Friday, October 06, 2006

Flower power: blast from the past

As an academic adviser for 1,000 English majors in my university, I'm kept busy.

Besides help with scheduling courses and advice about careers, I like to help students feel part of the department of English community.

So I started having English Teas a couple of years ago. Sometimes I invite a professor to come talk about their own experiences and ideas. Sometimes we have a specific topic. Last night we had an informal talk about applying to graduate school, with six of our newly hired professors chatting with undergraduate students. I learned a lot!

When I started the teas, Lesley, Don and I were shopping in Eastern Market in Detroit and found a vintage shop jam packed full of 1960s and '70s stuff. I bought up every mug they had of this "set," scattered around the shop. I think there are 24, plus some accessories. I keep my eye out on eBay for more. It's important that they stack, so I can store them on my shelf, under the teapots.

The students and professors enjoy drinking from these flower power mugs. I suppose they seem quite wacky for the somber halls of the English department. But that's why I like them.

Our teapots, enough to make tea for 32

My university hall

Remember my mushroom post? See?? This is one of those '60s psychedelic mushrooms I was talking about!


Ginnie said...

I am grinning from ear to ear over picturing you at these teas, Ruth. You are so full of Soul in my mind's eye, interacting with profs and students while keeping your eye on the teapots and making sure they're never empty. I love it! I love you and your wonderful, creative ideas!

Rauf said...

I have never bought a tea or coffee mug for myself, for some strange reason people think of presenting me with a coffee mug. But they are not over crowded as my friends take them away. I am using a few as pen stand. I drink coffee in a good old steel mug.

Beautiful pictures again Ruth.

Ruth said...

Ginnie, thank you so much! I love my job, because I have lots of freedom to do what I want and come up with my own ideas and events. I feel very fortunate.

Ruth said...

Rauf, mugs are always good gifts because there are so many varieties, and they're not too expensive. I just have two or three at home that I use, and they were gifts too. But I just broke my favorite, a Starbucks mug, part steel, part ceramic.

I'm glad you like the photos.

heather said...

I wish I had been a student when you began these English teas. What a great idea--for students, profs, and staff. We miss so many opportunities to connect with one another intellectually and socially. The flower power mugs are perfect.

Ruth said...

Heather, I wish the same for when I was a student. I didn't have many chances for interaction.

Patty said...

tea :) terrific idea! love all the photos-nice post! i enjoy seeing interesting collections.

rachel said...

What a charming idea! I had the height of my tea days when I lived in Mexico. I used to invite people over to my casita for tea. In the evenings I would add a little Quarenta y Tres (orange liquour). They'd be dying to know what was in it- but it was my little secret. I heard rumors that people thought I was a witch;)

Ruth said...

Rachel, what a great story. There is no end to the interesting things you have done. I love that there was a rumor that you were a witch!!

sex said...