Thursday, March 26, 2009
First exam and thoughts about the future
Had my first exam yesterday. My first spoken exam that was the ’written part of spoken Chinese’ (how does that even work?! Ask our teacher and he will tell you that 'in order to speak you need to be able to know how to write everything you want to say…' or something like that). The teacher (our lovely, 口语 老师 -kou yu teacher) had said beforehand that the exam was going to be ‘soooo easy’ that most of us probably only needed 30 min to complete it, although the absolute maximum amount time that we could use was 50 minutes. Do I need to mention that no one (not even A-student girl) finished within 30 minutes and, that after 50 minutes, a lot of students hadn’t even started on the last part, which was to write a dialogue. Yeah, that’s right. Write a dialogue. Now that’s a skill I’ll take with me later in life…
However, this was just part one of the test, the second part (where we actually get to speak –weeeehooo! We have something like 5 unique minutes each!) will take place this Friday. We have to prepare 4 topics (he has decided which ones, everything from ‘ideal work’ –easy, I hope I get that one to ‘downsides with raising pets’ –less dogs for the public to eat? To ‘how our home country preserves culture and history’ –probably the hardest one) and then on the exam day he will chose one out of this four that we then have to speak about for 5 minutes. Now if this isn’t testing our speaking skill, what is?
Still, I DO think this teacher is right about one thing: he gives us exams after every 3 chapters. That’s the best thing I’ve experiences so far in exam-China, because it gives you a chance to actually LEARN the words/grammar from these chapters rather than pushing too much information (from 10+ chapters) into your brain some days before the ‘big, final exam.’ So there we go. He’s not totally out there.
And speaking about exams.
Yesterday I realized that as a result of me being late to one of my HSK lessons last week, I totally missed out on the information the gave in the beginning of the class about signing up for the April HSK exam. So, when I went to enquire about it yesterday they told me that it was already too late to sign up. Ahhhhhgrrrr!!! Note to self: never be late for lessons. And pay more attention to information boards. Don’t just walk around and think about what you are going to have for lunch all the time…
Solution: sign up for the HSK exam in June instead. (Does anyone know when it is?)
Then another question has bubbled up to the surface. A quite scaaaary question actually…Namely: the future.
What do I want to do this fall? Continue with level 6 at the university? (not tempting at the moment... although in a way I feel this is what I 'should do') Get a private tutor? Or give up studying and try to get a good job? (although what good media jobs are around in times like this. Ehum, yeah, exactly).
So, I think I’ll just push that question a bit further away from me for now, and give myself the whole of April to just ‘be’ before I make the important decision.