Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weeks 三, 四 recap

Listening to:
Regina Spektor’s “Music Box”—somehow, I find it simultaneously a bit sad and funny enough to make me laugh out loud, every time.

We took our midterms on Friday, marking the end of the program’s first half (equivalent to a semester of college language study). Preparing for the midterms made it very clear that the DSIC instructors aren’t kidding around when they call the program “intensive.” That said, I’ve settled into a regular, albeit fairly busy, schedule:

Typical weekday*
6:30-7:00- tea; review for the morning’s mini-quiz
7:00-7:30- write vocab characters in the air while showering; get dressed
7:30-8:00- walk to class with bread in one hand, boxed milk in the other
8:00-11:00- class
11:00-12:00- one-on-one conversation time with a teacher
12:30-1:30- lunch at a nearby restaurant
1:30-3:00- meet with Weiwei, my language partner
3:00-5:00- start homework; hang out in the dorm lobby café
5:00-5:45- head home, often getting distracted and taking detours
6:00-7:00- dinner with Mama and Bobo
7:00-9:00- complete written assignments; abuse the dictionary while reading the new text
9:00-10:00- eat watermelon**/drink chrysanthemum tea/chat with Mama and Bobo
10:00-11:00- study new characters
11:00-12:00- read news; prepare for bed

*“Typical” is a bit misleading, because this schedule more often than not needs to be adjusted to account for explorations/extended conversations with Bobo and Mama/seeing non-DSIC friends in Beijing/Skype/particularly difficult assignments/bubble tea/foot massages/other distractions.

**I finally understand the ubiquity of watermelon at Chinese buffets in the U.S. (Bobo and Mama eat watermelon like nobody’s business, and I’m slowly catching on.)

After midterms, we left for a three-day trip to Xian. Pictures to come soon!

wotd (only in China…): 人山人海 (renshan renhai): crowds of people (lit. people-mountain people-sea)