Remember The Titans

Our search for the perfect presentation took up the better part of the time we had in making it. The brainstorming sessions though, were worth the while for us. After much deliberation on role plays, rote speeches and standard PowerPoint presentations, the group was unanimous in its approval of using the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ to exemplify the stages in Group Development. The convincing done by those of us who had watched the movie, needed to be transferred to the other members, more keen on more popular clips from the ilk of ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven’. After we had all sat though the movie though, and watched the team’s efforts thorough to the final victory, it was evident that this was to be our undisputed choice.

The movie is based on actual events that took place in 1971; where a white southern high school is integrated with black (politically incorrect as the word may be today, we use it in our elaboration of th events in context) students from a nearby school. Both schools are recognized for their football programs, which are now unified. The black coach is chosen to be the head coach of the integrated team, leaving the previous white head coach with feelings of animosity at having to be an assistant under a black man. The team ‘Titans’, as they called themselves, after several initial hiccups, went on to win the final championship.

After seeing everybody’s reaction Alok, who was the original proponent of the movie, was kind of relived. It had all started with Siddhartha’s desire to break the mould from the standard role play for our group presentation. At about midnight, after the final selection and a quick splurge at the night mess, we returned to the room well aware that we would have to struggle to make it though the night. Everybody has watched Ocean’s Eleven before which has lot of scope for explanation of group development. The final choice of ‘Remember the Titans’ meant that we were working with a movie unfamiliar to most of us, and the cutting of the scenes and deliberation on which clips best represented each particular stage, was thus painstaking. For the first time though, the group, like any good task force, worked together as a cohesive unit with newfound enthusiasm in spite of droopy eyes and aching backs. "The last refuge of the insomniac” as Cohen said, “is a sense of superiority to the sleeping world.”

With all of us working together at peak potential, by sunrise our presentation promised to be better than any we had done so far, or hoped the others would be able to pull off. The success of our presentation, we had a warm feeling, was unquestionable, and barring extrinsic faults, it was only the degree of success that depended on our ability to inspire the class with our energy, which, though an ebb from the sleepless night, with intermittent large doses of caffeine. The greatest joy we had was that the effort was worth the while and we were looking forward to the results. While, the results may not always contribute to one’s satisfaction, it is the belief that one has put in one’s best that is instrumental in giving one that little extra bounce in one’s step. All the same, one cannot underestimate the importance of results. If the effort is in baking the cake, results are icing. Today, we were all set to bake our cake and eat it too.

The final reaction of the class to our presentation was a wet blanket, to say the least. Stoic, and with forced smile on our faces, we gave dirty looks to the incumbents who gave us measly sevens and eights while they generously doled out nines and nine-point-fives to the nth role-play between boss and subordinate. The icing was missing, and our cake ad fallen flat. Which is where we learnt our most important lesson. The joy of baking cannot be robbed, but the next time on, we’d do our damndest to get the best icing too.

Top 5 Movies
Alok DDLJ, Schindler’s List, Pyaasa, Casablanca, Akele Hum Aele Tum
Animesh Forrest Gump, Ants in the Pants, No Man’s Land, Devil’s Advocate, Transporter
Anshul The Pianist, Life is Beautiful, A Beautiful Mind, Taxi Driver, Notting Hill
Gurpreet Scent of a Women, Anand, A Beautiful Mind, Sholay, Ben-Hur
Siddhartha Cinema Paradiso, Forrest Gump, Woodstock (The Documentary), Dances with Wolves, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi