Yesterday, I started the class by telling my students the following:
“The mini-quiz we are writing today will be very hard. But the good news is that, to reward ourselves for the hard work we have been doing, we will spend next week watching a movie.”
The reaction of the students can best be described as a mini-riot. I never have any problems establishing and maintaining discipline but this time I just couldn’t get them to calm down and start preparing for the quiz.
For almost 15 minutes, we maintained the following conversation.
“Will there be nudity in the movie?”
“Because I had a prof who showed us a movie with nudity.”
“And my prof showed us a movie with full frontal nudity.”
“And I had the worst prof ever! She showed us a movie with full frontal male nudity.”
“Guys, there is no nudity in the movie we will see next week. I promise. None whatsoever. So let’s just settle down and start preparing for the mini-quiz.”
“Are you sure there is no nudity? Or sexual scenes?”
“Yes, I’m very sure. Now let’s go over the conjugations of. . .”
“Because it is stressful to sit there in class and watch sex flicks!”
“Yes! I’m so over that, too!”
“Guys, I promise, no sex flicks are scheduled in this course. Now, back to the conjugations. . .”
“I just think it’s wrong to make people see nudity for a grade!”
And thus it went on.
As an example of a sex flick they saw in class, students named Motorcycle Diaries. I watched this film several years ago and it struck me as anything but erotic. I don’t even remember if there was any nudity there.
This wasn’t a regular discussion of the kind that I always have with students. I described it as a mini-riot at the beginning of the post because it was loud and very highly charged emotionally.
As a result, I have had the very first old-age discussion of the “Kids today!” variety. When I told N. about this, we spent a while talking about how “in our times, kids this age wanted nothing more than look at some nudity for a grade.”
And this is how I became a “when I was your age, things were different” person.