Friday, April 5, 2013

What do you do while doing your homework?

I have a 90 min Chinese lesson every week. I have to review the recording (listen to it) and do homework before the next lesson. I also have to organize what I have learned so that I can remember it. Initially there were only a few new words every week. Now we are learning lots of new words every week and unless I organize the vocabulary and write it down, I don't remember it.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got behind on the homework. Bad move. I haven't been able to catch up till today. Yesterday and today were holidays in China. It is the Qing Ming or Tomb-sweeping festival. Yesterday, Chinese families went to the graves of their ancestors, cleaned them and paid homage to them.

My intention was to review 2 weeks worth of lessons yesterday and 2 weeks today. That would have meant 3 hours of review + homework yesterday and 3 hours today. Well, it didn't work out. Since I got back late on Wednesday, I was very tired yesterday and I had a few meetings since the rest of the world wasn't on holiday! I only got through part of a lesson yesterday.

The result of all this was a long, marathon review and homework session today. I am finally done with all the review and homework and am caught up for tomorrow morning's lesson. Yay!

What did I do during these hours of review? Why, I plied of course! I slowly spindle plied my gradient. You can see that I have made substantial progress since the last set of pictures. Most of that was today. You can also see that there is lots more to go. Well, that is how it goes while plying on a spindle. I haven't been pushing the speed as I want to get enough plying twist into this yarn. I typically have been putting too little and I don't like that when I knit.

 You can also see the layers of how the plying ball was built up in this picture as I am at the color-changing part. That is my Chinese text book and my notes under the spindle.

 I came back to this message on Wednesday. My Chinese lessons are focused on conversation, not reading or writing. So this was a mystery. I knew who had written it. It was Miss Chun, our ayi (or what a maid/nanny is called here). She doesn't speak English and we don't speak Chinese so we usually communicate via pantomime. But I didn't see her this week as I was out and my husband is also traveling.
When we need to communicate anything complex, we do it through our landlord's agent, who introduced her to us. We text him, he texts her, and then texts us back. So I thought I would take a photo of it and send it to him for translation. But I couldn't send the photo to him. Hmmm.... what to do?

I then just decided to text him and ask him to ask her what she had written. I suspected that she was telling me that she wouldn't be here Friday due to the Qing Ming holiday. But maybe she wanted me to buy toilet cleaner? It turns out that my first guess was right. She was not coming on Friday due to the holiday. Justin, the agent, said my Chinese was getting better. Nope, just my guessing!

I am now off to bed to rest up before tomorrow's Chinese lesson. I am feeling very virtuous. Let's hope I can keep it up!

No comments: