If you think following good tea time manners is difficult (“pinky up!”), try doing it when you need your hands to “chat.” That’s what a group of high school students from the New Jersey School for the Deaf  learned when they visited the Talking Teacup in New Britain recently.

You’ll find the interesting article in yesterday’s (Sunday, June 7th) Intelligencer describing the students’ experience, learning how to make small talk while munching on highbrow finger food. One of the students, Erin Gasque, had read about a tea house and wanted the experience firsthand. She suggested it and teacher Sherri Anderson, a communications instructor, set up the trip for Erin and other interested classmates. Anderson wanted to give the teenagers a real-world experience with making polite conversation while eating – “no simple task when your hands are required for both.” We probably all know some non-hearing-impaired teenagers who could use the lesson too.

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