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♫ Berthe: ♫She's a headache♫ Margaretta: ♫She's an angel♫ Reverend Mother: ♫She's a girl♫ All 6: ♫How do you solve a problem like Maria? All 6: ♫Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her♫ ♫Many a thing she ought to understand♫ Reverend Mother: ♫But how do you make her stay? ♫ Margaretta: ♫How do you keep a wave upon the sand?♫ All 6: ♫Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
Rather, she came across as warm and winning, possibly the absent sister I had never had, or maybe a fictional representation of that special fun aunt who singled you out for privileged attention and mutually shared secrets.
Whoever, or whatever, Julie Andrews’s Maria von Poppins stood for, I knew I liked her and felt invigorated by the thought of her summoning me to sing, inviting me to dance.
Berthe: She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee ♫Her dress has got a tear♫ Sophia: ♫She waltzes on her way to Mass♫ ♫And whistles on the stair♫ Berthe: ♫And underneath her wimple♫ ♫She has curlers in her hair♫ Catherine: ♫I even heard her singing in the abbey♫ Agatha: ♫She's always late for chapel♫ Sophia: ♫But her penitence is real♫ Berthe: ♫She's always late for everything♫ Catherine: ♫Except for every meal♫ Berthe: ♫I hate to have to say it♫ ♫But I very firmly feel♫ Catherine, Sophia, and Agatha join with Berthe: ♫Maria's not an asset to the abbey♫ Margaretta: ♫I'd like to say a word in her behalf♫ Reverend Mother: Then say it, Sister Margaretta.
Margaretta: ♫Maria makes me laugh♫ (Catherine, Sophia, and Agatha giggle as well) Reverend Mother: ♫How do you solve a problem like Maria? ♫ Margaretta: ♫How do you find the word that means Maria?
The school librarian, Mrs Dray, had already recommended P. Travers’s Mary Poppins books, most of which I would ‘sneak-read’ each morning in bed an hour or so before Matron would come through the dormitory, ringing the 6.00 a.m. In such surroundings, both Mary Poppins and, later, Julie Andrews’s incarnation of her in the Walt Disney film version, proved to be beacons of light at the end of a fairly dark experiential tunnel.
Meanwhile, at school choir, we were being taught to warble both ‘Do-Re-Mi’ and the title song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein score to .
She'd outpester any pest Drive a hornet from its nest She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl She is gentle!
Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her Many a thing she ought to understand But how do you make her stay And listen to all you say How do you keep a wave upon the sand Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
Typically, we will prefer one over others but we often use many or all of these methods. Just because Maria is on the other side of the conflict, she’s not all bad.
But, if your preferred method doesn’t seem to be working for you with the Marias in your life, the beauty of this is that you can learn to take another approach with Maria. A good friend in the counseling profession once told me, “If you’re not having conflict, you’re not growing.” I’d like to extend a special thanks to Sarah Bush, Doctoral Candidate in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agriculture, Leadership and Community Education for introducing us to the Thomas-Kilman Instrument and sharing her expertise!