Sometimes quantity must make up for quality, and sometimes you lack either.That was a meaningless sentence, but it summarizes the hopeless viewpoint I had at the beginning of the year as Grand Emperor of the Tea Club. My regular membership had dwindled to five, none of whom held elected positions. The President, Vice-President, and Treasure-Bearer had drifted away from their stations. Two members professed to not drinking tea, which was confusing, considering their membership. We had some serious challenges ahead of us.
We did not despair. Our elected officials were no-shows, but the remaining members were willing to assume their responsibiliteas. (Puns were important to morale.) Our initially non-drinker members warmed up to the second-most popular beverage in the world; and by the end of the year, every one would bring a mug. Mid-year, we had to leave the tiny room where we held our meetings, but the move brought us to a much nicer, more well-lit room.
We had many successes, including the Tea Trolley: a mobile cart from which I sold cups of good black tea. We shared many new teas among the group, from Red Robe Oolong to an off-brand pregnancy tea (sweet, with fruity notes!). New members started attending meetings, and although they occasionally did not return for a second week, the club picked up momentum.
Our greatest achievement was the talk given by the illustrious Dr. Sandy Bushberg. He gave a very entertaining talk on the various health benefits and different types of tea that exist. We planned and executed lots of publicity, and received significant attendance. The talk was the climax of the year – and of the club’s existence thus far. It was well-attended, well-delivered, and just well-done.
I see good things for the future of the tea club. I am off to pursue my own college adventure at the end of next month. I have designated a new Grand Emperor – a member of the club who has proven herself responsible, interested in tea, and willing to put out the effort. Our club has funds saved from the sales gathered on the Tea Trolley, which will be placed into projects, or into a tea-related charity. I see bright things on the horizon, which I will only be able to see from afar. If any current members are reading this, I praise you. Truly, your dedication is the greatest reward I could have ever asked for. Brew on.
Part One of this series can be found here.
You should feel so proud of yourself for maintaining this important tea experience at Hood River High School. It sounds like you have touched many people and introduced them to this ancient brew. Good luck in college and I hope you’ll carry on your tea educating tradition.