Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

“November Rain” in April

This might not be what you expected (though it was raining here the other day) but there is a Guns N’ Roses connection. Trust me.

Yesterday in one of my classes I was teaching the reduction of “and” in expressions like “cream and sugar”—“cream ‘n’ sugar” and “bread and butter” – “bread ‘n’ butter” from the textbook and thought I would come up with a few of my own: “rock ‘n’ roll” and “Guns N’ Roses.”

The activity, at least the way I was setting it up before the students had to do some choral repetition was going quite well until….

“Teacher, what is a Guns ‘n’ Roses?”

For now I would let the wrong question word and obvious subject/verb agreement errors slide. What I wasn’t going to let slide and what surprised me most was that in a class of 27 students, no one had ever heard of Guns N’ Roses.

Well, it’s been nearly fifteen years since the band was together. Back in the early 90s Guns N’ Roses ruled in Korea as far as a heavy metal/rock and roll favorite among university students—especially when Use Your Illusion I and II were released here. I can remember going to the Block Hof, this video bar in Shinch’on (near Yonsei University) and watching one Guns N’ Roses video after another back in 1993.

Now, it seemed that the band, at least for these students at Woosong, had been all but forgotten.

Hoping to jog their memories I mentioned a few songs like “November Rain” (that song still rocks as does the video!) but the students shook their heads. Now far from being a big fan of the band itself, I do like this song a lot and was surprised that no one had ever heard of this song.

“Sing us the song!”

Yeah, right.

One student thought that song was by The Beatles.

Like I said, I wasn’t going to let this—not ever hearing of the band—slide. I joked with the students and told them that their homework for next week is to listen to the song or watch the video. I’ll be curious to see, come next Tuesday in class, to see how many students will actually take me up on this.

1 Comment

  1. have all these people been living under a rock?

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