Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ah, midterms...

"Starting today you need to review every day for five hours."

And so begins studying for midterms. Five hours a day of review, in addition to my normal 2-3 hours of studying and homework. I wonder if I am dedicated enough to put in the work that Wu Laoshi thinks is necessary. I want to do well on the exam, but I don't want to study for 7-8 hours a day. I studied a lot last weekend, and I was still "mamahuhu" (so-so) on Monday's dictation. I've already started to review in preparation for the midterm, but minimally. Midterms are next week Thursday and Friday, and there is a limit to how much additional information I am able to learn in a week.

Nevertheless, I know that I do need to review. I've forgotten a considerable amount of the vocabulary from the first book, and those characters - Hanzi is "tai nan le!" Translation: Chinese characters are extremely difficult. The writing can be a challenge but it is the memorization that I find arduous. I don't have the "feel" for them yet, and forgetting a stroke is not always akin to spelling a word wrong, sometimes it means that you have written a different word altogether. Apparently, the best way to memorize characters is to write them. And so I write. Last weekend, I wrote each of the vocabulary words from the last three lessons 40 times, which means that I wrote about 3000 characters. My hand begins to pulse just thinking about it.

Despite everything, not studying is not an option, and so off I go. When I return from my trip to the land of a hard-working
Tongji student next week, I will have stories of parties and outings and all things stimulating. Hopefully. Until then, "zaijian"!

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