We have finally decided to attempt to learn Chinese. As a guest of the PRC I believe I should attempt to learn the mother tongue of our host country. Not to mention it will make my life probably a lot easier if I spoke the language. Being able to bargain in the market, ask for strawberries, tell the taxi driver to turn right, left and stop, and the ability to order ice water can only get you so far.
To sum up the experience I made this statement to Todd. “I would rather work on my doctorate than learn Chinese” That statement is HUGE for I have been dragging my feet on completing my doctorate. Well now I am motivated for it gives me an excuse to NOT study Chinese.
We have a Chinese tutor who comes to our apartment every Saturday from 10am- 12pm. 2 hours and it is my most dreaded 2 hours of the week. It is also the longest 2 hours of my week, the time just does not go by quick enough. I would rather be in an AOP meeting than Chinese lessons. For those who know me that is saying a lot, I hate meetings. I would rather put forks in my eyes than attend meetings. I have found something more painful than meetings Chinese lessons. After 2 hours, I am exhausted and a little grumpy which is a great way to start off a weekend. It is painful.
I am sure it doesn’t help that we don’t study during the week. After Chinese lessons I am a little motivated to study but then the rest of the weekend comes and then the work week so it just doesn’t happen. Saturday morning before 10am we are both completing our homework and cramming before the lesson. It is like school all over again. This is not effective by any means, we know t yet it keeps happening.
Adding to my loath of learning Chinese I was asked by a colleague what did I learn last week. I said to her in Chinese “Wo shi mei guo ren” which means I am an American. She said, good what else? I said that is it. I am met with “That is all?” Yes, that is all. It is very hard. My friend Sean who is from Shanghai also likes to make fun for my Chinese, I don’t make fun of his Chinglish and yet when I speak Chinese it is full on laugh fest. Keep talking, keep laughing. I now refuse to speak any Chinese in front of him. Now off to work on the doctorate for it is far less stressful.