Photo: Studying

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I've got Chinese up to my ears. I just completed the first week of my second semester. I basically jumped from Level 4 Mandarin to Level 9 Mandarin, the highest level of the entire program. Originally I was going to take a Level 7 class, but ... I ended up in a Level 9 one with my teacher from last semester. This class is Taiwanese News, which means I'm reading one newspaper article a day in class and I'm faced with 70-120 new characters a day. A day.

Jumping from Level 4 to Level 9 also means that my classmates are practically all fluent in Mandarin and  are able to talk about college-level topics (the economy, the GDP, politics) in Mandarin and I can only talk about this stuff in the most basic of terms, if even. I mean, one girl tried to talk about derivatives and I told her after class that I can barely even explain derivatives in English, nevermind Mandarin.

I decided that I would spend this semester living, eating, breathing Chinese, but I tried that for a few days and it's way too exhausting. My brain is numb after 8 hours at school, and the last thing I really want to do is speak Mandarin or read more news articles in Chinese in preparation for class the next day (which is at 8:10 in the morning, by the way). 

Oh, I hope it gets better. 

In other news, Australia in June is a certainty. So I have that to look forward to.

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