Seeking Our Own Level

We’re still holding our breath about this next semester of university classes. I went in yesterday, paid the $1200 or so for me and my wife’s tuition. Then we went to another room to pick out our class. There were three ladies sitting in there with a layout of all the books in the language program there (language ability ranked from like A to G or something like that). They asked me,”What class do you want to be in?” I said, “My own class.” They laughed. Good way to start a meeting.

They asked how long I had been studying, if I knew any characters. I told them I was fresh out, and that I had studied for three months in my home. They were at a loss. They shrugged and said, “You’ll have to go to the A classes if you don’t know any characters.” Arrrggghhh! Not what I was hoping to hear. I was about to give up and just register for the A classes, but I thought prevention of a semester of misery would be worth another try.

So I told them that I wanted to learn the characters, but I want to learn them next year. I’m focusing on my spoken ability, so I can talk fairly well, and the A class would kind of be a waste of my time. Would there be a student on this campus somewhere that could teach me everyday for three of four hours? Would I be able to skip these classes if I didn’t want to learn characters right now? Cricket, cricket… “Go see the lady in charge.” Great. A step closer to power.

The “lady in charge” was pretty understanding. She said they’d never had this before, so they weren’t sure they could do it. Her only concern was that the longer I continue to study like this, the further behind I get in my characters, and the more I won’t fit in the most basic character-writing class. No worries. I told her I didn’t care about ever going to a real class, and if the method I’m going to try this semester works, I’ll continue with the same next semester. Oh yeah, she asked what speaking level I was at (apparently you can’t judge that by talking to someone!) and she asked me to go look at the speaking textbooks and see if they were too advanced. C is the first level that has a speaking class (what’s wrong with that picture!) C was just about perfect. So I’m registered for 6 hours a week, paid up for 20. I have to go in this afternoon to see if they can find someone to teach my wife and I for the rest of the hours.

If this works out, we’ll have a teacher who doesn’t know what they’re doing for about 14 hours a week. Perfect! Praise the Lord!

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