Chapter 27: Windward Hall
Proofread by Claire.KK
This day, Ye Xiaoxian had sold her cold jelly really fast which had been sold out just after noon.
In other days, she would take a stroll in the town, buy some household items or learn more about Qinghe’s food culture.
But today, she went home earlier.
They had saved a lot of money, together with Xiao Baoshan’s one tael of silver so the matter of Baofeng going to the private school should be scheduled soon.
Ye Xiaoxian went home early and took Xiao Baofeng to the private school in town.
There was only one private school in town. There were not many students as the villagers valued the agriculture the most, so every boy would go back home to farm in the future. They were sent to the private school simply for the sake of not being completely illiterate but they were seldom expected to pursue an official career. Most of them would study for two or three years and went back to be farmers.
Ye Xiaoxian thought that either for the sake of wiping out illiteracy or the pursuit of official career, as long as one household could afford, they should sent their boys to school.
The private school in town called “Windward” Hall, opened by borough chiefs in town. After they set up the private school and hired a teacher, they then started to admit students.
“Windward” Hall was actually a row of tiled houses with only two classrooms. One was used for teaching children who had just entered the school, and the other was used for teaching the children who had entered the school for two or three years. At this time, there were sound of reading books aloud coming from both classrooms. When listening carefully, they were chanting verses from some classical Chinese literature.
When Ye Xiaoxian took Xiao Baofeng in the school, she saw a fifty-something-year-old elder who was tidying up the courtyard. The elder was neatly dressed and looked vigorous so Ye Xiaoxian thought he must be the manager of the private school. She then came over and asked, “Excuse me, might you not be the school teacher? I’d like to ask the matters of the enrolment.”
The elder raised his head and glanced at Ye Xiaoxian and Xiao Baofeng and then shouted to one of the two classrooms, “Scholar Wong, you’re wanted!”
After one shout, he continued to tidy up the courtyard and he didn’t seem to be much involved in this matter.
In a moment, a young man went out from one of the classrooms. This young man was in his twenties, tall and slim, and dressed in a simple light-blue robe. He even cupped his hands to salute to Ye Xiaoxian when he came to her, very much bearing the disposition as a scholarship.
Ye Xiaoxian blamed herself for being ignorant. How could she mistook the elder for the teacher of this private school? She had surely underestimated the village private school.
“Mr. Wong, may I know if you still admit students here? This is my little brother. His name is Xiao Baofeng, eight years old. He never went to a private school before and he can’t read. I’d like to let him study in your school,” said Ye Xiaoxian politely.
She then let Xiao Baofeng extend respect to Scholar Wong and Baofeng did what she told him. It was just he never saluted properly to anyone before so his acting looked a bit funny.
Scholar Wong firstly sized Ye Xiaoxian up, then turned to Xiao Baofeng and said, “Yes we do. Students here can come at any time if they want to go to school, but they have to pay two taels of silver for covering tuition fee and lunch fee.”
“We have sufficient money here so it won’t be a problem. I just wanted to know more about the lessons you teach normally. What else do you teach the children except literacy class?”
“Literacy is only one part of the schooling. In addition, we will teach The Four Books (The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean, The Confucian Analects, and The Works of Mencius) and The Five Classics (The Book of Songs, The Book of History, The Book of Changes, The Book of Rites and The Spring and Autumn Annals). It depends on his ability of comprehension and acceptance, and whether he is willing to work hard,” said Scholar Wong.
“Right, the Four Books and the Five Classics are fine,” said Ye Xiaoxian.
Scholar Wong paused and felt a bit stunned. ‘Is this young girl not only literate but she knows about the Four Books and the Five Classics?’
Daliang Village was a remote area. Men did not normally go to school, let alone women, yet a village girl actually knew all of this?