In the Absence of Sam

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
1
208
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Trip End Jun 29, 2011


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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Poor Sam is still ill, so I went to our Chinese lesson alone this evening.  I met Melody and Ludwig in our lobby and we nearly had to move our lesson elsewhere because a fresh group of students was moving in and there were people and suitcases all over the tiny space.

We waited a few minutes until the lobby cleared out slightly and sat down at our usual table (the only one in the lobby).  We decided to ignore the commotion.  One of the new female students wanted in on our lesson so she stood next to me for a few minutes and glanced over my shoulder.  It was a little awkward, but I didn't think it was right to tell her to go away.  

We didn't discuss anything new in our lesson, really.  We just worked on simple things that I don't have down yet.  We had a dialog with questions like "What do you do?," "What province/city are you from?," and "Where have you traveled?"  We also worked a little on the second tone, which still trips me up every time I try to say it.  

I think I've developed some sort of block or stage fright with the second tone so that when I try to say a sentence that includes it, I have to stop before the word and prepare myself for it.  It's a ridiculous problem and I'm trying to overcome it.  Mike recently told me that you should raise your eyebrows when saying the second tone.  It does help, but I'm sure I look silly doing it.

The one and only, teeny-tiny perk to Sam's absence was that we got to work on characters.  Like I do, Sam thinks the reasons behind the characters' formations are interesting.  But he thinks the characters are too difficult to waste time during our one hour lesson learning.  

He has a fair point, but I like the orderliness of character writing, so I asked Melody and Ludwig to spend the last ten minutes of our lesson teaching me some of the characters that relate to transportation.  I learned "train," "car," "bus," and "taxi."  It takes nine characters to write the four words.  However, the fun I had with writing characters wasn't worth Sam's absence from our lesson, and I'm ready for him to be well again. 

 

 

 
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