Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My first introduction to a cup of tea

In first year all students participated in a paper called participation in occupation one. I was in class one day when I was introduced to the idea that a cup of tea was not just a hot drink. The class was asked to read an article written by Rosemary Caulton (1995), it was titled ‘The taking of tea: a common phenomenon’. In this reading Caulton talks about the importance and meaning behind sharing a cup of tea. She illustrates how drinking tea together is so commonplace and prominent amongst our society and all about the satisfaction and comfort that it can bring. A quote that was in the article which summed up its context is “…this cup, this loving, ordinary, commonplace, familiar cup affords both security and solace. Whether we like it, or drink it, or not, tea has become an archetypal image of humankind’s need-and ability-to provide itself in an instant, with warmth, order, meaning and comfort” (pp. 45).
This experience was the first time I had ever been challenged to think about a cup of tea as something more than just a hot drink. At the time I remember feeling very confused and unsure. I also remember questioning why we would be learning about a cup of tea. At this stage I believed that the whole concept was a bit ‘airy fairy’ and that it didn’t hold much relevance to occupational therapy. At the time I feel I had nothing to link the cup of tea subject to occupational therapy and this was why I thought that it was not relevant.

I recently read the article again and experienced a very different reaction than I had previously experienced in 1st year. At the end of this blog I will reflect on this new reaction. For now please read my following posts which are my journey of experiences which will lead me to my final reflection.

Caulton, R. (1995, December). The taking of tea: a common phenomenon. Occupation, 3(2), 6-22.

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