the students what they thought of the reading. A few moments of silence went by, but instead of making eye contact with each student, begging them, daring them to respond, Thompson reached into his bag and pulled out an Amazon Alexa.

“Hey Alexa, what did you think of the reading?” Thompson said.

“I thought it was 3 pages long with 23,762 characters, not including spaces.” Alexa said.

“That’s true” responded Thompson as he climbed down and gently placed Alexa into one of the front row seats of the lecture hall, “but I want you all to read deeper than just on the surface level.” Thompson said.

Students were rightfully concerned as most believed Thompson had lost it.

“After hearing the way he talks to it for a whole class it’s kind of hard not to think he’s gone insane.” Kenny Smith, one of Thompson’s students, said.

Despite Alexa’s AI being nowhere near capable to handle the kind of questions, it’s asked. Thompson continues to treat Alexa like a real student.

“Hey, Alexa, What do you think the author is trying to convey in the poem?” Thompson said.

“I just checked, you have no new messages in your inbox,” Alexa said.

“Yeah, Alexa’s responses rarely ever line-up with what I’m talking about but at least she answers me.” Thompson told Flipside.

Alexa has easily become one of professor Thompson’s top students despite having only been in the class for two weeks.

“Alexa actually is setting the curve for participation points this semester by a long shot. She’s doing so well!”

However, not everyone is as excited about the “new student” as professor Thompson.

“Since professor Thompson lost it and started saying that Alexa was a student in the class. My participation grade has dropped 60%. Because of that tiny trash can I have to retake this class next semester.” Jane Janson, another student of Thompsons, said.

Students’ disapproval notwithstanding, Thompson’s idea is catching on and the entire Ecomocics department has decided to purchase a Google Home for every classroom.

Professor James of Introduction to Micro was hesitant at first saying, “I thought the whole thing would look insane but after 3 consecutive class periods of silence I’m willing to try anything to fill that crippling awkward void.”