Monday, September 05, 2005

I Have Decided

For better or worse, I have decided to stay in my assigned class. I studied for maybe three or four hours last night in my room, and while the material was a review, it was a necessary one. There are some words and some grammar patterns that I just never internalized while I was at IU, and they’re going to come back to haunt me if I don’t get them well-established in my mind. This might not mean great things for advancing in rank for Chinese classes when I return to the states, but I know now that level doesn’t matter as much as learning. If I need to establish a stronger foundation, then I just have to do it. I don’t want to have superficial learning, and I’m willing to pay the price in time that it may cost me.

Furthermore, I examined the book more closely while studying than I previously had, and I realized that it certainly couldn’t be a year’s worth of material. I wasn’t even sure that it could be a semester’s worth of grammar and vocabulary. So in class today, I asked my teacher how long we would use the book. She said that in October we would be finishing that book and beginning book 3. That’s the book I thought was perfectly appropriate for me. I think this will work out very well. I’m going to have a month and a half of very necessary review, and then I’ll move onto the new material.

Honestly, I don’t think my decision is going to really set me back. The next level up is just a month and a half ahead of where I am right now, and I’m not really sacrificing this time if I’m fixing some problems and going into the next course stronger. BLCU’s program is far faster than most of the accelerated programs I’ve heard of in the states. I’m sure I’m going to learn plenty of Chinese, especially with assignments like the one I received today. I’m supposed to approach Chinese people and ask them about what phone plans they use. I have to write a report. Ack! - talking and writing! ☺

In other decision areas, I’m considering a haircut. I think to really get a feel for where I’m living I should try out some of the fashions in addition to just talking to people. I have several choices for fashionable Chinese hairstyles. I think the most prevalent around here are the feathered mullet-type of style, choppy layers with an extra long one in the back, and the very thick, long, front third of head framing bangs combined with one of the above styles. We’ll see. I’m going to let myself be convinced by my friends, I think.


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