It's that time of the semester again, when review sessions dominate my schedule and professors send out review guides. That's right, exams are back and here to stay for the next 10 days.
And then I realized that no one outside my immediate family actually knows what exams I have, let alone what courses that I'm taking at CUHK. So let's do a quick refresher, shall we? I'm taking five courses, all which count for three credits. If you haven't done the math already, that's 15 credits. Oxy will translate this as 16 credits--a standard course load--one I get back in the spring. In no particular order are the courses that I'm taking:
- Puthongua Level 1 -- Application of Vocabulary & Grammar
- Puthongua Level 1 -- Oral Skills Practice
- Financial Accounting for Economists
- Economics of Transition
- History of Traditional Chinese Thought
My schedule with time blocks is at right if you're really interested in when I'm where and doing what. Oxy requires that I take Chinese language courses while I am here, so those account for a good 40% of my academic life here. For those of you who don't know, Puthongua is synonymous with Mandarin. They're the same language, just with different names and are considered to be the standard dialect of Chinese. In contrast, everyone in Hong Kong speaks Cantonese which is the southern dialect of Chinese. I am told that the two languages share some vocabulary but are otherwise unintelligible to one another. They even use different characters. Cantonese uses Traditional characters where as Puthongua/Mandarin/Standard Chinese uses Simplified characters. I have friends here who are native Chinese speakers and readers and can read Traditional characters on signs, menus, etc, so it's not a completely foreign language. But I digress.
The Puthongua classes are are fun but challenging. The accounting class is interesting and informative. Unfortunately the "Economics of Transition" sounded interesting on paper but didn't materialize that way. The professor seems to be extremely smart, but is unfortunately not the best lecturer. Add that to the fact that this class meets once a week from 2:30-5:15 PM and is the only thing standing between me and the weekend. It drags on oh so slowly, unfortunately. Finally my "History of Traditional Chinese Thought" class is a lot of fun. The professor can be a bit scattered sometimes but he has a ton of fun teaching, which we as his students certainly appreciate. As is turns out our professor got his PhD form U.C. Santa Barbara so he is frequently incorporating California culture into his lecture. The class is about 90% international exchange students, so we appreciate it.
I had my first written sorta-midterm in Puthongua Oral Skills Practice this past Thursday and I have an oral one this coming Tuesday. Another mid term in Accounting follows on Wednesday. Finally I finish off the mid term exams with a written exam in Puthongua Vocabulary & Grammar. So, it'll be a busy week.
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