I've been super super super busy, and I haven't had time to tell everyone what happened with my whole finding-the-right-Chinese-class drama. However, it just so happens that right now I'm procrastinating on studying for a test I have tomorrow, so right now is a perfect time for a little update.
First of all, I found out that my whole concept of how they divide the different levels and classes at NCCU was screwed up. This was due to the fact that I was still thinking in terms of the old PAV (Practical Audio-Visual Chinese, THE book for Chinese study in Taiwan), not the second edition. Many of you may already know that the old edition of the PAV series was comprised of (as far as I know) two big honkin' books -- level one and level two. Now it looks prettier and it's divided into 5 or 6 books I think, maybe more. This means that I don't have to carry as big of a book to class, and each level book starts at chapter one for that book. So although my new class is starting in chapter 7 of book 2, this is really chapter 19 of the old book 1. So basically, I freaked out for nothing because I thought I would be starting in chapter 7 of the old book 2. To make a long story short, I'm in the perfect level for me now (besides the fact that I still have some major catching up to do with character writing), and I'm learning so much in my new class!
Now, allow me to sing the praises of my class at NCCU. It's 3 minutes from my house, and it's in a beautiful part of Taipei -- that's a plus! I have to walk up a steep hill and a bunch of stairs to get to my class, which is actually a plus because it's forcing me to exercise. There's a 7-11 with City Cafe coffee on campus right across from the foreign language building -- sweet! My teacher is really energetic and fun, and uses a lot of modern teaching techniques in our class (by the way, it turns out she has a blog). The three hours just fly by, and I get a lot of speaking practice because the classes at NCCU are really small (there's just six of us and we all sit at one big table). And guess what? I even like the fact that I have to get up at 7:15 AM to go to class every day! I've always wanted to become a morning person, and while I'm definitely not there yet, I'm getting a little closer every day. It's like there's this whole other world outside when you wake up early! I discovered on my first day of class that there's a vibrant morning market selling all kinds of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables right downstairs from my house. I just never knew because I never got up early enough to see it.
Well, I really do need to start studying for my test tomorrow. We're learning the whole 把 sentence construction, which is actually really easy but I have to make sure I know how to write all the characters that I'm going to need to know for the test tomorrow. I'll leave you with a little bit of cuteness to make your heart happy:
Here's the background story: Mei Mei used to sleep under the table by my feet whenever I was at the table doing something (i.e. eating, studying, playing around on the computer), but lately she's been hopping up on a chair and from there actually hopping up onto the table.
I guess she thinks she's helping me study?