Google Publication Snitches on Students

The Mute is an annual edition of The Voice with satirical articles in honor of April Fools’ Day.

Huskerville High School students are in an uproar over a recently published manual by Google titled “Helpful Hints for Teaching in a Pandemic.” The manual includes a section that can accurately be called an exposé on what students are really doing when sitting at their desks or lying in their beds supposedly attending class in a Google Meet. Many teachers were completely unaware that many of their hybrid students were not listening to a word they said. “I was shocked,” said teacher Marion Kluliss. “I had no idea that many of my students were watching reruns of “Friends” while I was reading passages of “The Scarlet Letter.”  The inability to goof off has angered many students who firmly believe it is their inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  “I learn more important skills playing “Fortnite” than reading irrelevant literature from yesteryear,” said junior Drexet Davis. “It’s a ludicrous and paradoxical assumption that reading stodgy narratives of a world long gone can assist today’s youth in facing modernity’s conundrum as to how to live and cope in an existential crisis.”

The Google manual has received positive reviews from many teachers. Many love the section that translates stock student responses.  For example, “Can you repeat the question?” means “I have no idea what you are talking about, I was doing my math homework.”  “My camera isn’t working” means “I’m in bed and plan to fall asleep as soon as you forget I’m here.”  Many teachers have benefited from such insights and have instituted Draconian measures to keep students engaged, such as an unexpected blasting of obscure songs from the 60s like “These Boots Are Made for Walking” and “So Happy Together.”  Other teachers are cool with viewing a screen of digital foreheads and bedroom ceilings.  After all, teachers don’t get a full view of masked students sitting before them. “We never want teachers to know our little tricks,” said senior Sylvie Johnsey, “but wanting us to be present and engaged means they care and that’s a good thing.”