Sunday, February 11, 2007


I've been sick all week. It started last Sunday evening, when my throat began to hurt. Monday I felt awful, but I still had to go to school, because it was the first day of the new semester. I got my final exam - and it was 99%, wow! I was amazed. I got a final grade for the semester of 90%, which I assume is based on tests and homework completed. It's high enough that I am eligible to apply for the scholarships they give out, so I think I will.

After the first session with the new teacher, I knew I wasn't going to be very happy. Boring, boring, boring. This teacher seems like a nice person, but no spark of life in her at all. Perhaps her mind is on her upcoming wedding in March, but all of us were in danger of falling asleep.

Tuesday I was so very sick that I did stay home, feeling chilled all day despite the warm weather outside, even my skin hurting when my clothes slid across it. I dosed myself with some Theraflu and spent most of the day sleeping. Dragged myself to school Wednesday and Thursday, still feeling like crap, but if I don't go to school, then I have visa problems. The bright point was that the teacher, Chen Laoshi, decided that it wasn't worth her time to teach a class of only four students, so on Friday we split, with my three Indonesian classmates joining Chen Laoshi's 8:00 a.m. class and me going into Deng Laoshi's 1:00 p.m. more advanced class.

I like Deng Laoshi. She was the one who gave me the placement test, and I thought at that time she was pretty cool. Even though she's one of the older teachers, she's not stuffy and rigid, she's funny and lively. I was still half out of it on Friday, doing a lot of coughing, but I enjoyed her class, and it's obvious the other students really like her, too. I'm now on a two-week break for Chinese New Year, and I'll be spending a lot of time reviewing things I've forgotten. The book we're using in the new class is called Taiwan Today, and when I was at CLD we had studied up through lesson 4 of this book. Thankfully, a lot of it isn't brand-new stuff, but reviews what we learned in the Practical Audio-Visual Chinese Book 2, Part 2, and that's the one I've forgotten most of.

Today is another book-signing event, two actually, and Charlene, Natari, Xiao Niu, and I are going. Charlene and I went last week to the one at the book exhibition, but there were so many friggin' people there that I didn't think it was worth standing in line. Besides, my lower lip was blossoming with a huge cold sore, and I certainly didn't want to stick that in Wu Bai's face. It's better now, despite two smaller ones that popped up over the course of this rotten cold. Since I am sick, I might wear one of the face masks folks here use to prevent germs from running rampant (popularized by the SARS epidemic). I already have my book signed, but I need to get Alice and Caroline's signed, if possible, which means standing in line twice.

Oh gosh, I don't think I've written about my first lesson with Xiao Zhu's son, Vincent. Well, I consider it less than a success. His mom dropped him off last Saturday, and I spent two hours trying to get the kid to say more than "yes" or "no" to anything! I think he was just so shy that he didn't know what to do. I finally discerned that he liked Harry Potter and brought out my Harry Potter books. Vincent picked up each one, opened it in the middle, stuck his face in, and inhaled deeply. I have never seen a kid smell books before. Very strange. He also enjoyed playing with DZ and wandering around my house as if he lived there. I need to sit down and talke with Xiao Zhu and Du Du and find out what makes the kid tick, what he's interested in. I can't spend two hours just talking at him, he has to talk back. This week my voice is so bad that I told Xiao Zhu no way could I teach, so hopefully during the next week I'll be able to meet with the folks and form a plan. If anyone has hints on how to get a shy kid to talk, let me know. I even plied him with chocolate! He's either 13 or 14 (Dad says 13, kid says 14), and he's as tall as me, maybe a little taller, and he's pretty chubby, which surprised me. Xiao Zhu and Du Du are both rail thin, like most of the people here. So at least Vincent and I have one thing in common - a love of food. :)

Hm, I think I'm still a little loopy from the Theraflu. Sadly, last night I downed the last packet, and I don't think I can buy it in Taiwan. It's about time to make up a shopping list and impose on the folks back in the US to shop for me. I'll bet I can twist Dad's arm a little bit, ha.


Romita said...

Wow! 99%! Right On! Way to go, Marla!

Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. Fresh ginger tea with lemon and honey seems to do the trick for me.

I'll be more than happy to send you a few things that you need. Email me a list and I'll go out and get it for you.

Enjoy your break. Xin Nian Kuai Le!

aetherwellen said...

99%! You rock!

Sorry to hear you've been ill. I hope you're getting better.

On that note, I hope the lessons with Vincent get better too. :)

scenic said...

Hope you're feeling better now...

你的考试成绩非常棒!!!恭喜恭喜!!! ^_^

Wonder what music Vincent's into?