Visiting a Confucian Private Academy {11/18/18} NSLI-Y Korea AY

11/18/18 Sunday

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View from the shuttle bus: goodbye 시골 한옥!

We woke up early Sunday morning in order to enjoy a homemade breakfast made by the 한옥 아줌마 (The owner of the traditional house we were staying at!). She prepared an entire spread! We had the fish that we prepared yesterday in the form of fine fish powder? {I’m sorry… I really don’t know what it actually was…} And we also ate some actual 생선 (fish), 멸치 (anchovies), 계란찜 (steamed eggs), 사과하고 복숭아 살라드 (peach and apple salad), 미역국 (seaweed soup), 김치 (kimchi), quail eggs, and of course 밥 (rice). It was so very delicious! After stuffing our faces and tidying up our rooms, we left the lovely 한옥. {Not before taking A LOT of pictures.} We got back on the bus, ready for our next adventure.

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Look at all this food! My mouth is watering just seeing it all again!

40 minutes later, we arrived at our destination for the day where we could learn more about the history of Confucianism in Korea: 도산서원.

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도산서원 (Dosanseowon) is a Confucian Academy that was established by the disciples and others who revered Yi Hwang, one of the most prominent Korean Confucian scholars. (He also commonly went by his pen name: Toegye.)

We had another nice tour guide take us around the different buildings and sections of the area and explain the background in English. We got to see a school room for the boys attending the Confucian school {only boys were allowed to attend}, the dormitories, and even a publishing room that was used to print books. Our tour guide told us that it would take a week just to make one page of a book; therefore, it could take years to make just one novel.

She also showed us the front of a shrine made for Yi Hwang (Also–fun fact– the man on the 1,000 Won bill.) It’s not open to visitors until the anniversary of his death. On that day, they have a memorial service where they offer food and allow visitors to come inside and pay respects. The building has three walkways to enter/exit. One way was for the teachers, another was for students, and the last one is the path that humans are not allowed to use: the middle walkway was and is only for spirits.

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The shrine and the three entrances/exits mentioned above

We went through a museum after checking out all the traditional buildings before wrapping our visit with simply enjoying the scenery surrounding the private academy. 민정쌤 and 소영쌤 also bought us all cups of hot chocolate {or some other coffee drink of our choosing} which was really nice and refreshing in the cold weather. It was nearing 12 pm as we got back on the bus to head back to 홍대. For some reason, there was a lot of traffic which made the trip back longer than the expected 3 hours. We were all pretty exhausted from the weekend of activities, so most of us immediately fell asleep when we sat down on the bus.

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About an hour and a half into the ride home, we stopped at a rest stop for like 20 minutes to eat lunch. We all ordered and were able to literally get our food in less than 5 minutes; I was surprised by how fast everything came out. I ordered 짜장면 and enjoyed that while talking to some of the others. We got back on the bus shortly after quickly stuffing our faces to finish the rest of the trip. I tried playing SpyFall for a bit with Jacquelyn, Josh, Liam, Jack, and June for a bit but data charges are wild and many of us were tired too, so we only played two games. Though, the second game was so much fun because I was the spy and I did a great job of leading them off of me. So by the end of the game, everyone was guessing jack and Liam and no one even considered me.

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Once we arrived, we said our goodbyes at the Better World Office and separated to head back home. We were all exhausted and most of us still had homework to do for the following day.

I came home and talked to my host family about the trip over dinner. They also told me about the camping trip they went on. It was a nice chill evening. I finished all my Korean homework on Friday night, so I just studied vocab and posted a blog post. It was a nice night~

That’s all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed! This was the completion of our first far away, overnight cultural excursion! It definitely has left me with unforgettable memories!

  • Emma 엠마


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