Ode to Robo-Teachers

robot-teacherOh Robo-teachers,
Of the 22nd century,
Why can’t you be here now,
To stand in the middle of all classrooms,
Your heads projecting holograms
Of the Battle of Dieppe,
Your auto-synthesizers making dimethyl sulfide and decenal,
So students could have their hearts throbbing,
And rising to their throats
While they smell and taste
The blend of sea and blood.

Unlike a few old fogeys,
Who challenged students to imagine
And did not make schools and districts spend,
You allow them to open hidden wallets
And are the darling of peddlers.

If students persistently long for fresh air
Or get consistently gloomy,
You act as an onsite pharmacy,
And flawlessly dispense colored capsules of mind-altering matter,
Keeping them content and wired.

Under your techno-umbrella,
Students need no books or memory of facts;
Ever-connected to Googleplex,
You track all the flux of changing answers,
And the intravenous flow of ephemeral information
Takes away their appetite for solid concepts.

Robo-teachers, darling of disguised austerity,
You need no salary or time to reflect.
Having no life or wife,
You recharge wirelessly after school,
Running extracurricular activities,
Hours after sunset,
Whose aesthetics to you and your subjects
Are a meaningless distraction.

You never argue or question
The interests of bureaucrats and technocrats
Who control and program you.
Having already escaped from students,
Your owners love your presence
Over that of flawed,
Whiny, flesh and blood teachers.

When your electronics are no longer compatible,
With the latest updates,
You will not be in need
Of staged farewells
Or a pension package.
They will simply add you
To the Himalaya-sized dump
Of planned obsolescence.

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