Yesterday I had my first Chinese class in a long time. Years upon years. The Grad Student Society has a few of these little classes available for grad students available. You can take French or Shotokan Karate or yoga or 普通话. It’s like $5/class so what’s not to like? Apart from having that class at the end of my day where I’ve been at school from 8am-5pm already, but them’s the breaks.
Not knowing exactly what the levels of the classes would be I went to the beginner class yesterday. It was very beginner and our 老师 told me (and the other woman who studied Chinese years ago) to come to the second class so we could challenge ourselves. That beginner class was pretty funny though. Six guys, three girls. All but one of the guys had “impress Chinese girls” as some part of their reason for being there. I protested that Holly’s from Virginia, but I remain lumped in with them. We recited sounds and said “nice to meet you” a lot.
In the Beginner 2 class there were only three of us and it feels like it’ll be a good fit. There’s another woman who taught in Taiwan for a few years, whose 中文 is better than mine, and the woman who’d studied years ago and is very enthusiastic but whose 中文 is worse than mine. Basically we’re just going to ask “How do I say this?” kind of stuff and then use that as our basis for learning shit. My personal goal is to get the whole “where 在 clauses fit in sentences” down. I don’t know why they don’t make any sense at all to me.
But even if I don’t learn anything, it’s going to be good to have my brain working at least a little bit in 汉语. Hopefully I won’t have to spend so many weeks in December smiling and nodding at incomprehensible comments from 唐玲. I’ll be smiling and laughing at slightly comprehensible comments. And you laugh, but that’s actually a significant difference.beginner girls grad students gss holly language taiwan ubc virginia zai 唐玲 在 汉语