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Monday, March 7, 2011

1st Day of Classes

Early March (2011)

Had my first classes today - just two, I guess they wanted me to take it easy my first week. I appreciate that, because those two classes wore out my brain - especially the second one. I had my Comprehensive Chinese class and my Chinese Culture class. Mrs. Zhu (pronounced "Jew") is my Comprehensive teacher and Mr. Li is my Chinese Culture teacher.  The comprehensive class went very well, I feel like I'm going to learn a whole lot from Mrs. Zhu - she is clearly an experienced teacher. The stuff we went over today was review from what I already knew, really - but she made me write all in 汉字 (means 'Chinese Characters'),which was challenging - I haven't done much writing with my Chinese characters. She also gave me a Tang Dynasty poem to memorize called 春晓, (pronounced Choon She-ow) Chun Xiao, which means "Spring Dawn" - I copied it down, but I don't want to put it up on here right now.

Mr. Li's class was far harder because my textbook is all in the Chinese 汉字 and I couldn't really figure out what we were supposed to do before the first class, so I didn't really prepare much. He came in right off the bat and started asking me questions in Chinese that I had no idea what they were, which was very embarrassing, of course. He asked me to talk about myself in Chinese, which was some more embarrassment, because I hadn't really prepared anything...after all that, he asked me to read the first section of the textbook - which I said I couldn't - not even close. So, he went character-by-character of the first little section in the textbook while he interpreted and asked me to repeat and tell the meaning of the sentence.

It was all about the different minority groups of China and how they used to fight amongst themselves, but now are all at peace. It was really draining. From what I could infer, he's expecting me to learn how to read all this stuff and have everything translated before class starts and be ready to talk about it. If this is really the case, I expect to be pretty much fluent in reading by the time I get back to the States, but holy crap - it's a lot of work! I just translated a couple of paragraphs and it took me just about an hour or so! Man, this is hard.....but the rewards will be worth it

Gotta get back to it now, I'll talk to you all later! Remember - my Skype name is acousticmusic10 - add me


  1. Austing!! I just had a chance to catch up on your adventures and I'm so excited for you! It sounds like a ton of work, but i know you're fully capable, especially since you're so passionate about it :) my internet isn't good enough right now to watch your videos, but from the looks of it it's cold there? haha, it's SOO hot here!! like, TX in July. So how big are your classes? sounds like you're getting to have a lot of one-on-one with your professors, which is fantastic. Have you made friends yet? what are the dorms like? do you know your way around? haha, sorry so many questions!

    Happy week!

  2. Wow . . . That sounds like a LOT of work ! But I'm guessing that it will get easier once you master (really master) the most common of the characters. I guess there's nothing like REAL total immersion. LOL

    Did you ever get any small "Texas" gifts before you left ? I'm thinking that you're supposed to reciprocate when someone gives you a "visit" gift . . . is that correct etiquette ? If I need to send you some, let me know.

    Love you,



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