Thursday, June 21

It's Over (for now)

Today was the last lesson. "A Ticket to Suzhou". Thankfully an easy lesson. The last few weeks have been intense. I don't really know how much I've gained from them because I haven't had time to think or reflect on the lessons. It's just one after another. And when you are living your life, working your ass off at work, and taking care of a house full of pets, you just stop thinking. Well, I do anyway.

So in retrospect what would I say? The time was incredible. I've experienced several months of classroom lessons and homework and now 2 months of daily 10 minute phone calls. There's no comparison. Kai, my first teacher, is great but is limited to one classroom session a week (unless I could come up with $45 for a private lessons here and there!). Working with Vera, though for only an hour a week, was more effective because it was constant. There was something new and something old everyday. Everyday. Repeat, repeat. The closest thing to immersion that I can imagine unless I moved to Chinatown and worked in an environment of friendly native speakers who would take the time to explain the finer points of their beautiful language to me!

I can also clearly see my strengths and weaknesses. Basic comprehension, especially when spoken slowly, is pretty good. Replying to questions in Chinese, not so good. Comprehending a full dialog with no hanzi or pinyin, poor. Directions with a map, horrendous!

I'm going back to my old class this weekend for a visit. Bridgitt, my only classmate from the beginning will be there and it will be great to see her, along with Eric.
Not sure who else will be there.

So what's next?

Two weeks "off". If I can muster the concentration two weeks focusing on grammar. I really feel like I'm on the precipice of getting basic grammar which will allow me to communicate on a basic level. I'm not planning on picking up any new vocab unless I download some of those new CPod lessons and get "the Fix" too. Then I'll be picking back up with Vera for another month. Not sure what will come after that. Language acquisition is becoming an expensive hobby!

Wednesday, June 20

And I Should Be...

Studying. Instead I'm doing this. The day before my last Practice Plan lesson with ChinesePod for 2 weeks. I need a break. Bad. I was almost in tears on Monday. Sunday and Monday were lessons on directions. First of all, I'm not that good with directions. Making me give them in Chinese does not help. I felt ignorant, as though the thought of trying to learn Chinese was silly. Who do I think I am!

Well, yesterday and today were better. I hope to spend the next two weeks reviewing grammar. I've downplayed it for so long and now I'm being drawn to it. I've had too many reviews with Vera where I knew every word to say but not the order to put them in. That's the height of frustration for me.

I reached a plateau for a while and I feel like I'm starting to make some progress. It's strange that I'm desperate for a break and yet looking forward to the next set of lessons.


A Quick Update

I'm on my final week. Too busy with the lessons to post anything here.
Once I have my final lesson this Thursday I plan on taking a two week break to study grammar, then picking it back up for a month.

Till then,