Chinese Class

Chinese class is now in session, ladies and gentlemen! Had my first classes on Monday. Some of the classrooms received a drastic makeover! I love it! State of the art equipment! There are cameras in every corner of the classroom. We have to stand up to answer questions, so we appear on the TV screen. No more whiteboards and blackboards. Everything is digitalized. In one word: AWE-MAZING! Apparently the school wants to “spy” on its teachers, LOL. They wish to evaluate their teaching methods. Well, they can pimp all of our classrooms, because the new one kicks ass!

Monday’s classes were 听力(Listening Comprehension) and 阅读 (Reading Comprehension). The first class was interesting. We watched a cartoon about two bears and a squirrel. The two bears threw this dinner party for the squirrel, because it moved to their side of the forest. The rest is unimportant, but it was a very interesting cartoon… what I could understand of it, at least. Two months back home didn’t do me any good in the Chinese language department.  I had a sudden case of  deja vu to my first day of Chinese class in 2015.

chinese class
The name of the book is “Reading Newspaper, Learning Chinese – An Intermediate Course of Chinese Periodicals.” In Chinese, we say 报利阅读. Now tell me… Are you as excited as I am to read this book? That’s sarcasm, by the way 😉

This year two more disciplines have been added. We’re learning to read the newspaper. Just the sight of this book irritates me, because the cover is so boring. Aside from that, it’s thick as well. If you hit someone over the head with it, you can seriously injure that person. I still have to catch up, so I’ll be reading this super boring book right after I finish this blog.

Have I also mentioned that 阅读 (Reading Comprehension) is extremely difficult this year? I knew this year would be challenging, but I didn’t think it would be this much of a challenge. I tried reading a text. The teacher told us to try and read the text without looking up the words we don’t know, but that is next to impossible. Just look at the picture below. I had to look up almost 60% of the first four paragraphs.

Chinese class
Trying to read a text… 加油

The second day of Chinese class was great. My new Grammar teacher was happy to meet me… finally.

She has been waiting for me for over a month and a half. I think she’s very nice, very “smile-y.” I don’t know her name, but she put me on the spot, asked me to tell her about Suriname. Like I’ve mentioned before, many people don’t even know my country exists. I told her as much as I could think of at the moment, because I wasn’t prepared. Usually I prepare a nice Power Point presentation to show off my country. This time I had to “wow” her with my words. I don’t know how I did, though. Had to think a lot, and forget many words. YIKES!

chinese class
Snap of the delicious Thai Food we had with our teacher yesterday. Yummy yummy in my tummy!

My roommate and I also went out to lunch with one of my favorite teachers. I really enjoyed her company last year. She was the first person to really befriend me. We went to one of the Thai restaurants close to our school. The food is great!Last year was a great year in terms of food. We cooked in our dorms, invited friends, had dinner parties very often. We weren’t allowed to cook, but we did it anyway. This year the school told us we are really NOT ALLOWED to cook in our rooms. If we get caught once, we have to write a letter of apology. If we get caught again, we might get expelled.

The letter of apology has to go something like this:

 “Dear Dean (or to whomever we need to write this stupid letter), I am very sorry for breaking the rules. I promise I won’t do it again.”

We then have to sign the letter, it will be added to or file. If we break the rules again, they will confront us with the letter in which we promised to not cook in our room again. Then, if our boss back home wants to overlook our second “indiscretion,” we can stay… or we will have to go home.

Chinese Class 2016-2017 will be really, really interesting, LOL. I wonder if there are still students who secretly cook in their room.

I’m not kidding, I wish I were. It’s absurd, right? No one in my dorm is under thirty, we’re all adults. We were sent here by our government, so our rooms are very comfortable. They’re not like “normal” dorms on campus. Our rooms is like a penthouse, LOL! But the “not cooking rule” is absurd. Chinese food makes me sick, like really sick. If you read your horoscope every single day in the newspaper, or you like dialing Miss Cleo (may she rest in peace), I have something I KNOW will come true… Read carefully:

If you’re a foreigner who cannot afford to spend at least 250 Renminbi a day on Western food, you will get diarrhea when eating in China for the first time.

Feel free to quote me on this. Even if you can afford to spend a little more on food, it’s not a guarantee you won’t get sick. Let’s be honest, people. In China, you’re never really sure if what you’re eating is really chicken, even if it looks and tastes like chicken, LOL! Want to hear more of the absurd rules? We also have a curfew. Yes, you read it… A CURFEW!

Chinese class
My Grammar teacher. I still don’t know her name, LOL!

The main entrance to the dorm locks at 11 PM. I don’t know, maybe because we’re all foreign government employees, they are extra careful with us. They want nothing to happen to us, because they want to collaborate with our countries. Another rule I found really interesting, is that we HAVE TO buy books. Last year a lot of students gave books away, so I’m guessing the school didn’t make a lot of money. Now, if we want to live on campus (for free, as agreed in our scholarship agreement), we HAVE TO buy our textbooks on campus. LOL. The school’s not making any money off us, so they have to get it from us some other way. We also had to pay to get our graduation picture taken this year. They place it on our diploma at the end of the year.

Boy, what else will they think of to have us pay for?