Mount Tai and Foogicle Friday
It was our last day in Qufu. I really enjoyed it here. We had lots of free time and it was laid back. It was also a time for us to stock up on “Oreos” for the rest of the trip.
We departed for Mt. Tai at 9 am. It was a nice two hour bus ride where we could catch up on sleep and journaling. The fog at Mt. Tai was very thick. I couldn’t see the mountain until someone pointed it out to me. Although I might not have been looking very hard.
We limited the hiking as much as we could. We took a van to the gondola, and then a gondola most of the way up the mountain. There was a pathway of stairs that went up the whole mountain. People start early in the morning to make it to the top and back down in one day. Even though we didn’t hike up the whole mountain, it sure felt like it. We had to hike up continuous stairs to get to the very top. According to Kevin’s pedometer, we took about 7,000 steps which included many stairs. The stairs were not your typical stairs; they were slanted, uneven and thin. All of us walked up the stairs with burning calves and tired faces.
At the top of the mountain in there was an incense burning alter and a circle of locks. We did our own little ceremony in honor of Mrs. Chapman. It started with burning incense for her. We all bowed three times holding up the incense. While I was doing this I thought about her radiating laugh, her ability to be so understanding her hilarious sense of humor and how she brightened up the room with her big smile. She was so warmhearted and passionate. She is most definitely irreplaceable and will forever be loved and missed. After we burned the incense, we all huddled up as a group to sing Amazing Grace.
To lock up our memories of Mrs. Chapman we added a lock to the circle of locks. Although she has passed, to me this lock symbolizes her life and that she is still with us in our hearts. Engraved on the lock was
“FOR MRS. C
We all had a chance to touch the lock and think about how wonderful Mrs. Chapman was and our memories with her. One of my favorite memories with her was in her class. We watched Ed Sheeran’s music video to “Photograph”. I’m not really sure why we watched the video because instead of discussing the lesson we just watched the video over and over until class was over. The video shows his life in photographs. We were talking about how cute he was and how much we loved the song and totally forgot about the lesson. I will miss her lovable personality and great sense of humor.
To conclude our ceremony we had fudge ice cream bars as a replacement for fudgsicles. At the end of units on Fridays she would give us fudgsicles. She called it fudgsicle Friday, but in her British accent it sounded like “foojicle Friday”. I think this is a great tradition and I will most definitely continue it.