By Josh Payong

HSSC—As if to compete with the Chemistry department’s purchase of their newest Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer, Grinnell’s prestigious English department has taken gargantuan strides in the pursuit of excellence in the written word through the purchase of schoolwide access to Grammarly Pro. Such a purchase was only made viable through the generous donation of local philanthropist Donal D. Roger, whose fortune stems from a long line of seafaring ‘merchants.’ 

“I always thought that there was One Piece missing from this already excellent department,” Roger reasons, polishing his hooked prosthetic hand, “and that was something that ensured that our outstanding students were to adhere to basic grammar.”

This addition to students’ and teachers’ academic repertoires has worked wonders on writing assignment pass rates at Grinnell. More importantly, it has significantly improved the College’s literacy rate, raising it from 35% to a whopping 52% – proving once again that Grinnell is worthy of its lofty prestige as the UC Berkeley of the Midmiddle. 

“I didn’t know that those funky symbols on the screen really meant anything,” confesses Marc Thwayne ‘24, eyes fixated on the Subway Surfers gameplay provided for attention retention during the interview. “I just thought those wacko professors needed some way to make their lectures entertaining.” 

In light of this revelation, Thwayne has started his own poetry club in Grinnell, named the ‘Ozymandias Fanclub.’ Because of the club’s exclusivity, however, it remains unknown whether Thwayne is putting his newfound literacy into use by referencing poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s magnum opus, or if his thrice weekly club sessions are simply an excuse to talk about Season 5, Episode 14 of acclaimed crime television series Breaking Bad.

Access to Grammarly Pro has also played a hand in improving academic integrity at Grinnell. “It’s relieving to not have to resort to my pirated version of GrammarLee Pro,” sighed Davie Johns ‘25, “I was on the verge of breaking down from the sheer guilt of using illegitimate software. Oh, and the absence of constant sex ad pop-ups and hackers threatening to leak my nudes is great too.” Johns has used his new Grammarly Pro membership to write advertising and captions for his pirate-themed Onlyfans page, which he hopes to one day put up in the Bucksbaum Museum of Art.

In contrast, some faculty members are pessimistic about what this portends for the future of the English department, especially in light of the increasingly imminent AI takeover. Professor Sheikh Spiers, who has been teaching in Grinnell for 32 years, exclaims, “Methinks job security at Grinnell hath hitherto nev’r declined to such an extent. Ye all art knaves if thou’st thinketh that this dastardly ‘Gram-her-lee Pro’ woulds’t spare thee! Prithee, rebel!” 

This passionate push-back against the automation of jobs harkens back to the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strike earlier this year. However, with professors finally being able to read their students’ previously unintelligible ramblings, one can expect that Grammarly Pro is here to stay.

In other news, the History department has made a massive acquisition of their own, purchasing the intellectual property rights to Vine and a vintage, mint-condition Nintendo DS to enrich their newest courses – HIS-369: Ancient Contemporary Media and HIS-378: TikTok and Influencer Studies. The same properties (namely the DS) are being used in a new major to be offered next fall, Pokémon Oppression & Optimization (POO), which centers around the ethics of Pokémon battling and how best to use them in a competitive scene. These invaluable assets were obtained via an auction after just barely outbidding famed history fanatic Yindee-Anna Jones for a staggering $2.9 billion: the remainder of the College’s endowment.

With their funds run dry, the English department is on the lookout for more sources of finance. Contribute to further improving it by clicking on this link.