Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surviving Summer School at Beijing University

Classmate Tonje together with some hunky dude

We've finally survived the six-week intensive summer school at Beijing University.

Thank God.

I've never worked harder, having classes Monday to Friday, 08-12, then feel forced to go right home every day and review, do homework and prepare for the next classes until bedtime - and then getting up at 5 a lot of the days because I didn't have time to get everything done, even though I sat with school work even while eating my dinner the day before.

And I've never felt more lazy and stupid.

This past week have been the hardest, having all of our exams during the two last days of the summer school.

It's been crazy. We've been studying, studying, studying. And stressing, stressing, stressing, - cramming Chinese characters like crazy, having study dates with the speaking partner, getting up at 5 to study for the exams, freaking out, fight urges to curl into fetal position, and so on.

On Thursday we had the exam in our 阅读 (yuedu) class, which is the course where we work on the intimidating compendium that our home university sent with us, that is the curriculum for our oral exam that we'll have right after we've returned to Norway. It went pretty well.

On the same day we also had part I of the oral exam for our 口语 (kouyu) class, which was reading a dialogoue from our text book out loud, while the teacher scribbled notes on our pronunciation, tones, intonation and speed. It was pretty nerve-wrecking, but I think I did alright.

On Friday we had the exam for our 汉语 (hanyu) class, where we had to know the vocabulary, Chinese characters and grammar from nine chapters. (Nine chapters in six weeks) Phew! It also went pretty well.

And then we had the final part of the oral exam where we all sat together in the classroom and one by one were fried by the teacher, having to explain vocabulary from the text book (in Chinese, of course) and complete short dialogues using spesific grammar or expressions. And then we also had to give a small speech about a chosen topic.

I spoke about my speaking partner.

This is a video of me practising, shot at 6 in the morning yesterday.

(NB! If you actually know Chinese, you probably don't want to watch this)

It'll be exciting to get the results of the exams!

Outside our classroom,
tourists visiting the campus of Beijing University
pass by all the time
and ask to get their photos taken with
"the foreigners",

So during breaks in between classes,
when being outside to get a breath of "fresh air"
(or warm and humid, more likely)
All the Norwegians have had to pose with
Chinese people

We've almost felt like animals at a zoo, sometimes

But I am certainly not the one to say anything,
considering how many photos
'I' take of strangers,

So we had to say goodbye to 乌龟 (wugui, "turtle")
the schoolyard cat

He/she is a very friendly cat,
alway up for a snuggle

The other day I had a chat with the 5-year-old daughter of our cleaning lady (yeah, we have a cleaning lady, lol)

I'm better at taking photos rather than shooting videos.

So, on my way home from the final day at summer school yesterday, my bike croaked for the fourth time.

But I was so HAPPY!! The bike has been fine for, like, the past three weeks - so I knew a new croak had to be near. I was just so thankful it happened on the way home on a sunny day - and not in the morning on the way to take my exams.

So I took it to see the bike-doctor.

Haha, when I first came to China something was wrong with my bike, like, twice a week - so I became a familiar face in the area around the bike-doctor's shop.

He always heads over to his magic box,
to dig for whatever he needs
to fix my bike

A hammer solves 'any' bike problem in China

A little squirt of oil

And then he took my bike for a ride
and it was ready to go

He doesn't even let me pay him,

Maybe because I draw a lot of attention
to his shop,
by people passing by


Happy 2nd birthday, blog! :D


X. said...

Gratulere masse bloggen! :D You allways give me a smile...!

Michael Chiarello said...


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