Life Imitates Crappy Blog Humor

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Hey Michael--I've given it some more thought, and the more I think about it the more I share your frustration with being put in the 1st year course. (Did you tell them you got an A+ in 1st year Mandarin at UVA?) The fact that Mandarin is a 5 hour/semester course at Columbia and a 4 hour/semester course at UVA probably means they do cover more material, besides teaching the traditional characters, but if you think you can handle the 2nd year course, tell them we feel like they did a "bait and switch" on you.

Tell them I'm not willing to pay the tuition cost for you to repeat 1st year Mandarin if you're not going to get any credit for it (and I'm sure you're right--you won't get credit for it), so if they won't put you in the 2nd year course you might just as well drop out of the program and spend the $4k traveling around China for the next 8 weeks.* Almost all the cost of the program is tuition to Columbia University; you're paying for all your food yourself and you had to provide your own transportation. How much can it cost to share a dorm room at Peking University? The only reason to pay college tuition is to get college credit.

I don't know how they'd respond if you told them you weren't willing to pay the tuition if you weren't going to get credit for the course. I'm sure Columbia would bill me anyway. Should I dare them to sue me? lol. Maybe you could drop out of the program and get a job in a fish market. Just saying.

*This would be a bluff, unless you really would rather do that.


eh .. monday i take a test to see if i get into 2nd year, if I don't get into second year, I'm just gonna try and learn as much as I can outside of class. my speaking is already so much better than it was before, and i'm learning characters outside of class at a pretty quick rate.

i've looked way ahead in the book and i'm going to be learning new stuff in a couple weeks... the thing is that it isn't a "true" first year class, it's like the 2nd semester of 1st year and then the 1st semester of 2nd. i would get credit for atleast half of it, and i'm hoping that even if i dont move up in the class, my chinese will improve enough to test into 3rd year chinese at UVA. (apparently UVA's chinese program isnt as strong as Columbia's)

anyways, it sucks because columbia students definitely got the nod on going to whatever year class they were in, because there are a couple columbia students who suuckkk at talking, since i've heard them trying to converse with their language partners. it's like they overbooked the 2nd year class, and some columbia students who're worse than me got spots because the teachers knew them. o well, i'll keep you updated. i really hope this doesnt screw with my schedule for next year, because UVA doesnt offer 4th semester chinese in the fall (which is where i assume i'd be after this summer technically)

o, and the yudan is really cute except she has bad teeth >_<

honestly though, i have never seen more cute asian girls than in a japanese airport .. i was in heaven

Okay, whatever you decide. It sounds like it's going to be worthwhile for you either way. That's good. If you can test into 3rd year Chinese when you get back, you won't have the scheduling problem in the fall.

Well you know Columbia's Chinese program is a five-hour course, so right there that means it covers more. Two years of Chinese at Columbia is the equivalent of 2.5 years at UVA.

Okay, so now we know you liked the Japanese airport! Any other tidbits you'd care to share?

I'm in a hotel room in San Francisco right now--I fly home today. I got an email from Olde Towne Pet Resort--Saint came down with kennel cough and they took him to the vet. :( He'd been immunized for it, but I guess it's like the flu--there's always a new strain.

love, mom

Mike, I may be just a lurker on your travel adventures... but it sounds like it's going to be an excellent investment in your skills, regardless.

Mary, sorry to hear Saint got kennel cough. That's pretty hard on dogs (and not so great on the owners, listening to the puir beastie trying to cough up a lung or two). I had no idea it was flu-like with multiple strains! I vaccinate too, and figured that would take care of it. Ohwell. I'm sure he'll be glad when you come take him home.

I picked Saint up yesterday. He's over the kennel cough, although I still have antibiotics to give him. Both times I've left him there, he's been so hyper when I've picked him up that I've had trouble controlling him. I don't know what it is about the place that makes him so crazy. I can't even get him to make eye contact with me for the first half hour or so. He settles down during the car ride home, and after he's been home for a while he's back to normal. He's pretty energetic anyway, but that place makes him manic.

I think I'm going to try to find some other place to leave him from now on. Yesterday when we were in the lobby "checking out" he growled at a young boy who walked in, and later I took him into the pet store with me and he growled at a woman who came into the store. These were very brief, low growls in the throat, nothing really threatening, but it bothered me. In the past he's growled at strangers who've come into the house or yard, but that's his territory. He'd never growled at anyone outside his territory. He's normally everybody's friend, a real sweetheart.

The growling isn't a good thing -- I hope you "corrected" him to let him know that wasn't acceptable behavior? It could be the kennel is just too overstimulating. The place I used to kennel my guys was a bit loud even to my human ears and I can only imagine what it was like to the dogs. I don't kennel there any more because Saint (my Saint) comes home half crazy. Sadly, the petsitter I had lined up for my NASFiC trip has had to bow out (co-worker; I can't blame her that she wants to spend time with her mom who'll be visiting!) ... but now I am stuck with the unenviable task of trying to find a petsitter-for-hire who I can check out thoroughly enough to trust having him/her come into the house a few times a day.

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