Sunday, April 23, 2006

Give me money!

( has been misbehaving lately, so I'm blogging from my email.) 
If both the People's Republic of China and the President of the United States want people to learn Mandarin so bad, why aren't they falling all over themselves to pay the tuition for my Mandarin class?  If they have money to give away, and they do, I really am the one they should want to give it to. 
I read once in one of these books on my shelf that you can jump start your language learning by buying a bunch of different cheesy methods and doing them all at once.  While this may be more of a confidence builder, it can't hurt, and it definately satisfies the American impulse to show initial effort by spending money. 
I have a bunch of cheezy methods left over from my choir trip to China a few years ago.  So I've been doing those, plus the hanzi game on my palm, plus I bought some a box of flash cards, a character practice book and its corresponding set of flash cards, the first set of Pimsler CDs for the car. 
Yesterday I spent a lot of time on hanzi, and when I realized ball point pens on paper was getting me nowhere, I bought myself a little white board.  When you buy a little whiteboard to practice your hanzi, be sure to buy one that is enamel on steel, not enamel on cardboard.  Anyway, the fatter pen and bigger format have done wonders for my motor skills.  You can get the dry erase pens to do the hooks and sweeps characteristic of brushes much more easily than by using a normal pen. 
Yesterday I spent hours practicing the "wo" character. 
Today I have other things to do:  rearrange the house, laundry, GRADING... and guitar, for goodness sakes. 
Oh btw, if your here in Seattle, and want a jazz drum kit complete with practice pads, let me know right away.  A friend of mine is moving back to Italy and is selling a SWEET kit for less than $1000. 

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