Order, order!

Subha Das Mollick

sound-of-music When Sound of Music first released, I remember going to Odeon Cinema (in Delhi) with my family to enjoy the film. It turned out to be a perfect film for family viewing as everybody had something precious to take away from the film.

Many years later, when I watched Sound of Music after I entered the teaching profession, I realized that a teacher too has a lot to take away from the film. For me, the most important learning experience was how to win the confidence of a bunch of unruly, defiant children. Maria came to the Von Trap family as a governess for the seven children. She was informed that she was the 12th in the long line of governesses, her predecessor having lasted just for two hours.

So how did Maria win the hearts of the seven children? Let us take a close look at the scene when Maria introduces herself to the children.

MARIA: At ease. Now that there’s just us, would you please tell me all your names again and how old you are.
LIESL: I’m Liesl, I’m 16 years old and I don’t need a governess.
MARIA: I’m glad you told me, Liesl. We’ll just be good friends.
FREIDRICK: I’m Freidrick, I’m 14 years old and I’m impossible.
MARIA: Really, who told you that Freidrick?
FREIDRICK: Fräulein Josephine. Four governesses ago.
LOUISA: I’m Brigitta.
MARIA: You didn’t tell me how old you were Louisa.
BRIGITTA: I’m Brigitta, (pointing to Louisa), she’s Louisa, she’s 12 years old and I’m 10 and that is the ugliest dress I’ve ever seen.
KURT: Brigitta, you shouldn’t say that!
BRIGITTA: Why not? Don’t you think so?

The author is the secretary of Bichitra Pathshala, an organization that promotes learning with moving images. She is also an associate director at iLEAD Institute, Kolkata. She can be reached at subha.dasmollick@gmail.com.

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