I encourage my students to ask questions, but occasionally I wish they didn’t.
Over the years, I have developed a number of grammar worksheets based on pop songs, but my knowledge of pop songs is ummm not recent. One of the grammar points this week was irregular past verb forms. I have worksheets for past simple (based on Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence (1964) – I don’t remember that from the time; be nice!), and present simple v past simple (based on The Beatles’ Yesterday (1965) – ditto and Tony Christie’s I did what I did for Maria (1971) – possibly, but no. I presented those in class today and had some time left over.
A few days ago I came back into the classroom after a break and a student was playing Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night, which I didn’t know, but which obviously had something to do with past simple, so I played that. That student often asks questions, some of which are actually related to the lesson in progress. One part of the song says:
“Last Friday night
Yeah, we maxed our credit cards
And got kicked out of the bar
So we hit the boulevard”
She asked “What does ‘maxed our credit cards’ mean?” which has a reasonable explanation. The next lines are:
“Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a ménage à trois”.
I thought “Please don’t”, but then she did: “What does ‘Skinny dipping’ mean?”. I said “You don’t wan’t to know!”. She said “Yes, I do!”. I said “It means “We behaved very badly – that’s all I’m telling you”. She reached for her electronic dictionary and said “I really want to know”. I thought that such an informal expression might not be in her electronic dictionary, but apparently it was, because her eyes widened, and I said “I told you you didn’t want to know!”.
At least she didn’t ask about ‘streaking’ or ‘a ménage a trois’.
(By the way, she couldn’t figure out why the protagonist of I did what I did for Maria was so happy about it.)