April Fools’ Resolutions

on Apr 2, 2015

As I was going through the motions of the day yesterday, I started wondering why New Year’s gets to have all of the fun. Why can’t I pick a random day and decide to make a change? Given that my path to Chinese Fluency is looking a bit foolish, why not April Fools’ Day?

Weeks #7 and #8 Progress Reports

on Mar 11, 2015

Not much has changed from the last Progress Report. The wheels are still off the bus, but now in the middle of Week #8, I’m working to get the wheels back on. In the interim, let’s talk about SRS again.

Weeks #5 and #6 Progress Reports

on Feb 26, 2015

While I’m sitting here writing this report, I keep hearing this song in my head over and over again:
The wheels on the bus came flying off, flying off, flying off, the wheels on the bus came flying off…

So if you were wondering why weeks #5 and #6 are in the same progress report, now you know.

Zuckerberg’s Mandarin

on Feb 23, 2015

Last week, my social feeds blew up with news of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posting a Lunar New Year video greeting. Much like his Mandarin news conference in Shanghai, the U.S. news media delivered massive praise for Zuckerberg’s “fluent Mandarin.” In a lot of cases, news reports noted significant improvement from the press conference to the Lunar New Year video. However, if you dig into the comments on the videos and dive into some language learning blog posts, you will find a great deal of criticism, some of it quite vicious. Given the wide range of opinions, I felt like adding my voice to the chorus.

It’s Okay to Lie

on Feb 20, 2015

So you’re sitting down to chat over Skype with a new language exchange partner, and everything is going great. You’re exchanging names, discussing work, asking about each other’s hobbies, and then it happens. You’re asked a question that requires a more nuanced answer than you can produce in your target language. What do you do?

Week #4 Progress Report

on Feb 12, 2015

Well, it’s been an interesting week, and as I’m posting this progress report for Week #4 on Thursday of Week #5, you can probably guess that I’m behind yet again. It took all day Saturday to catch up all of the tasks I had left incomplete for the week. And now this week, I seem to have made life even a bit more complicated with an ankle injury. Of course, I guess the injury will give me more time for Chinese since I can’t exercise as much, and it also allowed me to renew my love of left-footed driving. I wonder how you say left-footed driver in Chinese. Anyway, onto Week #4’s Progress Report…