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Halfway done with HBA, up next: the Shaolin Temple

July 9, 2010

Just took my midterm! One semester’s worth of Chinese in four weeks. I’ve had 80 hours of class, and that’s not counting exams and homework/study time outside of class. Factor all that in, and I estimate I’ve spend about 150 hours studying Chinese since arriving in Beijing.

Am I tired? Yeah, a little. Am I exhausted? Lord no! I’m infused with energy. I’m so happy with how far I’ve come, and I can’t wait to keep going and getting better in the second half of the program.

But am I ready for a little vacation? Absolutely. So I’m thrilled to announce that at 9:30pm tonnight, I’ll be boarding an overnight train (in a sleeper car, thank god) to Henan Province, for I will be spending the upcoming week at the Shaolin Temple (少林寺)and studying the art of Kung Fu (pronounced gongfu in Mandarin), as well as doing quite a bit of sightseeing–like the Longmen Grottos. Oh, and I’ll be conducting interviews and writing a report.

Of course, a report. This is still HBA after all. Study study study! But I’m thrilled to go to the Shaolin Temple, even with the report, especially as the trip comes with my boyfriend’s highest recommendations. And I might even shape up a bit! (Rick promises I will, actually.)

I’ve had an afternoon of reflection. At HBA, we have Chinese Table lunch (zhongwen zhuozi) twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays after our exams, with our teachers and classmates. At today’s zhongwen zhuozi, I had such an easy time talking to my teachers in Chinese that it shocked me to recall how nervous I was before the first one, how quiet I was, afraid to make mistakes.

Now, I still make mistakes all the time, but I don’t fear them. The important thing is to get your point across, and I can do that quite well now. I can speak pretty quickly, and I’ve mastered enough phrases and sentence patterns to speak comfortably with my teachers. That’s a pretty amazing feat, considering I’ve studied for under a year. I started in September 2009!

Well, I better go back! But hopefully lots of very interesting entries to come about my adventures in Kung Fu.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Cbuck permalink
    July 21, 2010 4:25 pm

    kung fu!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i cant tell you how jealous i am
    i mean the culture and the learning and the cuisine is all good… but kung fu!!!!!????!!!
    please promise to teach me
    remember it, get good, and teach me
    i will be your young grasshopper

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