Today it was just me and Paige in class. We finished our second texbook last week, so now we are doing a few lessons in the “optional” Intermediate 1 material. We all decided to buy the Intermediate 1 and 2 textbooks to bring home with us, so that we can continu working on our Chinese on our own. The two books were only 90 yuan ($15)–so much cheaper than America!
Chen laoshi is in Beijing now foing through training for her teaching program in America–she’s going to be in Iowa next year! Her last day was last Thursday, but she didn’t tell us until Wednesday that she was leaving, so I feel like I didnt get a chance to properly thank her for all of her work this semester. I definitely miss having her in class, and for the rest of the semester, Tang laoshi is going to be our only teacher.
After class, I met iwth my tutor, Chengdu, as usual. She is leaving tomorrow for Hangzhou because of the Dragon Boat Fesitval, so I won’t see her until next Tuesday. Today I learned that in Chinese high schools, students are seperated into 2 tracks, one studying STEM and one Humanities. I thought it is really interesting that students are split up at such an early age. All of my Chinese teachers were on the Humanities track, as would be expected. I also learned that Chengdu is going to be studying for graduate school entrance exams this summer! Ouch, that’s gotta be tough!
At 1:00, I headed back to the dorms and got few things done before headed to ChengFeng park. I found a nice shaded bench and read “The Edge of Never” for about 2 hours. At one point, an old Chinese man came up and sat down next to me and just stared at me for the longest time–it was a little creepy. I also saw a Dragon Boat team practicing and a man come by and feed fish scraps to the ferral cats in the park–so cute!
After I finished my book, I walked around the park for a bit and found the source of the blarring Chinese music that keeps me up at night. It was a group of about 5 elderly people belting into microphones in one of the park gazebos! And it was the most Chinese-y Chinese music EVER.
On my way back to campus, I stopped by my favorite restaurant to get some TangBao for an early dinner. I was finishing up my homework while I was waiting for my dumplings to cool, when a man suddenly came over and sat across the table from me. After a few minutes of small talk–which hit on all of the common questions, like where I am from, where I’m studying Chinese, what ethnicity I am (he thought I was Korean), and how long I’m in China–he started telling me I needed to get a Chinese boyfriend. I think he was trying to set me up with his little brother, and he kept saying that Chinese boys are very handsome and kind. I told him that I already had a boyfriend back home in America, but he just laughed and said I could have two at the same time! Needless to say, I declined to give him my phone number when he asked for it at the end of the conversation, but I did give him my WeChat (the China version of Facebook) ID since I knew I wouldn’t be using it much more when I get back home.
Overall, it’s been a pretty good day! Tonight I still have my 1-on-1 session and have to work on my presentation for Issues in Chinese Society, but that shouldn’t take to long :)