Monday, September 11, 2006

classes start tomorrow

My classes start tomorrow, both in English and Chinese. I'm going to join a Korean girl in learning Chinese from the International Exchange Division every morning from 8:20 - 12:00 (I think those are the hours). Hopefully it'll work out okay because she already knows some Chinese, which definitely puts her ahead of me. Maybe that'll help, though, in that I can learn from her and from the teachers. It sounds like a fun adventure in any case. I even went so far as to go buy a notebook for the class. Once I learn to write some Chinese characters (like my name), I'll take a picture of them so you can see. I guess this whole learning to write a whole new set of characters is a chance to not have messy handwriting.

My English classes also start tomorrow afternoon. I'm not really worried about them, but I am quite curious to see how they go. I know what all I'm going to say and do, but I'm not sure what sort of wrenches they'll throw into my plans. Once again, I'll keep you posted.

I also may be tutoring a 14 year old outside of school a couple of hours a week. I just need to check with the university to make sure that's okay. I'm pretty sure that it is as long as I let them know, so I'll do that tomorrow morning and as long as it is, I'll start that Wednesday night. Today I met the boy and his family. They seemed very nice, and even gave me some tea to bring home, and you all know how I like tea. Speaking of tea, I found a pretty cool tea stand in a market yesterday, and was given tea there too on the condition that I go back sometime to buy some more. Quite a giving people these Chinese. Here's a picture of the kind merchant (who even spoke some English) and part of his store:

tea store

I also don't think I've written about the other fourteen year old Chinese boy I now know. He too knew the other foreign teacher who lived in my apartment (that's how I got in contact with the aformentioned tutoree), and came by to see if he had come back or if he had been replaced by someone equally interesting. I'm not sure if I fit the bill, but he keeps coming back so I mustn't be too boring. He also gave me some tea. I sure do like tea, and China is the place to drink it. Anyway, he comes by pretty regularly to practice his English and teach me a word or two of Chinese. Soon I hope to be able to practice what I learn in class on him, since repetition is the key to language learning. Here's a picture of him (his name is 王帆 (Wáng Fān)) and a friend of his who also came to meet me:

amigos chinos

And while I'm giving you pictures, here's one of my living room:

my living room

And of two different 1 yuan bills I've had in my possesion (there's also a coin):

1 yuan

I think that's about it as far as news and pictures go. I'm going to go ahead and review my lesson plan (don't I sound like a real teacher now) and maybe listen to a podcast that teaches me Chinese before getting some sleep now that I have somewhere to be in the morning.

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