Sunday, February 17, 2019

It's Less Dangerous

There are certain times when teaching is very gratifying. One such time was last Wednesday when I was teaching a group of students all in their early 20s. Essentially, the lesson was about the lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

I was trying to show the students how sophisticated the lyrics are, even if they don’t seem so initially.

When we got up to the chorus, I spent a lot of time on the first line: “With the lights out/It’s less dangerous.” I asked the students if they could imagine what this might mean.

And I was met with the sound of crickets.

No one had any clue what this line might mean. Remember, however, these are native German speakers trying to learn English, so it can be a little difficult. English is not their first language.

After about 30 seconds of nothingness -- no guesses, no hands raised, no nothing -- I felt compelled to give them a hint.

“How about sex?” I said. “Think about sex: ‘With the lights out/It’s less dangerous.'”

At nearly the exact time, all their faces lit up.

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