sleep with

I slept with one of my students.
I slept. With one of my students.

The trains in Sydney are subject to occasional trackwork: the shutting down of all or some of a line for planned maintenance, theoretically to prevent unplanned failures. Buses take passengers from station to station in various configurations. Sometimes they take passengers from one major suburban station to another, where the passengers rejoin trains. Sometimes, when the whole line is shut down, they take passengers directly to the city. Today I caught a bus from my major suburban station to the city. Because most of the route is on an orbital motorway, it was actually quicker than the train it replaced, but I managed to doze off.

In the afternoon, I walked to where the return bus was leaving from (coincidentally in front of the office where I do my weekday job). There was a long line of people waiting, so I was one of the last people onto that bus. One of the last spare seats just happened to be next to … one of my students, who’d been waiting ahead of me in the line (I hadn’t seen him as I’d walked past). I sat down, asked where he lives, then explained I was very tired, so I might sleep rather than talk to him. And I was out like a light and woke up just as the bus was coming into my suburban station.

So I slept … with one of my students.

The reason there is any ambiguity here is that sleep with has a second meaning. It wouldn’t matter if I had spent the journey talking with a student or talking … with a student. But it is possible to sleep … with someone without sleeping with … them, and to sleep with … someone without sleeping … with them.

Some years ago just before a public holiday long weekend, I asked students what they were planning to do on the holiday. I then said to the first student in each pair “Just for practice, invite (the second student) to (eg go to the beach) with you”. Just for practice, the second student would either agree, or make an excuse or counter-suggestion. One student said they were going to sleep on the holiday. I said “Invite (the second student) to sleep … … … with you”.

If I ever do sleep with … one of my students, I’m not going to tell you here, even on a mostly anonymous blog. For the record, I have never slept with … any of my students.


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