So I’ve had 2 days of classes so far and… damn. My class is small, only 7 people which is awesome. It’s myself, a Russian man, a woman from Cameroon, 3 Korean women, and 1 Korean man. It’s an interesting mix as I am not only the sole native English speaker, but the only Western person.
The teacher will default to me for any questions about “the West” which sometimes makes me feel a bit on the spot but it’s alright I guess. Sometimes it’s a bit lonely. I do have Monica to hang out with but 1) she’s crazy busy because she’s doing a degree program and 2) she’s got a lot of friends and I can’t monopolize her time. I’m hoping over time I can find some more friends.. even those that only can speak Mandarin. It’s good practice anyway.
Each day is 2 classes, each glass being 2 45 minute periods with 10 minute breaks in between, with a 20 minute break in between the two classes. It’s nice it gets broken up a bit as my head starts to hurt, especially in the “reading” class because that teacher doesn’t know ANY English so it’s hard for me to ask questions.. and I pretty much do not understand 80% of the class.
The other two classes I’ve had so far, speaking and grammar, I like more. The speaking teacher is probably younger than me, as she’s a senior in the school of teaching Chinese to foreigners. She, like the grammar teacher use a bit of English mixed in the mass of Chinese so I better understand. I’m not fluent enough yet to do it all 100% Chinese, there are just too many new words in any given sentence.
The Russian’s name is Sasha Alexander and he’s friendly but it’s hard to communicate with him a whole lot. He does speak some English, but it’s super heavily accented so it’s hard to understand him. Similarly, his Chinese is as well. I can hear the Russian accent in his Mandarin.. which is an interesting sound.
The Cameroonian woman, Karen is super nice and she has her African accent but it’s not too hard to understand. She learned English from a young age so it’s rare I have to explain something further or she doesn’t know the word. She’s more native in French. I found it funny her name is Karen since I already have my French friend Karen from Wegmans. HEY KAREN, I MISS YOUU!!!
I’ve not yet spoken to the Korean people yet, too much, more due to language barriers than anything.. but they, myself, and the teacher had a conversation about music during a break.
I put on BTD after trying (and failing) to say I know a few popular Korean songs after the teacher mentioned Gangnam Style. The one girl got a bit excited and when I told them I liked some of the music they seemed to open up a bit more. I think they’re just super shy.. they’re that way during class too. Sasha and I tend to dominate answering teacher questions and volunteering for things.
But yeah. Overall it’s going well, but it’s definitely A LOT of new words at once compared to my college classes. It’s ok since it’s the only thing I’m doing (vs doing it alongside a degree).
Tomorrow I’ll try to get photos of the class or something. I have the grammar teacher first tomorrow and the young teacher. It will be a good day.
Here’s some random photos I haven’t posted yet for you to enjoy.