My wife is German, and she is a great big nerd. Good-looking, but a nerd nonetheless. Specifically, she is a philosophy nerd; you know, the ones who are super smart but somehow fail to notice the gaping void where their post-college job opportunities should be? Luckily, my wife saw that disaster coming and rolled her love of philosophy into a second master’s degree, which allowed her to land an awesome job teaching philosophy to Gymnasium students here in Hannover, Germany. (To be fair, I’m a nerd too, but I’m more the Computer/Sci-Fi/Fantasy type. Also, I wear hoodies 24/7 because they’re the next best thing to a cloak of invisibility.)
As it turns out, my wife is not only freakishly passionate about philosophy, but she’s passionate about teaching it too. She spends countless hours after work preparing lessons and materials for her students, even though I keep telling her teenagers are nothing but a bunch of filthy, stinking ingrates who don’t deserve her extra efforts and we should totally be re-watching episodes of Firefly instead goddammit.
So one evening, after she’d spent over 2 hours making extra materials for her 10th graders, my wife said she would be teaching them about the subjects of death and dying. Personally, I would have loved to sit in on that class, but she wasn’t terribly excited about it. You see, her favorite topics come from the Classical Greek philosophers — Plato, in particular. She could talk about that fruity Grecian forever. (And she does — which is why I no longer ask anything about him unless I want to wipe my schedule clean for the rest of the day.)
Anyway, she went on to explain how the curriculum required her to discuss the larger, more general themes with her students first — like mortality — rather than diving straight into the specific works of the ancient philosophers. And she clarified this point in surprisingly graphic fashion:
“I would rather teach them about Plato, but you know how when you want to have sexy time, you don’t just stick it in — you need to have some foreplay first.”