11th English : The Singing Lesson
Unit 5.3 > The Singing Lesson
What are all the factors that influence our moods?
- unfulfillment of our ambition
- Lack of recognition
- being side-lined
How do you behave under the spells of different moods?
Under the spell of different moods, I remain absolutely calm. I never exhibit any trace of agitation or aggression. I ponder over the reasons that influence my moods and do not react on the spur of the moment. This keeps the situation under my control.
Do you think it is important not to be swayed away by every passing mood?
Yes, it is important to not be swayed away by every passing mood. We cannot judge a person or analyse a situation in a minute or two. By studying the circumstances under which we are made to respond madly, we can prevent our reactions. Postponing reaction is the best means of unnecessary flare-ups.
Suggest some ways by which we can maintain a calm temperament under all circumstances.
We must remember that all are not honest all the time. A character possesses both strengths and weaknesses. If we remember this we can understand the action or reaction of the people whom we come into contact with. A sense of empathy will make us maintain a calm temperament.
- baton – a thin stick used by a conductor of a music orchestra
- drawl – slow, lazy way of talking
- tangles – a confused mass, twisted
- grimace – expression of disgust on a person’s face
- accompaniments – music played to support an instrument, voice or group
- contralto – the lowest female voice
- forte – a musical tone played loudly
- crescendo – a gradual increase in the loudness of a sound
- aisle – a passage between rows of seats
- fiancé – a man to whom one is engaged to be married
- doleful – sorrowful
A. Based on your understanding of the story, answer the following questions in about 30 – 50 words each.
1. What was the knife that Miss Meadows carried with her?
Miss. Meadows carried with her sharp despair. The author calls it a knife.
2. What kind of relationship existed between Miss Meadows and the Science Mistress?
Miss Meadows was jealous of the Science Mistress. She hated the Science Mistress.
3. Why was Miss Meadows upset and dejected?
Miss meadows was upset and dejected because she had received a letter from her fiancé saying that he was not interested in marriage.
4. How would Miss Meadows usually treat Mary? How did her behaviour towards the girl change that day?
Miss Meadows would usually treat Mary affectionately. Miss Meadows totally ignored the flower Mary gave her that day.
5. Why had Miss Meadows chosen ‘A Lament’ as the lesson that particular day?
Miss Meadows had chosen ‘A Lament’ as the lesson that particular day because she was lamenting inside her heart.
6. What brought agony to the girls during the music lessons?
The attitude of Miss. Meadows and the way she made the girls repeat the lessons brought agony to the girls.
7. Bring out the substance of Basil’s letter to Miss. Meadows.
Basil thought that the marriage between Basil and Miss. Meadows would be a mistake. He thought that he was not for married life. Settling down in married life would be a disgust for him.
8. Why did Miss. Wyatt summon Miss. Meadows to her room?
There was a telegram for Miss Meadow. So Miss. Wyatt summoned Miss. Meadows to her room to give the telegram.
9. How did Miss. Meadows express her joy, when she returned to the music class?
Her attitude changed. She selected a different song ‘We come here today with Flowers o’er Laden, With Baskets of Fruit and Ribbons to boot. To-oo Congratulate.’
10. Briefly explain the cause of Miss. Meadows’ joy at the end.
In the beginning of the story Miss Meadows got a letter from her fiance, Basil that he was not willing to marry her. At the end of the story she received a telegram from him asking her not to pay attention to the previous letter. That was the cause of Miss Meadows’ joy at the end
Note the following words from the story. They all refer to different ways of walking. Find out their meanings and use each of them in meaningful sentences of your own. Refer a thesaurus and add a few more to the list.
a) trod – put your foot on something while walking
She trod casually on the green grass.
b) fluttered – move slightly like a bird
The little boy fluttered around the garden.
c) hurried – walked fast
As he was late, he hurried to the railway station.
walk with a slight jump
The girls skipped around the auditorium.
long step we make while walking
He strode towards the library.
The car sped along the highway.
walk at a relaxed pace
The children ambled along the meadows.
walk for pleasure
We spent the vacation rambling in the village.
go for a long walk
We will go hiking this Sunday and enjoy watching the birds.
walk in a slow relaxed way
The tourists are strolling along the garden.
walk in a formal group of people
The winning team will parade through the city tomorrow.
walk with difficulty
The old man hobbled across the road.
walk in a slow relaxed way
The leader sauntered by watching the arrangements.
walk slowly without lifting your feet
I shuffled across the hall to the podium.
to walk proudly
The winning captain strutted to the camera.
walk around a room especially because you are bored, anxious etc
He prowled the empty rooms of the house at night.
B. Complete the mind map given below and write a brief summary of the story in your own words.
A brief summary of the story
Miss Meadows was a music teacher of a school. She was walking towards the music class in despair. It hurt her like a sharp knife. With such a heavy heart she entered the music class. Mary, who was playing the piano as usual gave her a chrysanthemum flower. Normally she would accept it happily. But that day she did not reveal any happiness. The girls, who were ready to start the lesson, sensed that Miss Meadows was not in her usual mood. She selected the lesson ‘A Lament’ and asked them to sing without expression. As they were singing she thought of the unfortunate letter she had received from her finance, Basil. It said that he was not interested in marriage and it would be disgusting if he settled down in married life. The words were getting repeated in her mind. She asked the girls to repeat the lesson again and again. By the time she got a call from the Headmistress, Miss Wyatt. When she went to the Headmistress’ room she handed over a telegram to Miss Meadows. It was from her finance. It clearly asked her to forget the previous letter. She was very happy to receive the telegram and came back to the class in a happy mood. Now she selected a new lesson ‘We come here today with flowers o’er laden with baskets of fruit and ribbons to boot, and ‘Congratulate’.
C. Answer the following in a paragraph of about 150 words each.
1. Describe Miss Meadows mood before and after receiving the telegram. How did it affect the class?
Miss Meadows, music teacher – in despair – Mary playing the piano – girls sensed unhappiness – selected ‘A Lament’ – thought of letter – her fiance Basil – not for marriage – ‘A Lament’ repeated – got a call – headmistress – telegram from fiance – to forget previous letter – came back happily
Miss Meadows was a music teacher of a school. She was walking towards the music class in despair. It hurt her like a sharp knife. With such a heavy heart she entered the music class. Mary, who was playing the piano as usual gave her a chrysanthemum flower. Normally she would accept it happily. But that day she did not reveal any happiness. The girls who were ready to start the lesson sensed that Miss Meadows was not in her usual mood. She selected the lesson ‘A Lament’ and asked them to sing without expression. As they were singing she thought of the unfortunate letter she had received from her finance, Basil. It said that he was not interested in marriage and it would be disgust if he settled down in married life. The words were getting repeated in her mind. She asked the girls to repeat the lesson again and again. By the time she got a call from the Headmistress, Miss Wyatt. When she went to the Headmistress’ room she handed over a telegram to Miss Meadows. It was from her finance. It clearly asked her to forget the previous letter. She was very happy to receive the telegram and came back to the class in a happy mood. Now she selected a new lesson ‘We come here today with flowers o’er laden with baskets of fruit and ribbons to boot, and ‘Congratulate’.
2. ‘The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.’ Relate this to a real life experience you have had. Share your thoughts in class.
A good day for me is when I am alert the whole time. I am able to think and rationalize everything in front of me with ease, speak in the best of manner, write with a flair and complete my work on time, effectively and efficiently.
A bad day is when I
I’ve been trying to work on something and my own brain has been blocking me.
– I’ve had to spend a lot of time with people who I find are annoying
– I’ve been in physical discomfort – tired, sick, sunburnt, blisters, sore muscles
– I’ve been excessively lonely
– I’ve been inexplicably cranky
But the above said explanation depends on my attitude. The same thing may be annoying or satisfying depending on my attitude. So the day is with us and we make the day good or bad. One day I came to the class with my homework ready. But after reaching the class I found my work wrong. The bad day started and it was annoying. The whole night I had been working on it, but now it was a waste. I thought somehow something would work out for me. So I was brushing aside all my negative thoughts. Within half an hour there was an announcement in the public address system that all the students should assemble in the hall for an address by an eminent personality who visited the school that day. So we would show the assignment only the next day. So the day dawned fine for me.
3. You are busy getting ready for school. You receive a What’s App Message from your best friend, saying that he/she is very upset over the fight you had yesterday and doesn’t want to talk to you anymore. This distresses you as he/she sounds very firm. However, today is a big day at school with two tests lined up. What will be your state of mind? How will you handle this situation?
This situation will surely upset me. Anyway he is my best friend so I will hope that I could convince him that I feel sorry for what happened that day. Moreover there are tests, and all the students will be preparing for the tests including my friend. So I have sometime to talk to him. First I will talk about the test and his preparation and I will give my wishes to him for his performance in the test. He may not respond to me. But I will not get hurt because my only purpose is to talk him and ask his pardon if needed. I will wait for the tests to be over and then I will meet him separately and ask his pardon and try to explain to him the bad mood I had been in when we had the fight. I am sure I will convince him. After all, slow and steady wins the race.
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