Today begins the summer quarter at school. (Mid-April to Mid-June).
I have two classes this quarter and I think I only need to take 2 more classes next Fall. (not entirely sure due to never being told anything concrete by my university regarding anything).
Being able to see the end stretch is fabulous. I'm so over classes in Chi.nese. I just want to study Chin.ese and research/write/publish my dissertation! Those two things sound like so much fun to me! (nerd alert) but actually sitting through class and not understanding is border line torture.
I showed up to my class today and found 4 other people sitting around a table with my advisor at the head. I thought the class was taught by someone else, but then my advisor explained that our teacher went to Europe and has no time to teach this class so he is not sure how we will continue. This is a great example of the Chin.ese education system. Our teacher has no time for us and doesn't even show up to class or give us a heads up/alternative assignments. I am really hoping that it turns into a self-study type of a situation so I can get the credits without sitting through 3 hours of listening to, "we Chin.ese people....-insert generic blanket statement-" every Monday. (seriously, every class has this element of, "we Chin.ese people and those foreigners..." It's amusing or annoying; depending on the day.
My advisor introduced the class - "Philosophy of the Tang and Song Dynasties," to us (on behalf of our invisible professor). I find these two dynasties to be very fascinating - as they were the epicenter of arts and creativity in ancient Chi.na. The greatest Chin.ese poets stem from this time period and I recognize cultural beauty in this period that is seemingly absent in modern/post-Mao Chi.na.
I tried to take notes and follow along, but after about 2 hours my brain shut off and I started making lists in my notebook. I listed cities I want to live in, (Chicago, Seattle, Asheville, Monterey, Boston), qualities that my future city must have, (bikable, safe public transport if not bikeable, local produce markets, seasons, Super Target), I made lists of potential names for my future children, (Darcie Ann and Phillip David), and I practiced writing my name as "Dr." I listed things to pray for during each mile of my upcoming half marathon, (sister to find friends in LA, grandparent's health, classmates and students, orphans, etc), and I made lists of positive attributes of my body, (strong legs, good hearing, great feet arches). Just when I was running out of list ideas, my professor called me out of my daze, "Jesheecah..."
"Yes," my head jerked up and smile plastered on my face.
(him speaking Chin.ese) "You do not understand this class, but you will in time."
I paused, trying to figure out if I was being ridiculed or encouraged.
Then, he smiled and nodded his head kindly.
I let out a sigh of relief. Encouragement.
I was so thankful for that. He is so reasonable and understanding. He sees clearly my shortcomings and is willing to work with a slow growth process. I may not be smart enough or at a Chi.nese level enough for what I am attempting, but my advisor is willing to have patience with me as long as I am moving in the right direction. It's inspirational, really. He's a good man and I am thankful. Being reasonable is such a great human quality.
I took some stealth pics, wanna see? My advisor smokes a pipe and teaches at the same time...(he's the one on the left)...