RUMFORD — MountainValley High School students who are enrolled in AP English Literature and Composition are accustomed to analyzing and interpreting what they read. Often the research leads them to explore by-gone times and culture. They recently delved into the Victorian era.

As a culminating event to a unit on Victorian literature, the students participated in a Victorian tea, complete with bone china teacups and cucumber sandwiches.

Senior Noah Tanguay-Collins explained the experience, “To mark the end of the unit, Ms. Doughty brought in English snacks and tea for a tea party. It was a really cool experience because we got to use bone china and were very formal.”

“While we had our tea party we learned that holding your pinky up while drinking your tea was low class,” said Nikki Hodgkins. “Victorians were very class conscious.”

Ayla Allen added, “She served the gentlemen first then the ladies. I really liked the cucumber sandwiches.”

Some of the food and drink got mixed reviews. Nick Williams said, “I enjoyed the black tea – Erich [Zurhorst] not so much. It’s different from coffee but I’m a convert now. We had tarts, muffins, cake and cucumber sandwiches.”

Prior to the tea party, the students immersed themselves in Victorian literature and culture. In addition to reading “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, students chose between “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë.

English teacher Meg Doughty provided the tea and snacks.

Class members include Ayla Allen, Andrea Benya, Katie Billings, Paige Burgess, Tyler Daigle, Heather Durfee, Victoria Gordon, Mercedes Gurney, Nicholas Hamel, Nikki Hodgkins, Rebecca Maifeld, Alexander Parent, Kirstin Ridge, Cody Smith, Noah Tanguay-Collins, Cam Welch, Nick Williams and Erich Zurhorst.


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