Tuesday, June 23, 2009

About that spitting sign...

The lesson I'm learning for tomorrow in my textbook is about slogans in elementary schools and around China. It said one of the most popular ones was "请勿随地吐痰" which you'll notice is the same as the one on the sign I posted yesterday. Hopefully I'll see more of these "Please do not spit anywhere" signs around Beijing. Pronounced: qing wu suidi tutan

Today I prepared a lot more for class so I felt nowhere near as in over my head as I did yesterday. I actually understood and was able to answer most of the questions shot my way in our small group classes. Here's the format of our weekdays. Class starts at 8:30 and there are about 15 people in this main lecture class. We start off with a listening quiz where she reads a sentence in Chinese and we copy down the sentence in Chinese characters. Then we turn in our homework for that lesson and the review homework for the lesson before. Then she goes over grammar for that lesson until 10:20 (there's a 10 min. break in the middle). After, we go to our small group classes (about 5 people) and the teachers rotate every day so we can get used to the way lots of people speak. In this class they drill us on the grammar structures and the vocab. This lasts from 10:40 to 12:30 with a 10 min break in the middle. Then lunch! Then 4 days a week we meet with one of the teachers for a one-on-one conversation for 25 minutes to go over any questions or to just talk (all in Chinese). It's rough, but I'm thinking it'll be quite effective.

Every day now I've been going out and eating with a big group Chinese-style, it's a very merry affair and only costs around 25 kuai ($4) for... around 6 dishes, depending on the restaurant. It's so good! This is the roast duck we ate today - the skin was so crispy and delicious:

And here's a picture of Mina (a fellow U-M student) in front of our school's gate, Beijing Institute of Education, which I can never remember how to say in Chinese:

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