Automation

The cover story on the latest edition of Macalester Today, Mac’s alumni magazine, features Jim Dunn and Sam Ernst, executive producers and writers of SyFy Channel’s Haven. They’d previously written for The Dead Zone, which led to their current gig. All in all this is your typical alumni magazine success story, of course, but it’s always nice to know someone made good.

It says here that “they first met as computer-assigned roommates at Macalester in 1984…”–well, that caught my eye. I’ve written elsewhere today about the summer of 1981, but that note didn’t mention my summer job. After our little excursion to Fayette and other Upper Michigan places, my sister dropped me off in Saint Paul, where I spent the summer assigning freshmen to rooms. Since those rooms were shared, I made some effort to match folks by interest. I was afforded some slight help by preference cards, on which they may or may not have indicated favorite books, faith, musical interests, hobbies, expected major, home town, and similar information. Not much to go on, but I was double-checked by the admissions office, who occasionally vetoed a pairing. A few roomies later sought me out to thank me; no one cursed me to my face. All in all it was a fun summer. I’ve always claimed this was my favorite job.

Three years later, I gather, I’d been replaced by a computer. Hmmm.

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