Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Secret Lives of Bees, All About Steve & Sunshine Cleaning: Odd Occupations

These movies are great, especially The Secret Life of Bees. Sunshine Cleaning is unusual, but clever. All About Steve could be better, but it has great moments. I used these scenes to discuss strange or odd occupations. My students loved it.

I. Match the strange occupations below with what they do.

1. Breath odor evaluator

2. Diener

3. Ocularist

4. Beer tester

5. Dog sniffer

6. Safe cracker

7. Foley artist

( ) What they do: Odor judges smell nasty morning breath or breath “insulted” with strong scents, like garlic or coffee. They rate the breath on a scale from one to nine, one being the worst. To test odor-reducing products like gum or mouthwash, they smell the breath again and assign it a new rating.

( ) What they do: Prepare cadavers for the pathologist before autopsies are performed in hospitals.

( ) What they do: In short, they paint artificial eyes. It sounds easier than it is, since as with real eyes, no two are exactly the same.

( ) What they do: Taste – and spit out – beer all day to approve new and existing flavors.

( ) What they do: Once a week, they analyze the odor of dogs' breath to test the effect of the animals' diet on their teeth. Breath is graded on a scale of zero to 10 and is categorized as sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying.

( ) What they do: When combinations are lost or forgotten, they use their ears and fingers to open the safe.

( ) What they do: Use whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects in films, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors.

Answer key: They are in the correct order from 1 to 7

B. Talk about the following questions.

1. Which of the occupations above do you consider the oddest? Why?

2. Which one is the lost interesting?

3. Which one is the least interesting?

4. Rank the from the most to the least interesting occupations.

5. Talk about other odd occupations you know.

C. Watch the first segment from the movie Sunshine Cleaning and answer the questions.


1. What does she do for a living?

2. Describe what she has to do?

3. What's your opinion about this job?

4. What special equipment or clothes does she need for her profession?

5. What kind of personality and qualities does someone who does it for a living need must have?

D. Watch the segment from the movie The Secret Life of Bees and answer the same questions in exercise C.


E. Finally watch the segment from the movie All About Steve and answer the questions in Exercise C.


F. Wrap - Up - small groups

1. Which of the occupations from the segments is (justify your answers):

- the most interesting

- the most exciting

- the most dangerous

- the most boring

- the most stressing

- the most necessary




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