Week Six Wrap-Up: Cream Tea and Conversation Workshops and Country Hopping

This week’s post comes a little early I’m heading off on Friday for some travel – yay for Opportunities Week! But I will make sure to get some reading done or I’m going to come back from my mini vacation to a mountain of work and that’s not a mountain I want to scale.

Cream TeaI had my very first cream tea ever at Tea on the Green, which identifies itself as Exeter’s most traditional café. It was so lovely and quaint and right in the courtyard of the Cathedral so it had the loveliest view. I went with one of my friends from my flat and we got to sit upstairs, right by the window! I always knew tea was a thing in England, but cream tea is something particularly special to Devon, and its surrounding area. As I have been led to believe, traditional cream tea consists of tea/coffee, scones, clotted cream, jam, and preserves. I’d never ever had clotted cream before so in my head, I imagined clotted cream to be like whipped cream. Unsurprisingly, the notion in my head was nothing like the real thing. Clotted cream is more like butter in its texture but it’s not salty; rather, it’s a little sweet, like cream (brownie points for pointing out the obvious?). I’m envious I don’t get clotted cream back home. The cream tea came with two scones per person; I never thought that two scones could be so filling but they really were! It was a delectable little meal/break for the afternoon and definitely an experience in and of itself.

I signed up to be a language teaching assistant and we had our first orientation meeting today. I’m really excited for this! This scheme is for international and Erasmus students and essentially, teaching assistants help language tutors lead one-hour conversation workshops in their native language with a small group of University of Exeter students studying Modern Languages. I have to say, as an English student, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “Do you want to be a teacher when you’re done at school?”, and every single time, I stifle a sigh and answer, “No, that’s about the last thing I want to be.” I’ve really never imagined myself having a career as a teacher, and plainly put, I just don’t think I’m cut out for it. Yet somehow, I’ve found myself in a sort of teaching position a lot the past few years. I used to teach at a music school, I worked as a writing advisor for my home university, I volunteer with a local after-school music program back home… All these things just add up and I’m almost starting to get the sense that I’m just in denial. I had someone tell me once that if life consistently puts me on a certain path, maybe I should just go with it, so maybe I should just go with it.

A friend I met here is hosting a photography exhibition this Saturday (The Glorious Art House, in case you’re wondering) showcasing the different traders and histories that make up one of the busiest and most eclectic streets here. As I’ve likely mentioned before, I think the heritage here is just absolutely incredible and I think this whole exhibit that she’s helping put on is super amazing. In my opinion, there’s so much value in knowing about the history of a place in which you live; it really opens up your perspectives and makes you see the place in an entirely different light. It also makes me wish I did a part of my degree in History back home.

Super excited to be heading off to Scotland and then Ireland for some adventures during Opportunities Week! I wish I could pack Exeter’s sunshine with me, but I’ll have to settle for hoping that the sunshine decides to come along with me on my trip.

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