I don’t know so much about the pleasure of being bad without hiding it. A while ago I began to feel, that this was an essential part of me, that was waiting to be discovered. The sensation was growing stronger, day by day, though I didn’t know how to approach the subject. I mean, you cannot just leave your house, desperately trying to be bad and not feel bad about it, being in your forties.
I know how to play according to the rules. I know what it means to make a lot of effort to be a good person. I know what it means to be a fair teacher. Usually a teacher for personal development, sometimes a German teacher.
I do also know, that whenever you really want to learn about something, life provides you with opportunities. My chance showed up in the last class of an intensive German course.
We played a game. Day 16 of 16. Two students and I. We would play in order to practice the declination of adjectives in the third and fourth case, the most demanding thing out of everything, that we had been studying over the last four weeks.
First round. A board game, where luck decides the winner. The winner was Alex.
The plan was to play the game once and then continue with other stuff. But the fact is, that I hate to lose. It’s a weakness that people who know me well know about me. It is one of the things that I would like to be different. I would love to be a person that is okay with losing , who doesn’t feel bitter, left out, powerless and full of the need to get revenge. I find it embarrassing to be like this and usually I try to hide my emotions, which usually doesn’t work so well either.
At this moment something clicked and I heard myself saying:
“Now we are going to repeat the game and I will change the rules, because I want to win. From now on you will have to go back one square each time you make a mistake. This will make sure that I will win because I am the teacher and I am a native, and this means that I won’t make a mistake. “
I suppose, I had this delighted smile on my face, because I felt true joy and couldn’t wait to start playing again.
They stared at me and were not sure, if I was serious, but then followed my instructions.
The level of concentration was tremendous. They gave everything. Part of the game was to invent phrases. Alex asked me for the word “cruel” in German. The word is “grausam”. He chose the sentence “I know a cruel woman. “He had to decline the world “grausam” after deciding which case was needed for the word “Frau”. He said the sentence without the tiniest mistake and looked at me, leaving no doubt which woman he was talking about.
We laughed a lot.
In the end I won because of luck. They hadn’t made one mistake in the entire game and I was so proud of them. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to the course.
I am still smiling whenever I think of this class.
This naughty smile inside is worth any trouble. It asks for more fun, for further breaking of rules, for more weird behavior and more laughter. It isn’t afraid of embarrassment and it doesn’t take anything too seriously. It is contagious though.
So what about you? What would awaken the naughty smile in your heart? Which rules in your personal life need to be bent or broken? What is the small, naughty thing, that you will do today?