moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Slightly white water

If I'm just floating along, I don't see the need to bother the world.

On the other hand, if there's white water, I'll be too busy not drowning to give a commentary.

OK, here's a bit of moving stream, with a few bubbles and waves that you might like. As usual, it's about learning Chinese and Taichi.

Chinese class was a little bit frightening. I reckon if I had put in about 30 minutes of proper study a day, right from the beginning, I would be comfortable. The last couple of weeks have been 75% incomprehensible to me, and my effective speaking vocab has been a couple of words at a time. I know once shouldn't compare, but others in the class have been rattling away while I've been gripping the edge of the desk. Aaaagh!!

Let's do homework. A simple thing to start, after having spent most of an hour writing out han zi. Connect the front end and back ends of these five sentences. An hour and a half later ...

The problem is that if you fall behind on vocab, the grammar points are inaccessible. I'm hoping some of my vocab will come back from its Christmas holiday soon. I'm also looking for ways to inject confidence. A colleague is a year behind, in a totally different evening class, and bragging to her helped enormously!

Tai chi: last night we did the short Chen form at normal practice speed, then faster, then faster still, then a little bit faster! Great! Even though one doesn't put much effort into the form, you can feel the punches and pushes go SNAP SLAP BLAT by themselves! This was great heat-building entertainment and the rest of the session was challenging too. We encountered a series of new moves in the lao jia (Old Form) that normally would have taken us weeks.

So a bit of heavy work with the paddle against the tide, and some fast lazy riding the swift current. Incidentally, it's perhaps because I don't feel the need to bother the world that I float along, in some ways. That's a thought for tomorrow.