Sharing: First Semester of Mandarin Study

New Year was coming and there was no class on Jan 3. I attended Chinese Corner “New Year” and learned to do “nian hua” (=drawing a picture for the New Year) on Dec 31. I went to Hong Kong the next day for Christmas party with my sisters. Fortunately, my cousin and her husband were coming from Singapore so I had a vegetarian supper with them and also uncle, grand uncle, cousin and her husband who live in Hong Kong.
After around 3.5 months of classes, we had final exam on Jan 10-11, 2011. For the last dictation on “hanzi” and “pinyin,” I got 100, the second times during this semester, as there were no words from previous lessons. We had homework of 40 lessons of reading and writing class and then a review of it on Jan 5. I typed all the new words (around 650 words) with the help of a friend and sorted it alphabetically based on “pinyin” so it looks like a mini dictionary. As there are many grammar and structure patterns, I made a summary of all the grammar and structure patterns and also the notes (around 100 notes) for quick references. I also shared the files to my friends as it might help them to prepare for the exam on Jan 10 a.m. I knew that I forgot how to write most of the “hanzi” and “pinyin” but I decided to concentrate on the grammar and structure patterns as it would have bigger portion. On exam, I forgot how to write several “hanzi” and “pinyin” of the recent lessons.
Upon finishing the reading writing exam, I prepared for the listening exam of the 22 lessons on Jan 10 p.m. I think I am better in getting the idea of the conversation than getting the “pinyin” of the words even though we learned all of the “pinyin”.
I prepared conversations for buying things and changing money and also introductions about buying thing, asking direction, favourite places and life in Guangzhou as requested for the conversation exam of the last 10 lessons. We could choose the one of conversations and pick one of the introductions.
There was “Hanzi” exam on Dec 27 and I only could prepare on the day of the exam. It was mostly recognizing the “hanzi” instead of writing the “hanzi,” so it’s easier. According to the teacher, I got 90s.
I practiced for the pronounciation exam with my tutorial teacher one day before the exam. The teacher recorded our pronounciation and compared it with our first recording. I got 86 and the teacher wrote期末评语:语音虽仍有许多问题,但有子很大进步,希望继续努力。(=…still many problems especially z,c,s,zh,ch,sh相混,d,g/t,k, and 3rd tone but there is a big improvement, hopefully continue to be diligent).
Two days before graduation ceremony, I got text message to come earlier for the graduation ceremony as I was the “qinfen xuesheng” in our class. I didn’t know what the meaning of “qinfen” so I asked to the sender, later on I knew that the sender was our classroom teacher. She said “feichang nuli” and my tutorial teacher said “diligent.”
The graduation ceremony was on Jan 14 p.m. We got the newest edition of our school magazine. There were speeches from somebody (I assumed one of leaderships in the school) and a teacher followed by the announcement for the winners of calligraphy, composition, photography competitions, diligent students and best students. As I was the diligent student, I got a certificate and RMB 200. The best 3 students (in our class only 2 students) got RMB 400 each. After graduation, we could see our marks in the office. My marks are 88.9 for conversation, 94 for listening and 90 for writing reading classes. Thanks be to God, as I always said “God, You know I can’t do it” before the exam.
I had several outings after the exam including tutorial twice. I went to Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Lotus Hill; rode a boat along the Pearl River to Fangzi (near Beijing lu), Xidi, and Fangcun wharf; visited a friend who has a newly born baby, a patient in hospital, home for people with mental disabilities “Huiling” and a Leprosy hospital, and also ice skating. I walked slowly near the bar for two and a half rounds and then I felt down so I walked again till the 4th rounds. I used to fall down and got bruise when ice skating in Jakarta.
From my experience of learning English since grade 4 till the first year of college, I know that even though I got 9.66 in my senior high school national exam, my English is still not good enough so I should be ready to have the same experience with my mandarin, be ready for whole life learning.

Macau, Jan 23, 2011

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible