classroom number 402 (the tv did not work 🙂 )
4.5 years…that’s how long i went to the same classroom. each day for 4 hours, monday thru friday, to learn asianese – arguably the hardest language on planet earth for a westerner. it’s not just all of the nuances that make it hard, ie. the tones, grammar, brute memorization, local dialects, and characters (there is no alphabet), its also an entire world view and ancient history that shaped that world view that has to be learned right along with it.
some days, i spent all 4 hours focusing on my listening skills of both spoken forms as well as formal asianese. other days, i spent the time working on how to read and write, while on other days i learned about the culture, politics and history. regardless of what i studied, i always returned home with a headache and hours of homework. each day, however, i would rise out of bed and do it again. this went on for 4.5 years, and then one day (june 25, 2009)…it just stopped. it was over. how strange. because there’s no temperature control in my little room 402 that i went to everyday – there were days where i nearly froze to death and other days where i thought i would just evaporate, but that room grew on me.
jennifer in front of our classroom building – feb. 2006
i never had more than 3 classmates, and most of the time i only had 1. at first, i hated that little room, but after a while it became my little room that always provided headaches, and i liked it. soon, i will have to give the room key back to the school, and i will always remember the days that i used to go to class, but right now i can enjoy the fact that those days are over!!!!!
me and zhao laoshi on my last day of class