Third Day of Classes

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Everything is going decently in China, could be better, could be worse. I was put into the "advanced" first year program... which basically means I don't know enough of Columbia's ciriculum to qualify for the 2nd year Columbia book (according to 1 test and a 2 minute interview). There are 6 people in my class, all of us are attempting to get into the 2nd year program because none of us think we'll receive any credit if we stay in the 1st year program. SO... that's been the biggest pain so far, having to sit through remedial lectures about very, very basic Chinese. I know most all of the vocab for the entire 1st year course already, so supposedly on Friday I'll be given another chance to enter the 2nd year course.

Oh, another reason for wanting to leave the 1st year course is that they're forcing us to use "traditional" characters as opposed to "simplified" ones. Everyone in Mainland China uses simplified characters, while in Taiwan they use traditional. My home University, UVA, only uses simplified, so if I'm forced to learn traditional characters, I'm only going to forget them through non-use.

Anyways, apart from the actual CLASS, I think I'm learning Chinese very well. Every day I have to meet with my yudan, language partner, for almost 2 hours. That probably helps me the most, since I can ask her how to say things that actually have relevance. You have NO idea how hard it is to order food when all you know how to say is beef, chicken, pork, and noodles. Yesterday she took me to a cafeteria and ordered for me, which was great. Normally I just keep ordering the same thing, or I let someone who has had more Chinese order for me. Also, if I can, I can point at pictures =D

My roomate is... a roomate. He's mormon so... yeah. It's really a shame they changed the local of the program, or I would've had a single. I had grown so used to not having to sleep in the same room as someone that it's really hard to not find everything my roomate does just a little annoying.

That's about it for now, I've got a tutoring session in like an hour so I should probably go find the building. Zaijian!


Oh I forgot to add that when I initially signed up for the program they told me I was in 2nd year, and they already sent me all the 2nd year books (which I had started studying in). I think it's a really miserable way to do business to tell someone that you're putting them in a lower level class than you had been in earlier.

If they had told me after looking at my application and sent in tests that I was only going to qualify for the 1st year program, I wouldn't have signed up... so hopefully they'll remedy this if I make a big enough deal about it.

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