Classes have begun! I don’t know if this statement necessarily deserves an explanation point after it but I suppose I am here to learn and thus I should be excited. Although I would rather be out exploring the land and meeting new places, I have to say my classes do not seem to be too bad so far. Monday night (6:30pm to 9:30pm) I had my first class which was International Finance. I am a little unsure about this class having never taken a finance class but the first day of class had a lot of economic concepts which gives me hope. I am sure it will grow more specifically into finance but having an economic background is really going to help.
As for Chinese class… Well, to put it simply, it is difficult. The professor speaks nothing but Chinese to us. I think she knows English but it is very limited. Needless to say, keeping up in class takes a lot of concentration. The hardest part is learning the grammar. Although she does write it on the board, I feel as though explaining it in Chinese causes us to learn it a lot slower. I do; however, believe that this struggle will be beneficial in the long run. Not only will I build my vocabulary by listening to her talk, I will develop new ways to decipher meanings to words that I don’t understand. I hope this will help me as I go out onto the streets of China and talk to regular people. All in all, I believe this is going to be a difficult class but also a class where I will learn a lot. Those are the best kind of classes, right?
In my earlier posts, I spoke about how 北大 (Peking University) looked more like a city than I college campus. Well, I can officially say that I have found the part of campus that looks exactly how I imagined the rest of北大 would look like: a peaceful Chinese paradise. There is a coble-like path leading through a path of trees toward a glistening lake. The path is designed so that when you walk upon it barefoot, it is like getting a foot massage, or so I am told. As this path winds around the lake, you can hear the leaves rustling in the slight breeze. Pagodas and statues majestically appear before you, adding to the mystery of the place. Strong bridges cross the lake where it narrows, creating the illusion of many small lakes instead of one big one. This place seems to be in a calm hush. It is as if this is a place to run to and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city-like part of campus. It is a beautiful part of campus and I plan on spending a lot more time there.
Finally, I have a confession to make. I had McDonald’s for dinner tonight. I broke down after dreaming of hamburgers and French fries the night before. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one craving an American treat. So, we all decided that after Chinese, we would all tromp over there and get ourselves some dinner. Unfortunately, I got elected as navigator again and got us slightly lost. I did know enough Chinese and was brave enough to ask for directions and got us back on track to the golden arches. Finally arriving, we all ordered a double cheeseburger, fries and a drink. I have to tell you, trying to order a cheeseburger without pickles or onions is a chore when the lady taking your order doesn’t understand a word of English. Working together, and with lots of pointing, she and I got it figured out. Our little group decided to sit on the second floor of the restaurant so that we could admire the views. We ended up admiring the TV instead. The ‘show’ that was on was actually just constantly running McDonald’s commercials. Best part, I was pretty sure they were carbon copies of the U.S. commercials only the actors were replaced with Chinese actors.
After dinner, we all decided to go over to Dairy Queen for Blizzards. They were awesome! They did not taste the same as the stuff back home but having that reminder of home was a great reward for our hard work in our classes.
Until next time,