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

Friday, April 28, 2006

Finding the right level

The SOAS class was fun, but rather too simple I think. Looking at the textbooks confirms the view. I should be able to swap up to the (rather daunting looking) Intermediate class. Whether I do so depends on whether I want to re-inforce what I've already covered, or plough into new territory.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Course

Boo! My UCL Language Centre course didn't make the minimum number, so it ain't running.

But Hooray! I found another one at SOAS, just down the road from UCL, where they have loads of Chinese courses. I had a little assessment (conclusion: as predicted, I have forgotten the bloody lot) and we decided (lots of nice people at SOAS) that I should join the class "Beginner's Term 3" presently using Book 2 of Chinese in Steps ISBN 184570004-X.

SOAS ought to be among the top Chinese teaching departments in the country, and the facilities look good. By contrast UCL language centre is a bit too small for its own good, and certainly it's physically cramped.

Speaking of running, I shall probably bring my running-related posts here, across from drift:::words, and keep the latter focussed as a wider cultural journal. No I didn't run the London marathon this year. Done it enough times I think, and too busy.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Two more learners, maybe me makes three

Just telling you that I've added two more Chinese learner to my Bloglines (over there on the side, if you're actually reading this as a blog rather than as a feed), both of whom mentioned just now by the aforementioned Chris.

So, next week could be the resumption of formal lessons at UCL Language Centre. That's if enough other people sign up. Meanwhile, desperately nervous about having forgotten the whole bloody lot since I last went to class (I missed a few due to work pressure), I've relocated the reading texts and my stockpile of downloaded podcasts from Chinesepod. Today I had Jenny and Liv in one of the advanced lessons, in my ear whilst doing the first lawn-mowing of the year. No idea what they were on about, but hey, it fired the Mandarin-related synapses.

Everybody seems to be using different flashcard systems, now why is that? Genuinely different needs or just a stupid net-bubble Cambrian explosion? I've been using Flashcard Exchange where you can see me as user "matt whyndham". I like this one because of: web service, social-ness, use of tags.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Hello Chris - Mandarin Student

Just a shout out to Chris who's in a similar position to me in learning Mandarin. 你好 Chris!

via the Chinesepod blog.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tai Chi class assembling

Tai Chi class assembling
Tai Chi class assembling,
originally uploaded by Drift Words.
Here's proof that I went along to Wang Hai Jun's class this Sunday. No great innovations to report, however, it was really great to stand and practice with this master. His style is at once fluid and powerful. Best thing he said? "AAAAAHHH!!" (A sound emphasising the development of power during silk-reeling and form).

Incidentally, because his English isn't great, I got a some Mandarin demonstration into the bargain. I could understand the odd word here and there, though nothing approaching a functional level.

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