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I had never studied Chinese before I came to Hangzhou a year ago. Learning Chinese is certainly more thrilling and a lot gayer than knitting but it requires more patience. I devoted my first two semesters to learning Chinese and immersing myself in the Chinese culture. A semester or two of language courses equipped me with sufficient proficiency to travel alone around China without having to show off my expertise in pantomime (haha i hope you get what i mean) or shove my train tickets under the nose of any Chinese human being so that I would be dragged over to the correct train. Now I can order almost anything I want in a Chinese restaurant without having to request for a menu with pictures. I can talk with my Chinese friends for hours as long as the topic has nothing to do with rocket science, politics and hetero sex. Sometimes, I can’t help but be proud of myself. This week, I… this week is a different story. 😦

看不懂。听不懂。As expected, my two semesters of Chinese language courses epicly failed to arm me against the academic world of graduate courses conducted in Chinese. I was there, sitting like a pretty, non poisonous mushroom in front of the teacher, wondering what the biblical hell I was doing there. I thought that all the graduate courses required for the completion of my master’s degree would be in English. I thought wrong. The following are my subjects this semester:

Why would I prolong the agony? A few days ago, I decided to email my teachers in hope of materials in English that I can read at home. Here’s the e-mail:

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