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!