Today we had a calligraphy class, which was a really nice break from all the hustle and bustle of the museums that we just visited. We first learned the history of calligraphy. We also learned what the different tools they use, which is a piece of paper with a cloth under it they also use ink a bowl and a brush. After that, we learned that there are 5 different types of calligraphy. Then we learned how to write some of the pictograms it was kind of like drawing the object except way harder. We learned how to write sun, moon, water, rain, dragon and tiger. It was hard because of all the detail in the characters. I could do only about half of the characters, and the rest were just too difficult for me. Then we learned the same words in cursive, which was even harder. After that we painted traditional artwork that was fun but also challenging. He taught it by drawing it and then we followed his example. I thought his artwork was good and he made it look easier than it was. We then ate a very delicious lunch and had a small break.
Then we went and saw Confucius’s birthplace. We saw the cave that he was born in. Confucius was born in a cave because his father thought the mountain spirits would help keep him safe. The cave was at the bottom of a hilly spot that was surrounded by trees. We could not go into it because it was blocked off, but it was still interesting to see.
After we left Confucius’s birthplace, we drove through some of the towns. We stopped to get off the bus and walked around one of the small towns. As we walked, all the people in the stores came out, it seemed like they had not seen many Americans. There were clothing shops, but after clothing shops it was very vacant. It was very uncomfortable because people were always looking at us.
We then got back on the bus and we drove back to the hotel. We had to get dressed up for a final banquet dinner and we only got back to the hotel with 5 minutes to get ready. It was a lot of panic and stress, but we were able to all get in our fancy clothes in a 5-minute span. The banquet dinner was nice because it was a change from the normal meals we had been eating. There was good food; There was everything from fish to fruit and I particularly liked the pickles.