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I provided ChatGPT with the following prompt:
Take on the role of a talented writer of short stories such as George Saunders, Margaret Atwood, and William Sydney Porter. Write a humorous short story of no more than 1000 words about an absent-minded psychology professor teaching at a small, liberal arts institution of higher education in the Midwest. Include his three bright, playful, undergraduate student assistants. Also, include a title.

Title: The Absent-Minded Professor

Professor Jameson had a reputation for being absent-minded. He would often walk into his classroom and forget to bring his lecture notes. Once, he even left his car running in the parking lot for the entire day. But despite his forgetfulness, he was a beloved professor at the small liberal arts college in the Midwest where he taught psychology.

His three student assistants, Mandy, Tyler, and Kevin, found his forgetfulness both endearing and frustrating. They knew that they needed to keep him on track, or his lectures would quickly devolve into a series of anecdotes about his childhood pets.

One morning, the three assistants arrived early to set up for Professor Jameson’s lecture. They were busy arranging the chairs when they noticed that he had left his briefcase in the hallway. They quickly grabbed it and set it on his desk.

When the professor arrived, he walked straight to his desk and opened his briefcase. But instead of pulling out his lecture notes, he pulled out a bag of marshmallows.

“Ah, perfect,” he said, popping a marshmallow into his mouth. “I’ve been craving these all morning.”

Mandy, Tyler, and Kevin exchanged worried glances. They knew they had to act fast.

“Professor Jameson,” Mandy said, trying to sound casual, “aren’t you supposed to be lecturing right now?”

The professor looked up, his mouth full of marshmallow. “Lecturing? Oh, right. Of course.”

He hastily stuffed the bag of marshmallows back into his briefcase and pulled out a stack of notes. The three assistants breathed a sigh of relief.

The lecture began without incident, and the students listened attentively as Professor Jameson explained the nuances of behavioral psychology. But just as he was getting to the heart of his argument, he trailed off.

“Now, where was I?” he muttered.

Mandy, Tyler, and Kevin exchanged a knowing look. This was their cue.

“You were just discussing the principles of classical conditioning, Professor,” Tyler said, prompting him gently.

“Ah, yes. Thank you, Tyler,” the professor said, picking up where he had left off.

But the lecture was not over yet. Just as the professor was winding down, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a rubber chicken.

“Has anyone seen my pet chicken?” he asked, holding up the toy.

The students erupted into laughter, but Mandy, Tyler, and Kevin groaned in unison. They knew they were in for a long day.

As the lecture drew to a close, the three assistants huddled around the professor, reminding him of his other appointments and obligations.

“Right, right,” he said absentmindedly. “I’ll see you all next week.”

And with that, he disappeared into the hallway, leaving the three assistants to pack up the classroom and shake their heads in disbelief.

Despite his forgetfulness, the students loved Professor Jameson. They appreciated his playful spirit and his unique teaching style. And for Mandy, Tyler, and Kevin, the professor’s quirks were all part of the job.

As they walked out of the classroom, Tyler turned to the others and said, “Well, at least he didn’t forget his pants this time.”

The three of them burst out laughing, grateful for their absent-minded professor and the many laughs he brought into their lives.


  1. Who is the author?
  2. Should I use this tool?
  3. Was the story humorous?
  4. Would my using such a tool make me lazy?
  5. If I used such a tool, should I acknowledge its use?

So many questions. So much to learn.