A Spirited Education
by Toni Pi
Incense smoke drifted through the air in the apothecary like ribbons of kelp. The good doctor was brooding over an anatomy manual at his desk, reading by the light of his oil lamp. I summoned my courage, entered uninvited, and bowed deep.
“Teacher, I’ve come to resume my lessons.”
Doctor Zhao closed his book with a sigh. “Against your father’s wishes, Liren?”
“He didn’t forbid me from learning healing lore,” I corrected. As county magistrate, Father lauded the scholarly study of acupuncture and moxibustion. “He only disapproves of me practicing medicine.”