Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 5

Posted by 雯雯 at 7:13 PM
Today was a good day. Although it was raining a bit when I got up, it didn't matter much because everything happens inside anyway. We have four meals a day, during weekdays that means breakfast at 7.45, lunch at 11.15, dinner at 14.45 and supper at 19.00. Mostly we're given a choice of bread and cereal for breakfast and supper, with various meats and spreads to put on top. For lunch, you eat bread which you packed yourself from breakfast in white paper with your name written on it. They gather them all up in a basket and place it out at lunchtime. There's also fruit served then, which I'm very happy for. Dinner is always a warm meal. Apparently, the four students with kitchen service can help decide the menu at the start of  the week, but so far it seems like mostly hot dishes with potatoes, and seafood three times a week. Fridays seems to be leftover day, where they make one small dish plus serve leftovers.

In any case, I usually have bread with ham and cheese and some sliced peppers on top, with a glass of milk or apple juice - today was no different. After attending the daily morning meeting, where teachers and eventually students talk for 20 minutes about a topic of their choice, I changed my clothes and headed to the PE hall for my lesson. It was just as fun as last time, and our teacher even showed us a little bit of... martial arts I guess, with a spear and a staff. She has hurt one of her knees, she told us, so she can't really jump or go all out, but she still jumped around in a pretty amazing way.

During the lessons, as a rule, the two teachers (though we only have one at a time because they are married, so whoever isn't teaching us stays at home to take care of their kids) try to use Chinese as much as possible. I've got a slight advantage because I've learnt some before, so I more or less understand what she wants us to do. This also puts me in a slightly awkward position, because the teachers know this and that I lived a little while in Hong Kong. Sometimes, they'll say something difficult to the class, then they'll look at me and go "Can't you tell them what this means?" Sometimes, this works out very well and I can tell the class what it is they said, but then sometimes I have no idea what it means and I stand there looking blank and embarrassed. I guess this is good motivation to learn even more!

Because of my.. somewhat unique position in a class filled with relative beginners, our male teacher had a talk with me after the lesson yesterday. After telling him that I've studied for a year before, but have forgotten quite a bit and probably have a fair deal of holes, he told me to use the textbook and work with the chapters I felt I needed. I could also do exercises or write for practice and hand it in to either him or the female teacher for corrections, and he would print out some resources from other books for me to use. I wouldn't have minded following the lessons the same way as the others and just studying whatever I felt like individually, but it's really nice of them to give me the help and resources to do it. I guess they really want everyone to learn as much as they can this year. Maybe I should try to write letters or short, simple essays or something for practice?

Later in the day, after dinner (meatballs and leftovers with rice!), I sat down with one of my friends from the Chinese class for some studying. It was fun going through the first chapter very thoroughly and talking about the different Chinese characters (called hanzi) and some grammar. We also worked some on pronunciation, though I don't feel all that confident in correcting her since I'm sure I've got a bit of an accent too. We didn't have time to go through any of the dialogue, but we've agreed to at least start with greeting each other in Chinese. It's a start! Hopefully I'll feel more confident speaking Chinese after this year.

Well, things are always happening here. I'll finish this post with some pictures I couldn't post before.

-30.08.2013

View of the Fjord

My room, or at least my bed. You can barely see the beautiful gravel road outside. Actually, my curtains don't completely cover the windows, so people can always look in. Thinking about it makes me feel uncomfortable, so I try not to. 

The common room. Usually filled with students playing games, laughing, reading and so on.

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