Tuesday, September 13, 2011

中秋节 (Mid Autumn Festival)

Greetings! We had a long weekend, which was quite enjoyable (less enjoyable is the fact that we have to make up the classes we missed..). On Monday, the Mid Autumn Festival, all Flagshippers were invited to Zhang Qin's (the program director) house. She lives in a beautiful 2 story apartment at the top of her building, which made it perfect for watching the moon while we ate moon cakes! (pictures below) We got the perfect opportunity too; there was a circuit overload and we had a blackout for 20 minutes. Made for some nice viewing :)

In other news, I sat through three classes today in my major (teaching Chinese to foreigners). The first class, at 8 am, was Traditional Chinese Culture and Modern Chinese Culture. It was interesting but way too heavy on the literary aspect, which isn't my strongest suit. Add that to paragraphs of the stuff, all the students nodding as if they knew exactly what the prof was talking about, and the fact that it's an 8 am class, and I was out of there at the break and took a quick nap before heading back for the 10 am class. This one, Teaching Methods for Chinese as a Second Language, was both more engaging, more pertinent to my studies, and much more interesting. I sat in on it with another Flagshipper, Jason, and the teacher was very excited to have exchange students in the class. We were put on the spot a couple of times and asked about our experiences learning Chinese and the difficulties therein. Thankfully she spoke with very standard Chinese and we had no trouble understanding her. So I think I'll be sticking with that class, which leaves me with one other open space as far as direct-enroll classes go. After the lunch break I sat in on part of a four hour class titled Modern Curriculum Theory, which is about as boring as the name makes it sound. I was out of there after the second hour (profs don't follow a set schedule in terms of breaks, it's just kind of when they feel like it. Very difficult when you've decided 20 minutes in that you don't want to take the class but don't want to be rude and have to stay until the break, which in this case wasn't until an hour and a half in) and had some time to look over other course options before my Grammar/Pronunciation class. The class meets once every two weeks and is geared towards the HSK Oral Exam. I'm not sure if I am going to take the oral exam (I'm pretty sure it isn't required) so I was a little skeptical, but the prof seems to know what she's talking about. She gave us some 400 character passages and had some of us read them aloud (I was one of the people), afterwards pointing out what our problem areas are. It's the first time I've read anything aloud in a while and man was I nervous! But everyone has their weak points, so I just went for it and now I know what I need to pay attention to :) Everyone else is going at our next meeting, so until then our homework is to practice the passages until we've got them down.

 House shoes :)

 A lovely spread


Moon cake #1

Moon cake #2 (I'm still not sure what was in those...) 

A very blurry moon during the blackout

More classes to try out this week in addition to regular classes, hopefully one of them works out! Also a possible camping trip this weekend if we can find a place to rent the equiptment. Fingers crossed! Love,

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